Tag Archives | Dez Bryant

Another Heisman Candidate KO’ed

Not that he had a chance of winning the Heisman this year, but another candidate has been officially eliminated from the race as Oklahoma State’s Dez Bryant has been ruled ineligible for violating an NCAA bylaw.

Bryant’s exit could have an interesting ripple effect.  For one, it would seem to make an OSU upset of Texas a bit more of a longshot, thus helping Colt McCoy’s candidacy.  Bryant was pulling 2 points in the last HeismanPundit.com Heisman Poll, so his support (meager as it was) will go elsewhere.

Also, it probably narrows the Biletnikoff Award field to Golden Tate, Eric Decker and A.J. Green.

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The Heismanpundit.com Heisman Poll, 9/29

This Week’s Poll Results, 9/29

(first-place votes in parantheses)
 
1. Tim Tebow, QB, Florida–57 (8)

2. Colt McCoy, QB, Texas–55 (5)

3. Case Keenum, QB, Houston–37

4. Tony Pike, QB, Cincinnati–20

5. Jahvid Best, RB, California–11

6. Eric Berry, DB, Tennessee–4

7. Greg McElroy, QB, Alabama–2

Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State–2

Eric Decker, WR, Minnesota–2

Ryan Williams, RB, Va. Tech–2

11. Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame–1

Jacory Harris, QB, Miami–1

A.J. Green, WR, Georgia–1

About the Poll
 
The HeismanPundit.com Heisman Poll is made up of 13 Heisman voters from across the country. They vote for five players each week. Tabulations are made on a 5-4-3-2-1 basis, with five points awarded for a first-place vote, four points for a second-place vote and so on.  Last year’s final Heismanpundit poll was the most accurate in the country, picking five of the top six finishers in the Heisman vote, including the winner.

Members of the panel include: Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel, Teddy Greenstein and Brian Hamilton of the Chicago Tribune, Olin Buchanan and Tom Dienhart of Rivals.com, Jenni Carlson of The Oklahoman, Bruce Feldman of ESPN.com, J.B. Morris of ESPN the Magazine, Austin Murphy, B.J. Schecter and Stewart Mandel of Sports Illustrated, plus Dick Weiss of the New York Daily News.

Chris Huston, owner of Heismanpundit.com, coordinates and also votes in the weekly poll.
 
HP’s Thoughts
 
With Jahvid Best and Jacory Harris absorbing major hits to their candidacies and Tim Tebow suffering a concussion, the race looks quite different than it did a week ago.  Though Tebow still leads, Colt McCoy has surged back into a virtual tie with the Gator quarterback, while Houston’s Case Keenum has, for the first time, placed himself within striking distance of the top spot.  The long view of the race still favors McCoy, though Tebow is benefitting from a short-term rallying effect due to his injury.  A possible dramatic return versus LSU on Oct. 10 might decide Tebow’s Heisman fate.

From a Voter

“This Heisman race is much more wide open than I thought it would be. There are a lot of interchangeable parts, but I still voted Tim Tebow No. 1 because he played hurt — with a respiratory illness– and contributed one touchdown pass and two rushing touchdowns in less than three quarters as Florida cruised to an SEC road victory over Kentucky.  The next two spots on my ballot are Colt McCoy of Texas, then Case Keenum of Houston– who has led his unbeaten, non-BCS team to a pair of wins over Big 12 schools.”– Dick Weiss, New York Daily News.
 
Heisman Game of the Week
 
No. 7 USC at No. 24 California.  Last week, Best was sitting pretty in the Heisman race after moving into second in the Heismanpundit.com poll for the first time.  This week, he’s just trying to survive after being a non-factor in Cal’s 42-3 loss to Oregon.  The calculus for Best against USC is simple:  If he does well and the Bears beat the Trojans, he’ll jump back into contention.  If not, he’s finished as a Heisman candidate and we’ll go another year without a running back winner.
 
Player to Watch

Tony Pike, QB, Cincinnati.  Pike is starting to get some attention as he has led the Bearcats into the top 10 while completing 71 percent of his passes for 1,223 yards and 11 touchdowns in his first four games.  He doesn’t have the kind of marquee schedule that lends itself to a serious Heisman run but, if Cincinnati remains unbeaten, he has a chance to get some solid backing as the main candidate from the Midwest region. 
 
This Week in Heisman History

Michigan coach Bump Elliot called Navy quarterback Roger Staubach the “greatest quarterback I’ve ever seen” after watching him gain 307 yards running and passing (including two TDs in the air and one on the ground) in a 26-13 win over the Wolverines in 1963.  The total broke “Roger the Dodger’s” own Midshipmen record set the week before against William & Mary.  Staubach won the 1963 Heisman as a junior and was the last of five service academy athletes to take home the trophy.

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The Latest Heismanpundit.com Heisman Poll

Hot off the presses…

This week’s poll (first place votes in parantheses):

1. Tim Tebow, QB, Florida–60 (8)

2. Colt McCoy, QB, Texas–57 (5)

3. Jahvid Best, RB, Cal–35

4. Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State–10

5. Max Hall, QB, BYU–9

6. Daryll Clark, QB, Penn State–7

7. Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame–5

8. Joe McKnight, RB, USC–4

9. Jevan Snead, QB, Mississippi–3

      Eric Berry, DB, Tennessee–3

11. Taylor Mays, DB, USC–1

      Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama–1

About the Poll

The HeismanPundit.com Heisman Poll is made up of 13 Heisman voters from across the country. They vote for five players each week. Tabulations are made on a 5-4-3-2-1 basis, with five points awarded for a first-place vote, four points for a second-place vote and so on.  Last year’s Heismanpundit poll was the most accurate in the country, picking five of the top six finishers in the Heisman vote.

Members of the panel include: Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel, Teddy Greenstein and Brian Hamilton of the Chicago Tribune, Olin Buchanan and Tom Dienhart of Rivals.com, Jenni Carlson of The Oklahoman, Bruce Feldman of ESPN.com, J.B. Morris of ESPN the Magazine, Austin Murphy, B.J. Schecter and Stewart Mandel of Sports Illustrated, plus Dick Weiss of the New York Daily News.

Chris Huston, owner of Heismanpundit.com, coordinates and also votes in the weekly poll.
 
HP’s Thoughts

The injury to Sam Bradford jumbles the race quite a bit.  Tebow and McCoy are a solid 1-2, with Best, Bryant and Hall gaining strength.   The top five should be unchanged after this weekend, but don’t be surprised if Clausen or McKnight surges into contention after high profile games against Michigan and Ohio State, respectively.
 
From a Voter

“Even though I voted Tebow first and McCoy second, I really don’t see much separating those two right now. It’s more like 1A and 1B. I don’t see that changing much in coming weeks. The rest of my ballot, though, was in complete turmoil. Bradford’s injury bounced him entirely, and I had a hard time deciding who to put where. Best? Snead? Clausen? I even gave Case Keenum a look. If Week One is any indication of what the season will be like, it’s going to be crazy.– Jenni Carlson, The Oklahoman
 
Heisman Game of the Week
 
No. 3 USC at No. 8 Ohio State.  These two elite programs have won 14 Heismans between them, including four of the last seven.  If Buckeye quarterback Terrelle Pryor can engineer the upset in the Horseshoe, he’ll immediately pop up on every voter’s short list.  Meanwhile, USC’s McKnight has a chance to prove that he really is the next great Trojan tailback (it’s a position Heisman voters love).  Rain could be a factor in this one.  
 
Player to Watch

Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame.  Clausen has been on fire lately, throwing for 716 yards and nine touchdowns in his last two games.  It looks like he’s finally living up to the considerable hype that surrounded him coming out of high school.  This week, the Irish take on a much-improved Michigan squad and if he performs well, he’ll be set up for serious Heisman run.  Never underestimate the power of the Notre Dame quarterback mystique.
 
This Week in Heisman History

UCLA’s Gary Beban–dubbed “The Great One” by coach Tommy Prothro–went just 9 of 20 for 109 yards though the air, but turned a key 4th and 2 into a tackle-breaking 27-yard touchdown run with four minutes left to lead the No. 6 Bruins to a 20-16 win over No. 9 Tennessee in 1967.  Beban would go on to edge O.J. Simpson for the Heisman Trophy.

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The 2009 HP Preseason Heisman Watch

Here is my list of the players with the best chance of actually winning the Heisman.  It is not a predicted order of finish, so some players NOT on this list are still going to receive votes and finish somewhere in the top 10, but will in reality have no chance of actually taking home the trophy.

1. Colt McCoy, Texas–Last year’s Heisman runner up has accomplished the impressive feat of keeping up with Tim Tebow’s publicity machine in the offseason.  For instance, while Tebow is on the cover of Sports Illustrated, McCoy is on the cover of ESPN The Magazine.  McCoy is the senior quarterback of a traditional Heisman power and will help his team compete for a national title.  The perception out there is that perhaps he should’ve won the award last year and, as a result, voters will look to him first in 2009.  He had fantastic numbers in 2008, but they weren’t so amazing that they can’t be duplicated or surpassed.  He will have big games on TV against Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M (on Thanksgiving) to impress the voters (and also the possibility of the Big 12 title game).  He’s got most of his offensive line returning, plus plenty of weapons at receiver, so his stats should not suffer.  Last year, he finished second to Sam Bradford in the Southwest and Far West regions, so much of Bradford’s support in those areas could go his way in 2009.  He is a likeable guy and so far has not been oversaturated in the media.  All other things being equal, McCoy has the best chance of winning the 2009 Heisman Trophy.

2. Tim Tebow, Florida–In previous years I would not put a player on this list who had already won a Heisman, mainly because I believe there will never be another two-time Heisman winner.  However, Tebow is one of those unique figures in college football history for whom an exception must be made.  He was the first sophomore to win the Heisman, so if anyone can win it a second time, it’s him.  He is helped by the fact that the glow of his Heisman season is two years in the past.  If he wins, he would be the Grover Cleveland of the Heisman (Cleveland being the only U.S. president to win non-consecutive terms).  I think winning two Heismans non-consecutively is a far more likely possibility than back-to-back Heismans.  The advantages Tebow has in this race are legion.  He is of course the quarterback for the No. 1 team and defending national champ.  He is the most famous player in college football right now and his name recognition is off the charts.  He is universally recognized as a great player and many see this season as his chance to establish himself as perhaps the greatest player in college football history.  He will once again put up excellent numbers in his inimitable style.     He’ll have marquee matchups against LSU, Georgia and Florida State (plus the SEC title game) to make his case.  So why isn’t he at the top of this list?  Mainly because History is a tough thing to overcome.  Heisman voters are fickle and will not give out a second trophy very willingly.  The burden of proof for Tebow to win again will be tremendous and it will only happen if there is not a viable alternative.  Plus, Tebow Fatigue will play a real factor (we saw it in last year’s vote as well).  So don’t believe those who think this race is Tebow’s to lose.  It isn’t.   

3. Jahvid Best, California–In an era dominated by spread quarterbacks, there is still room for a flashy running back.  There has been only one running back Heisman winner in this decade (Reggie Bush) and Best’s style is very similar to that winner.  He is coming off a fantastic sophomore year (1,580 yards, 15 TDs, 8.1 ypc) and has a chance to better those numbers if he stays healthy.  His big advantage is that he could be seen as the top running back alternative to all the quarterbacks in the race.  He also is a dazzling breakaway back who will be a staple of the highlight shows.  His big disadvantage is that he plays for a non-traditional Heisman power.  This means his Heisman run is at the mercy of his team’s success.  It will all boil down to how he does against USC.  If Cal beats the Trojans and he does well, then he becomes a serious Heisman contender.  The other issue is his durability.  A healthy Best likely approaches 2,000 yards and you don’t need accounting college to know he’ll require every one of those yards to have a shot at the Heisman.   

4. Terrelle Pryor, Ohio State–The last two Heisman winners have been sophomores, so maybe the trend continues here.  In order for a sophomore to win, he’s got to play for a traditional power and put up some crazy numbers at the same time.  Pryor has the chance to do just that, but it will depend on how well his passing has improved in the offseason.  Obviously, he’s a brilliant talent and if he comes into his own in 2009, he can make a serious Heisman run.  He’s got a big game in week two against USC in which to establish his Heisman candidacy.  If he leads a Buckeye win over the Trojans, he’ll be in the Heisman race all year.  If Ohio State loses, he’ll crawl his way back into it as the season progresses–big games against Penn State and Michigan could help–but he will not be a serious factor and will actually be setting himself up nicely for a run in 2010. 

5. Daryll Clark, Penn State–Clark had an excellent season as a first-year starter in 2008 and he should improve upon his numbers in 2009.  The Nittany Lions have a chance to run the table and if they do, Clark will get most of the credit.  His schedule isn’t exceptionally conducive to a Heisman run, but he does play Ohio State.  If some of the other candidates mess up or get injured, he could be seen as a viable alternative as long as the Lions are undefeated.

6. Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame–You can never count out a Notre Dame quarterback.  Clausen has name recognition and should put up pretty good numbers in 2009.  The Irish play an easy schedule, so Clausen has a shot at leading his team to a BCS bowl.  Of course, his big chance to make a Heisman statement will come against USC (do you see a trend here?).  If Notre Dame beats the Trojans and the Irish go on to win, say, 10 games, then Clausen will get some Heisman buzz.  His best chance of winning is for the main candidates to screw up and for Clausen to be seen as the reason behind the resurgence of Notre Dame football.  He’s got the receivers to have a huge year, but will he actually do it?  There’s the rub.

7. Max Hall, BYU–Only one school from a non-BCS conference has won the Heisman in the modern era and that’s Brigham Young.  The great tradition of Cougar quarterbacks gives Hall an outside chance at making a Heisman run.  Above all, he’s got the schedule to prove his mettle as BYU plays Oklahoma and Florida State in the early going.  If the Cougars come out of that unscathed, then Hall will be a legitimate candidate.  Whether he’d be able to overcome the McCoys and Tebows is another question, but he’d be seen as a viable alternative if they falter. 

8. Jevan Snead, Mississippi–Ole Miss is the hip choice as this year’s dark horse title contender.  If the Rebels live up to their billing, it will be because of the play of Snead, who is a potential first round pick.  He had a pretty good year in 2008 and if he can improve upon his numbers and keep Ole Miss in the title hunt, he’ll be a Heisman candidate.  But if the Rebels lose a game or two, his Heisman hopes will be finished.

9. Noel Devine, West Virginia–Devine has pretty good name recognition and a solid sophomore season to build upon.  He’d have to shatter the 2,000-yard mark in spectacular fashion to be a real factor in the race.

10. Dez Bryant, Oklahoma State–Bryant is the only multi-purpose athlete in the race.  He is already recognized as a fantastic receiver and return man.  If he can duplicate what he did last year as a sophomore and maybe drive a stake or two in the hearts of some of the elite Big 12 teams (like OU and Texas), then he can pick up a lot of Heisman votes.  Nothing thrills Heisman voters like timely, deadly punt returns and Bryant will have the chance to do just that.

If the vote were held right now

1. Colt McCoy

2. Tim Tebow

3. Sam Bradford

4. Jahvid Best

5. Dez Bryant

6. Eric Berry

7. Daryll Clark

8. Jeremiah Masoli

9. Max Hall

10.Taylor Mays

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