The Heisman Mess...
Written by Curt Popejoy on 11/16/2011
In the past I’ve done weekly updates to the Heisman discussion, but this year I realized that with the way players come and go it was sort of pointless. But with the regular season starting to wind down I thought re-visiting the topic was a good idea as the frontrunners are starting to emerge.
The problem with the Heisman and this is not new information is, it really doesn’t do what it says it does. The award is supposed to go to the most outstanding college football player in the country. But what it ends up being is the best player on the best team in the country and typically the best QB on the best team.
Up until this Saturday the list was pretty easy to figure. You had 3 elite college quarterbacks on 3 undefeated teams, Brandon Weeden from Oklahoma State, Kellen Moore from Boise State and Andrew Luck from Stanford who were going to duke it out in New York for the trophy. But with Boise and Stanford losing, it really changes things, but maybe in a good way. Here’s my current Top 3 most likely to be in New York.
1. Brandon Weeden, QB Oklahoma State-Just win baby. If the Cowboys can go undefeated which would be an impressive feat they reason for that has to fall on their Senior Quarterback. He’s a huge reason for this team’s success leading a potent offense with precision.
2. Trent Richardson, RB Alabama-While the Crimson Tide offense has been shown to be a bit pedestrian at times this year, it’s not because of Richardson. He’s a remarkable football player who has throws an offense that seems to not realize the forward pass exists and carried them all year long.
3.Andrew Luck, QB Stanford-Even with the loss it will be tough to not have Luck up here. Personally I he’s not one of my top 3 at this point, but the media groundswell for him is undeniable and even with a loss you have to figure he’s on track to be in the mix.
Just missed the cut-LaMichael James, RB Oregon, Kellen Moore, QB Boise State, and Case Keenum, QB Houston-All 3 of these guys could end up as part of a 4 or 5 player contingent at the Heisman ceremony.
Keep in mind, the above list is who I think will be there, not my top 5 would look very different if I were casting a ballot. Here they are…
1. Justin Blackmon, WR Oklahoma State-Watching a truly dominant football player, particularly one who needs so much help to be active in the offense is impressive. And Blackmon is playing like a man possessed. It doesn’t matter if he’s double teamed, because he’s going to get the football. When you think of outstanding, I can’t imagine a player more outstanding than him at this point in the season.
2. LaMichael James, RB Oregon-James is the most electrifying back in the coutry. Where Richardson is a workhorse, James is a thoroughbred. I tweeted during the Stanford game that trying to tackle him is like putting socks on a rooster and that’s the truth. That team is much better with him on the field.
3.Trent Richardson, RB Alabama-As I said above, Richardson is carrying that Alabama team, and a man that size doing what he does is really a joy to behold.
4.Montee Ball, RB Wisconsin-On a team where Russell Wilson gets all the attention, Ball is really their best player. He’s unstoppable and when he smells the end zone it’s over.
5. Robert Woods, WR USC-Other than Blackmon there isn’t a more dynamic player at WR in the nation than Woods and that’s with much respect to players like Sammy Watkins and Ryan Broyles. Woods makes short throws big gains in a hurry. It’s a great year if you love watching the passing game.
A few notes:
I know that no more than maybe 1 guy on my list will be in New York. That’s ok. The award says most outstanding player and those are the 5 most outstanding players I’ve seen this year.
No Quarterbacks? No problem. There are some great college quarterbacks in the country this year. But the top tier are guys who while talented and putting up staggering numbers don’t wow me. They aren’t racking up yards and touchdowns with big wins while surrounded by a questionable supporting cast or are leading teams to huge comeback wins. If Luck could have pulled off a comeback against Oregon or Kellen Moore didn’t leave it up to a kicker, or if even a guy like Landry Jones could have not lost to Texas Tech, we are having a different discussion. But this year outstanding to me is all about the skill players.
No defense? No way. There are some great defenders in the country. Lots of guys making highlight reels and putting up nice stats. And I am the first guy to bang a drum for the defense but this year is not their year.
Offensive line. Let me say that Nate Potter, OT Boise State and Matt Kalil, OT USC are both Heisman worthy. They are far and away the best offensive linemen I’ve seen play this year. The snag with putting a guy like this in my top 5 is most folks don’t see what they do as outstanding. But I promise you they are. And next year when they are both in the NFL making millions you’ll see what I mean.
No love for LSU? Nope. Sorry Tyrann Mathieu. You are a nice player with a big media and cult following, but you aren’t the most outstanding player on your own team. In your own secondary even. LSU is the top team in the nation(in the polls), but they are doing it while lacking true elite talent at any position. This is ultimately what will cost them at some point in the season. But in the Heisman discussion even though the voters always try and find a way to reward their best team’s best player there’s no such luck here.
Truth be told, I think it’s Weeden’s to lose. He’s going to have an enormous stage to prove it in the Bedlam game. I don’t consider his the most outstanding player in the nation by any stretch, but if the tenant holds true of best QB on best team, if the Cowboys beat Oklahoma he’ll have fulfilled the requirement.
Last Edited: 11/16/2011