Guess who's back? ESPN announced today that Tim Tebow, he of the Heisman Trophy win and two national championships, will join the SEC Network as an analyst, including what would appear to be the Kirk Herbstreit role on the pregame show. He starts with coverage of the BCS National Championship Game on ESPN, which should thrill Florida State fans.
The network dubs it a "multi-year agreement." But don't even start to think that Tebow is letting go of his pursuit of an NFL starting job.
"When I was six years old I fell in love with the game of football, and while I continue to pursue my dream of playing quarterback in the NFL, this is an amazing opportunity to be part of the unparalleled passion of college football and the SEC."
And while this job might show that Tebow is growing more realistic about his opportunities for playing in the pros -- a good thing -- there are still some signs that he hasn't given up altogether.
Of course, that is a vanishingly small possibility at the moment. My guess is that he remains at the SEC Network for the duration of his contract, and perhaps for an extension or two, depending on whether politics or some other pursuit draws his attention.
As for what it says about the SEC Network? It's pretty clear that celebrity is going to be the decisive factor in its hiring decisions right now, with Tebow and Paul Finebaum being the biggest names tied to the channel. That's not to say that Tebow can't be a good television analyst; I actually think he has the right amount of charisma to pull it off, though we'll have to see whether he's able to break down and explain the college game as well as he played it.
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