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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Another Heisman Watch

Andrew Bagnato of the Arizona Republic chips in his Heisman watch along with a look at other top players.

The assignment: Rate Division I-A’s top returning skill players.

The temptation: Print Southern California’s two-deeps.

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Charlie And The Football Factory

The LA Times–which after all has Irish alum Bill Dwyre at its head–took a look at new Notre Dame head man Charlie Weis this weekend in a piece that (to me) is pretty revealing of what kind of coach he is going to be.

A couple red flags:

1. The guy nearly died a few years ago after undergoing gastric bypass surgery. His father died at 56 of a second heart attack. Can he hold up long enough to turn the Irish around?

2. The siege mentality. As someone who has seen programs up close and how they function, a closed policy with the media just never works. But apparently, that’s what Weis is prepared to do at Notre Dame, among other things:

Since taking over full-time in February, Weis has reconfigured Notre Dame into the Midwest branch of New England Patriots Enterprises.

He will control everything, from the play-calling to the information flow, to how Notre Dame chooses its toothpicks.

Weis is the medium and the message, his mantra shucked and honed from mentors Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick, two of the NFL’s most practiced coaching dictators.

Popular sayings in their doctrine include “you are what you are” and “we’ll do all the talking.”

Weis was a longtime NFL influence peddler, most recently the offensive coordinator for the three-time Super Bowl champion Patriots. Yet, his inner core remained largely impenetrable because Belichick, who fell approximately two feet from Parcells’ coaching tree, did not allow his assistants to talk to the media.

“That’s what the rules were,” Weis says. “Sitting in this chair now, I can see some of the benefits from it being that way.”

The NFL is the NFL. This is college football. More importantly, this is Notre Dame we’re talking about. The NFL is a business, Notre Dame is a way of life. If Weis thinks he is going to be able to control every minute aspect of a program and run it exactly to his liking, he’s sorely mistaken. And the worst thing he could do is be stingy with the media from the getgo. If things ever go bad, he will need all the friends he can get.

What ends up happening when you run a program so tight is that the players themselves become tight. Weis needs to relax and stick to being a head coach–that is, someone who oversees everything, but isn’t worrying about what kind of toothpicks are being used.

The last thing Notre Dame needs right now is a control freak.

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The Leinart Files

The latest in a long line of “How does Matt Leinart handle his celebrity” pieces, this time from Todd Harmonson of the Orange County Register.

“I don’t think of what I do as celebrity-like or that I’m famous,” said USC’s quarterback, who will begin practice with the two-time defending national champions Thursday and continue his rehabilitation from offseason elbow surgery. “It’s just the whole situation, the whole timing of being myself, winning, being a quarterback, playing in L.A.

Notes Harmonson:

This week, reluctant celebrity Matt Leinart again gets to do what he loves: play QB for USC.

I think that Leinart is quite possibly on his way to being the most famous college football athlete of all time–any time you are a regular in US Magazine, you’ve crossed a pretty high exposure threshhold.

But it’s nice to see that, in the end, he’s just a football player at heart.

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The Star’s Preview

This week the mainstream media gobbledygook will be flying fast and furious as fall camp starts across the country. Legions of beat writers and columnists will be unleashed upon the defenseless college football public.

In that spirit, here’s Blair Kerhoff’s preview of the season courtesy of the Kansas City Star.

His Heisman picks, outside of the big three of Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush and Adrian Peterson:

–Texas quarterback Vince Young may be the most dynamic quarterback this season, but can he function as well without running back Cedric Benson?

–Texas A&M quarterback Reggie McNeal is a terrific runner and underrated as a passer. But the Aggies need to break through to the division?s top two to help his chances.

–Ohio State wide receiver/return specialist Ted Ginn Jr. one of the nation?s most exciting players but may not have Heisman numbers.

–Memphis running back DeAngelo Williams is the nation?s leading active rusher heading into the season (4,062) but must overcome the non-BCS stigma.

–Florida quarterback Chris Leak won?t be running the Utah offense, said new coach Urban Meyer. He?ll be running Leak?s offense. A couple of big victories early (Tennessee, LSU) would thrust Leak into the race.

His pick for the Heisman? Bush.

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Big 10 Questions

Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune asks the following questions on the eve of Big 10 media day.

Regarding Joe Pa’s continuing reign, Greenstein concludes:

….until Paterno says he’s ready to pack up, there’s no reason to believe it.

Personally, I think that Paterno won’t leave until he’s carried out on a stretcher.

But in all reality, he should have left after the 2002 season, when the Lions went 9-3. At least he could have gone to pasture on a high note.

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Excuse Our Dust

As you can see, we’ve changed our look somewhat and are in the process of making a couple other revisions.

So, we’ll be back on Monday with some more hard-hitting, bone-crunching blogging….after all, it’s the beginning of fall practice!

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SI On SEC Scheduling

SI’s John Walters gets it right and stands on the shoulders of the blogging giants who came before him as he lets the mainstream media in on our little secret about SEC scheduling. Or rather, the lack thereof.

Money quote:

Memo No. 2 to the SEC: There’s this contraption, see. You put people in it and it magically transports them through space. No, not the General Lee. An airplane. Try it sometime.

Please forward all protests to Sports Illustrated. All huzzahs, however, are still welcome here.

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