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Posts Tagged ‘Geno Smith’

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. 12: West Virginia

          West Virginia’s 49 points at halftime were the most in bowl history. Not Orange Bowl history: bowl history, as in every single bowl ever played. Likewise, West Virginia’s 70 points at the end of regulation was a bowl record – ever. Were the Mountaineers ready for the Big 12 after dousing Clemson in the Orange Bowl? The Mountaineers wanted to start the next day, if possible, and if that B.C.S. showing holds true, should fit the pass-happy conference like a glove. The real Orange Bowl winner — fitting in this age of conference expansion — might be the Big 12 itself, which saw West Virginia, its newest addition, cap its final season in the Big East in the grandest of grand style. “Our guys felt like they weren’t getting much credit, and they wanted to make a statement in this game,” Dana Holgorsen said after the game. “The victory caps a great season and helps us lay the groundwork for the future.” Future? The future is now. Just ask Clemson, which tasted West Virginia at its best, and just ask the rest of the Big 12, which knew when the clock hit zero that another title contender was about to join its ranks.

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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: Week 5

              September’s over, which means it’s about to get serious. Like trip-to-Manhattan serious, as it’s all well and good to tear apart Rice and San Jose State but quite another to excel against Oklahoma or Oregon. Heisman dreams have legs in September, true: you have Cam Newton as an immediate exception, but most winners are in the picture in August and solidify their spot during the season’s opening month. Countless candidates, however, have lit the world afire in September but disappeared once the calendar turned to conference play. Take last year’s examples of Kansas State’s Daniel Thomas and Nebraska’s Taylor Martinez: otherworldly in September, both quickly dropped out of the conversation once the schedule got a little meatier.

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                P.S.R. Heisman Watch: Week 4

                We’re nearing the end of non-conference play, so the opportunities for a few non-B.C.S. conference players to make their mark is nearing an end. Minus Kellen Moore, most of the lesser-marquee performers need to do major damage in September: Florida International’s T.Y. Hilton, for example, needed a big-time showing against Louisville — he delivered — as he’ll get lost in the shuffle when his team takes on Western Kentucky on the same weekend that Landry Jones, Ryan Broyles and Oklahoma host Texas A&M. This is the time for non-B.C.S. conference players to burst onto the national scene: Hilton did his part, but there are two more weeks — maybe only one, for some — before the SEC, the Big Ten and the rest of the B.C.S. landscape put a stranglehold on center stage.

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                  The Countdown

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