What do you know? The system quarterback is the one that most people think deserves to win the Heisman Trophy.
Hard to imagine that just a year ago, Colt Brennan didn’t get respect for his numbers. Under June Jones, Hawaii produced too many big-number passers for Brennan to be appreciated.
He still got votes, but he couldn’t beat Tim Tebow and his two-pronged attack.
Graham Harrell has almost reached the numbers that Brennan had last season, although he will have to have a heck of a year the rest of the way to match his own marks from last year.
It is amazing what being undefeated can do to change the perception of numbers and performance.
That is probably why Michael Crabtree is back in many so-called expert Heisman watch rankings recently.
Crabtree is fifth in receiving yards this season. He won’t even sniff at the 134 catches and 1962 yards he put up last year.
Crabtree has 18 touchdowns. It is doubtful that he will lead the country in scoring, even if he surpasses last season’s 22 scores.
Crabtree is a sophomore. We know a sophomore has only ever won once, and that was during a very special season.
We tend to generate a lot of hype for receivers when they get the majority of a quarterback’s throws in their direction. I still say that the myth of a receiver being a Heisman-worthy candidate is bunk.
You need the quarterback, who tends to do much more for the team, partially because they throw to other players and have to handle the ball every down. There is no way that his own receiver can outshine him.
You can say your receiver blocks on running plays. So do the linemen who tend to get zero respect as it is and many of them contribute much more each game than an individual wideout.
The way the game is played now, you would need the most extraordinary receiver in the history of the game to have a receiver win the award again, and even then, the player would need to contribute in a way outside of their receiving skills to be considered. They would have to return kicks almost every other game for touchdowns, they would need to play both ways for a good portion of the snaps.
They would need to change the way we think about the position – check that, they would need to change the way we think of a college football player.
Michael Crabtree is exciting. His fancy footwork on the sideline against Texas to win the game in the final minute was breathtaking.
Here is how I would rank the candidates on my ballot after Week 11:
- Graham Harrell (QB Texas Tech) – 71.7%, 4077 yds, 36 TD, 5 INT, 6 rush TD – Three weeks ago, it was keep watching. Today, Harrell has arrived. Can he continue to hold off the Big XII and the rest of the country? Two weeks until the first answer.
- Tim Tebow (QB Florida) – 64.9%, 1740 yds, 17 TD, 2 INT, 354 yds rush, 10 TD – Is second too high for the man leading the team playing the best of anyone in the country right now? Not in my book. I have serious doubts about a Tebow repeat, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t hit the accelerator pedal during the past five games to be back in the conversation. 19 TDs in five games, with both his arm and his legs, trouncing victories – Heisman performances.
- Sam Bradford (QB Oklahoma) – 67.9%, 3406 yds, 38 TD, 6 INT – Have to remember he’s a sophomore. Have to remember he’s a sophomore. That probably means Bradford will not win the award. You look at these numbers though and you have to wonder if Harrell is the system quarterback of if that guy plays a little further north. Bradford is very good, and Oklahoma might be playing its best ball of the year right now. Two weeks from now, he might be sitting at No. 1 again.
- Colt McCoy (QB Texas) – 78.0%, 2879 yds, 28 TD, 7 INT, 449 yds rush, 7 TD – Colt has been misfiring lately. It is maybe a stretch to drop him to No. 4, but there is a great deal going on outside the state of Texas which deserves mention at this point. Do I still think McCoy has a shot? You bet. But, this week let’s try something new in the top three.
- Shonn Greene (RB Iowa) – 1374 yds, 13 TD, 6.1 avg – A win over an undefeated Penn State helps his spotlight focus a little bit more. Greene is not going to win, but he has become the most consistent producer in the league. Need a touchdown per game, call Greene. Need 100 yards, call Greene. Need a solid 5th place Heisman vote, call Greene.
People with still a chance to make this list: Chase Daniel (It’s a long shot by far at this point. Maybe an upset in the Big XII championship could change that), Michael Crabtree (I hate wide receivers for the Heisman. Sure he catches a lot of balls, but he doesn’t catch every ball)
People who may get hype but are done: Daryll Clark (Really liked him to win this if Penn State were undefeated. His injury a few weeks back and the loss to Iowa end that)