Tebow-Walker comparisons are bogus

The SEC record book doesn't tell the full Herschel Walker story. (Associated Press)

The SEC record book doesn't tell the full Herschel Walker story. (Associated Press)

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.

235 comments Add your comment

Todd - Dacula

October 26th, 2009
10:00 pm

Walker is still the TOP DOG in the SEC; there simply is no comparison.

LincolnHusker

October 26th, 2009
10:01 pm

I look forward to the game on Saturday! Its truly a special game and we do respect Mr. Tebow. I agree with Coaches Dye and Dooley that Tebow is a remarkable young man. It is clear that he is leading his team to win after win in a most methodical manner, but not flashy. This is similar to the great Huskers of the 90’s that won 3 national championships in 4 years by ball control and running. If you want flash, go the Pac 10, but the SEC is demonstrating classic physical football with Florida, Alabama, LSU, etc. Florida 17- Georgia 6. Mark it down and enjoy the game!

dawes

October 26th, 2009
10:09 pm

tebow better he stay in college he will be able to run in the nfl like he run college some defense will knot his brains out of his head they wont be afraid of him

45ACP

October 26th, 2009
10:10 pm

Dawg Talk is on CSS right now.

Cuz

October 26th, 2009
10:13 pm

That 1980 Dawg D held Texas AM to 0 points and TCU to 3.

The score in 1980, State of Georgia 77, State of Texas 3.

45ACP

October 26th, 2009
10:17 pm

Defense wins championships.
Cuz – What does the DC Fantasy League say about UGA vs Florida?
I know it looks bad but lets have the numbers.

FMGator

October 26th, 2009
10:36 pm

I ask again. How many TD passes has Walker thrown?

Cuz

October 26th, 2009
10:41 pm

45, those were the numbers I quoted on the other page.

Strong’s D averages a 13.71, Willie’s D a 19.58. With those numbers the Gators win by minimum two touchdowns. That is why I gave the keys to the games if the Dawgs wanted to win.

Versus LSU, Strong scored a 12, Willie scored a 17.
Against Arkansas, Strong scored a 20, Willie a 27.

It does not bode well for the Dawgs unless Willie changes it up and goes after Tebow. Bobo has to go to the air from the start. Florida will shut the Dawgs down if Bobo trys to establish the run first. If we do not come out throwing the ball, the game will be over at the half.

Stock up on the booze now. Don’t wait in line on Saturday.

Cuz

October 26th, 2009
10:46 pm

How many TD’s will Tebow get in the NFL, less than Walker I bet? And my RB can beat up your QB.

FMGator, Tebow is a special player and one of the best QB’s in college history. Herschel is the best RB in college history. Comparisons due to the different positions they played, will always be in the eye of the beholder. I can’t change your mind and you cannot change mine. Why don’t we just agree that both were two of the greatest players of all time and give it a rest.

45ACP

October 26th, 2009
10:46 pm

Brutally honest as usual. Thanks, I think.
We will get the ribs and booze Friday.

ray

October 26th, 2009
11:00 pm

You can’t compare stats over ten years, much less 25 or 30. How would today’s athletes fare playing 60 minutes a game like players did up until the 1950s? Athletes have become finely tuned, specialized machines, rules and record keeping change over time. Trying to compare beyond the current context of an athlete’s achievements does a disservice to all. Herschel and Tebow cannot be compared,

Cuz

October 26th, 2009
11:14 pm

ray thanks for reminding me how old I am, I think I will bid all goodnite, old man needs his rest.

BObO ThE CLowN

October 26th, 2009
11:20 pm

L-Dawg ………
Sounds like your the one with Hate/Envy. What’s the point in being a fan of a team if you cant pick on your rival team? Jawge has one down year and there fans freak out when they get made fun of. Take it like a man and stop having Penis envy. You’ll probably be the one dishing out the hate next year.

LOSER DAWG no different than SAINT SIMONS post on every blog to feel relevant.

TML

October 27th, 2009
2:37 am

Hey squirrel-faced Billy-boy – you forget some very important things in your “analysis”…

(1) The SEC is MUCH harder to win today than it was back in Hershal’s day. Back then, SEC schools played 6 conference games. A team could win its 6 SEC games and claim part of a title and then lobby for the Sugar Bowl bid. Today, you have to go 8-0 or 7-1 to win just your division and then go to a championship game. I’m a Bama fan, but if there had been a title game in the 60’s, 70’s, & 80’s, Bear probably wouldn’t have won the 13 SEC titles he did.

(2) The players on the collegiate level are much better than they were 25-30 years ago. The speed and conditioning they have are orders of magnitude higher than they were in Hershal’s day [to you u[sic]ga folks that don’t know what that means, an ‘order of magnitude’ baiscally means the difference between 10 and 100 or 100 and 1,000].

(3) The simple fact is Florida has owned your @$$e$ for the last 20 years and you know you’re staring 6-6 in the face and can’t stand that the North Avenue Trade School has the real football legacy in the state now (and really always has). You revert back to a legacy that gives you no help today.

(4) Hershal played only 3 years because he was failing basket-weaving and his folks in Wrightsville needed the ca$h Trump was gonna give him. Tebow is a QB who takes and gives hits and stayed for another year when he didn’t “have to” and you’re scared he’ll end up the Florida coach in 10 or so years and talk $#!t to your Goff-like coach then like Spurrier did.

Another 45-42 is coming in November. The best way to get ‘all the way turnt up’ for it? Get your “Toe Meets Leather” t-shirt at http://www.stinGTees.com RIGHT NOW!!!

Hushull

October 27th, 2009
6:29 am

How many TD passes did Herschel throw? That’s what I thought. How many end arounds did Hershel hand off? Yea, that’s what I thought too. How many National titles did Herschel win? Yep you got it. Did herschel win a Heisman in his sophmore year? Nope, you’re right again. So….if you look at the facts and the stats. Herschel is no Tebow. Tebow is the greatest, maybe ever.Heck Herschel wasn’t even the best RB in the SEC when George Rogers won the Heisman.Again, the stats proved that.

Warhorse

October 27th, 2009
6:59 am

Herschel was not a team man and did not stay for his last year. That is the only reason he did not get the extra games, as did Tebow by giving up personal goals and staying for another run with his team. Football is a team sport; this makes Tebow the greatest ever. Case closed, esp. when he gets a couple of TDs Saturday.

Nativebird

October 27th, 2009
7:27 am

The comparison is indeed bogus, Walker was the best running back in college history…Tebow is the best p l a y e r.

Media Darling's My A$$

October 27th, 2009
7:30 am

Tebow will make a super cheerleader in Pro’s. Bulldog’s in the NFL = 39———Gaytor’s in the NFL = 19, and that clearly indicates lack of good coaching.

BCS

October 27th, 2009
7:34 am

Whats all the hoopla over a 3-3 team?

Sautee Dawg

October 27th, 2009
7:43 am

Bill,

No comparison at all.
Tebow
15 rushing TD’s of 1 yard
9 rushing TD’s of 2 yards.
6 rushing TD’s of 3 yards
Thats 30 rushing TD’s for a total of 51 yards rushing.

Walker
5000+ rushing yards in 3 years
1980- averaged 146 yards per game
1981- averaged 172 yards per game
1982- averaged 159 yards per game
9 games of 200+ yards rushing
Walker out of 33 games lost 3
Bill, as you can see whose stats match up and whose are padded and overrated.
Tebow is a good player for this time period but, trying to compare him to Walker is like i say, NO COMPARISON.
Bill you really want to compare stats, go back and check out how many TD’s Tebow has against Troy, Florida Atlantic, Western Kentucky, Citadel, and Charleston Southern.

Navigator

October 27th, 2009
7:45 am

I’m a long time Tech fan, and I agree, Walker had to score his touchdowns with 9 man lines from the running back position. Tebow is a quarterback with the option to run or pass, and that is a completely different situation for the defense, that many times has to hold back a rush in fear he will pass. Now if someone wants to say that Tebow is the greatest option QB, then a case can be made.

dagnabit

October 27th, 2009
8:06 am

It’s too bad that Walker is not around to not score against the 2008 or 2009 gators.

Frank Rizzo

October 27th, 2009
8:13 am

Of course, when you take in the winning percentage of UGA’s regular season foes in 1980 (43%, I think), you wonder what kind of competition Walker was really up against.

C C

October 27th, 2009
8:17 am

I agree completely with Ray: You can argue all you want, but there are so many variables including era, position, number of games started, etc…I don’t think you can definitively say Herschel was better than Tebow or vice-versa. (Won’t stop people from saying it, I know…) But IMO they are both among the top 5 ever. I guess saying “Tebow doesn’t begin to compare to Herschel” — or vice-versa — could be a genuine, honest opinion…but it sounds more like sour grapes or denial to me.

They should be consistent in counting bowl and championship game stats: Either COUNT those games for every era — which makes more sense to me — or DON’T count them ever.

But also Herschel chose to follow the $$$ and leave early, and Tebow didn’t. I have no problem at all with a player leaving early, when they are ready for the pros before their senior year like HW was. But like it or not, he made that decision…and his career stats reflect 4 years instead of 3 as a result.

Like it or not, if Tebow gets more than 5 TDs the rest of the way he will own the record outright — even if you include Herschel’s bowl games. Tebow hasn’t been the same since the concussion. But if he stays healthy enough he has a lot of chances to get 5, 6, or more rushing TDs, when you consider his remaining opponents for the year include UGA, Vandy, FIU, and FSU…along with tougher D’s from So Carolina, a bowl opponent, and probably an SECCC appearance too.

The “would you give up a win to avoid having Tebow get the record?” question is crazy! I’m not a UGA fan, but I’d MUCH rather have a big win — especially as a heavy underdog — at the expense of some statistic. I know it really sticks in your craw (whatever that is) to have someone you don’t like from a team you don’t like break a record by your most revered player ever…But it still seems petty and misguided to sacrifice a big win. Regardless, Walker still has an exceptional career and legacy. Ws and Ls are the most important statistic by far!

Dooley's Cardiologist

October 27th, 2009
8:35 am

No comparison can be made here. To begin with, they play different positions. Second, the speed of the game is much faster than it was in 1980. There are defensive players from the 80’s who probably would be playing 1-AA ball now. Not to say Walker wasn’t great, because he was. All-be-it dumb as a sack of bricks. There are probably 50 or more players that would completely dominate if you were to stick them on a 1980 college football team. Again, no comparison can be made here.

C C

October 27th, 2009
8:36 am

I meant “SECCG” appearance.

Tony

October 27th, 2009
8:42 am

Tebow is a better player. BTW, The Vols just scored again.

SEC Fan

October 27th, 2009
8:54 am

Ray Goff was a better option QB than Tebow. If he played in Tebow’s place, he would have as good or better stats than the Saint.

BCS

October 27th, 2009
9:02 am

King Gator

October 27th, 2009
9:08 am

The Gators continue to evolve from a wide open offensive team last year to a defense first, run it/grind it out team this year. Either way the Gators are going to hang another loss on the Dawgs, take HWalker’s record, continue to dominate the SEC East, beat Bama in the SEC Championship game and then win another BCS title in Cali v. TX, USC or IOWA. Urb is the best coach/motivator/recruiter in college football today. Tebow is a class act and a proven winner. Go Gators! Reality sucks for the Dawgs, Kiffin (not singing Rocky Top much this year coach? learn to make a FG and skip the vocal lessons) and the ACC (filled with average and slightly better than average teams). Go Gators the best team in the best conference!

SuperB

October 27th, 2009
9:08 am

48- 33 in games counted. Enough said.

ThrowdownG

October 27th, 2009
9:21 am

The real comparison is between Herschel and Bo Jackson, and I’ll take Bo! He’s the man.

Bank Walker, Texas Ranger

October 27th, 2009
9:23 am

Bill I’ll give you the bowl Td’s but the whole played in more games in BS, that was HW fault for being greedy. If you play that card, then I will have to play the Teabow is a QB card. Based on his accomplishments alone, I think Teabow is one of the greatest and if, and it is a big if, UF wins the NC this year, he will go down as the greatest player in NCAA history, period. And this is coming from a Georgia fan. As for Herschel, D’lites is karma’s answer for leaving UGA early.

DawgsRule

October 27th, 2009
9:30 am

Herschel–a lot better than tebow. Not even close.

Where's my crack pipe?

October 27th, 2009
9:34 am

Silver Lining?? You want to know what the ONLY silver lining will be in this football game????:: The only silver lining in this game will be that Tebow and Meyer will finally seal the fate of Willie. If Meyer was smart he would not run up the score so that Richt will find some way to justify keeping Willie arond so he can toy with the Dawgs D for years to come…BUT Meyer is to arrogant to know this so he will lay the wood to the Dawws D for the second year in a row and seal Willies fate…..THAT MY FRIENDS WILL BE THE ONLY SILVER LINING IN THIS GAME!!!

Buz

October 27th, 2009
9:55 am

I talked to Herschel once in a North Carolina restaurant. Could not have been nicer. Said the biggest regret of his life was leaving UGA after three years. What would his touchdown total be had he stayed with the Dogs through his senior season? He was the best…and no one every questioned whether he coulmd play in the pros.

Gatorzone

October 27th, 2009
10:08 am

Herschel was THE BEST running back I have ever seen. That being said, Tebow is not a running back so you are comparing apples to oranges.
Of course Herschel had more running td’s, he was a running back. But, how many td passes did he have?
I will not dispute walker was a better runner, but Tebow played a different position and to score as many td’s as the best rb in SEC history is amazing.

JP

October 27th, 2009
10:12 am

As a Gator fan, I love Tebow, but man, Walker was just amazing. I have no problem at all conceeding that Walker was a better player. Watching tape of Walker it looked like he was just toying with people. But why get into the comparisons? Both are/were special players that put their respective teams on their backs and lifted them to places they hadn’t been. Good luck on Saturday Dawgs. Florida will need it’s ‘A’ game to beat you.

InferiorityComplex

October 27th, 2009
10:24 am

Make Tebow a fulltime running back and he still get 50+ TDs. Put Herschel under center and we aren’t having this discussion. Point is Tebow can do what Herschel did. Herschel could not do what Tebow does. Plus Tebow has done it in an era where athletes are bigger, stronger and faster.

george

October 27th, 2009
10:33 am

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA god Uga fans are such a joke and so delusional. Always trying to one up the gators in all aspects and cant in any except for more arrests. So you are telling me if Florida wins the national championship this year and tebow wins the heisman(which are both very good possiblities) Tebow wont be the greatest college football player of all time???????????????????????????? I want you to try to please explain that one. PLEASE anyone. 3 national championships,and 2 heismans????????? It would be a runaway. Hell it is a runaway even if neither happens this year.

john

October 27th, 2009
10:33 am

One is a QB and the other is a RB. No way to draw up a fair comparison. If coaches are giving the chance to choose between Herschel and Tebow to name their starting QB…they will choose Tebow. Given the opportunity to choose their starting RB…they will choose Herschel. It is what it is.

george

October 27th, 2009
10:35 am

oh yea wait UGA only has 2 national championships

Sorka

October 27th, 2009
10:50 am

I don’t like comparing players of different eras and different positions. I always thought it odd when Jerry Rice broke Jim Brown’s record, as they were so different and played different positions in different systems. I’m a Gator alumna but I am old enough to remember Herschel Walker’s college career very well. I do not think you can compare these two players; they are very different. Walker at UGA in those days was utterly dominant. On the goal line, one had no doubt – NO DOUBT – that he would score. Tebow scores in different ways, and very often (though not of late), but I don’t think one has the same confidence that one had with Walker in a running play at a goal-line stand. As I recall, Walker jumped over the defenders as if he were in the Olympic high jump. Tebow is a very vocal, intense leader and is the heart and soul of his team, and plays with passion and pride, but he plays a completely different style of football from Herschel Walker and the 1980-83 Bulldogs. The “spread” is quite a different system. I hope the Gators win a big one for Timmy!

Doraville Dan

October 27th, 2009
10:52 am

Who cares – Gators Rule and Dawgs drool!

jaglaw

October 27th, 2009
11:04 am

CONSIDER THIS…. Tebow is a great player, but not a Hershel.

Tebow plays QB, he touches the ball on every single play, and has a run option on evert single play… thus his ability to run the ball is unlimited, especially inside the 20 when many other pass options break down. UF averages around 70 offensive plays per game, thats 70 chances to run the ball.
Hershel got around 25-30 carries per game….no comparison. Tebow is a great player who will be remembered forever and should be. Hershel is still the best.

jaglaw

October 27th, 2009
11:11 am

George…..what if what if. Hershel played 3 years, one of each of those NC and confernce rings Tebow has, he got as a backup. If Hershel returned for his senior year, there is no question UGA would have ran the table for his second NC as a “starter”. Oh yeh, UF has not won the SEC or NC for 09 yet

Gator Guy

October 27th, 2009
11:12 am

“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.”

Absurd argument. Look at the total number of carries. Herschel scored his touchdowns on over 900 carries. Tebow has fewer than 600 carries. End of argument.

how2fish

October 27th, 2009
11:19 am

I think Mr.Walker was the greatest RUNNER I have ever seen in college football..I think Mr.Tebow is the greatest LEADER of a football team I’ve ever seen in college…I consider it an honor to have been able to watch both of them play. Both are very fine gentlemen and a fine example for how the game should be played. Just my 2 cents.

what if???

October 27th, 2009
11:26 am

I’ve wondered, since 1980, just what havoc Herschel could have wreaked on opposing defenses if St. Vincent the Overrated had gotten him in space with screens, passes in the flat, even lined him up in the slot and thrown it to him. His pass catching ability was NEVER used at UGA even though he caught so well that Dallas lined him up at wideout quite often throughout his tenure there. Just a thought.

just enjoy

October 27th, 2009
11:27 am

Tebow is able to score running, and throwing it to others for them to score. Herschel could only run. It’s like comparing Joe Montana and Walter Peyton. It just doesn’t lend itself to comparison.