Tim Tebow isn't just one of the most prolific players in the history of college football, he left behind a legacy that will last for generations due to his character and leadership. Although his days of playing on the gridiron, the former first-round pick continues to make an impact in more ways than one.
With the Allstate Sugar Bowl set to take place on New Year's Day, Tebow is partnering up with the 2019 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team to help refurbish the local Einstein Charter School in in New Orleans. Fortunately for us at The Spun, we were able to speak to the former Heisman Trophy winner about several topics regarding college football.
Not only did he preview the upcoming AllState Sugar Bowl, he revealed if he would rather have Joe Burrow or Trevor Lawrence in a big game, whether or not NFL general managers should be scared of drafting Tua Tagovailoa in the first round, and if the College Football Playoff should expand to eight teams.
Let’s get started.
The Spun: First off Tim, tell me about your work with Allstate as you guys prepare for the upcoming Sugar Bowl?
Tim Tebow: Yeah, we're actually right now at the Einstein Charter School, which is a really cool charter school that actually went from this past year being an F to now being ranked a B. So, it's just to support these teachers and these students. Today we're refurbishing it and continuing to try to give them life. We’re redoing the weight room, the tennis court and the garden. Overall, we’re painting a bunch of stuff and just supporting them and thanking them for their effort. Also, Usher will be out here today with us hanging out and getting his hands dirty little bit so that'll be fun. The Good Works Team will also be out here, and I love getting to know all of them getting to volunteer with them. So, it's going to be a really fun day.
The Spun: Speaking of the Allstate Sugar Bowl, do you think Georgia falls to a Big-12 team in back-to-back years, or do you see them defeating Baylor?
TT: Well, I think that we're going to see a better performance out of Georgia than last year. I remember this time last year before the game we heard a lot of rumblings from the locker room about guys that didn't want to be there and weren't happy and a lot of other things like that. I think that they're going to put together a better performance, but I also think Baylor is going to show up playing with their hair on fire in a huge game for them. But I think we best see a better performance out of Georgia.
The Spun: Moving over to the national championship, which quarterback would you rather have for this game: Joe Burrow or Trevor Lawrence?
TT: I mean that's a great question. It’s hard to go away from Trevor because he's never lost a game. He also hasn't necessarily faced a season like Joe has with six - soon to be seven - top 10 teams. I love Trevor. I think he's got a lot of special qualities. I think his best quality is that in his biggest moments he plays his best. But just for the sake of this argument, I'm going to go with Joe just by a hair because I think if he's able to finish it with the win, I think he’ll have one of the best seasons in college football history.
The Spun: You predicted correctly that LSU and Clemson would meet in the championship game. So, which team do you give the edge to heading into this matchup?
TT: There’s going to be a lot of people that are going to say LSU and rightfully so, what they've done is incredible. The one thing you always have to understand about Dabo [Swinney] and his team is that they're confident, they play free, they play fast and they do not hesitate or shrivel up in big games. They are a team that plays their best in those moments. They're not afraid of the lights, and what I'm most excited to see is Brad Venables’ defense, which I think he's one of the best - if not the best – defensive coordinator in the game against Steve Ensminger, Joe Brady and Joe Burrow. I think just as a fan of college football and a fan of greatness, that is great against great, and I can't wait for that match up.
The Spun: Where do you stand on the College Football Playoff? Should it stay at four teams or expand?
TT: To be honest, I can see both sides. I think I'm slightly in favor of enjoying the four because one of the things I appreciate most about college football is that in the regular season every game matters. It’s different than college basketball, NFL, MLB or NBA because those regular seasons aren't that exciting because every game doesn’t matter the same. If you lose in college football, you have a chance to get back in, but you don't know if you ever will. I think that it matters, and I love having it that way. I want every game to matter. I want good teams to play good teams, so they're fighting for strength of schedule and strength of record to get in. And I want them to know that if you or you don't show up one week, it might be over. I mean, you might be able to play back in it, but you also got to play good teams to do that. I love the competition, the competitiveness. I think if we got eight teams, I think that's a lot. There would be some teams that don't necessarily deserve to be there in my opinions. I do get the argument and I understand that side though.
The Spun: Urban Meyer's getting mentioned for some NFL jobs. How do you think he would fare coaching at the professional level?
TT: Well, Coach Meyer is someone that anything he does he wants to be great at it. He can't not be all in when he does something. I think he's so driven and competitive that he would find a way to try and be good at it. And I think if he did it, he would have to adjust a little bit, but I think he would find a way to be successful, I really do.
The Spun: Speaking of your alma mater in Florida, you've put together so many great moments over the course of your career. Do you have one in particular that you would probably say stands above the rest?
TT: It's tough, but I'm probably not going to pick what most people would pick for me. I would probably say my senior year walking off the field, having beaten Florida State in The Swamp for my last home game and knowing that we went 4-0 against FSU and Tennessee and 3-1 against Georgia. Being 11-1 against the Gators rivals, which were always by far the most important games to me, and then clobbering FSU and being able to hug my family and coach Meyer as we walked out of The Swamp…that would probably be my favorite.
The Spun: Florida won last night in the Orange Bowl, bringing Dan Mullen’s record to 21-5 through two seasons in Gainesville. How close do you believe the Gators are to earning their first berth in the CFP?
TT: They're not far. I think there’s a few pieces here and there, but they're getting there. They're getting better every year. They're improving and they're getting the culture right. They're also getting better at recruiting. With Dan calling the plays offensively and with [Todd] Grantham on defense, I think you got great coaches and I think they're really, really close.
The Spun: Shifting back to the entire landscape of college football, which team were you most disappointed by in 2019?
TT: You know what, honestly, I think that FSU maybe out of all the teams. It's just with that talent and that many players, you just expect more out of them and to be competitive. So, I'd probably have to lean towards FSU.
The Spun: You know, I was thinking for a second that if Tim wants he has the chance to knock down FSU or Miami cause they weren't that great this year.
TT: Yeah but you know I don't take shots like that [laughing].
The Spun: Last question for you, Tim. As a lefty quarterback who was a first-round draft pick, what would you tell general managers who might be nervous to take Tua Tagovailoa in April?
TT: I'll tell you what, I think he has a chance to change the franchise. I think he's that good. I think he's the most accurate quarterback I've personally seen with my own eyes in college football. I think that he's not a good, but a great kid. I think he's going to lead a team. I think grown men will follow him. I think that he is special and if you think you're just going to wait a year and get one the next year, I would think again.