Let’s deliver the Heisman Trophy:
There are a few awards in sports as prestigious as the Heisman Trophy…if any, for that matter. Most trophies remain nameless and don’t have a popular picture pose named after them. No other trophy gets ESPN airtime for the presentation. It truly stands alone as the most precious award in sports…and yet to this day the Heisman is the embodiment of the perfect misnomer. While cries have been heard around the world to change the BCS Bowl System (which is awesome), no one dare utter a word against college football’s most flawed feature.
The Heisman’s website (yeah) says the trophy is presented “to an individual designated as the most outstanding college football player in the United States”. It’s a shame this rarely happens. I wanted to follow this up with a witty sentence about how the award goes to the player with the most video game stats or the best player on the best team, but I realized this descriptions would not suffice. No, I need something more…Mathematical. The Heisman winner can be found using a algorithmic process, Heisman hopefuls pay attention and see where you fall…
Step 1: Get into Position:
Put simply, you have to play one of two positions at this point: Running Back or Quarterback. If you play any other position, I’m sorry but you’ve been eliminated from Heisman contention. Only four non-QB/RB’s have won since 1950 (bad news for defensive players, none have won without playing offense or returning punts) and zero have won in the 2000’s.
Step 2: BCS or Bust!
The last player to win from one of the non major conferences? Ty Detmer from BYU in 1990. Since the formation of the BCS in 1998, a player from a non-BCS school has finished in the top 3 of voting just one time. That was Colt Brennen finishing 3rd in 2007.
Step 3: Find Your Program
With apologies to reader’s because the 2011 winner kinda breaks this trend, but in honesty it’s true. Even Baylor is a Big 12 team, but obviously not too prestigious. Anyway, the 10 previous winners before RG3 played at Auburn, Alabama, Oklahoma, Florida, Ohio State, USC, USC, Oklahoma, USC, and Nebraska. In order to win, you have to select the program which will win games. Aside from Nebraska in 2001 and USC in 2002, all these teams played in the National Championship game and the other two played in a BCS bowl.
Step 4: Make them hear you:
It is important not to just show up one year. Sure, it is possible to win, but the real way to the Heisman voters’ hearts is to let your name loose early. Put up solid numbers and what not the year before you’re ready to make your run.
Step 5: Put up carnival statistics:
Obviously this is the hardest step so far, but it is mandatory. The key is making sure to do step 4 following steps 2 and 3. You cannot focus on carnival stats and expect to win the award. Texas Tech Quarterback Graham Harrell put up broken stats in 2008 (5,111 yards and 46 touchdowns) but wasn’t even invited to New York. Stats are important, however. So don’t forget step 4.
Step 6: Keep your team (and your Heisman hopes) afloat
In the end, your Heisman hopes may come down to something out of your (or even your team’s) control. You must keep your team relevant in the media. Winning may be the most renowned way of doing this, but RG3 did it differently last year. He won games he wasn’t supposed to (i.e. TCU and Oklahoma) and this kept his team in the loop.
Those are the steps one must take to reach New York, but in the end, all that list means to me is bullpucky. For it is my proof of how fucked up the Heisman race has become in today’s College Football. The Heisman winner should not go to the best player on the best team or the stat monster. The Heisman Trophy is supposed to be meant for the best player in the country. I’m not disputing statistics usefulness. Without stats, there would be no measurable evidence, but stats alone do not go far enough. I’m not disputing a team’s success as being a useful measuring tool, but a team winning all 13 games en route to the National Title game is hardly justification for a single player being named the country’s strongest. There are intangible things seen only by watching a game. Seeing the defensive linemen who garners a double team every play or the cornerback who isn’t fucked with. Seeing the receiver who has two men shadowing him or the Quarterback who can drop a pass straight into a receiver’s bread basket. Thus, I have assembled my most basic list for the time being of the who I feel are the most deserving candidates for the Heisman. There are two players from each position.
Quarterback: Geno Smith (West Virginia) and Collin Klein (Kansas State)
These are two guys you’re likely to see at the Heisman ceremony later this year. Smith could probably find his sitting in the mail. Klein may have to keep winning in Manhattan, but he makes my list because he’s the heart and soul of the Kansas State ball club. Unfortunately only one player from each position advances, and Smith’s intangibles are just as impressive as his stats.
Running Back: Cody Getz (Air Force Academy) and Johnathon Franklin (UCLA)
Cody Getz’s stats are straight broken. Sure he’s in an option offense, but that only means less carries and defenses focusing more on stopping the run. Quarterbacks are more the beneficiaries of option offenses than tailbacks. Getz runs like a mad man and isn’t afraid of getting dirty, which everyone loves. Franklin is also having a solid year, but with less touchdowns, yards, and yards per carry than Getz. A victory for the underdog here as Getz gets the check.
Wide Receiver: Marquis Lee (Southern California) and Tavon Austin (West Virginia)
It is hard to argue against these two guys being the most talented wide receivers in the country. Austin is the beneficiary of an air raid offense, but the guy does so much more than just catch the ball from Geno Smith. Sure Lee has the likely #1 overall pick playing QB, but Matt Barkley could be thanking Lee just as much as Lee could be thanking Barkley. In the end, Austin is far too talented to leave off the list. He leads the nation in catches and is a freak. To say he isn’t the most outstanding receiver so far this season in college football would be dishonorable.
Tight End: Tyler Eifert (Notre Dame)
I know I said I’d be doing two player per position, but there is no tight end who deserves my check as much as Eifert. He doesn’t have the stats of others, but no receiver means more to an offense than Eifert who is the only cog in the abomination that has been the Irish passing game this year. He’s the emotional leader of the offense and has the talent to be far better than what his stat line reads. He doesn’t deserve to be downgraded because Tommy Rees or whoever is starting there is awful.
Offensive Line: Stephen Warner (Louisiana Tech) and Luke Joeckel (Texas A&M)
Joeckel is the best tackle so far this season, so he gets the nod. The winner is Warner, though. Warner literally runs the offense for La Tech. Don’t believe me? Check this link out. Warner runs his offense (one of the most high-flying in the nation) from the center position…I’ll see you in New York.
Defensive Line: Jadeveon Clowney (South Carolina) and Johnathon Hankins (Ohio State)
What? No Werner? I know the Florida State DE is outstanding, but Clowney and Hankins are something he isn’t. These two guys are the leaders of their respective defenses. It doesn’t take long to find Clowney. He’s the huge guy with two or three blockers being sent his way every play. There is no one with the overall athletic talent of Clowney. Hankins is a horse of a different color. He simply does his job to it finest, clogging the running lane straight up the middle and forcing his way into the backfield every day. Clowney gets the nod in the closest contest so far.
Linebacker: Manti Te’o (Notre Dame) and Jarvis Jones (Georgia)
Honestly, these are two of the finest players in the country at any position. Thus I have decided to retain both of them and not keep any defensive backs…fair enough? Let’s move on.
Best Offensive Skill Player:
A very tight race between Geno Smith, Cody Getz, and Tavon Austin. I didn’t want to have to do this, but Quarterback is the most important offensive position and this gets weighed above the rest. Geno is my first invite to New York.
Best Offensive Hefty:
It’s between Eifert and Warner. Both men get a gold star for being the leader of the offensive unit, but Warner is the true leader of the offense in La Tech. His uniqueness and overall importance to his team means he’s getting the something in the mail.
Best Defensive Players:
Clowney against the two linebackers. I get to pick two from this section so yay me! We’ll start by pinning the linebackers back against each other so I have to choose. Jarvis Jones is a legit freak. Some compare him the LT…that’s Lawrence Taylor; nonetheless, I’m not sure if anyone means more to their unit than Te’o to the for some reason ultra talented Notre Dame defense. He has the stats to make it as a defensive player. So now it’s Clowney versus Jones. Perhaps the two biggest talent freaks in the country have to go up against each other once more, and as the weekend went, so goes this blog article. Clowney gets an invite because I have never seen someone garner as much attention and be as much of a pain in the ass to a top 5 team as he was Saturday against Georgia.
Live From New York City:
So we have Geno Smith (Quarterback, West Virginia); Stephen Warner (Center, Louisiana Tech); Manti Te’o (Linebacker, Notre Dame); and Jadeveon Clowney (Defensive End, South Carolina). What I want to know is who are you voting for? Go ahead, do it!