Posted by Frazier
Ok, we should take a moment to comment on the Heisman. Originally we'd planned some weekly debates on this topic, or at least a moment to argue the merits of various finalists. Then Troy Smith played out of his mind, while virtually every other competitor stumbled. Now, sometimes the "quarterback of the best team" thing gets out of control. Players like Gino Toretta, Jason White and Chris Weinke have this stodgy thinking to thank for their hardware. Of course, sometimes this thinking gets it right. This is one of those times.
Now, I would have liked to see some more debate featuring Darren McFadden who had an incredible year, made plays all over the field (something Heisman voters love, just ask Wolverines and Heisman winners Desmond Howard and Charles Woodson) and should have gotten some real consideration for the prize.
Otherwise, no one else was really worthy. Wide receivers have a tough time winning it, and players like Jarrett and Johnson are incredible prospects, but didn't have the kind of seasons that would get them on the short list. Pat White and Steve Slaton had some down games, and the late season loss to South Florida sealed their fates.
Ray Rice needed to be as perfect as Rutgers to deserve any pub, he wasn't, and they lost a pair, including an ugly loss to Cincy.
Brady Quinn? Yeah, his team lost two games by a combined 8 million points. He had two chances to shine, and couldn't even get his team in sniffing distance of the win. Oh, and he blew that Michigan game early, and the Irish had WAY too many close games against terrible opposition. He was totally overrated. His winning of the Maxwell was a sham. If he didn't play for Notre Dame he wouldn't have been in the top ten in the voting. Seriously, fuck him.
Ian Johnson? He's awesome, and should have gotten a little recognition, but it's hard to argue a running back from Boise St. Unless he's shattering every rushing record imaginable (he wasn't, although he was great).
Mike Hart was solid, but didn't really blow anyone away.
And poor Adrian Peterson broke his collar-bone. Otherwise, he would have made for some stiff competition.
So, you've got Troy Smith. And what did he do? Well, he didn't make mistakes. He scored when he needed to, he made plays with his arm, and his feet, and he threw with remarkable accuracy. His team was never really threatened, and in the biggest game of the year, he played like a champion. He was consistently at his best when the lights were brightest. Now, in another year with some stiffer competition, maybe there would be a better argument to be made against him. As I said, the "quarterback of the best team" situation always gives that player way too much credit for what is ultimately a team distinction. But, he is definitely an elite player. And he had some remarkable games, so he would be in the discussion no matter what team he played for. The fact that he didn't have a bad game, he didn't shit the bed, and no one else really laid claim to the prize. Well, it's obvious why he won. And he should have. Maybe next year it will be a better debate.