Cavalcade of Whimsy - The Heisman Candidate
Floirda QB Tim Tebow
Floirda QB Tim Tebow
Posted Nov 13, 2007

In a super-sized, two-part Cavalcade of Whimsy, part one looks at the Ohio State loss, the piling on Charlie Weis, and the one and only choice for the Heisman (at the moment). Part two analyzes the scenarios to get to the national title game for ten top contenders.

Fiu's Cavalcade of Whimsy

a.k.a. Frank Costanza's Festivus Airing of the Grievances

By Pete Fiutak   
What's your beef? ... E-mail with your thoughts  
Past Whimsies
2006 Season | Preseason Part One, Part Two | Week 1
2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8
Week 9 | Week 10

Week 11 Cavalcade of Whimsy, Part 2

If this column sucks, it’s not my fault … like Nebraska head coach Bill Callahan, I’m not quitting before the season ends. Although for a $3.1 million buyout, I might give it a little bit of thought.

“He’s spinning the ball on his finger! Just take it!” …
Uh, Ohio State, Juice Williams is going to run the ball on the next play. He’s going to run it up the middle, and then after that, he’s going to run it up the middle again. He might have burned you early through the air, but make him try doing that for an entire game. Illinois told the Buckeyes what pitch was coming, and it was still unhittable.

Losing to Urban Meyer is one thing, but … You just know that Jim Tressel, once he was able to retreat to the privacy of his office, broke something tasteful and mumbled under his breath, “I can’t believe I lost to Ron (bleep)ing Zook.”

Juice Williams just ran for eight more yards on the OSU linebackers.

And the funny part is that the most entertaining matchup of the bunch would be a 13-0 Kansas vs. a 12-0 Hawaii …
You want the season to take a wild and chaotic twist? Take a moment and wonder what will happen if both LSU and Oregon lose. Much, much more on this in a moment, but it’s not as far-fetched as you think, and it would send the season into a further tailspin.

It’s $50 if you want to “Dot the i”  …
Ohio State third string quarterback Antonio Henton pleaded guilty last week to a misdemeanor count of loitering for prostitution when he allegedly offered an undercover police officer $20 for sex. 1) If Henton had been offered, and accepted, $20 for sex, would that be an NCAA violation? 2) I’m not exactly up on the current fair market value for booty, but $20? I’m guessing you don’t get fries with that shake. 3) If an Ohio State football player has to pay for sex, what hope is there for the rest of us? No wonder the team played tight against the Illini.

But who cares about football when you live in a city where an Andy Jackson gets you a little yee-ha time …
To Buckeye fans currently wondering aloud why their team is out of the national title picture with a loss, while LSU, Oregon, Oklahoma, Missouri and West Virginia are still in the race: you already know the answer to your beef. You can’t lose late and play for the national title, unless you’re 2003 Oklahoma or 2001 Nebraska. It's not necessarily fair, and that's why the computers should be more involved in the overall formula, but that's the way the world works.

Note to the Cleveland Browns: He’s Derek Anderson. Don’t open up that checkbook quite yet …
In retrospect, how good was Brady Quinn? Basically, this is the same Notre Dame team that went to a BCS game two years in a row, but it doesn’t have Quinn, Jeff Samardzija, Rhema McKnight, or Darius Walker. Think about it. The Irish defense, despite not generating any pressure, is giving up fewer yards per game than last year. The offensive line is just as awful, but Quinn, unlike the current Irish quarterbacks, was able to get rid of the ball faster and was decent at avoiding sacks. The punt return game is a wee bit better, and the secondary is playing far better. It’ll be interesting to see how history judges Quinn and the 2005 and 2006 Irish seasons if Charlie Weis isn’t able to turn this around.

Juice Williams just ran for six more yards on the OSU linebackers.

Mostly, I’d like to thank the head man for making it reasonably acceptable for me to wear a hoodie on a daily basis …
Bill Belichik might be a world-class mellonhead, the defensive stars might be insufferable blowhards, and Tom Brady, well, Tom Brady might be the greatest quarterback not named Elway, but I have the New England Patriot pom pons out to go 19-0 if only to finally crush the sad and bizarre world of the 1972 Miami Dolphins who refuse to acknowledge that their team was the equivalent of Hawaii winning the BCS Championship. This was a very good team that played a mediocre schedule, and it just so happened to get through unscathed. In any order you want to put them in, the 1984 San Francisco 49ers, 1978 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1977 Dallas Cowboys, 1989 San Francisco 49ers, 1985 Chicago Bears and the 1976 Oakland Raiders were all better. From Don Shula popping off about “Spygate,” which by all insider accounts really wasn’t as big a competitive advantage as many has made it seem, and wasn’t a practice exclusive to the Patriots, to the crew that pops Champaign every year to celebrate when the last NFL unbeaten team loses, this group needs to be shoved aside.

And while we’re on the topic … Former Miami Dolphin and Irish offensive lineman Bob Kuchenberg has been popping off about Charlie Weis, calling him an ogre and questioning his character for leveraging a little bit of early success, and a pro offer, for a big contract. You might not like Weis. He might not be a barrel of laughs and he might not be the warm and fuzzy coach Irish fans might like, considering Lou Holtz is in the spotlight with his prominent gig at ESPN, but all coaches are ogres. That's part of the job description. You don't get to be the head coach of a major college football program without being a jerk. With the possible exception of Joe Paterno, there's not a coach in the history of the planet who wouldn't take advantage of the situation that Weis was in to get more money. That's not questionable character; that's good business.

But they’ll be fully healed just in time to lose yet another Rose Bowl …
All Michigan stars Chad Henne and Mike Hart talked about in the off-season was how they needed to beat Ohio State and win a bowl game to cement their legacies. 0-3 against the Buckeyes, if they play a few series this week and have to come out because of their injuries, and then the Wolverines win because Ryan Mallett goes nuts, do they really get to say they beat Ohio State?

O Lord please don't burn us/don't grill or toast your flock./Don't put us on the barbecue,/or simmer us in stock.” ... Just once I’d like to see a sideline reporter have some stones to cut off a player in a post-game interview who goes off on a God rant without answering the question.

Reporter: “Steve, obviously this was one of the biggest wins in the program’s history. Describe what the offense did to move the ball on this seemingly impenetrable defense.”

Player: “I’d like to thank God for making all this happen. Without him …

Reporter (shoving the player out of the way while going to another player): “Yeah, yeah, yeah, rub a dub dub, thanks for the grub, yay God. So, Greg, tell me what did you do to slow down such a hot running game?”

Players, if you feel the need to praise God for what just happened on a dumb ball field, that's fine, but do it at the very end after you've extended the courtesy to talk about the game itself. And if you get your chance to throw your shout out, thank your higher power for giving you the strength to be the best you could be, and not for beating a team of apparent heathens who obviously didn’t pray hard enough.

But I’ll only vote for him if stops preening around in that skintight performance-wear thing while I’m polishing off brownie number four …
Despite cries to the contrary, there actually is a runaway Heisman candidate with impeccable credentials. He was the nation’s leader in passing efficiency for most of the year before plummeting all the way to No. 2 last week. In other words, he’s one of college football's best passers completing 68% of his throws for 2,532 yards and 23 touchdowns with five interceptions.

There are only five quarterbacks, UL Lafayette’s Michael Desormeaux, West Virginia's Pat White, Washington’s Jake Locker, Navy’s Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada and Texas A&M’s Stephen McGee, who are averaging more rushing yards per game. He’s third in the nation in touchdown runs, with at least one in every game, obliterated the conference record for most rushing scores by a quarterback in a season, and set the school’s all-time season record for rushing touchdowns in a season, passing Emmitt Smith along the way. In other words, he’s one of the nation’s best runners. 

Meanwhile, with a bull’s-eye clearly on his back, and playing in the nation’s toughest conference in the brightest of weekly spotlights, he’s always producing despite suffering a shoulder injury a few weeks ago.

So if Florida's Tim Tebow is having the best all-around statistical season of any quarterback, and it’s not even close, then why isn’t he getting any Heisman love? Why, and how, is this still a race?

The biggest problem is the record, losing three games so far. However, in the losses to Auburn, LSU and Georgia, Tebow wasn’t bad; it’s not his fault the defense is average, and it wasn't his fault the Gators lost. Second, he’s a sophomore. The Heisman always goes to running backs and quarterbacks, and it always goes to upperclassmen. If Tebow was a senior, this might be over. In 2001, Florida’s Rex Grossman was the best player in America, but he was a sophomore, Nebraska’s Eric Crouch was a senior, and the voters stayed true to form.

There’s certainly still time for things to change, but at the moment, there’s no other choice.

Juice Williams just ran for seven more yards on the OSU linebackers.

However, it doesn’t look great when the conference has losses to an FBS team, Duke, and Florida Atlantic
I groused earlier in the year that you can’t overhype SEC teams when the above-average teams start beating each other, and in the same way, you can’t dog the Big Ten when the losses come to each other. Continually a national punching bag, mainly because Michigan tanked early on, the rest of the league was solid in non-conference games and now is struggling to get back on the radar after a relatively even conference year with everyone but Minnesota getting bowl eligible. Wisconsin’s losses came to Penn State, Illinois and Ohio State. Penn State’s losses came to Michigan, Illinois and Ohio State. The Illinois losses were to Iowa (lousy), Michigan (not that bad), and out of conference to Missouri (more than acceptable). No, this isn’t a great league this year, but outside of the SEC, what is? 

Like you needed to see another Northwestern game anyway …
If you’re a big fan of Northwestern, Indiana or Michigan State, then get your Maize and Blue sweatshirt out. If Michigan beats Ohio State, then it’ll go to the Rose Bowl while the Buckeyes have a shot at an at-large BCS bid, opening up a bowl slot for another Big Ten team. Ten Big Ten teams are bowl eligible, with Minnesota being the one left out of the fun, but there aren’t nearly enough openings for all to get a 13th game. Considering the Motor City Bowl will likely want to sell tickets, it’ll probably want Michigan State, and considering Iowa fans go everywhere, someone will want the Hawkeyes. That means Indiana and Northwestern will be left out in the cold. Meanwhile, ten SEC teams are bowl eligible, and there could be an 11th if Vanderbilt gets one more win. Unless a league like Conference USA doesn't fill its open slots, South Carolina, Arkansas, Alabama and Mississippi State will all be sweating it out.

This just in. Gordon Riese has been named the new head of the BCS …
Considering all the weeping and gnashing of teeth after the ugly replay incident in last year’s Oregon win over Oklahoma, the Sooner fans' feelings towards the Ducks, can you imagine the nuclear bomb of angst that’ll go off in Norman if the Sooners breeze their way to a Big 12 championship and get passed over for Dennis Dixon and the boys for a spot in the national title game?

And by the way, Appalachian State is 8-2 …
Least anticipated sequel ever: Teen Wolf II vs. a Michigan – Oregon Rose Bowl. Discuss.

SEX!!! Now that we’ve got your attention, the game starts at 7:30 …
At some point, someone is going to realize that there should be a reclassification of the D-I/FBS teams. Explain how Eastern Michigan, who got 4,304 fans to show up for the final home game of the year against Bowling Green, is supposed to compete like Michigan, who’ll bring in over 110,000 fans this week against Ohio State. There should probably be a cutoff of at least 30,000 fans per game to be D-I.

Nuggets for the upcoming week, now made with white meat, at participating restaurants …

- Remembering that Internet rumors as worth the paper they're printed on, there appears to be some life to the idea of Lloyd Carr announcing his retirement soon after the season. LSU head man Les Miles is all but been handed the gig by many Maize and Blue fans, but a national title this year in Baton Rouge would chance all that.

- The ACC’s best quarterback right now isn’t Boston College’s Matt Ryan, it’s Clemson’s Cullen Harper. Don’t think that Ryan isn’t hearing that going into this week’s showdown in Death Valley. Watch out for his A game.

- If you’re a stathead, keep an eye on the Tulane-Rice game. Jarett Dillard, last year’s breakout receiving star, has found his groove with 24 catches for 296 yards and four touchdowns in the last two games. Tulane can’t defend the pass. Tulane’s Matt Forte leads the nation with 1,813 yards and 17 touchdowns with two games to go, and Rice can’t defend the run.

- How much has the world of college football changed? Watching a classic replay of 1978 USC over Alabama, one of the regional action games available the following week was Hobart vs. St. Lawrence

Forget about any thoughts of Nebraska looking for a Nick Saban-like outside-the-family hire after Bill Callahan is booted. As long as Dr. Tom is around in some way, this is his program, and no star coach will be able to put his personal stamp on it.

C.O.W. shameless gimmick item … The weekly five Overrated/Underrated aspects of the world
1) Overrated: Appalachian State over Michigan  ... Underrated: Gardner-Webb over Kentucky
2) Overrated: Don Shula  … Underrated: Shula’s Steakhouse
3) Overrated: Ohio State losing late ... Underrated: Oregon and Oklahoma losing early
4) Overrated: A D-II playoff system with 24 teams getting in... Underrated: The BCS
5) Overrated: Chase Daniel... Underrated: Chase Daniels, as all the ESPNers call him  

My Heisman ballot this week would be … I vote based on a combination of three things: Most valuable player, most outstanding player, and the signature player of the season. I might wildly change my mind weekly, but I’ll sort it all out at the end. 1) Tim Tebow, Florida, 2) Dennis Dixon, Oregon, 3) Pat White, West Virginia, 4) Glenn Dorsey, LSU, 5) Chase Daniel, Missouri

“You know I'm born to lose, and gambling's for fools/But that's the way I like it baby, I don't wanna live forever” … The three lines this week that appear to be a tad off. (1-1-1 thanks to Central Michigan’s three point win over Western Michigan … 10-20-1 overall.) … 1) New Mexico +14.5 over Utah, 2) Arizona +12 over Oregon, 3) Duke +6 over Notre Dame.

Sorry this column sucked, but it wasn’t my fault …
 I thought I wrote a strong article, and then Wyoming head coach Joe Glenn gave his one-finger opinion of it.

Week 11 Cavalcade of Whimsy, Part 2