Monday, October 30, 2006

Heisman Drivel

I suppose we should expect that a sport that chooses its “National Champion” by popularity contest would also choose its “Outstanding college football player of the United States” (a direct quote from the Heisman website) similarly.

But if you would expect the choice to be based on anything approaching “Outstanding” this year, you might be disappointed.

According to the Guru’s of ESPN, their “Heisman Watch” top five is as follows –

1. Troy Smith
2. Brady Quinn
3. Steve Slaton
4. Ray Rice
5. Mike Hart

Remember – it IS important what the media thinks because, by and large, the media decides who wins.

Now, Troy Smith is a fine player, and has led Ohio State, so far, to an undefeated record.
But Brady Quinn? Brady Quinn isn’t even one of the top ten Quarterbacks in college football, never mind the “Outstanding” player.

The stats back this up. Presently (October 30th), Quinn ranks the following, nationally, in QB statistics –

Quarterback Rating – 145.84 (23rd nationally)
Yards Thrown – 2233 (8th nationally)
Completion Percentage – 63.7 (24th nationally)
Yards per Attempt – 7.4 (44th nationally)

And most of this has come against total cupcake opponents. As of now, Notre Dame has played 2 ranked teams – 2nd ranked Michigan and 20th ranked Georgia Tech. ND beat Ga Tech 14-10, and was crushed at home against Michigan 47-21.

But what about Quinn’s gaudy Yards Thrown, you ask? Well, the following 8 have more yards –

Chase Holbrook, New Mexico State
Graham Harrell, Texas Tech
Colt Brennan, Hawaii
Kevin Kolb, Houston
Curtis Painter, Purdue
Shawn Bell, Baylor
Chase Daniel, Missouri

What, you haven't heard of them? Of that group, only Colt Brennan merits even a mention on ESPN.

Now, I in no way think Chris Leak is a Heisman candidate. But according to the same stats you see above, he should be. Leak is 19th nationally in QB rating, and 16th nationally in Yards per Attempt. His total yards and completion percentages are worse than Quinn’s, true, but he is not even on the ESPN’s list of the 15 Heisman prospects. Plus, Leak has not only played some big games – he has won them, defeating currently 8th ranked Tennessee at Neyland, and 13th ranked LSU at home.

There is one stat that Quinn is near top rated in, however – sacks. Having been sacked 21 times, he is 12th nationally in that unenviable stat.

Look for Quinn’s stats to get a bit more beefed up with unranked teams UNC, Air Force and Army ahead. By then, the hype machine should be in full gear. His stats, by then, might even be respectable.
Until he walks on the field at Southern Cal on November 25th.

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