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Every Heisman Voter Should Read This


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This sums up exactly why I think the Heisman Trophy has been disgraced this season. One of the best articles I've seen all season long. I couldn't agree more. From the New York Sun:

 

 

"Quinn's Supporting Cast Should Not Cost Him the Heisman

College Football

 

By ALLEN BARRA

December 6, 2006

 

 

Donald Miralle / Getty

 

The finalists for the Heisman trophy will be announced today and the winner Saturday, and many predict that Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn will be beaten out by Ohio State’s Troy Smith. Quinn threw for 3,278 yards and 35 TDs this year; Smith threw for 2,507 yards and 30 TDs.

 

Awards in sports are getting dumber and dumber. The more statistics, and hence, the more opportunity for intelligent analysis, the denser some voters become. And the Heisman Trophy has, over the last 20-odd years, become the bastion of the densest.

 

Despite the fact that nearly every leading player in the country gets to play in a bowl game, results from bowl games aren't taken into consideration. Why not? In many cases, the bowl game represents the toughest level of opposition a Heisman candidate faces all season. The Downtown Athletic Club also refuses to consider giving two Heismans — adding a second award for the best defensive player in the country — or at least joining with organizations that already honor defensive players and announcing the awards at the same ceremony. Up until 1963, a player's defensive ability was taken into account in the Heisman voting; since then, the Heisman has been given to just one defensive player (Michigan defensive back Charles Woodson in 1997) while still maintaining the fiction that the award goes to "The Outstanding College Football Player in the Nation."

 

For that matter, it's time that college football acknowledged that the age of specialization is here to stay and give equally prestigious awards to players at every position. There are awards for players at every position, but the Heisman is page one news while the winner of the Dick Butkus Award for outstanding college linebacker usually merits, at best, a couple of paragraphs in the middle of the sports section.

 

Until about 21 years ago, it was understood by seasoned observers that the quarterback for the no. 1 team in the country was seldom a legitimate contender for the best player in the nation, if only because if a team was good enough to be ranked no. 1, it was difficult to accurately assess the quarterback's contribution. Before Florida State's Charlie Ward in 1993, Notre Dame's Angelo Bertelli in 1943 and Johnny Lujack in 1947 were the only quarterbacks for no. 1 teams to win the Heisman. Virtually all the other Heisman winners at quarterback, notably Navy's Roger Staubach (1963), Florida's Steve Spurrier (1966), and Stanford's Jim Plunkett (1970), won their Heisman because of, not in spite of, playing on teams that weren't national championship contenders. Their statistics were thought to be accurate reflections of their own abilities rather than their teammates'.

 

Thirty-five or 40 years ago, Brady Quinn of Notre Dame (no. 11) would be a clear favorite for the Heisman Trophy. Instead, no. 1 Ohio State's Troy Smith, a fine player but perhaps no better than a dozen others at his position, will probably win it in a landslide. Let's put aside some obvious points: Of course, there isn't a real way of assessing the best player in the nation, and, since in today's game only running backs and quarterbacks get serious consideration, there is no way to pinpoint exactly where statistics stop reflecting individual talent and start reflecting team strength. That doesn't mean, though, that common sense analysis of the available data should be thrown out the window.

 

Let's start with the raw numbers of the two leading candidates, Smith and Quinn:

 

Clearly, Quinn has the advantage in total passing yards and touchdowns, though this is unfair to Smith — his team didn't need to pass as often as Quinn's in order to win. A comparison of their quality stats — yards per throw, interception rate, touchdowns to interceptions — shows no clear difference between them, Smith posting the higher yards a throw while Quinn has a lower interception percentage and better touchdown-to-interception rate. Jump ball.

 

The relevant question, then, should be which passer was most helped by schedule and his supporting talent. Regarding the first point, there's a misconception in the press that Ohio State played a tougher schedule than Notre Dame. They did not. OSU's opponents, not counting their games against the Buckeyes, were 73–59, while Notre Dame's were 75–48. It's true that the Irish played a couple of walkovers in North Carolina and Army, but their top six opponents, based on Sagarin's neutral field power ratings in USA Today, were USC (no. 2), Michigan (3), UCLA (20), Penn State (23), Georgia Tech (35), and Navy (43), while Ohio State's were Michigan (3), Texas (19), Penn State (23), Minnesota (37), Cincinnati (40) and Iowa (46). So the top half of Notre Dame's schedule (a combined 52–16) was tougher than Ohio State's toughest six (47–19).

 

Let's see how Quinn and Smith fared against their toughest six opponents:

 

Against slightly tougher opposition, Quinn performed at the same level of effectiveness as Troy Smith. How much, then, of Smith's success was due to his own skill and how much to the talent of his teammates? There's no way of making a precise judgment, but what is obvious is that Smith got far more help Ohio State's running game than Quinn did from Notre Dame's. The Buckeyes averaged 180 yards a game and 4.7 yards a rush, while Notre Dame's running attack was a little less than mediocre, averaging 124 yards a game for a 3.8 average.

 

What about pass blocking? Here Smith had a substantial boost over Quinn: His offensive line allowed him to be sacked just 13 times, while Quinn's blockers let him go down 30 times.

 

How about their respective defenses? How were the two quarterbacks helped out in terms of field position and game situations? Here, Smith had the biggest advantage of all: OSU's defense gave up just 273 yards a game and allowed 10.4 points a game, second best in the nation, while ND's rather un-tenacious D gave up 320.5 yards a game with an average of 22.4 points. In only one game all season was Smith really under pressure, against Michigan, and he acquitted himself brilliantly. But the fact is that all season long, Troy Smith never had to play catch up and could pretty much pick and choose the spots he wanted to throw in — and when he wasn't throwing he had a first rate rushing attack to reply on. Brady Quinn had none of these advantages and was pressed in virtually every game not only to run the offense but to be the offense. The primary knock on Quinn is that his team lost to Michigan and USC by a combined total of 46 points, but Quinn doesn't play defense and has nothing to do with how many points the other team scores. He had 508 yards passing and six touchdowns in those two losses.

 

The uncritical acceptance by so many writers and commentators of Troy Smith's Heisman worthiness reflects an attitude that has become popular in college football over the last couple of decades, namely that "the best player on the best team" — or at least the player on the best team with the gaudiest stats — is automatically the best player in the nation. This has resulted in some relatively undistinguished quarterbacks winning the Heisman, most notably Charlie Ward in '93, Florida's Danny Wuerffel in 1996, Florida State's Chris Wenke in 2000, and Oklahoma's Jason White in 2003. All of them played for teams that were ranked at or near the top at the time they won the award.

 

A careful look at the record convinces me that Troy Smith is destined to join their number. But whatever happens to Smith in the NFL, Brady Quinn put up numbers this year that were at least the equal of Troy Smith's, and he did it against tougher opposition and with far less help from his teammates. By any objective yardstick, he deserves the nod over Troy Smith as the outstanding college football player of the 2006 season.

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My new bottom line in the Heisman: Brady couldn't afford to make any mistakes all season, because with that defense, they were magnified 100x.

 

Smith in the meantime, could have an Illinois game, or a Penn State game, or even the second half of the Michigan game, and still get away with it.

 

That's why it shouldn't be best player on best team.

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Quinn

 

Comp / Att: 274 / 432

Passing Yds: 3278

Total TDs: 37

INTs: 5

Att / Int: 86

NCAA Violations: 0

 

 

Smith

 

Comp / Att: 199 / 197

Passing Yds: 2507

Total TDs: 31

INTs: 5

Att / Int: 59

NCAA Violations: Yes

 

 

 

Everyone raves about Smith's efficiency (read TD/INT) but it is remarkable what Quinn has done with over twice as many attempts. Also, no one talks about this but Smith's total number of attempts and yards passing is the least amount of any Heisman winnning QB in the last 20 years except for Eric Crouch (a running QB). This award is becoming an MVP award for the best team and it has devalued the Heisman award. Good luck in the CFL, Troy and say hi to Eric for us.

 

Quinn > McFadden > Several other players > Ginn, Jr. > Smith

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Guest AtlantaIrish

Another problem is that Troy Smith isn't even the best player on his team-that would be LB James Laurinaitis.

 

Brady Quinn stands for everything right about college student-athletes where Troy Smith shouldn't even be eligible after getting suspended taking money.

 

There is a reason why McGwire isn't going into the Hall of Fame, because he cheated. They should make an example of Troy Smith too, but they won't.

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No offense to our Irish and Brady and all, butttt the exact same could be said about Darren McFadden. I, personally, think he deserves it more than anyone, and this is coming from someone who isn't the biggest SEC fan. Quinn has looked shaky at times, overthrowing the ball and throwing it in the dirt. I can see how he could lose it. Granted the line did nothing for him, so he was a head case for some of the year; but the beginning of the season wasn't his best. Then, you have to be honest...we played NOBODY after UCLA until USC.

 

Objectively, McFadden is my vote. Yes, it would be awesome for us to get another Heisman, but I'm just not convinced this year.

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You know what? I'm for brady for al lthe reasons mentioned....but i understand the argument for mcfadden and really woundt mind if it went his way instead of smith. I dont want to be one of those fans who begins to root against other teams and players instead of just rooting for his team, etc., but withthe heisman, i'm more concerned with how it is analized, and both BQ and DMC are the reason their teams have been successful, and both their teams would be have lost many more games with/out them. this isnt to say that the award is just which player in cf is most needed by his team, although that is better "easy-way-out teat" than best player on top team. The heisman should be about the best college palyer, and Ive given up on defense here becasue i get sick thinking about how wrong it is ( i always wnated to play LB but i was a late bloomer and once i did get to football size i was O-line material), I digress. Zwick could run tha toffense to a level that they would have probably stil lbeen #1...and then hed be getting the trophy. if the rest of your team leaves you in the position where you are the only guy to save the day...every game. Most players have to make up for maybe a bad defense, or maybe a bad runnign game, but when it is both!

 

 

Argument against DMC is that while he had to carry the offense, not just running, but throwing in some trick plays and cathcing...his defense was pretty good.

Brady had to throw because the run didnt work, or becuase were down s tds in the first 6 minutes, or both. He got pressured, he got hit, and while some say Troy Smith got sacked less cause he is more mobile and could escape....to a degreee, yes, but that one penn state clip is wearing out, and most the time he didnt have to think or look at coverages or even do mare than take his drop because unlike ND which teams know they dont have to cover the run so they double up on as many recivers as possible, OSU has pittman...and thats one less person to put on Gonzalez or Ginn. UM and USC(we would have doen better if carlson had been playin) kept our recievers covered good enough becasue they got ahead quick and didnt have to defend the run...not only cause we had to throw but becasue it is so easy to stop. I'm just rambling now so ill stop...i have a law school final tommorrow that calls.

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Ummm...no doubt he's good, but check out the following stats.

 

Against USC....42 yards

Against Vanderbuilt.....19 rushes 71 yards 3.7 yds avg

Against Mississippi.......17 rushes 65 yrds 3.8 yds avg

Against Mississippi St...26 rushes 84 yrds 3.2 yrds avg

Against Florida.............21 Rushes 73 yrds 3.5 yrds avg

 

Those numbers look pretty pedestrian. He had some HUGE games though with the crown jewel being his 182 yard performance against the 2nd best D in the country of LSU. My point, for a soph to win the Heisman, he needs miraculous numbers. He only has great numbers. Troy Smith has nowhere near the best numbers. That would be Colt Brennan at Hawaii...with the caveat that they truly play pathetic teams.

 

Brady is the best player to not win the Heisman Publicity Trophy since Antwon Randel-el lost it to Eric Crouch.

 

I was listening to the Dan Patrick Show on ESPN Radio and they were saying that this might be the all time biggest blow out win for the Heisman. It truly bewilders me. Perhaps I watched a different football season.

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I don't ever buy that sophomore argument. Heisman is best player period. USC, DMF was injured, something he was recovering from at the beginning of the year. Also, he was AR's only option and still single handedly ran all over LSU & UT. Brady would be terrific, though. Heisman voting, though, should never look at year, but the best player period.

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I don't ever buy that sophomore argument. Heisman is best player period. USC, DMF was injured, something he was recovering from at the beginning of the year. Also, he was AR's only option and still single handedly ran all over LSU & UT. Brady would be terrific, though. Heisman voting, though, should never look at year, but the best player period.

 

I agree with you that year shouldn't matter....but as long as humans are the ones voting for the trophy, it will be a factor. Name the last person to win the Heisman that wasn't a Junior or Senior. That's why I stated that he would need miraculous numbers to win. And, as you can see, he had several run of the mill games. I don't see how that lofts him over Brady.

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Some really good posting here 'Brothers'...I have enjoyed all of the posts, and share the opinions of you all. Thanks for sharing with the rest of us.

 

I feel that one of the biggest problems is basically one that stares us in the face each and every week. Its sponsership coupled with television networking...both in the hands of the American Broadcasting Company (ABC). Think about it for just a moment? Lets look at the past winners...Palmer, Lienart and possibly now Smith, all from the PAC10 or BIG10 conferences...both ABC network favorites.

 

Just a thought/opinion...

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Very enlightening article domeandomer, and all posters present valid exchanges of opinion. But lets look at it from yet another perspective. These candidates are student athletes, supposedly on a 4 year scholarship. Nothing in the media is ever mentioned about graduation, or that the student has accomplished his first prerequisite and that is in earning his degree. Isn’t that what attending an institution of higher learning is all about? And shouldn’t that be one of the requirements of a Heisman?

 

Next, nothing is mentioned of the athlete’s character/citizenship off the field during his tenure as a student. How can or why should any athlete be considered a candidate if they have danced with the law on occasion. I’m not talking about speeding tickets, or being at a party when police officers are called for excessive noise or simple disturbances, but genuine felonies. Charges that would not be glossed over if you just happened to be an average citizen not involved in a football program. A candidate’s docket should be clean when being considered for the Heisman.

 

IMHO; all criteria of the Heisman has been abandoned and it’s been cheapened by the media, and others that lobby for this award instead of having the student earn it on merit. They have turned it into a 1 year popularity contest, instead of the 4 year protocol of a student athlete.

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Ummm...no doubt he's good, but check out the following stats.

 

Against USC....42 yards

Against Vanderbuilt.....19 rushes 71 yards 3.7 yds avg

Against Mississippi.......17 rushes 65 yrds 3.8 yds avg

Against Mississippi St...26 rushes 84 yrds 3.2 yrds avg

Against Florida.............21 Rushes 73 yrds 3.5 yrds avg

 

Those numbers look pretty pedestrian. He had some HUGE games though with the crown jewel being his 182 yard performance against the 2nd best D in the country of LSU. My point, for a soph to win the Heisman, he needs miraculous numbers. He only has great numbers. Troy Smith has nowhere near the best numbers. That would be Colt Brennan at Hawaii...with the caveat that they truly play pathetic teams.

 

Brady is the best player to not win the Heisman Publicity Trophy since Antwon Randel-el lost it to Eric Crouch.

 

I was listening to the Dan Patrick Show on ESPN Radio and they were saying that this might be the all time biggest blow out win for the Heisman. It truly bewilders me. Perhaps I watched a different football season.

 

Totally agree...he had some big games but really nothing special..hmmm. can jamarcus russel and troy smith share the heisman? cause apparently if you play well in 2 games in a season you get the heisman.

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I shared this article with a Bucknut fan, and he was totally speechless, eventually pleading that "things change." Priceless. Again, great find domeanddomer.

 

Yeah....I was speechless too. It is nearly impossible to argue with the FACTS of this article. It is one of the many things that fire me up about this year's Heisman. I'm not even watching the show. Someone let me know how it is.

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Guest Irish4life

Here's the way I look at it:

 

Mcfadden isnt going to win because hes a sophomore, year shouldnt matter but it does, hes just there for the show.

 

Quinn I would love to see him win, and I think he deserves it, but I also think hes just there for the show

 

Smith the winner, does he deserve it? I guess, do i think he will be better than brady in the nfl? no way.

 

Im expecting Troy's name to be called, but i will be praying that we all get shocked and hear Brady's name

 

All in all im just glad to see Brady make it this far, and finally see an ND guy up there instead of USC players.

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