The HP Heisman Watch

Here is my weekly breakdown of the players with the best chance of actually winning the Heisman.

1. Colt McCoy, Texas–McCoy is one of only two Heisman candidates to emerge unscathed from this past weekend.  He threw for 286 yards and 3 TDs (with one pick) on 28 of 35 passing against UTEP.  On the year, he has 1,145 passing yards, 9 TDs and 5 INTs, to go with 61 rushing yards and 1 TD.  He is on pace to have 3,721 passing yards, 36 touchdowns and 15 interceptions by the time of the Heisman vote.  He will need to cut back on his picks for these numbers to be considered Heisman-worthy, but I think if he keeps it to 12 or below (a 3-1 ratio) he’ll be fine.   He is the overwhelming favorite for the Heisman right now.

2. Jacory Harris, Miami–Why does Jacory Harris move up after a bad loss to Virginia Tech?  Well, just look at the schedule.  The ‘Canes host Oklahoma next week and then will not play a ranked team in their final eight games.  Miami has a real chance to run the table following the game vs. the Sooners, so we are looking at a Miami team that is likely to finish no worse than 10-2, with a decent shot at 11-1 if it beats Oklahoma.  Voters will look kindly upon a young quarterback who led a formerly elite program back into the top five of the polls and may forgive his struggles in the pouring rain on the road at Lane Stadium.   The wildcard in all of this is how Miami ends up in conference play and whether it gets a BCS bid of some sort.  Harris was 9 of 20 for 150 yards and no touchdowns against Va. Tech.  On the year, he has 806 passing yards with 5 touchdowns and 3 interceptions.  He is on pace to have 3,224 passing yards, 20 touchdowns and 12 interceptions by the time of the Heisman vote.  However, I expect him to pick up the pace on these numbers in the final eight games of the season and finish with a much better stat sheet.

3. Jahvid Best, Cal–Best ran for just 55 yards on 16 carries and was not a factor in Cal’s blowout loss to Oregon.  I’m not ready to count Best out just yet, though, as he has a shot to bounce back with a nice game in a win next week over USC.  As always, USC is the team that Best must do well against to have a shot.  If Cal loses against USC next week, Best’s Heisman chances are done.  One problem is that Best clearly is not 100 percent right now due to soreness in his surgically-repaired foot.  So he is lacking some of the other-worldly explosiveness to which we have become accustomed.  On the year, Best has 467 rushing yards and 8 touchdowns, along with 9 catches and one more TD.  He is on pace to have 1,401 yards and 27 total touchdowns by the time of the Heisman vote.

4. Tim Tebow, Florida–Almost everything has to go right to win the Heisman once.  To win it again, things must be near-perfect.  Tebow’s chances at another Heisman are fading and are now entirely dependent upon the collapse of the rest of the field (as well as his health).  He threw for 103 yards on 5 of 10 passing with a TD against Kentucky and added another 123 yards and 2 TDs on the ground before being knocked out with a concussion in the third quarter.  In the short term, there will be a rallying effect around Tebow among voters, as they rightly appreciate his toughness.  The question now, though, is how much time will he miss, if any?  His stats are already down even further than last season and any missed games will further depress his numbers.  On the year, he has 643 passing yards with 6 TDs and 1 interception, along with 271 rushing yards and 5 TDs.  Assuming Florida makes the SEC title game, he is on pace for just 2,089 passing yards, with 20 TD passes and 3 interceptions, to go with 880 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns.   Those are impressive to a point, but are they enough to warrant a second Heisman?  I’m not so sure.

5. Case Keenum, Houston–There will soon come a point where voters will have to take a serious look at Case Keenum.  So far, he has led the Cougars to wins over Oklahoma State and Texas Tech, which gives him some credibility against legitimate competition.  Houston is now a top 10 team and has a real chance of running the table.  If that happens, how could you not consider Keenum for the trophy, especially if the rest of the field is lackluster?  He led the Cougars to a come-from-behind win over Texas Tech, throwing for 435 yards and 1 touchdown (with 1 pick) while adding 27 rushing yards and another score.   On the year, he has 1,160 yards passing with 8 touchdowns and 2 interceptions and has 3 more rushing touchdowns as well.  He is on pace to have 5,026 passing yards, 35 touchdowns and 9 interceptions by the time of the Heisman vote.  I wouldn’t be shocked if he improves upon the TD numbers when all is said and done.   This is not Andre Ware leading a probation-riddled team to 9-2, this is a guy who has beaten some pretty good teams while pushing his squad to a possible undefeated season and BCS berth.  Something to think about. 

6. Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame–Part of figuring out who can win the Heisman is projecting how the season could possibly play out (within reason).   Given how things shape up, I think Clausen actually has a shot to make a late-season run.  He has led the Irish to gritty comebacks in each of the last three games (though in one of them ND ended up losing in the end) and there seems to be a bit of magic surrounding him this year.  On the season, he has 1,122 passing yards, 10 touchdowns and just 1 interception.  He is on pace to throw for 3,386 yards, 30 TDs and 3 picks.  If Clausen has those kinds of numbers and leads Notre Dame to a win over USC and the Irish go on to finish 11-1, how do you ignore him in the Heisman race?  If other candidacies mess up along the way, I think he’ll end up as a viable alternative as he’ll be seen as someone who has revived the Irish program.  But, there is a long way to go and this scenario has to play out just right.  So he remains a long shot.

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About Heismanpundit

Chris Huston, A.K.A. ‘The Heisman Pundit‘, is a Heisman voter and the creator and publisher of Heismanpundit.com, a site dedicated to analysis of the Heisman Trophy and college football. Dubbed “the foremost authority on the Heisman” by Sports Illustrated, HP is regularly quoted or cited during football season in newspapers across the country. He is also a regular contributor on sports talk radio and television.

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48 Responses to The HP Heisman Watch

  1. slippy September 28, 2009 at 3:46 pm #

    Not a Cincy fan but just wondering…If Tony Pike keeps up his torrential pace and the ‘Cats win out, what are his chances? (This is obviously assuming Best loses to USC, Tebow misses a few games, etc). Would Keenum get looked upon in a better light because of the teams he beat, or does Houston have the same kind of deal as BYU – having a winner in the past 20 years?

  2. Paul September 28, 2009 at 5:34 pm #

    I’m very confused with your choices. McCoy has had an interception in each of his 4 games against some of the worst defenses. I’ve watched him and he seems to play poorly in the beginning and pad the stats when the game doesn’t matter any more. Harris is new, a soph, and looked the part against VT… Tebow and Bradford won as soph but were consistent every game then. I agree Best is a stud, but doubt he’ll get many votes with 2 more games like that. Tebow has clearly led his team and has only played about 10 quarters so far (remember he left in the middle of the 2nd quarter one game)… extrapolate stats by quarter and you’ll have a different picture. My top 5: (1) Tebow; (2) Keenum; (3) Best; (4) McElroy; (5) McCoy.

  3. Heismanpundit September 28, 2009 at 7:19 pm #

    Slippy, I think Pike is a long way from getting major attention. I don’t think he’s even on the radar right and won’t be unless Cincy makes the BCS title game.

    Paul, what I try to do with these rankings is project out through the season and figure out where things are likely to end up. This is not a prediction of the current field nor is it a prediction of the final field. What it is is a list of those with the best odds of actually winning in the end based on current circumstances and future projections. The reason Tebow is low here is because of the damage that could potentially be done to his stats by being slowed or missing a game or two.

  4. Choco September 28, 2009 at 9:43 pm #

    So you are a fortune teller? You can see how injuries impact players in future games?

    HeismanPundit, your site just doesn’t make sense to me. People are reinforcing their poor judgments based on your speculations. Like last season when you said the BIG12 was the story of college football. The most overrated trio of QBs of all time. Tebow SHOULD have won the Heisman last season, too. By “predicting” what dumb voters are going to do you are legitimizing their poor choices. Especially as your site grows in popularity.

    Stats should NOT be an indicator of the Heisman when players play completely different levels of opponents. A full SEC schedule is an entirely different level of competition than a BIG12 schedule. Why do you think the SEC has dominated the championship games so heavily recently? Colt McCoy is playing high school defenses and not putting up very good numbers even with that advantage.

  5. Heismanpundit September 28, 2009 at 10:30 pm #

    Choco, I look at the race as it is, not how it should be. Am I a fortune teller? No, but I tend to have a pretty good beat on what’s going to happen in the race based on the criteria I have set and my ability to gauge voter sentiment.

    As for that Big 12 trio of QBs being so overrated, that is obviously your opinion. I’m not sure why those guys have to be overrated for Tebow to be good.

    And it is not the SEC that has been dominating championship games lately, but elite teams LSU and Florida, who have enough talent to do very well regardless of who they play.

    You are right that teams play different levels of opponents. So I have a question for you: How much should Heisman voters dock Tebow in the race for putting up stats against the likes of Troy, Charleston Souther and Florida International?

    Finally, last I checked, Tebow did worse againt the Oklahoma defense than Colt McCoy did. Why is that?

  6. Neal September 29, 2009 at 3:19 am #

    Can we please get some love for Chad Jones?

  7. sandymex September 29, 2009 at 11:13 am #

    I generally appreciate your insights, but I’m surprised by a few of your moves this past week.

    You really think Jacory Harris deserves to be vaulted up to 2nd place after his performance against Virginia Tech? Multiple fumbles, an interception and no touchdowns in the 31-7 upset. And all this with one of the best receiver corps in the nation.

    Meanwhile, Tebow battles illness and throws to a depleted receiver corp also battling illness. He scores 3 TDs, has the 2nd most rushing yards of his career and is now on the brink of breaking the SEC record for career rushing TDs. This was all done before his head injury in the 3rd quarter.

  8. Tom September 29, 2009 at 3:53 pm #

    Tebows stats will improve as the gators schedule gets tougher with upcoming SEC play. LSU, Georgia, South Carolina etc…Hopefully he will get to play more than just the 1st half and his passing attempts/yards will increase. It also doesn’t help that Florida’s receiving corps is hurting right now.

  9. Paul September 29, 2009 at 8:25 pm #

    HeismanPundit – I appreciate your response to my comment and enjoy your website. I do agree with you that if you’re trying to project based on odds, then McCoy would be in my top 3 as well. Though I think that’s only based on his 2008 production and the fact he’s a senior… I think he’ll need to have a signature game or voters will eventually lose interest. Tebow is on target to significantly surpass the SEC rushing TD record, his passing efficiency is on par with his last two years, and he’s led the Gators offense through adversity already (e.g. illness, no receivers, etc). The story line of Tebow in his last year, his accomplishments, and his special qualities will give him a lot more votes than I think you’re currently projecting. Nothing against McCoy and Harris, but there’s QBs like these all over college football.

  10. Choco September 30, 2009 at 10:41 am #

    “Choco, I look at the race as it is, not how it should be. Am I a fortune teller? No, but I tend to have a pretty good beat on what’s going to happen in the race based on the criteria I have set and my ability to gauge voter sentiment.”

    So you DO agree that the BIG12 was the “story of college football” last season? I stand by my point.. as you site gains in popularity youa re not only predicting the “voter sentiment” but legitimizing it and impacting it. Why ot use that platform to actually GET IT RIGHT?

    “As for that Big 12 trio of QBs being so overrated, that is obviously your opinion. I’m not sure why those guys have to be overrated for Tebow to be good.”

    It’s ALL opinion. How do you explain the SEC dominating all their bowl games last season and the BIG123 stinking up all their bowl games. Check the facts! You seem to be ignoring them. You act as if I want Tebow to deserve the Heisman.. he just does.. if you don’t see that in my opinion you have an irrational dislike of Tebow. It really should be a no-brainer.

    “And it is not the SEC that has been dominating championship games lately, but elite teams LSU and Florida, who have enough talent to do very well regardless of who they play.”

    It’s not just LSU and Florida.. it’s defense throughout the SEC.. how do you explain Ole Miss having such a dramatic turn around and beating Florida? It’s because Tebow carries Florida AND because Ole Miss has a ton of athletes on defense that other conferences don’t/ There it total parity in the SEC.. not only on offense and defense but throughout the entire conference. This is what makes the SEC so much tougher than other conferences. And it has a cumulative affect when trying to get through a season or multiple seasons. Again.. check the bowl results!

    “You are right that teams play different levels of opponents. So I have a question for you: How much should Heisman voters dock Tebow in the race for putting up stats against the likes of Troy, Charleston Souther and Florida International?”

    Nothing considering these are essentially pres-season games before a BRUTAL SEC hschedule that Colt McCoy would get killed in.. Sam Bradford couldn’t even stay healthy with a normal football hit without hit dominant offfensive line and this was against a weak defense. If LForida didn;’t face those cupcakes to open the seaosn they would virtualyl have NO chance of getting through the SEC schedule with few enough losses to make the national championship game. Meanwhile teams in other conferences have a complete cake walk getting to a national championship game. And these aren’t even elite teams. Lok at Ohio.. they win all their games but they clearly stink! They face any decent out of conference team and they lose.

    The SEC is like the NBA.. and all these other conferences are like Euro leagues in basketball. giving the Heisman to a BIG12 QB is like giving the NBA MVP to a Euro league player because he has more stats against terrible competition. Again.. CHECK the Bowl results! And they got these bowl results even after going through a brutal SEC schedule. Take that disadvantage away and they are even MORE dominant. Same with Florida.

    “Finally, last I checked, Tebow did worse againt the Oklahoma defense than Colt McCoy did. Why is that?”

    Are you even trying to think rationally? This response right here shows your clear bias. OU had 2 months to prepare for Tebow. And you are also ignoring the fact that Tebow CARRIES Florida on his back. Which is why having all that time to game plan for him has such a big impact. AND the Gators had to go through a impossible SEC schedule and Texas did not.. Tebow had to beat Alabama without Harvin and then take on OU. Also.. what was special about OU was not Bradford.. it was their defense.. which is ALSO why Bradford should not have won the EHsiman. OU’s defense is what allowed Bradford to get the ball so much and score so much. Bradford also had a stellar line and offense that carried HIM.. not the other way around. Which is why Bradford’s backup looked even better than him just recently.. not unlike Colt Brennan when he went down — also against terrible competition.

    The reason Florida looks so talented is because of Tebow’s incredible impact on the game. You clearly don’t understand the impact it has to have a QB pass as well as Tebow AND to be able to run power and finesse. It’s like having 2 or 3 extra guys on offense. It’s Tebow that makes those little scatbacks he plays with look so great. Those little runners would not be able to play the way they do in the SEC without Tebow taking so much pressure off them. Imagine if Tebow had a true runningbak playing with him like a Knowshon Moreno?

    Bottom line is that if you put OU and their “elite QBs” in the SEC they would not look special. In fact their systems likely wouldn’t even work in the SEC.. and their QB’s would be exposed for not being physical enough to handle SEC play. I wouldn’t be surprised if BIG12 QBs would be riding the bench in the SEC.

    The BIG12 is also why Colt McCoy is putting up better numbers than Vince Young.. who was also completely overrated by playing in the BIG12.

  11. Mark September 30, 2009 at 2:33 pm #

    Wow, Choco…I mean we get it, the SEC is good. Chill out though and pump the brakes on the homerism. There are a lot of good and great college football players that exist outside of the SEC. No one is questioning Tebow’s ability or Florida’s dominance last year.

  12. Clay September 30, 2009 at 2:45 pm #

    I’d take Jake Locker over Tim Tebow if given the choice. Locker is a better passer and runner.

  13. Choco September 30, 2009 at 2:48 pm #

    Mark, I am not a fan of any team or conference. I am a completely impartial observer, and from what I have seen the SEC is on a completely different level of compeition. Of course there are GREAT players in other conferences. BUT.. if they are great and they are playing in weak conferences they should be putting up ONHOLY numbers. Imagine if Michael Jordan played in Europe… imagine how much different his numbers would be.

    That’s what it would look like if Tebow played outside of the SEC. That’s the kind of difference you would see. Why do you think Tebow is about to break the SEC rushing touchdown record previously held by Hershel Walker… yet he isn’t breaking the record for all college football? Because some scrub outside of the SEC probably has some astronomical number of rushing TDs against garbage competition.

    Colt McCoy hasn’t even put up comparable number to Tebow AND he plays garbage defenses. He didn’t play a top 50 defense all last year.

    Sorry for calling a spade a spade.. but I don’t understand why people are ignoring this issue. Welll.. I do understand a bit.. it’s because everyone wants to believe their conference is as good or better than everyone else’s. It’s a bunch of baloney though. Just like when Colt Brennan faced an SEC defense for the first time. The day before he was arguably the number one NFL draft pick. Then he faced an SEC defense and looked like complete and utter trash and his draft stock went completely in the toilet. His backup played better against Georgia’s D than he did. Just like Sam Bradford completely disappeared against Flordia’s D. Tebow had a higher yard per pass average in the championship game than Bradford, the supposed number one draft pick. This is what happens when you have teams playing completely different levels of competition and becoming completely overrated because of it..

  14. Choco September 30, 2009 at 2:53 pm #

    Clay, Jake Locker got complete demolished by a garbage PAC10 defense. He would be completely obliterated in the SEC. Tebow may have gotten knocked out as well.. but it was a fluke occurrence in the pocket. There was nothing flukish about Jake’s knockout. Just like there was nothing flukish about Sam Bradford’s shoulder injury. Just every day football plays.

    And that is why Tebow is more suited as an NFL player as well.

  15. Mark September 30, 2009 at 2:57 pm #

    I just read the end of the post again and had to do a double take. Choco, did you miss the Texas v USC Rose Bowl? Or perhaps the entire 2005 season? I suppose Pete Carroll, Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart and the 2005 Trojans were over-rated too. And you are accusing HP of being irrational?

  16. Clay September 30, 2009 at 3:02 pm #

    Jake Locker has a better arm and is faster than Tebow, potential wise he is a better talent than Tebow. But I’ll admit, I only posted that to get you fired up. Tebow has the intangibles that Locker may have, but we just don’t know because the surrounding talent is not very good.

  17. HP September 30, 2009 at 3:04 pm #

    Choco, I find your claim that you are not an SEC homer to be rather spurious.

    But let’s look at Tebow against the Big 12, shall we?

    Against Oklahoma last year, he was 18 of 30 for 231 yards with 2 TDs and 2 INTs. His pass efficiency rating for that game was 133.35.

    Against Alabama last year, he was 14 of 22 for 216 yards, 3 TDs and no picks. His pass efficiency rating was 191.

    Now, can you explain why the high school Oklahoma defense was able to handle Tebow’s passing game better than the great SEC Alabama defense?

    Thanks.

  18. Mark September 30, 2009 at 3:11 pm #

    1. Clearly you are an SEC homer, Choco.
    2. Colt Brennan was not projected as the top pick in the NFL Draft.
    3. The SEC is not the only good conference in college football.
    4. Tebow is a great college player, but he is going to have to learn how to get rid of the ball quicker to even sniff the field as an NFL qb.
    5. Jake Locker would put up ridiculous numbers in Florida’s, USC’s, Texas’, and OU’s offenses to name a few.
    6. What’s it gonna be, OU defense is one of the Big 12 high schoold d’s, or it was so good it allowed Bradford to get on the field and win the heisman?

  19. Choco September 30, 2009 at 3:41 pm #

    HP. again.. it is compeltely elementary… I hoenstly can’t believe I have to explain this to you. In all honestly it shows why you are not qualified to comment on who is or is not worthy of a Heisman..

    OU had something like 2 months to scheme and prepare for Tebow. That is an incredible amount of time to gameplan for an opponent. Give ANYONE that much time and they are going to be able to limit a team very well. ESPECIALLY considering Tebow CARRIES his team so much.

    The other thing that may be even MORE significcan than this is that numebrs are completely dependent on HOW a team is defending that offense. A common way teams scheme to play Tebow now is to focus on stopping his receivers FORCING him to run. They do this for 2 reasons:

    1. The Gators have a very poor running game outside of Tebow. They have no true reilaible between the tackles runner. This may be due to the act that good runners don’t want to play in Meyer’s system and because they are afraid a running Qb like Tebow will take their numbers. But the fact is Tebow HAS to fill the role of a between the tackles runner opening the running lanes for his little scatbakcs and his receivers.

    2. Teams ALSO force Tebow to be a runner because it allows thm to physically punish him and to try to knock him out of the game also because they know he is the only true runner Meyer trusts..

    Now.. keep in mind.. NO other Qb could do what Tebow does in filling the position of Qb and runner in one as Tebow does. THIS alone should be enough to win him the Heisman. And it also shows why numbers are not indicative of his ability… not to mention the fact he faces the toughest defenses.

    And NO I am not an SEC homer. I have lived in San Diego since the age of 10 and I am 27 Years old. And before that I lived in Washington state.

    Are OU an SEC hater? I don’t mean to sound hostile at all but it really sounds like that may be the case.

    The SEC has dominated the NCG for several years and last season you said the BIG12 QBs were the story of the season. It makes no sense whatsoever. That’s like saying some Euro basketball players that have never played in the NBA are the basketball story of the year. It just doesn’t compute at all. The only reason those BIG12 QBs looked so good was because they played such poor defenses.

  20. Choco September 30, 2009 at 3:52 pm #

    “””I just read the end of the post again and had to do a double take. Choco, did you miss the Texas v USC Rose Bowl? Or perhaps the entire 2005 season? I suppose Pete Carroll, Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart and the 2005 Trojans were over-rated too. And you are accusing HP of being irrational?”””

    You just put together tema overrated right there. As I said… all other conferences outside the SEC create completely overrated players because they face weak compeition. USC and Oio are both perfect exmaples of this.. they are just like Texas with Colt McCoy and OU with Bradford. These big schools in each conference clean up the talent in that conference and then domiante the far weaker lesser schools in that conference. Creating players that are massively overrated. This is how the Buckeye got to the NCG back to back and were obliterated both times.

    So let’s say you had Cot Brennan and Hawaii in a National championship game facing those Ohio State Buckeye’s teams that had no business being in the national championship game.

    That is exactly what you had with USC facing Vicne Young and Texas that year.

    It would be like Vince Young being Colt Brennan.. and rather than facing Georgia’s defense and being exposed he faced another completely overrated team and then won it.. That was Vince Young.. and that is why you have Colt McCoy putting up even better numbers than Vince Young. Colt McCoy is exposing how overrated Vince Young was.

    Put Tebow in that conference facing that competition and he would put up numbers no one would ever come close to touching.. EVER.

    Conversely.. take a good SEC QB like Chris Leak and put him on the Longhorns team facing that competition and he would probably look better than Vince Young and Colt McCoy combined… he would probably run and throw better than both of them.

    Put Colt McCoy and Sam Bradford in the SEC they would look very average or below average just like Colt Brennan against a SEC defense.

  21. Choco September 30, 2009 at 4:06 pm #

    “””1. Clearly you are an SEC homer, Choco.”””

    False. Absolutely false. I may be a Tebow homer.. but that is only BECAUSE he is so great. It’s like calling Lou Holtz a Tebow homer. It’s called recognizing greatness. I am amazed people can completely miss it. Tebow isn’t overrated.. he is underrated believe it or not… especially as a passer. People forget Mayer’s system has it’s drawbacks.. a huge on eis that it does not protect pocket passers well. Especially against SEC defenses or defenses well prepared for it.

    “””2. Colt Brennan was not projected as the top pick in the NFL Draft.”””

    Semantic. He was highly ranked.. very overrated until he was completely exposed.. imagine if he faced a weak d that was as overrated as himself.

    “””3. The SEC is not the only good conference in college football.”””

    Then why does the NFL take all there players from there?

    “””4. Tebow is a great college player, but he is going to have to learn how to get rid of the ball quicker to even sniff the field as an NFL qb.”””

    Tebow doesn’t have to get rid of the ball fast to win a championship in college.. that is why he is so great. Don’t judge what he can do in college and assume he can’t do something because of it. Tebow could be a pure passer and LOSE championships with the best of them. But luckily for him he doesn’t have to.

    “””5. Jake Locker would put up ridiculous numbers in Florida’s, USC’s, Texas’, and OU’s offenses to name a few.”””

    He should be putting up ridiculous number against that horrible D he faces.. that he doesn’t tells you how he is nowhere near Tebow’s level. There is no shame in that though.. Tebow is a freak of nature..

    “””6. What’s it gonna be, OU defense is one of the Big 12 high schoold d’s, or it was so good it allowed Bradford to get on the field and win the heisman?”””

    OU had a good team.. their defense was their best attribute in a conference that played no D. Sam Bradford was the beneficiary of that. Bradford was really the guy raised up by his whole team – great D, stellar offensive line that kept him untouched and great offensive supporting cast. He is a SYSTEM QB.. Tebow IS the whole damn system… Tebow is carrying his whole team.. Bradford’s team carried him.. and no one realized it. It cost Tebow a Heisman that should have been his.

  22. sandymex September 30, 2009 at 4:21 pm #

    HP said: “explain why the Oklahoma defense was able to handle Tebow’s passing game better than the great SEC Alabama defense”

    You think the extra 5 weeks of preparation might have had something to do with the score? Oklahoma was held to 40 points below their average, which makes Florida’s 21 point shortfall seem very small. And clearly the Gators ran the clock out rather than tacking on another TD at the end.

    But I continue to be concerned by the bizarre reasoning that vaults Jacory Harris near the top of the heap after such an awful performance. There is a serious inconsistency in saying that Harris should move up because only 1 of his 9 remaining games is against a ranked opponent and then suggesting Tebow should be penalized for a few of the weak opponents the Gators face this year. The loony logic comes full circle when you realize that Colt McCoy has played a weaker schedule than Tebow so far and has played later into blow-out games.

  23. HP September 30, 2009 at 6:01 pm #

    Sandymex, the previous commentator referred to Big 12 defenses as ‘high school’ defenses. I’m sure Tebow would go crazy on a high school defense even if it was given five weeks to prepare.

    As for Jacory Harris, the purpose of the Heisman Watch is to project out through the season who the eventual winner will be using the information we have right now. It is not a snapshot of the current race, but a projection of who has the best odds of winning based on what we now know.

    You tell me how Jacory Harris wouldn’t have at least a shot at the Heisman if Miami goes 11-1 with wins over FSU, Ga. Tech and Oklahoma and he rolls up big numbers in his final eight games. He would be a prime candidate and would have a shot depending on what the rest of the field–McCoy and Tebow, for instance–did.

    Sometimes you have to forget the current conventional wisdom and look out to how the season unfolds. That’s what I’ve been doing on this site for going on six seasons now.

  24. Choco September 30, 2009 at 6:26 pm #

    “””Sandymex, the previous commentator referred to Big 12 defenses as ‘high school’ defenses. I’m sure Tebow would go crazy on a high school defense even if it was given five weeks to prepare.””””

    You forgot the other part of it… Tebow is CARRYING that team entirely.. AND he had to carry it through the entire SEC 2 straight seasons. And he had to win the SEC championships without Harvin. Meanwhile Bradford and OU had a cakewalk in their conference finale.

    Again, it’s like having 2 equally talented NBA teams.. one has to go through 82 games in the NBA against the toughes tcompetition in the world.. the other is playing in Europe against college level defenses. Then at the end of the season they play against each other, who is more likely to win that game?

    Not only is Tebow required to entirely carry his team. but he has to do it against far tougher competition all season long season after season.

    It’s just not right at all to use numbers to evaluate players under these circumstances. The fact Colt Brenna was a Heisman candidate over any other SEC Qb is a complete and utter joke.. Sam Bradford being a Heisman candidate is not much better, if at ALL.

  25. HP September 30, 2009 at 6:34 pm #

    What great SEC quarterbacks were there last year besides Tebow and Stafford? Crompton? Jarrett Lee? How about the great Casey Dick? Can you tell me offhand who the QBs were for Vandy, MSU and Kentucky? I doubt it, because they all sucked.

  26. HP September 30, 2009 at 6:36 pm #

    By the way, Utah had no problem with Alabama last year didn’t they? I guess that Mountain West really got them ready to play that tough SEC defense.

    Oh, right. Weeks to prepare. Well, it works both ways.

  27. Mark September 30, 2009 at 7:16 pm #

    Choco,

    Tebow is a great player and there is nothing wrong with a strong belief that he should win the heisman. But it is a bit shortsighted to disregard every other player and team in the country as 2nd rate just because they do not play in the SEC. Forget the fact that the 2009 season is only one third complete.

  28. Mark September 30, 2009 at 7:30 pm #

    Wait a minute, is Gary Danielson here?

  29. Choco September 30, 2009 at 7:42 pm #

    “””What great SEC quarterbacks were there last year besides Tebow and Stafford? Crompton? Jarrett Lee? How about the great Casey Dick? Can you tell me offhand who the QBs were for Vandy, MSU and Kentucky? I doubt it, because they all sucked.”””

    My point is that if you took ANY of the QB’s from the SEC they would put up the same numbers as Colt and Sam Bradfor and Graham Harrell in those systems. That;s hwy Sam Bradford’s backup outplayed him right out of the gates! These guys are average Qbs on really good teams in their conferences. But in the SEC those teams would be average at best. Tebow and Flordia ran the frickin gauntlet for three seasons.. while OU had the cushiest schedule ever.. AND OU made Tebow single handled beat them and he still beat them by 2 touchdowns! That’s like beating OU with one arm tied behind your back having just run the Boston Marathon! And then he lost the Heisman to that SOB. LOL It’s NOT RIGHT! And Colt McCoy being up there with Tebow is a joke.. and because of the tough SEC schedule and all those teams gunning for Tebow he will probably lose it to McCoy this year, too!

    The only reason Tebow even won the Heisman his sophomore year is because his own defense was so bad it allowed all his opponents to stay in the game which forced Tebow to stay in all game and to put up so many numbers.. plus they had to play a looser offense to compete against their own D allowing the opposing team to put up so many points. If not for that Tebow might have never won a Heisman simply because he didn’t put up big numbers even though he dominates and is the most efficient player in the country and gets 3rd down conversions at WILL if he needs them. IF he doesn’t need to score and doesn’t need third down conversions he will play more conservatively to protect his own body.. but he can score at will when he needs to and doesn’t have risk a interception. But if he had to score to win the game he could open his passing game up more though like any QB it is more risky to pass than to run.

  30. Mark September 30, 2009 at 7:54 pm #

    If Tebow was a qb in the Big 12 and had 55 total TDs, would he be overrated too?

  31. Choco September 30, 2009 at 7:56 pm #

    “””By the way, Utah had no problem with Alabama last year didn’t they? I guess that Mountain West really got them ready to play that tough SEC defense.

    Oh, right. Weeks to prepare. Well, it works both ways.”””

    That’s a joke.. Alabama had nothing to play for at that point.. that’s the thing about being an SEC team too.. every team you face it is their Superbowl.. because people in the know know the SEC is on a different level. But tell me.. where is the QB that dominated in that game playing right now? There is your answer…

    I find it really interesting that a team like Utah that goes undefeated isn’t eligible for a national championship game.. yet these players in bad conferences are eligible for Heismans. Doesn’t make sense.

  32. Choco September 30, 2009 at 8:00 pm #

    “””Tebow is a great player and there is nothing wrong with a strong belief that he should win the heisman. But it is a bit shortsighted to disregard every other player and team in the country as 2nd rate just because they do not play in the SEC. Forget the fact that the 2009 season is only one third complete.”””

    I said there woere great players in other conferences.. just nowhere near Tebow. Tebow is on a completely different level than anyone in college football right now. He is one of the greatest of all time.. to be below him is certainly no insult.

    All I am saying is that the QBs in lesser conferences should be held to a higher standard. It’s not hard.. it’s not hard to see that Tebow is completely carrying his team this season and dominating at will. He doesn’t have to put up 600 yards a game to illustrate that. If he was in those bad conferences he should be expected to do that OR win all his games at the very least…

  33. Choco September 30, 2009 at 8:08 pm #

    “””If Tebow was a qb in the Big 12 and had 55 total TDs, would he be overrated too?”””

    It would be twice as valuable to have 55 TDs in the SEC. If you are in the BIG12 you should have at least twice as many TDs.. or weak talent around you in comparison to the teams you are facing OR win all your games. The BIG12 QBs didn’t qualify in any of those categories.

    Also.. punishing Tebow for Alabama not showing up at their bowl game doesn’t make sense.. some time a team just stinks it up.. and that is the problem with college football. You can always find an excuse to justify any cockamamie theory and then use that fact to discount the fact that the SEC has won the last 4 championships IN SPITE of itself.

    That;s the thing.. the fact SEC teams have to go through the SEC and are still able to make it to the SEC championship with as few losses as the teams in bad conferences is truly incredible.. it shows how dominant they are. It would be like an NBA in the US losing as many games as an NBA team playing in a Euro league.. that;s a much much much greater accomplishment. And that is why Tebow deserved the Heisman last season and it makes him winning another championship that much more incredible. But then you have a team like crappy USC doing the same in the crappy PAC10 to diminish that achievement.

  34. sandymex September 30, 2009 at 8:45 pm #

    You say this is an extrapolation… what caused you to elevate Harris so much relative to other candidates? You say Harris could win the rest of his games and he could put up big numbers, well that’s true of the 4 players you had above Harris before this week.

    But clearly something motivated you to elevate Harris after watching him engineer a train wreck in Blacksburg. And what motivated you to keep Tebow below Best after Best had such a poor performance against Oregon?

  35. Mark September 30, 2009 at 9:02 pm #

    The SEC is a great conference. But you have a very narrow minded view of the college football world as a whole.

  36. Choco September 30, 2009 at 9:14 pm #

    “””The SEC is a great conference. But you have a very narrow minded view of the college football world as a whole.”””

    I could flip that around and say you are over complicating it.

    I simply call it like I see it and I think I have presented overwhelming data to support it.

  37. Choco September 30, 2009 at 9:23 pm #

    Oh yeah..nothing is simpler and easier and lazier than simply taking the guy who has the most stats and assuming he is the best player that year.

    Tebow’s efficiency, dominance and versatility against great defenses is much more impressive than putting up big numbers against weak opponents.

  38. Mark September 30, 2009 at 9:30 pm #

    your generalization that all teams outside of the SEC are inherently 2nd rate solely because of conference affiliation is not supported by data.

  39. Choco September 30, 2009 at 10:03 pm #

    Yes it is.. because of inter-conference play. Look at the bowl game results. SEC dominated. Even going through far tougher defenses all season. Those are emphatic results. That’s like winning a race after a marathon the previous day when your opponent had the day off.

  40. HP September 30, 2009 at 10:25 pm #

    Sandymex, I put Harris up because even though he lost, I realized that he still had a schedule that was quite conducive to a legit Heisman run and I like his odds of winning out the rest of the year compared to the others. I dropped Tebow (relative to the others) because it appears he might miss a game or be limited or not put up the numbers he needs. I kept Best at third because if he does well and beats USC this week, he’s instantly revived. In the end, McCoy still projects the best over the course of the season.

  41. sandymex October 1, 2009 at 7:41 am #

    I think your reasoning is flawed, but I appreciate you letting me know. Perhaps if Tebow:
    1. had lost a game last week due to poor play,
    2. had succumb to adversity,
    3. had a weaker schedule going forward or
    4. had played in the 4th quarter of blowouts
    you wouldn’t have dropped him from your top three.

  42. Mark October 1, 2009 at 4:16 pm #

    Choco,

    But of course Alabama gets a pass in the bowl game even though they were terrible. “That’s a joke.. Alabama had nothing to play for at that point..” So when an SEC team loses a bowl game it’s because they had nothing to play for?

    That’s a joke then to use Ole Miss’ bowl win to support your argument. Texas Tech had nothing to play for after coming up short in the 3-way tie controversy in the Big 12 South. You are contradicting yourself over and over. Oklahoma State had nothing to play for after late season disappointment. Texas had nothing to play for but still won a BCS bowl, something Alabama was unable to do. All you can deduct from the bowl wins is the individual matchups, and that the SEC was 2-0 against the Big 12. Actually you can really only look at Florida over Oklahoma because TTech had nothing to play for if you want to excuse the over-rated Alabama defense getting crushed by a Mountain West team.

    “That’s like winning a race after a marathon the previous day when your opponent had the day off.” No it’s not. SEC teams also have 4-5 weeks to prepare for a bowl game, just like every other bowl bound team. Maybe it’s like winning a race 4 weeks after a marathon.

    So the data you are providing is the SEC bowl record from last year, but when an SEC team loses then the data is not relevant. Very flawed and subjective arguments you are attempting to articulate.

    I think Texas would have beat Florida last year. Actually i have no idea, but there is no data to prove either way. That’s the point, it’s all subjective yet you are making claims as if they are fact.

  43. Roby October 1, 2009 at 5:03 pm #

    You guys are ridiculous, by the way.

    You guys saying Tebow carries the team at all times, have a short memory. Remember a guy named Percy Harvin? He accounted for something like 800 yards recieving and 800 yards rushing. He had like 20 touches per game. The only difference between the offense this year that is a bit sluggish, and last year’s that rolled over everybody by 40ppg is Percy Harvin and Louis Murphy.

    Tebow carries the Gators at crucial moments, but Percy was a big part of the offense in every game last year. And it is even more evident this year now that he is gone.

  44. Choco October 1, 2009 at 5:19 pm #

    Percy Harvin missed many games and Tebow STILL dominated (check the record) most natably the Alabama game. I actually thought the Gators lost several games relying on Harvin rather than relying on Tebow. Teams would try to take the ball out of Tebow’s hands and dare Harvin to beat them and he failed. For this reason I believe the Gators were more likely to win when Harvin was not in the lineup, believe it or not. And other players have easily filled Harvin’s role, such as Rainey and Demps. I believe when Harvin saw how well these guys played and how explosive they were it actually made Harvin finally step up… but by then it was really too late. His career was over.

  45. Roby October 1, 2009 at 7:42 pm #

    “Percy Harvin missed many games and Tebow STILL dominated (check the record)”

    What record amd I checking? By “many” games you mean 5 in the last 3 years? That is not “a lot” by my count. That whole injury thing was so overblown, I never understood why draft “experts” pointed to that. Anyway, the only game he missed where the opponent had a legitimate chance of beating the Gators was Alabama last year. Tebow obviously played great in that game, but you are crazy if you think the Gators were better without Percy. On offense is never better off without it’s most versitile and explosive reciever. Ever.

    Rainey and Demps have ran well, that is true, however they have done nothing to improve the passing game the way Percy did. He stretched the field with big plays, and always got open in the middle of the field. If “other players have easily filled Harvin’s role,” than why is Aaron Hernandez the Gators’s lead reciever? Last time I checked, Percy Harvin’s role was not tight end. If the Gators’s recieving is so good even without Percy (and Murphy), than why has Tebow only attempted 68 passes? Answer: Urban doesn’t trust them. Why? Because they are not as good. By season’s end they may improve, but as of right now, they are still lacking.

    Choco, it is apparent to everybody that you know a lot less than you think you know.

  46. Choco October 1, 2009 at 8:15 pm #

    I am telling you man.. when Harvin was playing the Gators were less likely to win.. teams would put defensive pressure on everyone but Harvin.. and they would let him get yards but Harvin would only take what the defense allowed him to take rather than dominating. So Harvin would have big numbers but the Gators would not be getting 3rd down conversions. Tebow took the blame for this too. But the reason they did this is because if they had taken defensive pressure off Tebow he would not let them off the hook like Harvin.. Tebow would dominate. This is why I thought Harvin missing that Alabama game and Meyer not mistakenly letting Harvin try to carry them actually helped the Gators. I believe they would have lost that game if Harvin played. But I do think Harvin started to see this though because I think Harvin saw how explosive Rainey and Demps were when given opportunities to run and this made Harvin dominate as he should have.

    Also.. Harvin was not used for long routes much and as a deep threat. He was mostly used running short routes and on the option from Tebow. But my point was that Tebow did not have a true runningback.. just these little scatbacks that he made look so good. IF Tebow had a true between the tackles back to run up the middle this would allow Tebow himself to run that finesse role Harvin, Demps and Rainey have to fill because those are the only runners we have. This would allow Tebow to take much less of a pounding AND would free up his receivers.

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/64791-for-florida-gators-to-win-out-percy-harvin-not-tim-tebow-must-step-up?search_query=harvin%20step%20up

  47. sandymex October 2, 2009 at 3:51 am #

    No one thinks Tebow can do it alone. But in critical situations everyone knows Tebow’s going to have the ball and he’s rarely stopped. This uncorked the running game last year. Defensive coordinators schemed for him, the best defenders keyed on him, and then he’d pitch the ball to Rainey, Demps, Harvin or Hernandez for a large gain. Tebow is the reason UF had 3 runners in the top 6 in the country in yards/carry last year.

    The problem this year is the depleted receiver corps. Murphy and Harvin are gone. Debose is out for the year. Thompson has a pulled hamstring. Cooper has played with a hyper-extended knee and the flu last week. Moore is out with a back injury. And the Gator’s only tight end has also been sick. As an example of how this has impacted the game, Gator receivers have already dropped 5 TD passes.

  48. SwimTexas October 5, 2009 at 8:01 pm #

    Seriously, I don’t even comment here much anymore, but This Choco guy is the biggest homers I have ever read.

    Tebow is great man. I think he is amazing. To be among the top 2-3 guys in the NCAA for 3 years is incredible. Makes him one of the greatest of all time. But this guy needs to relax.

    Take a pill, kick back, and watch some football. Lot of games left to be played.

    By the way, 6 SEC teams in the top 25…… but even with the upset specials on OU, OSU, and Tech………6 from the Big 12. I am just sayin.