Tuesday, November 24, 2009
The Big Lead Breaks Down the 2009 Heisman Race
Let’s attempt to break it up this way, since we all know the key names by now: Category 1 will be guys who will get invited to New York, with a likely winner; Category 2 will be guys that deserve an invite to New York, but have no chance of getting there; Category 3 will be guys who never had a chance, but in a more fair world would deserve a look; and Category 4 would be people to keep your eye on next year. Let’s do 4 per category. Here we go now.
The Guys That Will Get Invited To New York
Tim Tebow, Florida QB: No question here. Part of CBS’ special airing before Alabama vs. Auburn this Friday is about Tebow’s legacy at Florida. When a show before a rival’s rivalry game against a different school is in part dedicated to you, that’s big-time.
Colt McCoy, Texas QB: Will get an invite to NYC, and you can argue he doesn’t deserve it, but stats are good, his team is undefeated, he represents the “aw shucks” manner of a down-home Texas boy as well as anyone, his best friend and roommate is his WR, etc, etc. Story is good, he came in second last year, this award loves QBs.
Mark Ingram, Alabama RB: Most valuable player on Bama is McClain, probably. Ingram is No. 2, but depending on game and situation, he can be No. 4. Team is loaded. He trucks guys. No Alabama player has won it (that’s a good storyline for the media).
C.J. Spiller, Clemson RB: My actual inclination is to go with Case Keenum here, because I think it’s more likely they invite a third QB than a second RB. I’m going to put Keenum in the second category. (By the way, Heisman has chosen as many as six, and as few as three, to attend in New York.) Spiller scores from all over the field, in various ways, and with Dabo Swinney at the helm, very few people thought this squad would be a tick away from a BCS automatic berth. Spiller is beast. Gerhart might be more beast, but his team has four losses.
The winner: Whoever plays better in the SEC title game between Tebow and Ingram.
Guys That Should Get Invited, But Won’t
Case Keenum, Houston QB: Numbers are otherworldly. Most people don’t realize Houston has an university, unless you were a college hoops fan in the 1980s or appreciate the career arc of Tom Penders. Lost to UTEP. Also likely viewed as a system QB. We might as well invite Ricky Dobbs.
Toby Gerhart, Stanford RB: Every time I see this kid, I think “Tommy Vardell.” He’s going to be better than that, though.
Kellen Moore, Boise State QB: Awesome, and awesomely accurate. His team likely goes undefeated and plays in a crappy December 28th bowl game, or in the Chick-Fil-A or some such. Can’t you let a Pacific NW boy toll the streets of Manhattan for one Saturday night in December?
Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska DT: Influences things in a huge way, and does things no DT does — like batting down passes, making athletic INTs, etc. Huskers have a very, very limited shot against Texas, based in good deal on him. A Big 12 title and a fat 60 million check from the Rams are his real rewards — not the Heisman.
Guys That Would Be On Lists In A Fairer World
Jacquizz Rodgers, Oregon State RB: Defines the term “mighty mite.”
Dexter McCluster, Ole Miss RB: Speaking of… and hey, if they had a Heisman just for performance in the back-half of your schedule, he’d be top 5, no?
Dion Lewis, Pittsburgh RB: People were worried about replacing LeSean McCoy. Apparently they didn’t need to be.
Zach Collaros, Cincinnati QB: There are a lot of people who should be here instead of him, and I realize that. However, given the situation he was put into it, wouldn’t history tell you he’d lose at least one game by himself? (Granted, schedule isn’t brutal.) He didn’t. And I needed a QB in this category. Coulda gone Locker or Pryor, but wanted to be a bit different.
Let’s Talk 2010
Jacory Harris, Miami QB: Needs to cut down on the INTs. Otherwise has everyone back, Hurricanes could start like they started this year — although they do play a should-be-stacked Buckeyes team in September — and Harris could get out to an early lead.
Ryan Mallett, Arkansas QB: There are rumors he won’t come back. He should. Arkansas is in the SEC West, and thus does have to play Alabama next year — game is in Fayetville, although could still be a loss. Mallett’s stats might be ungodly next season. Hogs are a sleeper pick to make noise in the SEC.
Terrelle Pryor, Ohio State QB: Easy to put him here, but if he gets a little better touch on the ball, he could have a gigantic year in Columbus.
Robert Griffin, Baylor QB: Why not, people? Why not?