It’s the most wonderful time of year again… Bowl game match-ups have been announced. The NFL is playing is about to start playing 4 days a week. The Fall semester is over. And this particular year, Gator Football has come to a close. So as you pack up all your tailgating stuff (I mean… I’m going to go to the Bowl game, but is anybody going to tailgate at this thing?? I’m treating it as a business trip to support my guys.), it’s time for the end of the year awards.
The big daddy of the post-season awards is the Heisman trophy. It’s annually given to the “Best” player in college football. Quarterbacks who win this award are all but guaranteed to lose their bowl game and be a complete waste of space in the NFL (Tebow people… back away slowly… if anyone can break this curse… you know…). Running backs who win this are assured of being drafted highly and retiring early. The award is pretty much meant for QBs and RBs. Anyone else who wins it has been extremely special or from Michigan.
The BourbonMeyer.com staff cast their votes and 6 of the best college football players received votes. Below are the players on a summary of the staff synopsis of each player:
Montee Ball: Running Back, University of Wisconsin
Incredible year. Poor guy has absolutely no chance of winning this award, but how can you equal Barry Sanders’ record for rushing TDs in a season and not get an invite?
Robert Griffin III (RG3): Quarterback, Baylor University
Despite his apparent lack of humility recently, he appeared on all BM ballots. Sonny Beam even said, “I have no evidence except a text message to Soft 19 that is no doubt gone, but I thought he was leading the pack after week 1 vs. TCU – he never looked back. I think he needs to call attention to himself when playing at Baylor and not for a conference championship or BCS game, so that does not bother me.” He created the most debate, as he lost 3 games this season (Much like another QB we are fond of during his Heisman season). The historical context/significance of RG3s season should not be lost… pay attention here: IN THE SAME FOOTBALL SEASON, BAYLOR DEFEATED TCU, TEXAS, AND OKLAHOMA. Most readers are likely Gator fans, so for some perspective, imagine UCF defeating Florida, Florida State and Georgia in the same season… it’s that big… but it’s Texas, so it’s bigger.
Andrew Luck: Quarterback, Stanford University
The front runner for this award since day 1. The award was his to lose, which is the curse of being the Heisman front runner. Everyone is looking for an excuse to NOT vote for you. Remember Tebow’s 2008 season after winning in 2007? Not to take anything away from Sam Bradford, who had a great season… but Tebow was again, ridiculous in 2008. The problem was; he was 55 TDs ridiculous in 2007. When the award is yours to lose, you can’t have an average game. Luck threw two pick 6’s late in games this year… he recovered from the USC one, and had everyone swooning, then not long after, another backbreaking INT6 against Oregon to put that game away. Stanford lacked game breakers on offense, but Luck lifted that team up offensively. Not a great schedule either. Luck also appeared on all ballots.
Tyrann Mathieu: Defensive Back/Punt returner, LSU
Nobody at BourbonMeyer.com was especially bothered by the suspension. It bears noting that LaMichael James was suspended for a game last year and made it to NY for the ceremony for worse (alleged harassment). He got some points from us for being creative by trying to beat the system using the synthetic stuff. His game breaking ability really jump started LSU on several occasions. Much debate ensued about whether he was even the best CB/DB on his own team. That defense is loaded, which allows him to do some of the things he does, but Claiborne may be a better cover corner, but Mathieu is the best FOOTBALL PLAYER on that team. The suspension and some of his other maturity and drama issues have likely cost him some votes… Given some of the recent Heisman embarrassment (OJ, Reggie Bush, Cam*), I’m not sure the Heisman trust wants a guy with dick-pics on the internet holding up the trophy… that and he’s not a QB or RB and doesn’t play for Michigan.
Kellen Moore: Quarterback, Boise State University
Obviously, Kellen is not going to win this thing, as he’s not even one of the actual finalists, but he appeared on 3 of the BourbonMeyer.com ballots. Poor Kellen Moore… Let’s forget about the luke warm schedule Boise has to play most years. Every year they DO play a top tier team, and every year, they beat that team… whether it be Oregon, or Georgia, or Virginia Tech (AT Virginia Tech!). This season, Moore broke the record for most wins as a starting QB. Do you all realize how close Kellen was to career perfection?? 2011: If his RB holds the ball in 4 minute offense, they are undefeated this year. In 2010: If goal posts are taller, they win at Nevada and are undefeated. In 2009: Undefeated. In 2008:1 point loss to #11 TCU in their bowl game.
Dude has lost 3 games in 4 years by a total of 5 points. I’d pay for his plane ticket to NYC at this point.
Trent Richardson: Running Back, University of Alabama
Have you ever been pushing a car that’s in neutral? Giving it your all with your legs and it’s moving inch by inch… Imagine that car starts rolling back towards you… Now imagine that car is a ’72 Buick. That’s the Trent Richardson experience. Trent has had some car and clothes controversy that Alabama has been implicated in with a booster this year, but has been relatively above it all. If it were a bench press competition, he’s run away with the award. Hard to gauge where Trent stands with the voters. He has been steady, powerful, and I think Saban even went against his normal game plans at times and got Trent 8-12 more carries than he normally would have given him to try and get him a boost in the voters’ eyes. What he lacks in spectacular (except against Ole Miss), he makes up for in power, consistency, and effectiveness. Reminds me of Ricky Williams’ Heisman season, in that there was nothing to write home about, but Ricky broke the all-time NCAA rushing record that year, so they had to give it to him. It’s a shame that “Cadillac” has already been claimed as a nickname. Trent appeared on all ballots.
Now the moment you’ve all been waiting for… Ladies and Gentlemen, the winner of the 2011 BourbonMeyer.com Heisman vote is:
Robert Griffin III
RG3 got 6 first place votes our of 7 total votes.
Andrew luck finished 2nd, ahead of Trent, The Honey Badger, the Wisconsin Badger, and poor Kellen Moore.
This process brought up the question: Who is the Florida Gators All-Sports Heisman winner this year?
It’s been a disappointing year for Football and we have lacked any serious star power. The most optimistic of fans see progress and development, but via Twitter; Matt Elam and Caleb Sturgis were the only football players to receive votes.
I’ll actually come back to this at the end of the all sports season and take some input on the Gator Athletics Heisman trophy… maybe I’ll call in the Foley Award. Imagine the candidates in 2010-11: Chandler Parsons (Men’s Bball), Kelly Murphy (Volleyball), Kelsey Bruder (Softball), Preston Tucker, Hudson Randall (Both Baseball), and Kitty Cullen (Lacrosse).
Truth be told, at this point in the athletic season, we have a runaway “Heisman winner”. I dare you to find any athlete at the University of Florida who is as good at what they do as Kelly Murphy is at what she does. It’s not even close. Caleb Sturgis is a distant second and Jordan Jones 8 games into Women’s hoops is probably 3rd.
Murphy, a senior, is leading the Gator Volleyball team into the NCAA Sweet 16 this weekend. As luck would have it, that Regional tournament was scheduled to be played in Gainesville. Come on out and support the Gators as they take on Michigan on Friday. As luck would again have it… Ohio State is on the other side of the bracket in the regional. If they can beat Illinois earlier on Friday, and we advance, we would take on Ohio State for a chance at the Final Four. You just can’t make this stuff up…
Thanks for reading and Go Gators. Would love to see you out at the O’Dome this weekend.