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Posts Tagged ‘Jarvis Jones’

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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      No. 6: Georgia

      If football games were 15 minutes long, Georgia would have been the best team in the country. If football games were 30 minutes long, Georgia would have worn the SEC crown for the first time since 2005. The Bulldogs allowed only 27 points in the first quarter all season: Boise State, Florida and Auburn scored one touchdown apiece; Mississippi State and Kentucky added a field goal; and the rest, the other nine teams, were held scoreless. In the first half of games, Georgia outscored its 14 opponents by a score of 275-111. Against Auburn on Nov. 12, the Bulldogs put together the program’s most dominating first half of SEC play since… when? But it was a different story in the second half, with this fact illustrated no better than in the two biggest games of Georgia’s season. In the opener, Boise State left Georgia in the dust with back-to-back touchdowns to open the second half. In the SEC title game, Georgia’s 10-0 second-quarter lead was followed by 42 unanswered L.S.U. points, 35 of which came over the game’s final 30 minutes. Georgia has already proved it can play with anyone for 30 minutes. But to be the best in the SEC, the Bulldogs need to round into 60-minute form.

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        The Year in Review: Georgia (10-4, 6-2)

        If football games were 15 minutes long, Georgia would have been the best team in the country. If football games were 30 minutes long, Georgia would have worn the SEC crown for the first time since 2005. The Bulldogs allowed only 27 points in the first quarter all season: Boise State, Florida and Auburn scored one touchdown apiece; Mississippi State and Kentucky added a field goal; and the rest, the other nine teams, were held scoreless. In the first half of games, Georgia outscored its 14 opponents by a score of 275-111. Against Auburn on Nov. 12, the Bulldogs put together the program’s most dominating first half of SEC play since… when?

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          No. 3: Oklahoma

          Great teams don’t stay down for long. Great teams look at 8-5 as being down, actually. Injuries sent Oklahoma tumbling from the national title game to only — only, with tongue in cheek — eight wins in 2009, as malady after malady claimed the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, among many others, in September. And there were several players thrust into major roles perhaps a year of ahead of schedule, if not more. The oft-repeated phrase was silver lining: the idea that short-term struggles will lead to future success. Oh, that was the case. The one-year, injury-caused hiatus from the top of the Big 12 in 2009 led O.U. back atop the conference in 2010, beating Nebraska, for one last time, to earn a Fiesta Bowl berth. If you’re keeping count, here’s the current tally of Big 12 titles: Oklahoma seven, the rest of the field eight.

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            No. 26: Georgia

            Georgia’s 24-month long tumble has roots in a 2008 season that found the Bulldogs atop both polls heading into September. On paper, 10-3 isn’t cause for concern; in reality, those 10 wins in 2008 were good but not nearly good enough, and when double-digit wins puts pressure on a head coach it’s safe to say that expectations have spiraled out of control. Some programs adapt to pressure, reveling in the hype and attention — the adulation and the vilification — afforded to those on center stage: U.S.C. did, and Alabama does. Some wilt, which is what Georgia has done while posting 12 losses over two seasons. Harsh? Yeah, there have been those extenuating circumstances, like injuries, attrition and misguided N.C.A.A. violations, but Georgia needs to show its mettle, now more than ever, as changes lie around the corner for a program that needs to plug in and recharge.

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              The Countdown

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