It has been a while. I am making my Ali-like return to fanposting here on OBNUG. With spring practices and scrimmages going on across the country we are right around the corner from next season’s Heisman predictions. It is never too early to give my own Heisman predictions. As many of you know, I can be very informative, sarcastic, and nothing short of intelligent. And this post is no exception. I will do my best to give a fair analysis of college football. I am Hatemay, here are my Heisman predictions.
My predicted winner for the next season’s Heisman is Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon. This “super sophomore” accumulated 1,782 yards receiving on 111 receptions last season while missing one regular season game. Add 20 touchdowns for good measure and what we have is a very dominating receiver. Blackmon came into last season at 6-1 207 pounds, but don’t let that deceive you; he was a man child at the position. I have not analyzed every offensive play of this player, but watching him in action in numerous games last year he was un- guardable. Almost every play he has a defender man up on him with a safety not far distant giving help. Time and again he beat the double coverage to get open and cause problems for opposing secondaries. In only one game last year he failed to net 100 yards receiving… that was the game he did not play in. Blackmon is the type of player that in crunch time everyone on the field knows he is getting the ball, yet, there is nothing to stop him.
Finishing 2nd place in the Heisman voting but number one in Bronco Nation voting is the Pride of Prosser, Washington, Senior Quarterback from Boise State, Kellen Moore. I can hear many bronco faithful screaming, “Hatemay, how dare you not put Kellen as the winner?” And the answer is simple. It is not that I don’t think Moore isn’t deserving, because he is, but simply because Blackmon plays in one of the “Good ol Boy” conferences. That is why. The college football powers that be would rather drink their own urine than have Kellen Moore be crowned college football’s most valuable player. They will chalk this up as a moral victory for the “little guys.” Last season’s stats for Moore: 3,845 passing yards on a team that had a 1,000 yard rusher, 35 touchdown passes and 6 interceptions. For a 13 game schedule that averages out to be a little over 2.5 td passes a game and 295 yards a game. This is impressive because I can think of many games where Moore did not play the 4th quarter. Not only has Moore accumulated extraordinary stats, but has been revered by team mates and coaches as a “Beautiful Mind” type of football player. Players have been on record saying that Moore possesses the ability to be on the same plane as his adult coaches in terms of knowledge of the game. His own head coach has said that Moore see’s things in opposing teams defenses before they themselves do. Got Goosebumps yet?
Finishing 3rd in Heisman voting is Running back from Oregon L.A. Michael James. This junior to be running back came off of an impressive Sophomore season where he was the beneficiary of a coach that ran a high tempo offense that included a total of eight or so offensive plays, with very little diversity in the running game. James ran wild through the average defense’s of the Pac-10, torching opponents for a total of 1,731 yards on 294 carries, and 21 touchdowns last season. James averaged just a shade under 6 yards a carry. Very impressive. But when one takes a closer look at the offensive system of Chip “BC” Kelly there are some flaws in those stats. Kelly has something to prove to the coaching world. After being humiliated and losing to Boise State in Autzen stadium as the heir apparent Offensive coordinator, only to follow it up with his team’s worst offensive performance the next year in Boise, Kelly is on a quest to prove to the college coaching staff that he has one enormous six footer. He is willing to keep his starters in longer than most coaches and keep the up tempo pace until the three of four minute mark of the fourth quarter. How does that differ from coaches that have an ounce of class? Look at how soon Coach Pete gets his reserves into the game…. The start of the 4th quarter cannot come soon enough for Pete to get the reserves in. Kelly on the other hand is going to run up the score and pat himself on the back. James is a phenomenal running back, but he showed his weakness in the game against Auburn… he couldn’t run into the teeth of a defense and make them pay. One must fault Kelly for thinking his 185 pound running back was going to run the ball down the throat of the SEC champs and later National Champs. But James is the victor of the system of Oregon. And I think if Josh Huff or Kenjon Barner were in his starting role they would have the same numbers because they are virtually interchangeable. Am I saying Oregon has 3 Heisman finalists on their team….. not exactly. James is great. I don’t consider him a true Heisman winner or runner up, but his stats, and the system he plays in make him out to be the almost as great as sliced bread.
Now, enter the extremely sarcastic part of Hatemay’s write up…. The “dark horse” portion of the Heisman finalists. If you don’t know what I am talking about, just watch “Heisman watch” next season with the talking heads and you will see how every talking head does not want to admit their Heisman pick was a total bust, so they make changes as they go on throughout the season. No one wants to admit they picked a bust. I will…. I picked San Diego State to lose in the final of the NCAA tourney… BUST. I admit that. I eat my words, take my beatings in social circles of NCAA junkies… but not the talking heads… they are above that. I mean, who was the moron that predicted Jake Locker to be a Heisman finalists???? Was that Herbstreit???? What was he thinking? Did he lose his mind??? The same qb that was recruited out of high school from a team that threw 8 passes a game would mature into a Heisman finalist by his senior year of college??? He had a good game here and there but I think Locker was the most over rated player in UW history. Now that he is graduated, UW can find a qb who won’t overthrow his receivers by 25 yards.
Dark horse #1:. Jacory Harris- This senior to be QB has failed to impress. In his third year at the helm of the Miami Hurricane offense Harris posted a whopping 1,793 yards, 14 touchdowns and only 15 interceptions. Vinny Testarverde would be proud. Those are numbers that only he can appreciate. In Harris’ defense, he sat out three games due to injury. But don’t let those stats fool you. Harris is athletic; he stands at 6-4, 200 lbs… so he has to be considered for the Heisman… right?
Dark horse #2 : Terrelle Pryor- He is the 6-6 233 lb qb from Ohio State. His stats were pretty good, but not the Savior-esque stats the talking heads made him out to be producing. He threw for 2,772 yards, 27 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. That ratio of touchdowns to interceptions is too high for me to even consider him in the top 7 of last year’s Heisman voting. Yes he can run, he netted just over 750 rushing yards of offense, pretty darn well for a qb. But I don’t see him as the whole package. He is very athletic, which once again, does not automatically denote a Heisman winner. Oh and there is the little thing about him being suspended for the first half of next season. But, maybe 2011 is the year that Pryor will put all of the pieces together and finally take charge of Head Coach Jim Tressel’s offensive scheme. Maybe not.
Dark horse #3 : Denard Robinson-
Boy can he run. But “Shoelace” proved that it’s not how you finish the season, it’s how you start it… wait, did I get that right? Robinson got off to a hot start. Running wild through defenses and passing the ball with style, at least for the first part of the season. He suffered through a brief injury, and then had some consistency problems throwing the ball with accuracy. He finished with 2,570 yards passing, and finished with 1,702 yards rushing. But once again, he had 18 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Not impressed with those numbers. He is a phenomenal athlete, but I don’t think his leadership is where it needs to be, and he needs to have more consistent games if he wants to be the real deal. Not to mention, the Wolverine defense sucks big. No way in hell would the Heisman committee give the Heisman to a team that lost 6 games. Just ask Byron Leftwich, who seemed to throw at least 400 yards in every game of his final college season and wasn’t even blinked at for the Heisman because he played for a team the was barely bowl eligible. Just the way it is.
Dark horse #4: Andrew Luck- How was he a finalist last year??? I don’t know. He lost the only meaningful regular season game to Oregon, in which he threw two interceptions. He had good stats, 3,338 yards, 32 passing touchdowns, and 8 interceptions. He showed that he can run the ball at times. But I think the thing that hurts him the most is that he played under an offensive system that was very boring to watch. It was like watching a talented high school offense run nothing but the “I” formation. Basically, an offense better than BYU’s with more consistency, no honor code, and no boneheads calling the plays. Other than that, it’s a spitting image of BYU’s offense. Luck will be pushed hard from here to next December to be the Heisman trophy winner, but I just don’t see the excitement in the way he plays.
Dark horse #5: Laundry Jones- The talking heads will really push this one. After all, Laundry got the Sooners their first BCS victory in memory. He is going on his third year at the helm of the offense, and I expect him to come out gunning. He plays for Oklahoma… They have the ability to recruit anyone to play for them; the amount of talent that comes through that program is scary. He oughtta have receivers that get him 500 yards of passing a game. His 2010 stats included 4,718 passing yards, (impressive) 38 touchdowns, (impressive) and 12 interceptions (too high). Jones does not benefit from playing for Bob Stoops who, along with his brother Mike, have an uncanny knack of losing important games. Translation, in crunch time, Stoops is at the high risk of being out-coached, which could cost Jones a victory or two, and we all know that the Heisman no longer represents the best player in the country, but a really good player on the team that wins the national championship. It’s not fair, but that is how it is.
Dark horse#6: Jordan Wynn- Plays awesome when defenses don’t blitz, plays like a scared puppy with a bladder problem when teams do blitz. Jesse Palmer thought this kid was the best thing since sliced bread. 2010 stats area as follows: 2,334 yards, 17 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. Yawn.
Dark horse #7: Whoever replaces Cam Newton- Yep, get ready to be ambushed by the hype coming out of the Auburn camp that whoever replaces Cam Newton is going to be bigger, faster, stronger, and better paid than Cam Newton was. Gene Gizzick will have a good year, maybe three losses in regular season play along with a fourth loss in their bowl game, so Hatemay predicts. Newton was special, no denying that, but I don’t buy into the hype that Gene Gizzick is the end all be all of D-1 coaching.
Dark horse #8: Matt Barkley- Boy, this is a tough one. How can we get USC back on the positive PR scene? Uh, Lane Kiffin? NO. Good recruiting practices? NO. Pac-10 title in the last two seasons? No. Ummmm, okay, Matt Barkley? Yes. Whew. Okay. Started as a true Freshman, had the aches and pains that come with that burden, understandable. Finished with 2,791 yards, 26 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions last year in his sophomore campaign. Didn’t exactly have the year that the folks at the University of Spoiled Children expected him to have. After all, he didn’t beat Oregon, or Stanford, but did beat an Arizona team that had a hard time winning any of their last five games. Not bad in my book, especially after the terribly inconsistent year the Pac-10 had last year.
Dark horse #9: Nick Foles- Its worth a shot, right? At times last year Foles looked like he was for real, then there were times that it looked like this was his first time under center. That, kind of sums up the year the Arizona wildcats had, up and down. He is a long shot to finish in the top 10 in my opinion, but the talking heads will give him his share of conversation time.
Dark horse#10: Tim Tebow- Wait, Tim Tebow graduated, went in the draft, and got drafted in the first round? Yes he did. Well, that won’t stop me from paying tribute to him. Life in Gainesville is tough. Urban Meyer realized how tough life is when Alex Smith, Chris Leak, and Tim Tebow aren’t running the offense. Life was so tough that Meyer decided to call it quits. Don’t be fooled folks, I think Meyer was, in some small way, tied to the Cam Newton shenanigans, and he could no longer take the pressure of not having Pastor Tebow around. I got some interesting information from a source of mine. Credit card purchases for fancy hotels in the Highlands Ranch area near Denver, Colorado were made by one Kirk Herbstreit all of last year. It appears that Herbstreit missed Tebow so much that he has been frequenting The Denver area to meet with Tebow on numerous occasions to express his unbridled love for Tebow. Tebow and Herbstreit were seen wearing pastel colors and matching earrings on their right ear while enjoying champagne, and eating breakfast in bed at an undisclosed Hotel in Highlands Ranch. Don’t let the talking heads fool you… they miss talking about (and other things with or about) Tim Tebow very badly. They will find any and all chances to bring his name into any conservation regardless of how un-relevant he is to the conversation.
Wake me up when Its late August……. Till next time, I am Hatemay.