2012 Heisman Hoopla-Don’t Believe the Hype
2012 Heisman Tophy Hoopla
It’s early November, the Heisman ballots are set to go out next week, and you know what that means? It means that normally rational, albeit passionate college football fans will lose their minds. Players will suddenly become Heisman candidates, and everyone’s stop players will bounce around like a Super Ball.
I personally find the excessive bandwagon jumping pretty funny, and I will admit I do partake in a bit myself. But I try and find my top 2, and hold onto them if possible. This season has been no different. In early October I said my top 2 were Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o and Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein. 30ish days later, I am holing firm to those 2 players. Whomever joins them in New York in just under a month is a different story, and depending on who you ask, the 2 or 3 other top players is a matter for much debate.
So removing Klein and Te’o who are my shoe-ins at this point, let’s talk a little about the rest of the top guys who’s names are being tossed around. Some have been in and out of the discussion all year and some are new to the party. And while I don’t disagree that these are great players, how Heisman worthy they are depends on who you ask.
So, let’s break down the rest of the potential finalists and decide week 11 of the college football season who are the rest of the Heisman contenders and pretenders.
Don’t forget to come find me on Twitter @nfldraftboard and tell me how wrong I am.
Kenjon Barner and De'Anthony Thomas, Oregon
I lump Barner and Thomas in together on here mainly because they are each the reason that neither will win the award. At the start of the season Thomas was clearly the greater focus of the Ducks offense, and was putting up absurd numbers. But as the season slid to the midway point teams started to account for Thomas, and Barner became the driving force in that high-powered attack and his statistics really shot through the roof.
But you can’t give one of these guys the award if you can’t give it to the both of them. They are both amazing players and among the most exciting to watch, but short of one of them just exploding in the final few games, I don’t see either as legitimate contenders for the trophy.
Marqise Lee, WR USC
Lee is incredible. Absolutely incredible. On a team loaded with star talent Lee has separated himself from all of them, including his quarterback Matt Barkley. With nearly 100 catches through 10 games on a team this full of talent is remarkable. Barkley has nearly 44% of all his completions to Lee and 40% of his touchdowns. His ability to pull away from even his own teammates means he has to be taken seriously in the discussion.
Johnny Manziel, QB Texas A&M
Good old Johnny football is back in the conversation after Texas A&M’s upset win over the University of Alabama. But I am not sure if you can take one good quarter as a quarterbacks Heisman moment. Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban put the clamps on Manziel for much of the game after an explosive first quarter and if not for a huge catch by wide receiver Ryan Swope, we probably aren’t talking about this upset at all. But Manziel is an exciting player, and has given Aggies fans hope for seasons to come. But with his signature loss against LSU where he played some ugly football and 2 final games against less than elite opponents, it is going to take some help from some other teams to get him to the top.
Jarvis Jones, DE/LB Georgia
If you are a truly reasonable football fan, and you are lobbying for Te’o, as I am you must concede that Jones has been just as good a football player this season. Jones has taken over nearly every game he’s played this season and considering he plays on the outside rather than the middle like Te’o, the sheer volume of plays he makes every game is a testament to just how good he is.
The problem with Jones is no one is talking about him, or his team for that matter. It’s unfortunate because I’m not sure there are 4 more outstanding players for the entirety of the season than Jones. If he hadn’t missed a couple of games with injury, I would like to think he’d be on an even keel with a player like Te’o in the rest of the college football world’s eyes.
Braxton Miller, QB Ohio State
Buckeye fans are quick to point out just how great a season Miller is having this year to anyone who will listen. And even to those who don’t want to. And how their team is undefeated on the season. I concede that Miller is a remarkable talent, and head coach Urban Meyer is building something special. But it’s hard for many, myself included to get onboard with hyping a Heisman candidate on a team that is under sanctions and cannot be ranked or play in a bowl. Next year Miller will almost certainly be at the top of every list, but for now, he’s just not in consideration for me.
And all the rest...
I am going to toss the rest of these guys into the same bucket so to speak because none of them have any real shot at finals consideration, but their loyal fans want to keep them relevant.
Geno Smith,QB West Virginia-he won the award back in September but since then as fallen off the map completely. His wide outs are struggling to get separation and he’s not able to fit his throws into those tight windows and his stats, along with his team have dropped.
AJ McCarron, QB Alabama-Up until this week there was a ground swell of support for McCarron mainly due to the idea that the quarterback on the best team has to be in considered. But he’s more of a caretaker of the Alabama offense than a playmaker, and with their recent loss far out of consideration.
Matt Barkley, QB USC-Barkley is being so overshadowed by his teammate Marqise Lee that there’s really no point in even including him. His statistics are largely a product of his teammates success making plays, and not a viable candidate.