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FLORIDA GATORS TIM TEBOW: The official Will-He-Or-Won't-He blog post

GAINESVILLE -- OK, time to start speculating. We've put it off long enough. Now it's time to lay it all on the line and put Gator Clause's reputation at peril with a fearless prediction. It's what everyone wants to know, right? Will Tim Tebow play or will he watch from the sidelines as John Brantley makes his first career start. (Unless, of course, you enjoy surprises and are perfectly happy waiting and speculating and then finding out the truth at 8 p.m. on Saturday night in Death Valley.)

Gator Clause's fearless prediction: Tebow is going to play! (Something interesting to consider: On Wednesday, Gator Clause polled 24 reporters who cover Florida on a regular basis and the press core was split down the middle. Twelve reporters thought Tebow would play and 12 reporters thought Tebow would not play. 

Tebow How did we arrive at this answer? Well, for one, I've got a few sources close to the team who have been telling me since Sunday that Tebow is going to play. (That's before we even found out that Tebow was working out again.) Of course, I haven't reported this (until now, I guess, although this is just a prediction and nothing more) because I didn't want to toss out important information like that without citing my sources. Since they want to remain anonymous, we'll just use it as blog-prediction material.

As a side note, reporter Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post has cited an anonymous source all week who tells Ben that Tebow isn't playing. Last week, I wrote a column in The Miami Herald that the reasons for resting Tebow against LSU far outweigh the reasons to play him. I still think Tebow should rest, but I don't think it's going to happen anymore. How sure am I of my prediction? I'd put it at 60 percent, or closer to a Grade 2 prediction than a Grade 3 prediction, as the case may be. 

Tim_tebow Another thing that has me convinced that UF is going to play Tebow? His medical team. Why would the University of Florida make such a big deal about all the doctors that have signed off on Tebow if the guy wasn't going to play this week. Florida's sports information director actually printed out a press release on Tuesday with the names and ranks of six doctors and personally handed it to reporters. I'm no lawyer, but talk about putting something in writing. Sheesh!

Why rush Tebow back to the practice field if he wasn't going play? According to Meyer, Tebow had headaches last Tuesday. Doctors recommend (some, but not all, apparently) that athletes who suffer a concussion be asymptomatic for a week before they return to strenuous activity. Tebow was running on a treadmill on Sunday. By Monday he was lifting weights. On Tuesday, he was limited at practice. On Wednesday, he was full go. (Meyer isn't making this stuff up. I watched Tebow practice on Tuesday and Wednesday.)

Another thing: Tebow's doctors have told Meyer that once Tebow recovers from his concussion, then he is no more likely to suffer a concussion against LSU this Saturday than he is against Arkansas in 10 days or Florida State in late November. Once Tebow is cleared to play, it doesn't matter how long he waits to play football again, according to Tebow's doctors.

Another thing: ESPN has been around this week. Whenever the gravy train is hanging around UF, that means something is up. ESPN pays for exclusives. I'm envisioning some kind of sappy College GameDay feature on Tebow recovering from his concussion?

Another thing: Vegas. Florida opened up as an 11-point favorite over LSU. The oddsmakers think Tebow is playing. Either that or the oddsmakers think LSU is a fraud. (Maybe a little of both.)

That's all I got. Or, put another way, I'm sick of speculating and it's only Wednesday night! People, feel free to give me your predictions. I'm interested in hearing from the masses on this one.

-jo-

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I am with you Jo...I think he plays and plays very well...the long week of inactivity and contemplation will have him re-focused and firing on all cylinders...not that he normally needs extra motivation, I just think that absence makes the heart grow fonder and he's going to really want this one!

Saturday starts the march to the Heisman.

It certainly would set a scene for a lot of national attention.

-jo-

You need to keep two questions separate: will he start after getting Teboned; will he play after getting Teboned? I’d say no to the first question, and, if he should be needed, yes to the second. By your post, I’m guessing you think he’ll start. You give these reasons: (1) he’s working out, (2) Florida’s taking legal precautions, (3) the gravy train is in town. You make a good case, but the same reasons could be used to draw my conclusion.

And though I agree with how you’ve used those three reasons, someone could pushed back on each point: ESPN is in town merely because they plan on featuring the game during game day; Florida isn’t taking legal precautions so much as media precautions – ESPN is looking for a good story, so Florida is taking away any grounds they might have for creating a story about “Will Reckless Meyer Gamble with Tebow’s Career”; and last, Tebow could be working out because ESPN is in town pressuring him to play by suggesting what a courageous story it would make (if I had the chance to make myself look courageous in front of the whole nations, I’d probably be working out too). So you could use the evidence to argue that Tebow will start/play, but you could also explain the “evidence” away.

As a healthcare professional, and based on his activities for the past few days (treadmill, lifting, practice)I believe he will play. Those activities are strenuous and if someone with prior concussion has been sypmtom free then he/she is cleared.

jo.........are you trying to tell us there is a need to set a scene for national attention? are you concerned that there has been some national attention on FSU (even tho it's been bad), USF, and Miami. The Gators are ranked #1, reigning BCS National Champs, and have the leading Heisman candidate who already has won one....or is the lack of good competition in the schedule a concern for national attention?

I said it from Day 1... Brantley starts since he has had the majority of snaps. If we are ahead, Brantley stays. If we are behind Tebow comes in around the second quarter time frame. Tebow pulls the team to victory. And ESPN runs the week long story of Tebow's progress....

For all the "u" fans out there that have been talking about how the "u" are back because you have been plastered all over ESPN.... Don't tune in on Saturday Night! It will be nothing but the Gator Nation and TEBOW for four hours....

The line is down to FL -7.5. It he plays and UF wins, I think he is going to run away with the Heisman. You better bet that ESPN is banking on this happening. My feeling is that he will need to be sedated if they want to keep him on the field Saturday. I've seen a lot of football in my lifetime and he is the most gungho player I've ever seen. I think the Gators are coy on his status right until game time and he plays.

I meant OFF the field.

yana94,

Thanks for you're great insight.

#4,

If he's going to play, then he's going to start. They will not be rotating QBs.

Media Man,

I wrote more stories about UF last week (a bye week) than I do during a game week.

-jo-

-jo-

I was being sarcastic. I believe that this has to be the most ridiculous comment you have ever made.

It certainly would set a scene for a lot of national attention.

-jo-

Posted by: Goody | October 08, 2009 at 12:38 AM

We are the reigning BCS National Champs, #1 in both polls, led by the front running already won one and set to win another Heisman Trophy winner at quarterback who happens to be arguably the greatest college player ever. If you think we don't have serious "national attention" already....then you must not have cable television.

It will be GLORIOUS...Gators win regardless but if Tebow play everyone will eat it up and the legend will grow to astronomical proportions.

What an absolute hero Timmy is...godbless him.

FYI. In a cage match he snaps the Chocolate Dorsey in half and scrubs the SWAG right off the side of his head.

i have no idea if he will play or not, but i am not buying that they will start brantley and bring in tebow if they need him. if he doesn't start it's bc he is not ready and he is not going to play at all. if he's ready he will start, if not it's brantley's show.

Media Man,

Just a little dry humor. Hard to interpret, I guess.

-jo-

I WILL PLAY

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