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Posts Tagged ‘Denard Robinson’

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. 18: Michigan

      How was your first season? It’s not easy, I know. Did you reverse a losing culture? Nice. Did you lay the groundwork? Phew. Did you set the foundation? They’re not the same. Did you establish the running game, control the line of scrimmage, play 60 minutes, force turnovers, play hard? Good work. But did you rebuild? No? Why not? Because you’re Michigan, period? Hey, your words, not mine. Let me guess: You reversed a losing culture, laid the groundwork, set the foundation, establish the running game, controlled the line of scrimmage, played 60 minutes, forced turnovers, played hard and didn’t rebuild, because you’re Michigan. Oh, and you won 11 games, reached a B.C.S. bowl, won a B.C.S. bowl. But did you beat Ohio? Well, what didn’t you do?

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        Ranking the Big Ten’s Class of Quarterbacks

        Another Wisconsin-themed hypothetical question: Where would you have ranked the Badgers’ quarterbacks against the rest of the Big Ten if Danny O’Brien had instead opted for, say, Penn State? If Wisconsin had gone into 2012 with options like Joe Brennan and Jon Budmayr, it would have joined Michigan State as the only two teams in the conference to not return a quarterback with at least one career start under his belt. So consider the toppling dominoes: O’Brien should start, which should push Brennan into a more fitting role as his backup, which will allow Budmayr to heal and former walk-on Joel Stave to develop.

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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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              P.S.R. Heisman Watch: Week 14

              Is there anything left to prove? Have you made your pick? For some, there’s no more work to be done: Andrew Luck’s season is over, for example, and we won’t see Stanford’s quarterback again until bowl play, when the Cardinal will likely face off against the Big 12 winner in the Fiesta Bowl. But others won’t spend December solely on the awards banquet. Robert Griffin III gets another shot at Texas this weekend. Landry Jones and Brandon Weeden face off in Stillwater in prime time. Case Keenum and Houston meet Southern Mississippi in the Conference USA title game. So while a few stand pat, other contenders still have a chance to make a final, lasting impression. Now, This Date in Heisman History:

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                P.S.R. Heisman Watch: Week 8

                We’re still waiting for that moment, the single play that catapults a player from inside the Heisman conversation to the top of the heap. Name your play: Sam Bradford going high over the pylon against Oklahoma State; Eric Crouch catching a touchdown pass against Oklahoma; Desmond Howard’s touchdown return… the list goes on. We haven’t seen that yet, though it’s coming. I hope so, at least. Is Andrew Luck too mechanical — too Manning-like in his perfection — to give the Heisman voters such a moment? That may be the case, though his body of work should be enough. Could Kellen Moore ever have such a moment against Boise State’s weak remaining schedule? Probably not. Will a 90-yard touchdown pass against Michigan State be the play for Russell Wilson? I wonder. And now, This Date in Heisman History:

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                  The Countdown

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