Okay, we shouldn't be taking shots at Brett Greenwood; Brett The Net was hardly a weak link in the Iowa defense this season. Old jokes die hard, I supposed. Anyhoo.
Heisman candidates were announced late Monday. They went with five nominees this year, and we could really see all five make a run at the trophy.
They are, in alphabetical order, Toby Gerhart, Mark Ingram, Colt McCoy, Ndamukong Suh, and Tim Tebow.
While noting the unusual fact that a freaking defensive tackle made the final five (full disclosure: if I had a vote, I'd pick Suh without reservation), Barking Carnival made this astute observation:
Interesting that 3 out of the 4 offensive candidates play on teams that owe most of their success this year to their defense.
We would slightly amend the BC statement to say "owe most of their team success," but the point's well-made as it stands. And look, while Mark Ingram was utterly phenomenal this season regardless of his defense, and while Florida and Texas owe an awful lot of the credit for their seasons' success to leaders like McCoy and Tebow, the fact remains that this was really a lousy season for the expected powers-that-should-have-been in college football. Sam Bradford imperiled his pro career by returning to Oklahoma, Tim Tebow took a massive step back in draftability, and Colt McCoy wouldn't be a front-runner for the Heisman if he'd won it last season; his stats have regressed from that ridiculous 2008 campaign.
We expect McCoy to win, even as he's not our choice (again, it's Suh, who's like the buttchild of Lee Roy Selmon, Warren Sapp, and Captain America). College football is still a heavily PR/media narrative-dominated sport, and there are a massive number of voters (especially east of the Missouri) who are going to look at Gerhart and Suh and instinctively dismiss them for reasons that are entirely independent of their play on the field. That's just the way of things in a popularity contest among 55-year-old men in the newspaper sports bubble.
So here's my ballot and expected finish:
Shame, really. You put 2009 McCoy or Ingram on, say, Nebraska, and I'm not sure how much better they play. You put Suh on a top 5 team, and he sets a new record for most Heisman votes received by a defensive player. He was utterly unreal, and Nebraska's inability to close out close games (VT, ISU, Texas: 3 losses, 4 points) is a truly unfair reason to penalize Suh and deny him the trophy.