Saturday, December 13, 2008

Five Heisman Thoughts

1. Expect A Close Race

On Thursday night, at The Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards, Tim Tebow won the Maxwell Award given to the most “outstanding player”, Colt McCoy was selected as the “player of the year” by winning the Walter Camp Award and Sam Bradford took home the Davey O’Brien Award which is the “national quarterback award”.

Confused yet? Don’t look to the A.P. voters for help.

The same group of 20 that voted Bradford to the First-Team All- Big 12 and McCoy to the Second-Team, tabbed McCoy as the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year.

2. What About Graham?

Despite winning the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, given to the most “outstanding senior quarterback” (Tebow and McCoy are juniors, Bradford is a sophomore), the Texas Tech signal caller was not invited to the Heisman Trophy Presentation.

The Red Raiders head coach Mike Leach was not pleased, and I for one don’t blame him:

"If Graham is not invited to the Heisman, they ought to quit giving out the award. It is a shameless example of politics ruling over performance."

Here are how Harrell’s numbers stack with the rest:

Harrell: 4,747 Yards, 71.5 Percent, 41 Touchdowns, 7 Interceptions
Bradford: 4,464 Yards, 68.3 Percent, 48 Touchdowns, 6 Interceptions
McCoy: 3,445 Yards, 77.6 Percent, 32 Touchdowns, 7 Interceptions
Tebow: 2,515 Yards, 64.9 Percent, 28 Touchdowns, 2 Interceptions

* Harrell should not be labeled a “system quarterback” because all four play in spread offenses geared towards prolific numbers.
* If you want “more than just numbers” – Harrell’s Red Raiders were 11-1, the same exact regular season record that Bradford, Tebow and McCoy led their respective teams to. (P.S. He plays in the SAME conference as McCoy and Bradford.)
* New Heights: Unlike Texas, Oklahoma and Florida – one national championship each since 2000 – this is new territory for Texas Tech. That should count for something, no?

3. Too Exclusive?

Since 2000, seven quarterbacks have won the award with USC’s Reggie Bush (2005) the lone non-signal caller to claim the famous trophy. Unless your name is Tim Tebow, it would also behoove you to be on a top five team and lose no more than two games (Florida was No. 9 last year with three losses heading into Heisman week).

Here is the list (with A.P. Rankings):

2000: Chris Weinke, No. 3 Florida St. 11-1
2001: Eric Crouch, No. 4 Nebraska 11-1
2002: Carson Palmer, No. 5 USC, 10-2
2003: Jason White, No. 3 Oklahoma 12-1
2004: Matt Leinhart, No. 1 USC 12-0
2006: Troy Smtih, No. 1 Ohio St. 12-0

So, is the award for the most “outstanding player” or the best quarterback on a top five team?

Thanks to our friends at 50 Years of Football and the College Football Encyclopedia for the numbers.

4. The Best Non-Quarterbacks:

1. Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech, WR (Biletnikoff Award)
2. Andre Smith, Alabama, OT
(Outland Trophy)
3. Aaron Curry, Wake Forest, LB (Butkus Award)
4. Shonn Greene, Iowa, RB
(Doak Walker Award)
5. Rey Maualuga, USC, LB
(Chuck Bednarik Award)

5. Our 2008 Heisman Picks:

John Murphy:
1. Tim Tebow, Florida, QB
2. Colt McCoy, Texas, QB
3. Sam Bradford, Oklahoma, QB
4. Shonn Greene, Iowa, RB
5. Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech, WR

Daniel Mogollon:
1. Sam Bradford, Oklahoma, QB
2. Colt McCoy, Texas, QB
3. Tim Tebow, Florida, QB
4. Graham Harrell, Texas Tech, QB
5. Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech, WR

Rick Serritella:

1. Sam Bradford, Oklahoma, QB
2. Colt McCoy, Texas, QB
3. Graham Harrell, Texas Tech, QB
4. Tim Tebow, Florida, QB
5. John Parker Wilson, Alabama, QB

Photo Credit: College Press Box (Oklahoma, Texas, Texas Tech, Davey O'Brien Award)