When cocknfire asked me last night on Team Speed Kills Now what I think about the hoopla surrounding Steve Spurrier, Spurrier's assistant Jamie Speronis, Tim Tebow, and a botched All-SEC ballot, I was kind of at a loss for what to say. I've heard some interesting consipacy theories about this, but at the end of the day, they're probably all untrue. If he really was being sneaky and didn't vote for Tebow, Spurrier wouldn't have embarrassed himself by claiming that he and his staff made a mistake. How would it be worth the embarrassment? At the end of the day, it was just a screwup. And that means that, as infamous State columnist Ron Morris says in an uncharacteristically lucid column, that the whole thing is meaningless at the end of the day.
In fact, it's worth saying that the entire preseason All-SEC team is a sham popularity contest. Sure, a player like Tebow should be on it. He's proven himself as one of the country's very best players two years running and there's certainly no one in the SEC that compares to him. However, the thing is still a popularity contest. We don't know what's going to happen this year, and while I expect that Tebow will still be on the list at the end of the season, even that's not a certainty. If someone wanted to vote for Jevan Snead--likely next year's top draft pick--why shouldn't they?
Moreover, most of the coaches don't even seem to take this all that seriously themselves. Consider Spurrier's statement to that effect:
"I’ve been doing the preseason ballots for 17 years, and I’ve never filled one out," Spurrier said Friday at SEC Media Days. "I usually look at it. It was my fault. It was my fault all the way. ... I don’t know why we vote."
If this is the level of seriousness and commitment given to these preseason ballots, why should we even care who gets on the team and who doesn't?
Now, the one thing that is significant about this story to me is that it involves Tebow and Urban Meyer, a coach that is known for using these sorts of incidents to motivate his players usually with great success. Will Meyer tell his team that Spurrier did it on purpose to spurn his Gators to pump his guys up come our showdown later this year? Who knows. If we have a good year and enter that game looking like we have a fighter's chance of pulling the upset, he might. However, I'm guessing that he won't risk making a fool of himself by trying to spin this non-story into something its not. I'm also guessing, though, that if the USC-UF game does end up having serious implications, the media won't care; we'll hear about this again when game time comes. If there's one thing I've learned (well, relearned) from this fracas, it's that the media loves a story.