The Final HP Heisman Watch: Calling the 2011 Heisman Race

In addition to my weekly straw poll of Heisman voters, I always include here on HP my own personal analysis of what’s happening in the Heisman race and why.

It all culminates in my final call of the race during the week of the Heisman ceremony. We have now come to that moment.

My personal prediction is not always consistent with the results of my poll. In 2009–a particularly volatile and close race–I predicted a win for Colt McCoy while my poll picked Mark Ingram. My poll was right, as it turns out, though not by much.

This year, there is no contradiction. I am calling the race for Baylor’s Robert Griffin III. And I expect him to notch a comfortable victory, capturing four of the six voting regions.

How we got here

The 2011 Heisman race should put to rest the simplistic notion advanced by lazy observers of the Heisman process that the trophy is merely an award doled out perfunctorily by voters to the best player on the best team playing for the national title.

Not only will the winner not play on a team involved in the national championship game, neither will the runner up. And, but for a few twists of fate, the third place finisher wouldn’t be there either.

What’s more, the winner will come from a 9-3 team, which is a testament to how much Griffin III captured the imagination of the Heisman electorate. In addition to being in adherence to the most vital elements of the 10 Heismandments, Griffin III wowed the voters like no other player in America in 2011.

There were three key moments in Griffin III’s run:

(1) A brilliant 5-TD performance in an exhilarating opening-game win over a TCU team that was coming off an undefeated season and a Rose Bowl win.

(2) An amazing 551 yards of total offense coupled with a dramatic closing touchdown pass to beat a top-5 Oklahoma team.

(3) A fine game against a stout Texas defense on the final Saturday before Heisman votes were due.

The first moment showed he was a legitimate Heisman candidate, albeit a regional one. The second moment helped him capture the hearts and minds of most Heisman voters and made him a national name. The third moment cemented the perception that he was, indeed, the season’s most outstanding player.

Along the way, as is always the case with a successful Heisman campaign, he had a little luck (ahem) on his side.

It can’t be stressed enough how important it was for him to have the final Saturday of the season (mostly) to himself to make that last case for the Heisman. If Stanford had beaten Oregon, or if Alabama had beaten LSU, both Andrew Luck and Trent Richardson would’ve sucked up much of this past weekend’s Heisman oxygen while playing in their conference’s championship game. Both would’ve had that 13th game in which to further pad their stats. Instead, they were out of sight, out of mind for many voters.

Griffin III stepped into that void and made the most of his opportunities.

By the time votes were due, his momentum was palpable. All other candidates were but sand castles in a rising tide of support for Griffin III.

This was one of the more impressive Heisman fields in recent memory. Andrew Luck was the strong leader for most of the season and didn’t do anything in particular to lose the trophy. He’ll end up as just the fourth two-time runner up in Heisman history and, no doubt, a future NFL star. Trent Richardson’s talent jumps out at you and he might’ve won the Heisman in a different year, or if a few small things had gone his way in this one. Montee Ball scored 38 touchdowns, which might be the most impressive feat ever for a non-top-three Heisman finisher. And one could make a case that Tyrann “Honey Badger” Mathieu is, pound-for-pound, the best football player in the land.

But Griffin III will win this because he had the best mix of attributes that voters were looking for this season:

— He led Baylor to a respectable 9-3 record, its best total since 1986. Most years, Baylor is 3-9, so Griffin III is rightly credited with sparking the turnaround.

— He put up, arguably, the best numbers. His NCAA-record pass efficiency rating of 192.31 was almost 24 points better than Luck’s. His amazing 10.8 yards per pass attempt–just shy of Ty Detmer’s record of 11.1–allowed him to finish with the sixth most passing yards (3,998 yards) despite being 42nd nationally in attempted passes (he had 828 more passing yards than Luck despite four fewer throws). He accounted for 45 touchdowns passing and running (in the realm of Tim Tebow’s 51 for a 9-3 Florida team in 2007) and he was second nationally in total offense.

— The team record and the individual production came about despite a porous defense and a roster that doesn’t exactly match up with college football’s elite programs. As a result, Griffin III’s contributions to his team were seen as more valuable than those of the other candidates.

— His off-the-field image and academic prowess was an added benefit in a college football year replete with scandal, corruption and ugliness.

— Let’s also credit the Baylor sports information department, which did a fine job all season of keeping voters in touch with Griffin III’s exploits via a snazzy website and several trading card mailers.

Add it all up and you get this year’s Heisman winner.

But what will the results look like on Saturday?

Here’s how I think the vote will go, with estimated point totals (tough to predict, but ratios could be in this range):

1. Robert Griffin III (1,700+ points)

2. Andrew Luck (1,100-1,300 points)

3. Trent Richardson (800-900 points)

4. Montee Ball (450-550 points)

5. Tyrann Mathieu (380-480 points)

6. Matt Barkley (200-250 points)

7. Case Keenum (125-175 points)

8. Russell Wilson (50- 80 points)

9. Brandon Weeden (25-50 points)

10. LaMichael James (10-30 points)

Estimated Regional Breakdown

Far West
1. Luck
2. Griffin III
3. Barkley
4. Mathieu
5. Ball

South
1. Richardson
2. Griffin III
3. Mathieu
4. Luck
5. Ball

Southwest
1. Griffin III
2. Luck
3. Richardson
4. Ball
5. Mathieu

Mid-Atlantic
1. Griffin III
2. Luck
3. Richardson
4. Mathieu
5. Ball

Midwest
1. Griffin III
2. Ball
3. Luck
4. Mathieu
5. Wilson

Northeast
1. Griffin III
2. Luck
3. Mathieu
4. Richardson
5. Ball

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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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89 Responses to The Final HP Heisman Watch: Calling the 2011 Heisman Race

  1. RGIII December 6, 2011 at 6:02 am #

    …is the man.

    • Roger December 6, 2011 at 8:26 am #

      who is clearly in the middle of their 3 losses (not to mention absent during crunch time during the TX Tech win). Clearly the voters blinded by flashiness instead of pursuaded by substance (leading your team to a BCS game).

      • Brad December 6, 2011 at 9:28 am #

        Griffin still had over 1200 yds in Baylor’s three losses, and managed to get three TDs BEFORE halftime of the Tech game… Do your honework.

        • Roger December 6, 2011 at 10:10 am #

          Yards don’t win games, points do. More points were needed in the TX Tech game than he help generate. You can’t despute his poor production in the 4th qtrs against A&M and K State when the games were still on the line and Baylor only putting up 3 points in 3 qtrs against OK State (to OK State’s 49). Perhaps you need to stop drinking the Kool-Aid and do your homework.

          • Htown December 6, 2011 at 11:26 am #

            So your point is that Griffen should not have left the game with a concussion despite spotting the team to a halftime lead? That’s your knock on Griffen in theTech game? In both the Aggie and Ok State games the defense was so porous that by the fourth quarter any and everything had to be downfield. No run pass balance and no benefit to play action. How many other heisman contenders showed down by duble digit briliance in the fouth quarter? How pointlessly obtuse of you.

          • Bama Bruiser December 6, 2011 at 9:29 pm #

            Had you watched the fourth quarter of the Kansas State game, you would have seen Art Briles take his foot off the gas. Griffin had 333 yards passing for 5 touchdowns in the first three quarters, and then Briles decided to kill the clock up 9 instead of continuing to put points on the board.

            Baylor ran the ball on 10 out of 11 plays leading up to a field goal miss (that was the difference in the game). Yes, he threw an interception in the fourth quarter–his only interception in the Bears’ first five games–but it was one of only three incompletions in the last 16 minutes. Blame the coach, blame the kicker, but it’s not RG3’s fault Baylor’s not in the Sugar Bowl.

            Wait. Did I just bring up Baylor and a BCS Bowl? Yes, they’re #12 and would have K State’s #8 if not for the coach and the kicker (who was 7 of 14 before going 2 for 2 against Texas). Pre-RG3, 3-9 was the norm. Post-RG3, I expect to be back to 5-7.

      • Ref_Who December 6, 2011 at 9:40 am #

        I agree Roger.

      • Mitch December 6, 2011 at 9:50 am #

        By your logic, then Richardson & Mathieu have more substance and should rank ahead of Luck because they led their teams to the BCS Championship game as opposed to a lesser BCS bowl…and while RG3 didn’t lead Baylor to a BCS bowl, they were eligible for one, they just didn’t get picked (albeit, it was a long shot, but I think they deserved one moreso than Va Tech). And Griffin has taken Baylor to back to back bowls; for a team that hasn’t been to one since ’94, that’s huge…

        I’m an Alabama fan and I think Trent Richardson is the best player in college football…that being said, if I had a vote for the Heisman, it’d be for RG3. He separated himself from the rest of the candidates and the game against Texas sealed it; you just can’t ignore or explain away his stats. He’s been impressive, even in his losses…and he’s not a dump and dink passer; he throws the best deep ball I’ve seen in years and his completion % on passes greater than 25 yards is obscene. After the first 3 games of the season, he had more TD passes than incompletions…and even though he’s primarily a pocket passer, he’s ran the ball effectively as well. He’s also led Baylor to historic wins (Oklahoma, Texas) while producing 2 genuine “Heisman moments”; the last minute drive to beat TCU and the incredible cross-field bomb to upset Oklahoma (I was watching that game and that throw made my jaw drop)…so I’d say he has both flashiness and substance to spare…

        That being said, Luck is the best pro-ready QB in college and will be the top pick in the NFL draft (and deservedly so)…like Peyton Manning before him, it’s looking now like he won’t be taking the Heisman with him…

        • Roger December 6, 2011 at 10:26 am #

          Evaluations of QBs are different than RBs and DBs.
          You sighted a few of RG3’s games. I don’t think Saben would be content with Richardson being great a few games per year and not coming through in three others that resulted in losses.

          • Brent December 6, 2011 at 10:54 am #

            Roger, irregardless of what you say RG3 is going to take home the trophy,even despite your expert analysis. You don’t seem to understand that he’s being favored because he was able to put up better numbers and do more for a Baylor team than would have thought possible. Bama, LSU, Wisconsin, and Standford were all projected to do well this season, nobody picked Baylor to go to #12 but RG3 was the reason for their success, (Luck is arguably why Stanford has done so well, but he beat his numbers against better opponents), the same cannot be said about the other finalists, nor did any of them have the Baylor defense to combat with. You sound sore and pathetic, have a good day.

          • Mitch December 6, 2011 at 11:47 am #

            Baylor’s defense finished the season in total defense ranked 114th; Stanford’s D was ranked 25th. How can you blame losses in which your defense gave up 36, 55, & 59 points solely on your QB whose production during those games was 1,200+ yds passing and 10 TDs (along with 4 INTs)? If Luck had played this year with a defense like Baylor’s, how many losses would Stanford have? My guess would be, most likely, at least 3 (Oregon, USC, & Cal)…

            Both Luck & Griffin are worthy of the Heisman and both had fine seasons…Griffin had the better year though…

          • NoDog December 6, 2011 at 11:51 am #

            The word is “cited,” not “sighted” as RGIII could undoubtedly tell you.

          • Bmadger December 6, 2011 at 7:34 pm #

            Well, all I can say is I’m glad you don’t have a vote

          • Bama Bruiser December 6, 2011 at 9:30 pm #

            NoDog, he also misspelled “Saban”

      • Bubba from Alabama December 6, 2011 at 4:32 pm #

        ROGER – Who would you have voted for this year?

      • Laurie Weigner December 7, 2011 at 10:21 am #

        Hey SEC dumb A–, get off your high SEC HORSE and recognize that Tim Tebow won the heisman with three losses. In my opinion, it has NOTHING to do with taking your TEAM (i emphasize the word TEAM) to the championship. In fact, in the BCS NC game, it’s a TEAM effort most of the time. Baylor wouldn’t get there because they ARE a one man team. That’s why RG3 is so magnificant. He probably will be a better player than Tebow in the NFL as well one day. Although I believe the SEC has the most talent, they do NOT have the best teams as a whole. Otherwise, they’d dominate in the bowl game and they do NOT. They are 50 to 60 Percent wins. I vote RG3, Luck, BALL, richardson and then some other person…..-

      • David December 8, 2011 at 11:49 pm #

        The Heisman is awarded to an individual player for his performance not to be confused with so-called substance used politically for teams involved with playoff implications.
        Go RG III, the most exciting player in the country!!

    • Rob December 6, 2011 at 9:18 am #

      RG3 . . . HEIStheMAN!

      • tom December 6, 2011 at 9:26 am #

        Baylor had 9 wins with the nations 104th best defense…. Enough said.

        • Roger December 6, 2011 at 10:30 am #

          No Tom, you need to review the lack of Baylor offensive production in the 4th qtr against A&M and K State when the games were still on the line and in the first 3 qtrs of the OK State game (49-3 OK State at the time). Yards don’t win games, points do.

          • Bama Bruiser December 6, 2011 at 9:31 pm #

            Do you just look at box scores to see how many points are scored in a quarter or did you actually watch any of these games?

      • AdAmRTR December 6, 2011 at 6:32 pm #

        Trent Richardson is without question the best and most talented player/athlete in college football…Griffin is an arrogant jerk and his own teammates should see that, what kinda numbers do you think TR would put up in the Little 12, he wasn’t even on the radar til the Texas game, the only D in the top 40 he played all year…Top 40! What a joke! Lucks in the conversation, still again the WORST teams in the SEC play better D than the best Ds in the Pac12…Trent numbers in the best conference in football and consistency in which he put up TDs and yards leaves it clear who is the TRUE Heisman winner…But at Bama, well take national titles over individual awards, so roll tide bitchez….

        • The real roger December 7, 2011 at 7:38 am #

          For all the talk about Richardson, Terrance ganaway, the Baylor RB had over 1300 yards and 16 touchdowns. RG3 was still able to put up good numbers. For those who though RG3 benefited from a spread offense, luck through more passes than RG3 amd had 800 less yards

        • Jautumnb December 7, 2011 at 11:30 am #

          Have you ever met RGIII? Have you ever heard him speak? He is always quick to credit his O line with any triumph. His teammates love him, he is a mentor to other students while still fulfilling his own academic and athletic obligations and he has already finished his bachelor’s degree and is working on his master’s. Yet you insult him as a person?!?! You need to get a grip. I understand you’re bitter because your boy likely won’t be taking home the trophy, but perhaps you should take a look at the person you’re insulting before you begin your rant. No one has been bad-mouthing your contender or insulting his integrity or character. To speak as you have regarding Robert Griffin III shows a lack of depth and character yourself. It portrays a petty, childish individual. Is that who you truly are?

        • Wickedstick December 7, 2011 at 12:41 pm #

          Well, the same could be said that the worst PAC offenses are better than the best SEC offenses. SEC is all D, which isn’t a bad thing by any means but the offenses are pathetic compared to the other conferences. LSU vs Bama is an example – great defenses make a good offense look bad, but in this case great defenses made bad offenses look horrible.

        • funkycold December 7, 2011 at 5:45 pm #

          I’m sure you play well for the Tide…. Oh yeah. YOU DON’T. Please find another source of self-esteem. Griffin deserved it this year, and that is not a personal attack on a very talented TR, a great southern state such as yours, or any other finalist. Believe it or not, there are more important things to get upset about, e.g. tree murders, incest, etc…

        • David December 9, 2011 at 12:02 am #

          …….you are so arrogant and so “envious”. and by the way you have not won the title yet or the award.

          ( you might consider recruiting a decent field kicker!)

    • MikeL December 6, 2011 at 10:42 am #

      Robert Griffin didn’t have agood game in OSU Loss???

      OSU Offensive yards = 601
      Baylor = 375? 450? Nope, 620

      • MikeL December 6, 2011 at 10:43 am #

        BTW – OSU should be playing for a National Title!!
        AND that game was in Stillwater

    • Gerald Tinnon December 8, 2011 at 1:41 pm #

      This is one of the great frauds in Heisman history. The award is so cheapened when players win the award when they are not deserving. How does a QB that led his team to 3 losses even qualify? And one of those losses was a direct result of an interception. AND he put up his outrageous numbers in a league that has abandoned defense. And he did it in a league where Baylor wins 9 games, KSU wins 10 and OSU wins 11. Are you kidding me? Where is Texas and Oklahoma and Nebraska? Oh yeah, Nebraska is in the Big 10 getting trashed by Wisconsin and others. The Heisman either needs to be terminated or they need more informed voters.

      • David December 9, 2011 at 12:11 am #

        Big Ten ……no class at all

        Rose Bowl
        Oregon 48
        Wisconsin 14

        Lamichael James MVP

  2. Darren December 6, 2011 at 7:08 am #

    anyone know why 2nd and 3rd place votes are counted for the same voter? if the voter voted for their candidate to win(1st place), why would the 2nd and 3rd place votes matter?

    • Heismanpundit December 6, 2011 at 7:17 am #

      Supposed to help prevent regionalism.

      • Tyler December 7, 2011 at 7:11 am #

        Haven’t some voters in the past left the closest competitor completely off their ballots to help their candidate though?

        • Wickedstick December 7, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

          No different than the coaches poll…same thing happens there.

  3. Roger December 6, 2011 at 7:36 am #

    I notice HP didn’t agree with the voter’s choice. RG3 was clearing lacking in their 3 losses (4Q interceptions and the inability to make 1st downs against A&M and K ST and couldn’t keep them close against OK St – 49-3 after 3 qtrs) not to mention the back-up QB leading Baylor to victory over TX Tech. That’s a third of Baylor’s season. Clearly the voters wanted flash and highlight material over substance (leading his team to 10+ wins). And if you’re talking turn-arounds, how was Stanford before Luck showed up?

    We don’t consider MJ the greatest basketballer of all-time because he won NBA slam dunk contests and scoring titles; it’s because he won games.

    • svwriter December 6, 2011 at 7:58 am #

      Three losses and a Heisman? The Heisman clearly has become a joke, an insubstantial bit of fluff manufactured by the media.

      • Roger December 6, 2011 at 8:07 am #

        SV, you’re right. The Baylor folks can blame their defense all they want, but RG3 had a big hand in all of their losses.

        • Taylor December 6, 2011 at 8:28 am #

          Seriously? You must not have watched the losses. The kstate loss, was because kstate won it as time expired. Defense couldn’t stop the run. A&M and okstate, RGIII put up some of his biggest numbers in those games. You could argue he had a hand in the kstate loss, but it’s minimal at that. He had no part of the losses at a&m and okstate. Your ignorance in saying the heisman is a joke is sad, you obviously did watch the OU game nor the TCU game. Also RG3 played sat out 3 second halves this season 2 because of blowouts and the other because he was held out by the med staff. So he put up better numbers than Luck playing 6 quarters less. Heisman goes to RG3… the best player.

          • Roger December 6, 2011 at 8:57 am #

            Did you even read my post above about his 4Q performance against A&M and K St (look at the play-by-play sheets if doubt my statements)? And your blaming the Baylor defense for RG3 leading them to only score 3 points in 3Qs? RG3 was in the middle of all 3 losses. Have fun on your big trip to San Antonio.

      • scottymacesq December 6, 2011 at 8:25 am #

        SV, you’re wrong. Tebow had 3 losses and a Heisman, so it’s not without precedent. RG3 had almost 800 more passing yards than Tebow did that year, and has more career passing yards. RG3 is the most outstanding football player, no question.

      • Bryce December 6, 2011 at 11:22 am #

        Tebow won the Heisman with a 3-loss team. That’s an irrelevant comment.

      • RG3forHeisman December 6, 2011 at 1:46 pm #

        Tim Tebow won the Heisman with 3 losses at Florida. Care to explain that? Baylor would only be #12 BCS with RG3, without him we are looking at least at a 6-6 season

    • Heather December 6, 2011 at 1:29 pm #

      Can you please remember that AFTER RG3 got his concussion in the TX Tech game, he came back in and ran a TD himself. That was all before the back-up QB came in for the second half. A backup QB that has been training closely under RG3 for the last two seasons.

    • Bmadger December 6, 2011 at 7:45 pm #

      Roger, you’re a douche… have fun being bitter about RGIII winning the Heisman. I hope it ruins your week.

      • funkycold December 7, 2011 at 5:48 pm #

        Word. Let that bitterness fester.

  4. Martin December 6, 2011 at 9:25 am #

    The reason Baylor lost the K state game was because their field goal kicker is terrible and can’t make a kick early in the 4th quarter that puts the game away.

    • Ref_Who December 6, 2011 at 9:45 am #

      If RGIII was THAT great the field goal kicker would not have even been needed. I do NOT agree that he is the best player in college football. He’s a great player, he’s a great student, and a great representative for Baylor, but that does NOT make him the best. In the Texas Tech game, the back-up quarterback had more yards, more points that RGIII did in the first half. Sooooooo

      • Ref_Who December 6, 2011 at 9:53 am #

        BTW the Aggies never had to punt against Baylor. So, that tells me that RGIII isn’t the game changer some people make him out to be. GOOD ADVERTISING and GOOD PROMOTIONS are giving him this Heisman.

        • Mitch December 6, 2011 at 10:08 am #

          Last time I checked, RG3 didn’t play defense…

        • RGIII4HEISMAN December 6, 2011 at 9:04 pm #

          You do realize this HELPS RGIII’s case, not hurt it, right?

          When you play a team who never has to punt because your defense is so inept, its damn near impossible to win. Baylor’s Defense has improved some as the season has gone on, but they are still one of the worst defenses in the country. We have a great new DC but the talent just isn’t there yet.

          The fact that RGIII was able to will his team to 9 victories with this defense is beyond impressive.

  5. ADP December 6, 2011 at 10:32 am #

    Wow…so much hate and animosity! While as a Bay Area guy I think Luck is outstanding and should have won, I also have absolutely no problems with Griffin coming away with it. That guy has been a stud since the moment he set foot on Baylor’s campus.

    • funkycold December 7, 2011 at 5:51 pm #

      Love your attitude. Obviously from the West Coast, where you don’t hang your entire self-worth on football. You must have other things to do… beach, ski, etc.

  6. Arce December 6, 2011 at 11:21 am #

    When the team puts up 40ish points and loses, that suggests it was not the offense that should be credited with the loss, nor the QB. And most people do not realize that with a typical pocket passer, Baylor would have been 3-9, not 9-3. The O-line several times in most games turned into a sieve, but RGIII’s scrambling ability and running ability helped to keep the momentum going. And the Texas game was played in a rain storm with gusty winds, luckily no lightning. To rack up 300+ yards passing under those conditions is a top-flight achievement.

    A&M was a no-D game for Baylor as were the other losses. And the Special Teams were miserable almost every time on the field all season, including a KO out of bounds in the Texas game. If your team gives them field position on a KO and the D lets the opponent score every time they get the ball, you can’t blame the QB. 620 yards against OK state!, but OK state was getting the ball in good field position because of poor ST play.

    • Chicago_fan December 6, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

      How can you say Baylor would have been 3-9 without Griffin when they were able to plug in his backup in the second half against Texas Tech, with the backup scoring MORE points with BETTER numbers?

      • Darren December 6, 2011 at 1:43 pm #

        lol….u basing it on one game…if that is the case…you can say that about all the QBs in college football…they all probably had at least one good half in at least one of their games during their lifetime…

      • RGIII4HEISMAN December 6, 2011 at 9:09 pm #

        Nick Florence is a DAMN good backup, and if we lose RGIII to the draft, he will be a good QB for us next year.

        However, unless our defense improves, we won’t have another season like this, and certainly not a better season than this, withour RGIII. Nick Florence was great, but our defense also really stepped it up in the 2nd half, getting some crucial stops and forcing some turnovers. While Florence’s first TD throw was pretty, his second was all the receiver, who had to jump up and make the catch over the defender. Very rarely do one of our receivers have to make adjustments to catch an RGIII thrown ball. Dude is crazy accurate, and almost always hits them in stride.

        I don’t say this to knock Florence. Again, he is a great backup and we are lucky to have him. He played solid ball for us in 2009 when RGIII had the knee injury (and in fact had the single game passing record until RGIII broke it this year), but he is no Robert Griffin III, and he would probably be the first person to tell you that.

  7. Chicago_fan December 6, 2011 at 12:28 pm #

    I really don’t understand why people think Griffin is so crucial to Baylor’s success. He’s obviously a very talented athlete, but when you plug in his backup the team scores more points and the QB puts up better numbers against the same team (Texas Tech).

    But of course I’m forgetting that Griffin can do this: http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=7259134. That 87-yard TD looks great on his stat line–pretty sure Luck never threw a TD that long.

    And, of course when the pressure is on, Griffin performs VERY well:
    http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=7046444
    http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=7046547

    • RGIII4HEISMAN December 6, 2011 at 9:23 pm #

      You’re showing your ass with this post. Really, REALLY stupid post, but for some reason I’m going to answer it anyways.

      The first video was, yes, one of the flukiest plays I have EVER seen. It was ridiculous! I loved it, but it was ridiculous. How is this a knock on Griffin though? He hit his receiver with a perfect pass on the hands, and his receiver DROPPED it. (that was the 4th drop in a row by our receivers, which along with the turnover on downs was why the offense had stalled). Not Griffin’s fault. So instead of a key first down on 2nd and 13, we get an 87 yard touchdown. Again, sure it is flukey, but in no way should it reflect poorly on Griffin. It was a great play by Kendall Wright.

      The second video was Griffin’s FIRST interception of the season, and one of only SIX he threw all season. Please pay attention to how quickly the pocket collapsed. Also notice that he was not only getting hit while throwing the ball, but he actually got clubbed in the head. According to the rule book, that’s a 15 yard penalty and a 1st down. If they call that, we probably go on to win that game. I’m not whining, because I hate all the “protect the QB” rules, but it is worth noting.

      The third video was a coverage sack. What’s your point? Has no other QB in the history of the universe ever been sacked because their receivers couldn’t get open? He probably should have thrown the ball away instead of taking the 3 yard loss. Still, on 1st and 10, I would rather my QB take a sack than throw an ill advised pass and turn the ball over.

      So again, I’m going to ask you… what is your point exactly?

    • Bama Bruiser December 6, 2011 at 9:43 pm #

      Luck threw an 81-yard touchdown last year, with three over 60 yards this year.

      Luck has 9 interceptions to Griffin’s 6, and has more attempts and fewer completions than Griffin.

      Luck was sacked 9 times, Griffin 23–and think about how many sacks Griffin was able to evade due to his mobility. A couple of his rushing touchdowns came on sack escapes. Luck is helped by having two offensive linemen who will join him in first round of the NFL Draft, and the others are future NFL prospects.

  8. Roger December 6, 2011 at 12:35 pm #

    My point all day has been Baylor has not scored points at critical times and that’s resulted in three losses. I have not made comments judging Baylor’s defense. I have been commenting on their offense which is directly effected by RG3. Look at the play-by-play logs of the losses, the 4th qtrs of the A&M and K St games and the first 3 qtrs of the OK St game. Points were minimal. Yards don’t win games, points do.

    In regards to the TX Tech game, there is no way I would expect him to play with a concussion in the second half. All I’m saying is don’t give him full credit for that win since he left before the game was decided.

    Four games is a significant part of their season.

    • Darren December 6, 2011 at 1:46 pm #

      what you failed to recognize is that he can’t constantly making comebacks when his defense keeps putting him in a position to come from behind all the time…baylor’s defense is so atrocious that they keep falling behind even after he keeps them close or in the lead…but from what i’ve seen, his comebacks have been more successful than any other college player…

    • Bama Bruiser December 6, 2011 at 9:49 pm #

      Has not scored points at critical times?

      Sure the defense blew their lead, but they trailed TCU 48-47 and Griffin led a 60 yard drive for the winning field goal.

      Baylor trailed Kansas 24-3 entering the fourth quarter… and won.

      And let’s not forget Baylor getting the ball with the game tied with 51 seconds to go… and beating Oklahoma.

  9. David December 6, 2011 at 1:20 pm #

    For everyone using the TT game as a reason why RG3 shouldn’t win:

    1) Tech’s defense is absolutely horrendous even by Big 12 standards (gave up 46ppg in conf play). Florence is a solid backup but he wouldn’t put up those numbers on a weekly basis especially if teams could watch tape and prepare for him.

    2) Baylor scored 31 points of a possible 35 in 5 1st half possessions when RG3 was in the game. So stop acting like he performed poorly in that game. The offense was clicking as it usually does.

    3) The 2nd half point production (35) was largely due to the defense forcing 4 turnovers as opposed to 0 in the 1st half. Baylor had a 90 yd pick 6 and another TD drive that started at the TT 20 because of an interception.

    So if that is your best argument, you don’t have much of an argument. The best college football player in the country plays for Baylor University and most people are too stubborn to wrap their heads around it.

    • Chicago_fan December 6, 2011 at 1:42 pm #

      No one is saying that Griffin played poorly in the Texas Tech game. Point is that in that conference, with zero scoring defenses in the top 30, only one in the top 40, and only 3 in the top 50, anyone can put up big numbers, so Griffin’s aren’t really that impressive. When Griffin is under pressure–as an example take the end of the K-State game–he’s not a good performer or leader (crucial interception on a terribly thrown ball, poor decision to take a sack, can’t even get his team first downs, much less a sustained drive). Or look at end of the game vs Texas A&M–Griffin throws a pick on first and goal on drive and leads an impressive 3-and-out on another.

      • Gary Emmons December 6, 2011 at 2:26 pm #

        Not good under pressure??? Two of his best moments this year (aka Heisman Moments) were winning games in the final minutes, if not seconds, against MUCH higher ranked teams. (TCU & OU). He broke the NCAA passing efficiency record… period! Did Luck do that, did Richardson break total yards, TDs, or yards per carry records. The entire field consists of outstanding players, no doubt! I just can’t understand the discontent folks have? And he hasn’t won anything yet! If RG3 does take the trophy, it will be due to the simple fact that the majority of voters (over 900) feel he is deserving… voters that I have to believe are asked to serve on the trust because they know a little something about college football and the athletes that play it.

        • Chicago_fan December 6, 2011 at 4:47 pm #

          I’ll give you that the Oklahoma victory was a great moment, but I honestly think the catch was much more impressive than the throw. It was really more of a flag football play than anything else–hail mary with the WR’s just running around in the end zone.

          As for TCU, TCU is ranked well below Baylor and is probably still overrated–lost to Southern Methodist, which put together a 7-5 record in the ultra-competitive Conference USA. Baylor didn’t score at all in the fourth quarter of that game until there was one minute left–had Griffin performed well, he could have sealed the game by putting together a touchdown drive at ANY point in that quarter. Instead, Baylor had to try for a field goal with over a minute left because Griffin couldn’t get them to the end zone, and the drive ended with some time for TCU to make a comeback. An interception sealed the game. Sorry, but Griffin doesn’t get much credit for performing under pressure there. He did a good job getting his team ahead, but then he disappeared when TCU started to make a comeback. All the credit goes to Baylor’s kicker and clutch play by the normally awful defense.

          Ultimately, the Heisman should be about more than numbers, which are unreliable given the various levels of competition and different styles of play.

          • III fan December 7, 2011 at 11:11 pm #

            Don’t think so, Chicago fan. Nothing flag football or Hail Mary about that winning TD against OU. It was drilled, as was RGIII after the play.

        • Midwestern December 6, 2011 at 11:32 pm #

          A big reason rg3 was such an efficient passer is because he has some very good receivers. Wright is awesome. Luck basically did not have any good receivers. In fact, I believe one of the tight ends ended up being his “top receiver” for the season. And if you watched his games, most of his interceptions were blatantly the receivers fault. With that said, I would be happy with either of these guys winning.

          • III fan December 7, 2011 at 11:15 pm #

            RGIII had basically the same guys last year, and he wasn’t nearly as good. Sure, his receivers are good, but they don’t have to be to catch most of the passes he’s throwing them. They make very few spectacular catches. Most just hit them in the hands, a lot of them way down field for big gains or TDs. Any halfway decent D-1 receiver could catch those passes.

      • funkycold December 7, 2011 at 5:56 pm #

        Disagree that “anyone” can put up those #s against Big 12 Ds. Weren’t they like 20-2 in non conference? Is it possible that, just as everyone touts SEC Defense, the Big 12 could maybe have incredible Offenses? All the more reason to have seen Ok St and LSU.

  10. adam December 6, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

    What I cant figure is HOW IN THE HELL IS THE HONEY THUG A CANIDATE????

    2 punt returns, 2 interceptions, falling on a couple fumbles against Kentucky, smoking weed, cheap shots, wow that sounds like a heisman to me. Or could it be that LSU doesn’t have an individual at the right position to win a heisman but the corn dog eating media just had to put one of their players in New York.

    The Honey thug is a “good” defensive back. So what? Think of all the good DBs in the last 5 years. The difference is that the other DBs didn’t have stupid looking hair, a gay nickname, and didn’t play for an undisciplined, thug ridden team that wins on talent alone. The honey thug is not even the best DB on his team. Claiborne is better in my opinion as is Reid.

    Also, why didn’t Patrick Peterson go to New York if honey douche gets to? He is twice the player as was Eric Berry.

    Short answer is politics I guess. It’s just weird how teams play 9 games that don’t really matter and then the last 2 or 3 decide everthing as far as post season awards.

  11. Player Two December 6, 2011 at 5:34 pm #

    If you can put up better #s than media-darling Andrew Luck for a Baylor team, a BAYLOR team with some of the worst defensive players I’ve ever seen, defeat OU, TCU and Texas in the same season, you deserve the heisman trophy.

    The only time America really saw Andrew Luck was when he was outgunned in a win against USC and looking defeated against Oregon.

    Oh yeah, and let’s just completely forget that the only good teams Bama played this year in a down-SEC year were LSU and Arkansas. And let’s forget Trent Richardson putting together a 37 yard effort against Kent State at the beginning of the year.

    Stop crying, if RG3 wins, it’s deserved.

  12. MasterofTechnique December 6, 2011 at 7:00 pm #

    RG3 leads A Luck in every single category of Heisman importance except 3rd down efficiency. This is not even close and I have no horse in this race. On top of that, Baylor Defense was 109th in scoring D and Stanford was 23rd, further showing that RG3 had very little help with his D compared to luck and he still put up much much better numbers than Luck. The Heisman trophy doesn’t care who your supporting cast is or what kind of offense you run. But it does care about your SOS where Baylor also ranks higher…13th vs. 18th.
    You also can throw wins and losses out the window given the Tebow precedent.

    If you are comparing only Luck and RG3 then RG3 is the clear choice. If you want to throw in RB’s and other players as well as Defensive players that is another discussion.

    • funkycold December 7, 2011 at 6:10 pm #

      Nicely done

  13. Barton Smith December 6, 2011 at 10:26 pm #

    Chris Huston refers to his list of 10 Heismandments in his commentary. There is so much truth in those Heismandments and their associated explanations that it is futile to argue the merits of Heisman candidates without basing those arguments on the canon law of the Heisman.

    That is to say, a discussion of statistics, regardless of their perceived relevance to the matter at hand, is moot unless those statistics have a bearing on the candidate’s adherence to one or more Heismandments. For instance, adjudication using Heismandment #3 separates he who will win from those who could win. It doesn’t seem fair, it doesn’t seem right, but just one bad game on national air spells runner up at award night.

  14. Ross December 7, 2011 at 12:35 am #

    Have you ever thought that the reason the big twelve doesn’t have highly ranked defenses is because of the fact that the big twelve has the best offenses in the country? That is ignorant to make a claim against the Big XII defenses like that. Look at the non-conference schedule of the league. It only has 3 loses, which is why it is ranked as the number one conference by the computers. The fact is Robert Griffin III, has put up insane numbers in ALL of his games. But lets face it, in games against K-State, TCU, and….basically every other game that has been played Briles has toned down the offense to burn clock and then the defense was not able to make stops! All of the fourth quarter comebacks this season have been due to that and K-State is no different. And the A&M game, can we talk about an offensive line that could not give him ANY protection in the fourth quarter? The only legitimate claim against him is in the OK State game, but that is a loss to a should be national title contender AND he still put up 620 yards in Stillwater. And don’t say it is about the points…we get it. It doesnt take a college degree to figure out how numbers add up and determine the winner of the game.

    • funkycold December 7, 2011 at 6:12 pm #

      Agreed. I said as much about the quality of Big 12 Offenses as well.

  15. Evan December 7, 2011 at 8:39 am #

    Plus you forgot how he started off the first 3 1/2 games of the season having more touchdowns than incompletions. They weren’t against tough competition, but these were not short passes he was throwing either. I truly want to see him succeed in the NFL, but we’ll see. The Heisman comes first.

  16. Steven December 7, 2011 at 10:10 am #

    It’s a shame we won’t see the strongest Big 12 offense in Okla St play the strongest SEC defense in LSU. While the Big 12 doesn’t have the greatest defenses, it does get somewhat of a bad rap. For example, through 11 games, Baylor averaged 2:02 time of possession on 68 timed scoring drives. And 35 of Baylor’s 68 timed scoring drives took less than two minutes, including 18 scoring drives of less than 60 seconds. It’s hard for a defense to make stops when they are always on the field. It’s kind of a catch 22 or circular argument, but it does skew the numbers for sure. (I’m not saying Baylor has a great defense by any means)

  17. Wickedstick December 7, 2011 at 12:48 pm #

    I’m a little, OK, a lot, disappointed with these bowl pairings. With all the talk about SEC vs PAC12 vs Big12, etc the SEC ends up playing Big east and ACC teams in the bowls. Bowl season is when we can get these matchups since neither conference (PAC/SEC) wants to cross the Mississippi River to play a regular season game. i know this has nothing to do with the Heisman, but just saying…

  18. Chris December 7, 2011 at 12:50 pm #

    I think this guy puts it best:

    “Andrew Luck is, and I say this without any hesitation, the best player in the country. The Heisman Trophy doesn’t care. The voting guidelines for the award are as nonsensical as the BCS, and the subjective nature of the process makes it nearly impossible to predict what will happen from year to year. Will Luck get his fair share of first-place votes? Absolutely. Does he have the numbers to win over the hearts of the statistics-obsessed voters? Not a chance. I wholeheartedly support and agree with David Shaw’s last-minute push for his quarterback, but if the past two years are any indication, it may be too little, too late. Luck goes home empty-handed once again, this time as the victim of a number-padding system.”

    With that said, RG3 is very worthy. It comes down to what voters value, and when the award’s description says “most outstanding player”, I don’t see why it’s that hard.

    Reminds me of the baseball MVP voting. Voters can’t decide on what the word “value” means. Any individual award especially in a sport like baseball should have nothing to do with your team. Some voters disagree. Some voters heavily weigh ‘intangibles’, such as the guy who voted for Michael Young.

    If you believe RG3 is the most outstanding, most excellent, unparalleled, or which ever other adjective you find appropriate, then the Heisman is his. I just don’t understand when I watch ESPN’s “The Experts”, and hear “Andrew Luck is the best player and best QB” and “should win the Maxwell”, but then hear from the entire panel that it should be RG3 winning the Heisman.

    • funkycold December 7, 2011 at 6:15 pm #

      Verbose and full of opinion. Numbers DO MATTER. Griffin beats Luck on almost every stat, despite a tougher schedule.

      • Chris December 8, 2011 at 12:05 am #

        If it was meant to be purely objective, why do they vote? Why not simply hand the award to the player with the best stats?

        • DJ Drummond December 8, 2011 at 7:53 am #

          There’s no way it COULD be “purely objective”. How could anyone compare a Quarterback to a Running Back or Receiver or Defensive Back or Linebacker on statistics? It’s apples to oranges, which is one reason the Heisman always creates a debate.

          From where I sit, the Heisman voters look for certain things. Numbers matter, in that you don’t want to vote for someone for what they did just once. The all-season numbers need to be compelling. But you also look for signature plays, something that shows the player taking the team on his back to win, which is one reason QB’s and RB’s usually win the award. A great back may score 4 or 5 times on offense, but you just don’t see defenders do that. You also look for Leadership and Character, in fact the Heisman charter spells that out plainly. You want a guy who represents his school and team to the highest standards.

          On that basis, I would suggest that three of the five finalists can make a valid case for themselves, all five finalists and some who won’t be going to New York should be proud of how they played and represented their school, and in the end, Robert Griffin III simply made the best case for winning the award this year.

  19. darren lee December 8, 2011 at 2:21 pm #

    Pat Forde on how he decided on why he voted for RGIII:

    What came out surprised me somewhat, but supported my initial feeling as to who would get my vote.

    Every finalist has impressive statistics. I wanted to know who those stats were compiled against – how good or bad were the defenses they played against?

    And not just defenses in general. For running backs, it was important to see what kind of rush defenses they took on. For quarterbacks, how were the pass defenses?

    Robert Griffin racked up big numbers, and if you think it was against a dozen cupcake secondaries you’re mistaken.

    The results showed that Griffin III, Richardson and Ball played against roughly equal defenses. Luck and Barkley played against slightly weaker defenses.

    The average rank of the 11 FBS rushing defenses Richardson faced is 64th. The average rank of Ball’s 12 FBS rushing defenses faced is 68th.

    The average pass efficiency defense ranking faced by Griffin III is 65th. For Barkley, it was 72nd; for Luck, 82nd.

  20. Barack December 9, 2011 at 2:16 pm #

    This is a bunch of crap. Every year the heisman is supposed to go to the best player on the best team. Not the MVP. Baylor is not a top 5 program, how can we now suddenly consider RGIII???? This is a bunch of crap. Its the Heisman, not “MVP”.

  21. James Olson December 9, 2011 at 4:17 pm #

    Baylor is not a top 5 program and as a result RGII shouldn’t even be considered for a Heisman. Traditionally, the Heisman only considers the best player on one of the top 5 teams….. This doesn’t count. You need to look at the body of work that luck and richardson have accomplished over the years. RGIII is playing for Baylor and had 1 good year. What a joke.

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