Tim Tebow and Skip Bayless Tim Tebow and Skip Bayless

After a long and winding journey, TebowMania has come home.

With his NFL career for all intents and purposes over, Tim Tebow has joined ESPN as a college football analyst.  The apple of Bristol's eye will be one of the faces of the new SEC Network as Tebow will feature as an analyst on the SEC Nation Saturday morning pregame show next fall.  In addition, you'll see plenty of Tebow on the mothership as he's scheduled to make appearances on programs like SportsCenter and College Football Live.

The final chapter of TebowMania begins January 6th during ESPN's pregame coverage of the BCS title game.  Here's more from a jubilant ESPN announcement:

"Former Florida quarterback and Heisman winner, Tim Tebow, has been hired as a college football analyst for the SEC Network launching in August 2014. Through a multi-year agreement, Tebow’s primary role will be as an analyst for SEC Nation, the network’s traveling pregame show that will originate from a different SEC campus each week beginning August 28, 2014. In the months leading up to launch and after, he will contribute to a variety of ESPN platforms including SportsCenter, ESPN Radio, and the network’s Heisman Trophy coverage, offering in-depth perspective as a legendary Southeastern Conference player.

On Monday, Jan. 6, Tebow will make his first appearance as an ESPN analyst during pregame coverage of the 2013 VIZIO BCS National Championship. He will contribute to the 9 a.m. ET edition of SportsCenter, College Football Live (3 p.m.) and College GameDay Built by The Home Depot (7 p.m.). He will also be part of studio coverage for the new College Football Playoff (semifinals and championship game), which begins next season.

Tebow is the first college football analyst hired for the SEC Network. He joins a commentating roster that includes Joe Tessitore, host of SEC Nation, and Paul Finebaum, host of The Paul Finebaum radio show."

At least now it won't be creepy and stalkerish when ESPN throws Tim Tebow a birthday party.

It was always going to end this way.  Although Tebow and ESPN say he hasn't given up on playing QB in the NFL, his career is over.  And as far as potential suitors go, CBS and even Fox were options, but ESPN (and the SEC Network in particular) was always the most sensible route for Tim Tebow once he decided to enter broadcasting.  The SEC fanbase will largely be a friendly one for Tebow and he can learn on the job with a smaller, regional audience instead of the bright lights of College GameDay. 

How good will Tebow be as a college football analyst?  He's never had the reputation of having the brightest football mind and his positivity might make Jon Gruden look like The Grinch.  The jury will definitely be out on his analyst capabilities, but at least he can't be worse than Mark May, so Tebow has that working in his favor.  If there's any guarantee though, plenty of eyes will be on Tebow as he'll likely become the most scrutinized rookie football analyst in television history.  What joy.  

But for now ESPN can rejoice that they've won the Tim Tebow Sweepstakes and Bristol's favorite son can now call home the place that craved the mere mention of his name like it was oxygen.

All things old are new again.

TebowMania is dead.  Long live TebowMania.

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