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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Media Days

The Big 12 has already had its media day, as has the ACC, but the SEC media gathering starts today with Florida coach Urban Meyer and Tennessee coach Phil Fulmer the first ones up on the interview docket.

The Big-10 and the Pac-10 will hold their media days on Tuesday, August 2.

Having been to several media days, I can tell you they are not very exciting. There’s usually not much that turns up as news as the coaches and players tend to be in full ‘say nothing’ mode the entire day. However, it is a good opportunity to stock up on media guides. The load should be lighter this year thanks to the new NCAA restrictions that limit football press books to 208 pages.

Best of all, the passing by of media day means that fall camp is right around the corner.

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Moneypenny Almost On The Money

Fox Sports.com contributor Eric Moneypenny talks about Heisman contenders and pretenders in a piece with a headline that reads: Leinart won’t win Heisman again this season

Based on this column, I’d say it’s certainly possible that Moneypenny has taken an extended peak at Heismandment No. 9 and the rest of The Heismandments.

How else to explain such lines as:

First, we already know that seemingly nobody is allowed to win the Heisman two years in a row. Leinart should be proud of everything he’s accomplished, and will be going down as one of the college game’s all-time best signal-callers. But I wouldn’t even put the returning Heisman winner down as the favorite on his own team this year……

….the day a Bowling Green QB gets the Heisman is the day that I’ll cut my own arm off….

…(on Ted Ginn)…True sophomore on a potential two-loss team? Maybe next year, kiddo. Don’t blame me. Blame voting trends…

While I disagree with his final analysis of the Leak’s candidacy, it’s clear his view is based on how he expects Florida to do this season–a perfectly valid stance to take. Even I would agree that Leak is beholden to the fortunes of his team.

So, all in all, a good analysis by Mr. Moneypenny. We’ll be keeping an eye on him.

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What If?

Nestor at Bruinsnation.com rehashes the ol’ ‘What If?’ question in regards to late 1990s UCLA football in his most recent post.

UCLA football has given us nothing but bad memories full of nightmares, heartbreaks, and frustrations since the night of December 5, 1998, when an undefeated 10-0 UCLA football team choked away a 54 year drought in national title against Butch’s crew in Miami.

That clearly was a turning point in the Pac-10 at the time. Nestor touches on a salient issue when he talks about the J.P. Losman affair.

In our view, the loss of J.P. Losman was crucial to the relative decline of UCLA football. Faced with a golden opportunity to snag the fertile LA college football landscape away from USC, the Bruins bungled it. Losman transferred after one spring and UCLA has seen guys like Corey Paus, Ryan McCann, Matt Moore and Drew Olson attempt to replace Cade McNown–to no avail. Had Losman stayed, he would have blossomed by his sophomore or junior year, the Bruins would have been a lot better and would likely still be competing for top recruits with USC. Of course, the national implications are there, too. Without USC’s stranglehold on LA talent in the last few years, no way does it win 34 of 35 and two-straight national titles.

Of course, the pendulum swings back in funny ways, too: USC’s overwhelming success in recruiting is actually starting to pay dividends for schools like Cal and UCLA. As USC continues to bring in top out-of-state talent like Patrick Turner (Tennessee) and Jeff Byers (Colorado), it leaves a bevy of Southern California talent available to other schools, creating a chain reaction in this age of scholarship restrictions.

For instance, USC might pass on a top player from a Long Beach Poly that it would have viewed as a high priority five years ago. Or that player may look at the Trojan roster and conclude that it’s too loaded. If that player wants to stay somewhat local, his next option is UCLA or Cal. This is how top players like DeSean Jackson and Maurice Drew ended up at Berkeley and Westwood. So faced with these new options, UCLA and California then pass up on some players they might normally have taken a chance on. Those players are then gobbled up by Fresno State and Boise State (see Jeremy Childs). And so on down the line.

In sounds funny to say it, but UCLA fans might want to cheer on USC’s out-of-state recruiting efforts. It just might save Karl Dorrell’s ass.

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Athlete Blogs

Here’s a cool story from the Minneapolis Star Tribune on athlete blogs and the impact they are having on the sports world.

Money quote:

(Mark) Cuban said blogs (short for weblogs) provide “a balance against the power of the pen in a voice that can’t be misquoted or referenced out of context.”

“You need a place where you can explain yourself,” Cuban wrote. “You can write as much or as little as you would like, but the words will be all yours. You can create the context. You can make sure that all issues are addressed. You can take issue with individuals or the media as a whole. Your words, your message.”

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The Heart Of Texas

That’s what Vince Young has become, according to this story in the Dallas Morning News. The writer (Chip Brown) talks about Young’s development as a leader.

Asked about his impressions of USC’s rout of the Sooners in the Orange Bowl last season, Young said, “I thought Jason White should have done a better job of leading as a quarterback. He hung his head, and from an Oklahoma perspective, I thought he gave his team a reason to give up a little bit.”

Young has learned another important lesson:

Faced with the same question posed to running back Cedric Benson last year that drew so much attention, Young was asked if he’d rather beat Oklahoma or win the Heisman Trophy. Young said, “I’m ready to do both.”

Good answer.

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The Next Adrian Peterson?

Uh, no. But incoming Oregon freshman Jonathan Stewart–the No. 1-ranked prep running back in the nation–should be a pretty good player when it’s all said and done. Here’s a look at what he’s doing to try to be like A.D. from the Portland Tribune.

We saw tape of Stewart last year and thought he was a nice player, sort of a Jamal Lewis-type of power back at 5-10, 226 pounds. But he’s nowhere near Peterson’s class as a runner.

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Tuesday’s Question

College Football News asks who would be the Heisman favorite if you took away the Heisman finalists from last year (Leinart, Bush, Peterson)?

Pete Fiutak goes with Laurence Maroney and Richard Cirminiello goes with Vince Young, as does Matthew Zmek.

Fiutak LOVES Big 10 running backs for his Heisman picks (he chose Anthony Davis from his alma mater Wisconsin for the same question last year). Maroney is going to have to run for at least 2,300 yards to have even a shot at the trophy this year, something Fiutak seems to acknowledge (though it doesn’t stop him from sticking with his pick).

Of course, as we all know, the correct answer to this question is Chris Leak, the preseason second team All-SEC quarterback.

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