Florida’s most celebrated player of all time scored his 49th rushing touchdown against Mississippi State, tying him with Georgia’s most celebrated player of all time for the SEC record.
But as with so many sports statistics these days, there’s an asterisk involved. Or, at least, there should be.
As the Georgia Sports Blog points out, the Dogs’ Herschel Walker actually scored five more rushing touchdowns that he doesn’t get credit for in the SEC record book because the conference didn’t count bowl statistics until recent years, and those five Walker scores came in bowl games.
Why they couldn’t have updated the past stats to include bowl games when the rule changed, I can’t begin to understand. It’s not really fair to all the great players from the years before the rule change, but unfortunately that’s the way it is. Life isn’t fair, especially life in the SEC.
The blog also notes that it has taken a lot more games for Tim Tebow to catch Walker in the record book, since Herschel only played in 36 games total, including bowls, and only 33 that count in the record book. Tebow has played in 48 games so far, 34 as a starter.
The bottom line is that SEC records achieved nowadays don’t really match up with those from yesteryear. The comparisons are worthless. That doesn’t mean the players like Tebow setting conference records today aren’t great athletes and deserving of recognition. It just means that, as anyone who saw both men play can attest, Tebow is no Herschel Walker, no matter how loudly Gator fans crow in the future.
Still on the subject of the record, David Hale of Bulldogs Blog raises an interesting question: “Out of everything that’s at stake in this game,” he asks, “where does ‘not letting Tebow break the record against Georgia’ rank on things fans want most this week? If I told you that Georgia would lose by 20 points, but Tebow wouldn’t run for a TD, would that be enough of a silver lining?”
For me, the answer is no. I love Herschel and venerate him as highly as any UGA fan, but having that record eclipsed by Tebow won’t diminish No. 34’s impact on the game or his place in college football history one bit. And, let’s face it, unless his college career were to suddenly come to an end, the record is going to be Tebow’s before his playing days are over, even if he doesn’t run for a TD against Georgia.
I’d gladly give Tebow the record in exchange for a win by the Dogs. Wouldn’t you?
I’ll be off on Tuesday, as usual, but the Blawg will return on Wednesday.