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Posts Tagged ‘Collin Klein’

P.S.R. Heisman Watch: Week 4

It’s not unprecedented for the eventual Heisman winner to lose at least one game during the regular season – in fact, recent history shows that it’s just as common for the winner to lose at least once than it is for him to run the table. Of the last 10 Heisman winners, not counting Reggie Bush, five have lost at least one game during the regular season: Eric Crouch lost once, Carson Palmer lost twice, Tim Tebow lost three times, Sam Bradford lost once and Robert Griffin III lost three times. So the door to the Heisman is far from closed to Matt Barkley, who was unable to lead U.S.C. past Stanford on Saturday night. But one difference between Barkley and the five quarterbacks listed above is that Barkley entered the season as the undisputed favorite; that might help, in a way, but it might also open up a path for one of his prime challengers – De’Anthony Thomas or Geno Smith, for example – to put a stranglehold on the top spot. One thing is clear: Barkley can’t lose again. Before tackling the list, another installment of This Date in Heisman History:

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    P.S.R. Heisman Watch: Week 3

    The SEC rules the roost – Monday’s post touting the Big 12 notwithstanding. Beyond the national titles, the SEC has also staked a claim to the Heisman since 2007, when Tim Tebow was the league’s first of three Heisman winners in four years. So… what can’t the SEC do? While it’s going to be hard for a team to take out Alabama or L.S.U. in January, it seems – through two weeks, to be fair – that the SEC will not put forth a leading Heisman contender in 2012. For now, fringe and true-blooded candidates like Aaron Murray, Jarvis Jones, Eddie Lacy, Tyler Bray and Tyler Wilson stand removed from the Heisman’s upper crust. The good news? These players will have ample opportunities to state their case in October and November, when SEC opponents butt heads for conference supremacy. For a player like Murray and Jones, solid showings against Missouri are one thing; doing the same against Florida, Tennessee and South Carolina will make voters really stand up and take notice. Before getting to the list, another installment of This Date in Heisman History:

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      P.S.R. Heisman Watch: Week 2

      This week’s moving and shaking has not impacted the top group: the four or five leading contenders remain in place, with little movement. But along the back end, opening-week showings from several under-the-radar skill players – not too far under the radar, to be honest – has led to a retooling of the second tier. Who knew that Taylor Martinez had that sort of arm? Who knew that Denard Robinson was going to lay such an egg? The latter question raises another interesting idea: What does Robinson need to do to leap back into the mix for the Heisman? It won’t be merely about numbers for Michigan’s senior, though that’s certainly part and parcel of any player’s candidacy – Robinson needs to cut down on interceptions, do more with his legs, score touchdowns, what have you. But Robinson also needs highlight-reel moments, the sort that could remind the voting public why he remains one of the most dangerous players in college football; beyond that, he needs wins. A run to Pasadena would put the bloom back on Robinson’s rose. Before getting to the list, another installment of This Date in Heisman History:

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        P.S.R. 2012 Heisman Watch: Preseason

        Remember when Andrew Luck was a lock for the Heisman? His Heisman campaign took off roughly midway through his sophomore season, when Luck led Stanford to its first major breakthrough, and then reached a fever pitch once he opted to return for one more season with the Cardinal. At this point a year ago, Luck was the odds-on favorite to not only win the Heisman but to win it with ease – going wire-to-wire unlike any Heisman winner in recent memory. That Luck didn’t was not a reflection on his own level of play, which was superb, but rather an illustration of just how hard it is to maintain your grasp on the top spot while dozens of other qualified candidates state their case over the three months of the regular season. Last fall, Luck’s early lead evaporated once Robert Griffin III led Baylor to its finest season in decades, if not the finest season in school history. A year later, Matt Barkley finds himself in a similar situation. Before getting to the leading contenders, the first installment of This Date in Heisman History:

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          No. 17: Kansas State

          This was a team that won eight games by single digits: Eastern Kentucky by a field goal, Miami (Fla.) by inches, Baylor by a point, Texas Tech by a touchdown, Texas A&M in four overtimes, Texas despite gaining only 121 yards of total offense, Iowa State with a late score. This was also a team that was plus-15 in turnover margin, committing just a shade over one giveaway per game and returning three interceptions for touchdowns, scoring five non-offensive touchdowns altogether. As a result – because of the fact that this team won games, but not with style – it’s easy for some to make the case that Kansas State is due for a slide; you can’t rely on luck to keep winning games, goes the argument. The rejoinder to this argument can be found on the sidelines. There is no statute of limitations on coaching greatness, just as there’s no reason why the Bill Snyder-led Wildcats can’t continue to win close games, as they have for a generation, and continue to exploit every possible weakness it can find until after 60 minutes, K-State’s disciplined and opportunistic play makes your team just the latest notch in Snyder’s belt. It doesn’t take a miracle, and it doesn’t take luck; it’s just coaching, and Snyder’s been making your team look stupid longer than the Big 12′s been in existence.

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            P.S.R. Heisman Watch: 2012 Watch List

            Perhaps the only surprising aspect of Robert Griffin III’s Heisman win was that he won the South region, garnering 303 points to Trent Richardson’s 256 in an area easily labeled as SEC country: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. That Griffin won at all is far from surprising, nor is that fact that he won by a fairly comfortable margin. His coronation complete, we can close the book on the race for the 2011 Heisman Trophy. And begin looking towards 2012, as it’s never too soon to handicap an award ceremony 12 months away, right?

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              P.S.R. Heisman Watch: Final

              The votes have been counted, but don’t hold your breath waiting for any leaks. The actually tally will remain a mystery until a few minutes before 9 p.m. on Saturday, when the Heisman Trust will unseal the envelope and announce the winner of this year’s Heisman Trophy. The tally remains a mystery, mind you. The actual finish is most assuredly not a mystery: after months of seeing the Heisman handed to Andrew Luck, Baylor’s Robert Griffin III stormed to the forefront of the race in November and sealed a first-place finish by dismantling Texas on the first Saturday of December. The question now isn’t whether Griffin will win the Heisman, but rather by how wide a margin. And now, for the last time, This Date in Heisman History:

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                No. 61: Kansas State

                The Power Towel has been replaced by white, scratchy towels worn down by consistent use at Bill Snyder’s punishing football practices. You don’t need a Power Towel, and even if you have one, it’s not vital that you bring it to every game. Snyder doesn’t care for that stuff, as he’s a coach whose lone surrender to pomp and pageantry came when, you know, they named the stadium after him — and he seemed pretty uncomfortable with that whole thing. Snyder’s not just old-school: he’s one of that school’s founding members, and what he brings to the table is just what the doctor ordered for a Kansas State program that had forgotten nearly all of his valuable lessons during his three-year absence. You know those 14 bowl trips in school history? Snyder’s responsible for 12 of them, as well as for 12 of the program’s 15 winning seasons since 1955. I’ve said it countless times before, but it bears repeating: there’s only one man fit to win at Kansas State, and his name is Bill Snyder.

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                  The Countdown

                  A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.