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Posts Tagged ‘The Heisman Trophy’

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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          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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              Ten Themes for Saturday: Week 14

              Ten teams, themes, games and players to watch for Saturday. Pretty straightforward. Here we go:

              Making a case for Houston During last week’s game between Arkansas and L.S.U., CBS Sports announcer Gary Danielson stated that if L.S.U. loses in the B.C.S. title game, the Tigers should still be named the national champion in The Associated Press poll. Danielson’s logic was simple: L.S.U. would have one loss and Alabama one loss, and each split the year’s two-game series. With a win, Alabama would be the B.C.S. national champion. L.S.U. would get the top spot in the A.P. poll as a sort of reward for a perfect regular season.

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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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                  The Countdown

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