A weekly rundown from a tepid football fan of the best and worst college football has to offer, some serious but mostly requisite raillery due to basketball deprivation
1. Mother Nature – Omnipotent force (Earth)
Weekly stats: many delays, a couple cancellations
She flexed her muscles all last week and showed that no one can affect a contest quite like she can. Thunderstorms delayed and canceled four games, including only three quarters of football between Michigan and Western Michigan. That’s a whole quarter lost for Denard Robinson. Take that Heisman hopefuls!
2. Robert Griffin III QB (Baylor)
Weekly stats: intensive film study, Multiple Madden ’12 games on PlayStation 3, perhaps something scholastic
Baylor was off this week but with his huge stats from week 1 against TCU, Griffin III deserves to hold on to his #2 spot in competing for the Heisman.
3. Wacky uniforms (Under Armor, Nike)
Weekly stats: triggered much media coverage, water cooler conversations
The Heisman is usually influenced by hype and media coverage, and who has garnered more talk the past week than Maryland’s initiation into the Oregon attention-seeker club. They wore a uniform that was supposed to be a tribute to the state flag though it actually got it backwards.
As horrific those uniforms were (which, by the way, is nothing new. Maryland’s hockey team and come to find out a local roller-derby team both wear versions of this design) they put Maryland in the lexicon of weekly football conversations.
Maryland has signed a deal with Under Armor, who has introduced ten uniform variations they’ll be wearing this year (not including the one you saw against Miami in week 1). With a new coach hoping to rejuvinate the program, this strategy may work. Michael Kruse of ESPN’s Grantland recently published an interesting article on the effect the uniforms have had on Oregon’s success and recruiting. If Heisman=Hype, then uniform companies have one-upped nearly every player.
4. Other idle quarterbacks (Kellen Moore, Landry Jones)
Weekly stats: answering BCS and realignment questions
Moore and his Boise State Broncos travel to Northwest Ohio next Friday to take on Toledo, who almost knocked off in-state rival and power Ohio State this weekend 22-27.
Not such as easy a task for Oklahoma and Jones who will travel to Tallahassee to battle the Seminoles of Florida State.
5. Russell Wilson QB (Wisconsin)
Weekly stats: 17/21, 189 yards, 3 TD/0 INT
A highly underrated passer, Wilson hurt the Oregon State defense with his accuracy this week in a 35-0 blowout. He had a perfectly thrown ball to receiver Nick Toon to the back pylon for a TD. He also displayed his ability to send some line drives through multiple defenders.
Though he didn’t do too much with his feet this week (11 yards, 0 TDs), he didn’t have to because his backfield toted nearly 5 yards per carry and found the end zone twice.
6. Wisconsin’s offense in the red zone
Weekly stats: multiple conversions…again
Is the Heisman trophy still a strictly individual award? If not, then the Badgers offense should be the recipients. Going into Saturday’s game, they have scored 56 of the last 57 times they were in the red zone with 51 of those being for touchdowns. I know they scored at least two more touchdowns in the red zone this Saturday, which makes the Badgers completely money when getting inside the opponent’s 20-yard line.
And now they have Wilson to scamper some in in case of a breakdown? Geesh – Give them the Big 10 title and let’s call it a year.
7. Andrew Luck QB (Stanford)
Weekly stats: 20/28, 290 yards, 4 TD/1 INT
Another solid week from everyone’s Heisman favorite. However, he loses a spot on this list for throwing a 76 yard ‘pick-6’ against the lowly Duke Blue Devils.
8. Super-Conferences (NCAA football)
Weekly stats: continue to pollute airwaves
Are they or aren’t they? That’s all anyone really cares about at this point including Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops, who dared to imagine a world without the Red River Rivalry. Regardless, the talk of expansions continues to pull attention away from the game itself.
Does anyone care about college basketball conferences anymore?
9. Bernard Pierce RB (Temple)
Weekly Stats: 18 carries, 150 yards, 3 TD
Pierce churned out another 145+ yard effort while the Owls dismantled MAC member Akron 41-3. Pierce will face the same scrutiny as Ball State running back MiQuale Lewis a couple years ago. Neither play in a major conference but put up consistently good numbers each week.
Pierce can help his cause next week by playing national power Penn State. If he can duplicate what he’s done the first two weeks, then maybe some national attention may start for Pierce.
10. Justin Blackmon WR (Oklahoma State)
Weekly stats: 12 receptions, 128 yards, 2 TD
Blackmon follows up a solid first week (8 catches, 144 yards) with an even better one.
16. Denard Robinson QB (Michigan)
Weekly stats: 11-24, 338 yards passing, 4 TD/3 INT; 108 yards rushing, 1 TD
How much do big plays factor into the Heisman? How about excitement? If they do, then I guess the Wolverine signal caller deserves a top-20 spot. Otherwise, his numbers and play just aren’t that spectacular.
He ran the ball in after a fumble on the goal line. Many of his long completed passes were thrown in the general direction of receivers and somehow caught. It certainly helped that Notre Dame’s defense looked like they’ve never practiced coverage downfield before. Michigan receivers looked like a middle school basketball game where there’s one super tall kid that gets every possible rebound.
17. Highly touted running backs (Oregon, Alabama, South Carolina)
Weekly stats: less than stellar ground numbers
Trent Richardson of Alabama probably deserves to be higher, but he’s still only averaging 3.8 yards a carry after two games. He had 111 yards in the Tide’s win at Penn State, but touched the ball over 20 times. He is finding the end zone though; after this weekend he has a total of 5 rushing TDs.
LaMichael James had a slightly better game this week against Nevada. He ran for 67 yards on only 12 carries and found the end zone from the ground once. He did have a receiving touchdown and a returned punt for a touchdown, so his total production seems to compensate for two weeks without a 100-yard rushing feat.
Marcus Lattimore probably leads this pack after a 176 yard 1 TD performance in a win over Georgia. He has two 100-yard games with 4 total touchdowns so far.
58. Texas Longhorns (Longhorn Network)
Weekly stats: Came from behind to defeat BYU 17-16 after 10-point halftime deficit
The questions are definitely still out there for one of the more storied programs in the country. Regardless, they are 2-0 to start the season and came from behind to win with the help of a McCoy-Shipley reunion. Not that McCoy and Shipley, but their younger brothers.
Mack Brown pulled the starting quarterback after a 2/8 performance and put in Case McCoy. He led an 8-play scoring drive. Texas then won the game on a touchdown pass from receiver Jaxson Shipley on a trick play.
591. Notre Dame quarterbacks
Weekly stats: 27/39, 315 yards, 3 TD/2 INT
So who will be under center next week? I guess Rees’ performance wasn’t as bad as the ranking, but he didn’t seem to convert in the red zone, throwing at least one pick that I saw. Coupled with Dayne Christ’s performance against South Florida, you have a Brian Kelly migraine.
833. Brian Kelly’s contract extension negotiations (Notre Dame)
Weekly stats: *crickets chirping*
The Irish defense, which I thought was supposed to keep this team somewhat stable, gave up 28 points in the fourth quarter to rival Michigan, most of which seemed like they were defendable plays. The offense did look a little better aside from Rees hiccups, but now both sides of the ball can’t put a game together. And even saying they looked better is confusing because the Irish racked up over 500 yards of offense against South Florida. The problem was they couldn’t help from giving the ball away.
The Bulldogs’ coach drops 38 spots after losing to SEC rival South Carolina 45-42 for the second consecutive year. This is Georgia’s first 0-2 start since 1996 and will probably be the last with Richt at the helm.
3,872. Johnny Hekker P (Oregon State)
Weekly stats: 2 punts, 36 yards
As if being a punter doesn’t already eliminate a player from Heisman consideration, Johnny Hekker didn’t help his long shot one bit against Wisconsin. When the Badgers were four-and-out on their own 18-yard line, the special teams came in to gain some decent field position for their defense. Hekker, however, tried a rugby style kick and punted the ball out of bounds at their own 14-yard line. That equated to a -4 yard punt. Is there a bizzaro-Heisman award that can be given out?