Vengeance for Before, Cheers for Now

I read this, on Tim Tebow, in Bruce Feldman’s always-a-must-read Sunday notes:

He also now has 56 rushing touchdowns in his career, three behind Eric Crouch for the FBS record among quarterbacks.

It got me thinking.

While walking out of the Swamp yesterday, I reflected on the fact that the last and only other time UF rolled through a perfect regular season and went 12-0, they were housed by a certain team from the Heartland in the Fiesta Bowl. I mentioned this to a fellow student, who sort of nodded and smiled, because he didn’t remember. I don’t, either, not firsthand—I was only vaguely aware of how badly things had gone that January then while I was really falling for the Gators in the fall of 1996—but I have relived the agony a few times through YouTube.

I also remember someone from that school with no stats and a little less talent than the brilliant Michael Vick winning a Heisman Trophy one year later, despite Rex Grossman’s fantastic (and possibly better) year, and possibly because of some career numbers instead of in-season magic.

So I have no love for Nebraska. And I love that it’s the 2000s Florida team that gets to play 1990s Nebraska (two wins, and Gainesville gets its third national title celebration in four years) and Tebow that could be Eric Crouch (four touchdown runs, and he claims that FBS record). We are on the precipice of becoming what we once both despised and aspired to be. It feels good to know that this team could deliver those blows.

But I can’t say I really want Tebow to wrest a Heisman from a more deserving candidate for this season, and I especially don’t want his numbers, this year more product of a system than ever, to obscure the performance of Ndamukong Suh, who has been better all year, and would be a worthy Heisman winner, even though there’s only a shadow of a chance that he gets a ticket to New York.

And I can’t let my reveling in Nebraska’s struggles convince me to root against them this coming Saturday. I want the ‘Huskers to beat Texas and win that game, because that result, no matter what the result of the SEC Championship is, would vault TCU (hopefully) or Cincinnati (more likely) into a BCS title game, and that would be another brick pulled off of the BCS wall.

I also want no part of the ‘Horns in a BCS title game.

So for one week, I am both Nebraska hater and ‘Huskers fan. So be it.

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