5 Thoughts - An Open Letter To Heisman Voters
Florida QB Tim Tebow
Should Georgia be in the national title picture if it didn't even win its own division? Does the big season from Kansas mean other teams should schedule non-conference cupcakes? These topics, an argument why the Heisman race should be over, and more in the latest 5 Thoughts.
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An Open Letter To
You're thinking too hard.
I know you’re unable to wrap your arms around the idea
of Tim Tebow winning the Heisman. Maybe it’s the
sideburns. Maybe it’s that he’s annoyingly peppy. Maybe
it’s the three losses. Whatever it is, the discussion
appears to still be open, and now you’re thinking that
Darren McFadden has been the “most outstanding college
football player in the United States for 2007.” Not only
are you wrong, but there’s no case whatsoever that can
be made for McFadden over Tebow on any level. If you
want to argue for Pat White or Chase Daniel on some sort
of a MVP level, that's different. It's wrong when it
comes to this year's Heisman race, but it's a different
sort of debate.
First of all, if you’re not going to vote for Tebow
because he’s a sophomore, then relinquish your privilege
to someone smarter. We’ll make sure to find something
shiny to amuse you, get you a helmet, and cover all the
corners in your house with foam so you don’t injure
yourself. You’re a silly, silly person.
If you’re voting for McFadden because you think he’s the
most talented player, then you’re not voting for the
Heisman for the right reason. McFadden is the better pro
prospect than Tebow. So is Glenn Dorsey. So is Jake
Long. It’s not about who the most talented player is,
it’s about who the most outstanding player is in a
college football season. At this point, an argument
could be made that Tebow isn’t just the most outstanding
player in 2007, but history will remember his last 12
games among the greatest ever put together.
So how does McFadden have Tebow beat in the Heisman race
this year? I'm looking for anyone to provide one cogent
reason why and how No. 5 has been better than No. 15. A
monster game against LSU isn't enough.
Tebow set the SEC record with 22 touchdown runs (take a
second to think about all the great SEC backs Tebow has
passed by) while McFadden finished with 16. Remembering
he's a quarterback, Tebow has rushed for 838 yards to
McFadden's 1,725. Along with one of the greatest rushing
seasons in the history of college football for a
quarterback, Tebow was No. 1 in the nation in passing
efficiency for a while, and now is No. 2 with 3,132
yards and 29 touchdowns and just six picks. He hasn't
thrown more than one interception in a game this year.
Sure, McFadden went nuts on LSU and went ballistic
against South Carolina, but where was he against Auburn
when he was held to 43 yards? How about the pedestrian
88 yards against Mississippi State? Seven of his 15
touchdown runs came against Florida International, North
Texas and Chattanooga, and he has averaged a nice, but
not unbelievable, 5.66 yards per carry. While Tebow has
lost three games, McFadden has lost four.
Tebow, who has a 3.77 GPA, has been consistently
terrific from Western Kentucky on through Florida State
with at least one rushing and passing touchdown in every
game, two or more rushing touchdowns in seven games, and
two or more passing scores in ten games. He’s the first
player in the history of college football to run for 20
touchdowns and throw for 20 (read that again and let it
sink in for a moment), and it’s not like he did it in
Conference USA. He had an all-timer of a season in the
SEC while gutting it out through an injured shoulder and
now a broken thumb …and the race is supposedly wide
open?! (Heavy sigh.)
This is nothing against McFadden. He's one of the
greatest talents to ever play college football and he
had a phenomenal season. This isn't an anti-Run D.M.C.
debate. It’s an argument to hope voters finally
recognize one of the greatest performances in the
history of the sport.
P.S. No, I didn’t book a room. Why do you ask?
If You Want To See The
BCS Blown Up Real Goooood ...
If you want to see
changes made to the current BCS format and want to see
the debate really get rolling, get out your Pitt and
Oklahoma cheerleader outfits.
Let’s nip this one in the bud right now. No, Georgia
doesn’t deserve to be in the national championship
discussion and shouldn’t be even be considered. Not now.
That dream died, or at least should've, when Kentucky QB
Andre Woodson came up short on a two-point conversion
attempt in the Wildcats' four overtime loss to
Georgia is one of the hottest teams in the nation and
might be, at the moment, the fourth best team in
America. If Pitt beats West Virginia and Oklahoma beats
Missouri, then theoretically, Ohio State and Georgia,
currently third and fourth respectively in the latest
BCS rankings, would move up into the top two slots if
nothing else radical changes.
The BCS powers-that-be aren't above making changes on
the fly, and it needs to quickly throw in an anti-2001
Nebraska and 2003 Oklahoma rule into the mix. If you're
not going to have a playoff, then the regular season has
to mean everything, and that means you cannot play for
the national title if you can't even win your own
conference. Double that if you can't even win your own
division. If the regular season serves as a playoff,
then Tennessee knocked out Georgia by winning the East,
just like Colorado should've knocked out Nebraska in
2001 and Kansas State should've booted Oklahoma out of
the discussion in 2003.
If you can’t even
prove that you’re the best team in your own division, how can you
even be considered among the two best teams in the country?
Want to put Georgia in the BCS? Yeah, absolutely. The Dawgs deserve one
of the big ten spots. But that’s it.
One Shining Moment (but without the dopey
3. With all that coaches do – the time they all spend on the road
recruiting, the time spent watching film, the time spent game-planning
for the opponent – it sometimes takes just one win to change lives. Of
all the games played and coached, one measly win. Or, in some cases,
one loss. For the past month, rumor had it that Houston Nutt was as
good as gone as the head coach at the University of Arkansas. Play out
the string and the right reverend was going to be clearing out his
desk. Well, what’s a win over the #1 team in the country worth? A game
in which Nutt’s staff clearly outcoached Les Miles and his staff on
their way to the memorable 50-48 three overtime victory over LSU in
Baton Rouge. So, what happens now, Arkansas – can you fire a guy after
one of the greatest victories in Arkansas history? It’s not been a fun
last year and there’s no excuse for Springdale-gate, but look at the
body of work, people. Pretty solid. However, in the
what-have-you-done-for-me-lately world, this one win could help Nutt
keep his job.
Then, think about Les
Miles. With the Michigan job hanging over his head like a dark cloud,
he was still LSU’s coach. LSU fans supported ‘their’ guy, not all of
them, mind you (c’mon this is the SEC), but a large section of purple
and gold did. Notice the past tense. After the game, Miles wouldn’t
need a packing company to move his stuff to Ann Arbor; a few thousand
would show up at his door to help him pack and leave. LSU wins and
Miles remains on a pedestal. LSU lost, however, and LSU folks turning
against Miles might be the reason The Hat is wearing Maize and Blue next
And, it was all because
of one game. One glorious, unexplainable game.
But Greg Robinson Might Be Pushing The
the season for turnover in the coaching ranks, a natural and
necessary process in a business that’s driven by immediate results
now more than ever. No matter what angle you look from, Bill
Callahan at Nebraska, Dennis Franchione at Texas A&M, and Ed Orgeron
at Ole Miss had to go. Too much history. Too many hurdles to
overcome. More firings are on their way, some of which are
no-brainers and others that’ll get questioned for months. When
expectations aren’t being met, canning the head coach is about as
popular as benching an underachieving quarterback. However, the
best move by an athletic director can sometimes be the one that’s
never made. This was abundantly evident in Saturday night’s epic
showdown for the Big 12 North and a possible spot in the National
Championship game between Missouri and Kansas. Wasn’t it just a
couple of years ago that both Mizzou’s Gary Pinkel and Kansas’ Mark
Mangino had squatter’s rights on college football’s hot seat?
Pinkel couldn’t win in November, and Mangino was never getting over
the hump. While the complaints and the cries for change may have
been legitimate, the ADs in Columbia and Lawrence saw something that
kept them from pulling the trigger…something that wasn’t available
to the rest of us. The two schools have flourished this season,
delivering 11 victories and getting a ton of national attention,
both of which will pay dividends when bowl bids are handed out and
high school recruits commit. Patience has certainly paid off for
the Tigers and the Jayhawks, a lesson that certain schools should
If your favorite whipping boy’s head doesn’t roll in December, keep
Missouri and Kansas in mind. There just might be a good reason he’s
coming back to a campus near you for one more year. And it might be
because success is just around the corner.
No Need To
Break That Non-Conference Sweat
Watching Missouri and Kansas Saturday
night, it was impossible to deny the fact that two teams were
playing a huge late-season game without having quality resumes,
especially out of conference. The Tigers and Jayhawks played a
generally entertaining game, but when two top five teams have so few
non-conference tests on their schedule (Missouri did play Illinois
in a neutral-site game, but other than that, UM and KU played nobody
outside of the Big 12), a huge backyard Border War loses some of its
When two teams play for a division title at the end of a long
season, I want to know that the division and its member conference
have fared well against other upper-division teams across the
country. But with Kansas having received no tests before Nov. 24, it
was hard to compare the Jawhawks to other teams throughout America.
If Kansas were to play an SEC team or a Pac-10 team in a bowl game,
it would be difficult to make a prediction for the simple reason
that the Big 12 and every other conference usually manage to shield
their own member schools from showcase non-conference matchups. This
creates a college football equivalent of inbreeding that makes
honest evaluations very elusive, if not downright misleading.
Remember when Texas and Ohio State played their home-and-home in
2005 and 2006? Those two games told the nation a great deal about
both teams in each of those two seasons. Without that kind of
non-conference matchup in 2007, it's small wonder that the chase for
the national title is as muddled and confused as it is right now.
College football power brokers--especially athletic directors and
coaches--need to be willing to stage significant non-conference
games throughout each season. Otherwise, you'll have more Hawaiis,
more Kansases, and generally more teams who can stay inside the
protective bubble of their conference without facing a stern test
from the outside world. This is when altered national title debates
can feel like rigged political elections. This is when college
football's national championship remains in the realm of the
mythical, and becomes cheapened to an even greater degree.
College basketball--in just a few weeks, as a matter of fact--will
once again offer the Big Ten-ACC Challenge. College
football--ideally, with all its FBS programs--needs to provide a
very similar event if the sport wants to crown truly deserving and
non-controversial national champions.
Kansas did get exposed on Saturday, but the fact remains that if the
Jayhawks had won against Missouri, they still would have had a very
thin resume for a national title contender. Beefing up every single
non-conference schedule--in all BCS conferences--is something this
sport so desperately needs. If an event such as a Pac-10/SEC
Challenge will improve the reputation of the sport (and I don't see
how it won't), everyone should be jumping at the opportunity to make
something happen. Maybe someone will get it right one of these days.
Until then, however, we'll see more and more teams threatening to
play for the national title despite having done precious little to
earn just such a chance.