Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Heisman Watch

Preseason rankings are ruining college football. It’s nearly impossible for a team ranked out, or even in the bottom half, of the top 25 to win the national championship … just ask Auburn (Jason Campbell deserved better). This will once again be proven true by Michigan’s imminent inclusion in the latest polls ['receiving votes' counts], to be released today. Well, the preseason polls are not the only unjust rankings that negatively affect otherwise deserving candidates, the preseason Heisman rankings do the same thing. We’re here to correct the system, to wrestle power from the man, and reestablish the glory of the Heisman Trophy. For the rest of the season we’ll be ranking the candidates based on performance, rather than previous accomplishments, manufactured hype, and dashing good looks. Let's bully.

Week 1

1) Tiquan Underwood, Rutgers: 10 rec, 248 yards, 2 TDs

I’d like to introduce you to your Heisman front-runner. Underwood nearly matched his season total from a year ago in one game. That’s tough to do. I don’t think I’m ever going to put Ray Rice on this list, because everything he does should be directly attributed to Underwood. People would be crazy to think it was the other way around.

2) Colt Brennan, Hawaii: 34/40, 416 yards, 6 TDs, 0 INTs

Those stats are from one half. It’s pretty much impossible to be more efficient than Brennan. I don’t like that people regard Brennan as a Heisman candidate just because he’s actually respected by NFL scouts, when other system quarterbacks have gotten no respect. Clearly, judging by the success of former Heisman winners (Eric Crouch, I’m talking to you), NFL readiness doesn’t effect a player's Heisman prospects. Plenty of system quarterbacks have had overwhelmingly superior numbers to their counterparts yet weren’t even invited to New York. However, I’m of the belief that these players should be considered, so I can’t fault Brennan for being the best of the bunch, but I’m putting you on notice right now Colt … Graham Harrell is nipping at your heels.

3) Tashard Choice, Georgia Tech: 26 rushes, 196 yards, 2 TDs

This was a pretty easy choice (BOOM!), I saw this with my own eyes, nothing can convince me that Choice isn’t the best tailback in the history of college football. Choice quietly led the ACC in rushing last year, and if this continues, may lead the nation this season. So long as defenses refuse to believe that GT is running when Choice lines up at quarterback, he won’t be stopped.

4) Marlon Lucky, Nebraska: 30 rushes, 233 Yards, 4 TDs (including 1 receiving)

Luck has nothing to do with Marlon’s inclusion on this list (nice). His 233 yards were more than any Nebraska running back since Jammal Lord in 2002. He didn’t even play in the 4th quarter of their game against Nevada. Nebraska has clearly not missed a beat since losing Brandon Jackson, Green Bay's new starting running back. The emergence of Sam Keller at quarterback should only increase Lucky’s numbers, as Keller did not play well in his first game at Nebraska.

5) James Davis, Clemson: 18 rushes, 102 yards, 1 TD

I tried to add people who actually played decent competition, but Davis was the only player that really stuck out. His TD run was absolutely awesome, and, since it was on national TV, it gets him on the Heisman watch list. Note to self: Don’t bet against Clemson @ Clemson.

6) Brian Brohm, Louisville: 16/25, 375 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs, 289.05 QB rating

Somehow Brian Brohm beat out Colt Brennan in “QB Rating” clearly the most confusing stat in football. I look forward to Logan’s column about the rating, but I refuse to believe Brohm had a better game than Colt. The only thing I can think of is that he averaged more yards per completion. Anyway, Brohm’s march to the number one pick, back in Bobby Petriono's loving arms, started out pretty well.

7) Dorien Bryant, Purdue: 2 KO Returns, 151 yards, 1 TD

I'll leave a spot open each week for an all-purpose type player. To this point, I’ve got to give the nod to Dorien Bryant. This was a difficult decision, considering DeSean Jackson’s unbelievable punt return against Tennessee, but Bryant had two great kick returns against pretty good competition in Toledo. This should be a tight race with the NCAA’s new rule change which moved kickoffs back 5 yards. Right now Bryant is in the lead, but I expect someone to separate themselves from the pack shortly. Bryant is going to absolutely rape Notre Dame, can’t wait.

8) Sam Bradford, Oklahoma: 21/23, 363 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs

This is the feel good story of these rankings; Bradford avoided all of the temptations that Oklahoma quarterbacks face and rose up to dominate North Texas. Instead of selling cars, Bradford was preparing for the season this summer, and all his work has paid off. We may have another Josh Heupel on our hands, in fact, Heupel is his quarterbacks coach. Get used to Bradford’s name in these rankings.

9) James Hardy, Indiana: 3 rec, 153 yards, 2 TDs

Hardy might be a legit candidate even for ESPN's talking heads. He’s had 10 TDs in each of his last two seasons, and he’s off to a pretty good start this year. So long as he’s averaging 50 yards per reception, we’ll leave him a spot on the list. Luckily for Hardy, these rankings don't take home attendance into account, he might have been screwed.

10) Graham Harrell, Texas Tech: 44/59, 419 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs

Harrell is the first big quarterback recruit Leach has wrangled into Texas Tech. He was the 16th ranked quarterback coming out of high school. In week one they played SMU which is actually a pretty decent team. Texas Tech was actually only an 8.5pt favorite in this game, but Harrell’s offense blew them out of the water, 49-9. I love system quarterbacks.

Photos from ESPN, ESPN, and ESPN


Guy said...

The running back from Oklahoma had 5 TDs. I'd say hes a 200 yard, 3 TD performance away from getting a look.

My favorite was the Marlon Lucky one (nice).

Buzzsaw said...

Under 100 yards rushing isn't gonna do it for me. We aren't looking for a Brandon Jacobs here, we're trying to find the NCAA's Tomlinson.