Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Heisman Watch: Tebow Part 2.

Our friend BestofSEC brings our attention to who I had never heard of. The Heisman Pundit does indeed have some very weighty credentials. From his bio:

Chris Huston, A.K.A. 'The Heisman Pundit', is formerly a sports information director at the University of Southern California, where he conceived and directed the successful Heisman campaigns of both Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart.
I personally don't really care for the Heisman, mainly because all of the unwritten associated with it. In fact the Heisman Pundit calls these The 10 Heismandments. Apparently Tim Tebow would appear to be disqualified or disadvantaged because he doesn't meet the criteria of several of these Heismandments.

First of all, Tebow is not an upperclassman and Heismandment #2 dictates that the winner will be an a Junior or a Senior.

The fourth Heismandment dictates that the winner must have some prior name recognition. This is iffy for Tebow. Certainly obtained recognition during last year's National Championship squad but for being a true freshman anti-Leak that gave opposing defenses nightmares. He was not considered a Heisman candidate going into the season. Also as the Heisman Pundit's bio indicates winning this award requires a "campaign" and I don't think the Sports information director at Florida came into the season thinking he was to be preparing such a candidate. Is it too late to get in the race? Fear not, the Heisman Pundit hedges with a caveat to the fourth Heismandment:
The only way to overcome lack of prior name recognition is by producing a season that is head and shoulders above the other challengers.
It could be argued that Tebow is in the process of producing such a season.

It's debatable whether the sixth Heismandment applies to Tebow:
6. The winner cannot be considered an obvious product of his team's system.

Call this the Andre Ware rule. Basically, this means that voters are unimpressed by huge stats put up by an individual in offensive systems conducive for huge numbers. Voters at one time were impressed (back when many of these systems were new and in vogue), but most have reached a level of sophistication where they are no longer completely fooled by big numbers alone. They will also look at the how the candidate fared against good teams and if the numbers are lacking, the player will suffer.
Certainly some will say the spread option is the reason for Tebow gaudy numbers but if he continues to put them up against SEC defenses he can probably overcome any objections based on the sixth Heismandment.

One Heismandment that will certainly not be a problem for Tebow is number 10: The winner must be likeable.

The Heisman Pundit sends a mixed message in this post where he omits Tebow on the list of six players he characterizes as having "the best chance at actually winning" but then making Tebow the number 2 vote-getter if the vote were held today.

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