HOOVER, Ala. — South Carolina's Steve Spurrier admitted Friday that he was the coach who did not vote for Florida's Tim Tebow as the first-team All-Southeastern Conference quarterback.
Spurrier, appearing during the final day of SEC Media Days, said his ballot was filled out by a staff member, and that staff member voted for Mississippi quarterback Jevan Snead.
Spurrier said that the staff member, when later asked if he voted for Tebow, said that since there were already so many Florida players on the ballot, he decided to go with Snead.
But Spurrier took responsibility for the mistake, apologized to Tebow, and said he would rank Tebow with his former Florida player Danny Wuerffel as perhaps the two greatest quarterbacks in college football history.
Spurrier also said he consulted with Charles Bloom, SEC associate commissioner, and was able to change his vote and put Tebow on the first team.
"I made a mistake," he said. "Tim Tebow is not only the best quarterback in this league, I think he's the best in the country. I think he's the best football player in the country. What he's done there, I believe he and Danny Wuerffel will go down in history as the two best quarterbacks, maybe the two best to ever play college football. That's how good he is.
"I admire and respect him. I apologize to him. He should have been on that ballot. We messed up. I messed up. I'm trying to correct it as best I can. But I messed it up. I take full blame for it. That's the way it happened. We'll try to move on. I still feel very badly about what happened there."
Spurrier said he's never actually filled out a pre-season ballot in 17 years, instead glancing at it after a staff member fills it out for him.
But you can bet Spurrier will be paying more attention to his ballot from now on. He spent most of his news conference answering questions about the vote.