The University of Arkansas Razorbacks took the field against the UL-Monroe Warhawks Saturday evening expecting to notch a win and polish up their game before a college football showdown with the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Then it happened.
Tyler Wilson took shot after shot from Warhawk defenders, popping back up like a boxer ready for the next snap. Then the moment came when he couldn’t withstand the hits anymore, he was knocked out of the game with a concussion.
The Razerbacks are a team with a head coach in over his head, a rebuilt receiving corps, a running back who hasn’t returned to pre injury form, and a mediocre defense. Make no mistake about it, in 2012 Tyler Wilson is Arkansas Razorbacks football. As Wilson went down, so did Arkansas’ title chances; the Razorbacks went into the game a top 10 team and left unranked.
Earlier in the week Alabama head coach Nick Saban went on a rant in which he reemphasized his disdain for predictions and projections, reminding those in attendance at his press conference that games are played to answer the questions of college football.
Perhaps he was onto something.
I realized it first hand when I look at Heisman Trophy watch lists and top 25 polls. After week one I saw Robert Woods as a Heisman front runner despite the fact that Marquise Lee caught 10 passes for nearly 150 more yards than Woods. I saw the TCU Horned Frogs, a team that didn’t even play in week 1 come into the polls at 20th in the country. What was it about a bye week that made someone believe that TCU was the 20th best team in the country? What did they prove on the field in week one?
I understand the reasoning behind the Heisman watch lists and top 25 polls. I understand why preseason magazines do so well because I have a backpack full of them and still flip back to them throughout the season. However, I am starting to think that it is time to pump the breaks on things just a bit.
Let’s at least wait until the end of week one for a top 25 or to make our Heisman lists. Wouldn’t it be nice for a team or player to receive attention because they earned it, not based on potential and preseason hype?
It’s far fetched, I know. But I can dream.