By KENNY FRANEK
Everyone knows that the quarterback position is the hardest position to play in all of sports. It shows when it comes to the Heisman trophy. With Sam Bradford taking home the award on Saturday, eight of the nine Heisman Trophy winners since 2000 have been quarterbacks. This year, not only did a quarterback win it, but the top four Heisman contenders were quarterbacks; with Tim Tebow, Graham Harrell, and Colt McCoy joining Bradford. So dominant were the quarterbacks that the top three vote getters – Bradford, McCoy and Tebow – accounted for 90.4 percent of the points tabulated.
Running backs are taking a back seat in the Heisman running. The decade of the 90's saw four running backs (Rashaan Salaam, Eddie George, Ricky Williams and Ron Dayne) win the award but these days, backs don't account for enough of the offense compared to the top quarterbacks – even if your name is Adrian Peterson or Darren McFadden. A big reason why is they also don't account for the majority of victories achieved by top tier football teams. Again, that is the role of today’s quarterback. If you notice, especially this year, all top-five teams have a quarterback that can truly lead their team to victory and have offenses geared around their quarterback (the one exception may be Alabama with Glenn Coffee).
This dominance is due to the development and athleticism that seems to increase every year at the quarterback position — all of today’s signal callers seem to be living up to the hype. The college game is getting that “NFL feel” to it. It has been said that you need a quarterback to make the key plays….or you will never climb to the top of the NFL. The same can now be said of college football. No longer can teams rely on their defense or running game (like Nebraska did in the 90’s). The quarterback must be in place and have a great hold on the offense to achieve college football supremacy. As the game evolves, so does every position…but none of them are as important as the one that gets dissected and placed under the microscope more than any other – the quarterback.
Photo Credit: University of Texas Athletics
Monday, December 15, 2008
By KENNY FRANEK