I was up early watching the Sports Reporters, when they begin a discussion of the Oregon Ducks and Alabama’s dominating victories over Stanford and Florida respectively. The show was rolling along, and I had no complaints until they moved onto the Heisman talk.
They discussed Ohio State and Terrelle Pryor, whom I’ve already dismissed as a legitimate Heisman candidate on the basis that he rarely puts together a complete game against BCS defenses. Pryor threw for 233 yards against Miami and ran for 113 but only completed 44.4% of his pass attempts. Against Illinois he ran for 100 plus yards again but completed just 56% of his throws for 76 yards! It’s good enough for a national championship contender stocked with so much talent but not emblematic of the most outstanding player in the nation.
Pryor isn’t even the best Vince Young prototype in college football. That honor falls to the triggerman behind Nevada’s Pistol offense, Colin Kaepernick. The 6’6 gazelle/signal caller is just as dangerous on the ground but is also a much more fluid passer than Pryor.
But what raised my eyebrows was when they began heaping non-stop praise and dropping excessive superlatives for Mark Ingram. Listen, Mark Ingram is a great player, seems like a low key person, class act but he hasn’t even been the best player in the SEC West. That might be Cameron Newton. Yet, I heard at least three experts call him “the best player” in college football after last night’s performance. Only thing is Florida’s defense held him to 47 yards on 12 carries.
He lacks the legend of Tim Tebow but Ingram still has time to catch Archie Griffin with his second Heisman Trophy but must do two things.
1) replicate last season’s post-September surge. After rushing for under 100 yards in three of his first four starts in 2009, Ingram vaulted into the Heisman forefront by rumbling for 657 yards in four October games.
2) Arrange Trent Richardson’s kidnapping until mid-December.
If we were honest with ourselves, the Heisman discussion at this point whittles down to a four man sprint between Lamichael James, Kellen Moore and Denard Robinson. Denard Robinson is having one of those statistical season’s in which Michigan could lose a bunch of games because of their porous defense. Plus, he’s won led game winning drives in the state of Indiana (Indiana and Notre Dame). Unlike Navy’s Ricky Dobbs or Georgia Tech’s Joshua Nesbitt though, Robinson passes the ball with incredible efficiency.
Ricky Dobbs has thrown for only touchdown and three interceptions, while Nesbitt has completed 39% of his passes and gone 10 for 33 in Tech’s losses. Robinson is the impetus behind what is arguably the most explosive offense in college football.
The only thing that would hinder James’ candidacy is his backup Kenjon Barner who ran for 174 yards and 5 touchdowns in the season opener, James was suspended for. Barnerr’s success came against New Mexico. Nonetheless, James’ 257 yard performance over a top 10 team was his second 200 yard rushing performance of this young season. Unfortunately he didn’t pass for 200 yards as well. Does Oregon run the Wildcat?
The only factor going against Denard Robinson is that the Wolverines are just now entering the meat of their schedule. We won’t truly know what type of ingredients the Wolverines are made of until they take a bite of their Big 10 schedule.
Oh wait, I said four didn’t I? The fourth guy probably won’t even be considered because of the position he plays, but he doesn’t line up on defense or along the offensive line. Oklahoma State’s sophomore Justin Blackmon is having a season reminiscent of Michael Crabtree’s freshman season.
Through five games Blackmon has caught 34 passes for 558 yards and is on pace to record 102 receptions for 1674 yards.
Unfortunately, 134 catches 1,900 receiving yards and 22 touchdowns weren’t even enough to earn Crabtree an invitation to the ceremony. The next year his numbers were more modest but a game winning hail mary catch over a pair of Texas defenders as time expired for a one loss Red Raiders squad still didn’t resonate for voters. They also share another connection in Okahoma State offensive coordinator in Dana Holgerson who spent seven years under Mike Leach as the offensive playcaller.
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