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The Heisman Trophy is usually NOT won by the best player in college football. Of this, there can be no debate

Aug 29, 2015 -- 12:16pm

By Gary Brown

Follow on twitter: @cfbupdate

The best player on college football does not win the Heisman very often. Of this, there can be no debate.

Herschel Walker: best college RB in CFB history...OTTCBND

Ohio State SHOULD be number one right now...OTTCBND

Really, the award does not even claim to be presented to the “best” player, but simply the most outstanding. Here is the mission statement from the Heisman Trophy website(highlights are mine):

“The Heisman Memorial Trophy annually recognizes the outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity. Winners epitomize great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work. The Heisman Trophy Trust ensures the continuation and integrity of this award. The Trust, furthermore, has a charitable mission to support amateur athletics and to provide greater opportunities to the youth of our country. Our goal through these charitable endeavors is for the Heisman Trophy to symbolize the fostering of a sense of community responsibility and service to our youth, especially those disadvantaged or afflicted. All assets of the Trust beyond the expense of maintaining the annual presentation of the Heisman Memorial Trophy are reserved for such charitable causes. The Trustees, who all serve pro bono, are guided by a devotion to college football and are committed to community service and the valued tradition which the Trophy represents.”

Most outstanding does not mean best. Here is the definition of outstanding as defined by Merriam-Webster:

·         extremely good or excellent

·         easy to notice especially because of being important or very good

·         not yet paid

The second definition is even more significant than the first one. Why? You have to be seen OFTEN to get the award. To be seen enough to get the award you have to touch the football during the game lots of times. You also have to pile up plenty of yards with it. It is also of great help to play at a big school.

I find the accounting use of the word that is the third definition to be interesting since we are talking about college players. Many who are being paid.

If you think the best player in college football wins the award, then you believe there has never been a lineman on either side of the ball that was the best guy. You also don’t believe that any defense only player has ever been at the top of the pile.

Here is the position breakdown for Heisman winners:

·         Receiver-4

·         Combo DB/WR-1

·         Quarterback-32

·         Running Back-42

Playing at a power program, especially Notre Dame, is also a big help. Four schools have seven Heisman Trophy wins: Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma and USC. You have heard of all these? Right?

Playing at Notre Dame was a particular advantage before the explosion of cable television. In the 1953 voting QB Jerry Rhome of Tulsa lost to John Huarte. Huarte who played QB for Notre Dame passed for 2,062 yards that season with 20 touchdowns and eleven picks. Rhome passed for 2,870 yards with 30 touchdowns and just four interceptions. Playing for the Irish was a good thing.

Here is one thing you can be sure of: there will be a Heisman Trophy awarded at the end of the 2015 season. We will all follow the debate with a great deal of interest and have strong opinions. It will, barring a miracle, go to a skill position player. Don’t waste your time with other candidates.

College football is coming.

 

 

Herschel Walker: best college RB ever. Of this, there can be no debate.

Aug 27, 2015 -- 7:48pm

By Gary Brown

Follow on twitter: @cfbupdate

If your list of greatest college running backs does not have former Georgia star Herschel Walker at the top, then the rest of your list has no credibility. Of this, there can be no debate.

What did Walker accomplish during his career? Here is a short list of some of the highlights:

-Rushing by season

  • 1980-1,616
  • 1981-1,891
  • 1982-1,752

-First “true freshman” to be named a first team All-American.

-Only player named an All-American every year of his collegiate career.

-Only player to finish in the top three in Heisman voting every season played.

-Heisman Trophy winner in 1982.

-Finally, did you ever see him run over Bill Bates in his first game as a true freshman? Click here to see it.

Click here for more Herschel highlights.

Yes, Bo Jackson was a great athlete. Indeed, Barry Sanders was off the charts in 1988. Sure, Archie Griffin has those two Heisman’s.  Debate all day about who is number two. Herschel is the best. Ever. Period.

College football is coming.

 

Ohio State SHOULD be the number one preseason team...Of this, there can be no debate

Aug 23, 2015 -- 8:08pm

BY Gary Brown

Follow on twitter: @cfbupdate

The Associated Press released their 2015 college football pre-season poll Sunday. The Ohio State Buckeyes are the first school in the history of the AP poll to get all the first place votes. The Buckeyes are also the top team in the Amway Coaches Poll.

Both polls got it right.

Ohio State should be ranked number one going into the college football season. Of this, there can be no debate.

Why should Urban Meyers team hold this spot without question?

They are the nation’s defending national champion.

Not enough for you? Me either. How about these facts:

  • There are fourteen returning starters. Seven on offense and seven on defense.
  • Last year the Buckeyes rushed for 3,967 yards. They have all but 102 of those yards coming back.
  • RB Ezekiel Elliott is back and is going to be a frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy. In the Big Ten Championship, College Football Playoff first round and Championship Game he rushed for 696 yards. 232 yards in the three biggest games of the Ohio State season.
  • Have you heard that Urban Meyer has three quarterbacks that would start at just about every SEC school?
  • Last season’s leading receiver, Devin Smith is gone, but numbers 2-7 are back. They accounted for 62% of all receiving yards in 2014.
  • Want experience on the offensive line? The unit has 75 starts. A reference point. The Razorbacks offensive line has 74 starts. It is really good.
  • On defense there is plenty of talent back as well. The team’s top four tacklers return this coming season.
  • There are some scouts that believe they have two number one draft picks on their defensive line in Joey Bosa and Adolphus Washington.
  • Use three word for the linebackers: depth, experienced, skilled
  • Urban Meyer is a winner. His career record is 142-26.

Finally, 2015 is the year when everyone THOUGHT this team would be good.

Yes, the Buckeyes deserve that top ranking as the season gets ready to kick off. Now it will be seen if they can keep it with that big target on their backs.

College football is coming.

 

 

 

The Greatest Strength for Each SEC Team in 2015

Aug 18, 2015 -- 7:58pm

By Gary Brown

Follow Gary on Twitter @cfbupdate

Every team has a strength as 2015 is getting ready to kickoff. Even Vandy. Here they are....

West

Alabama: the defensive front.

Auburn: passing game will be strong with Jeremy Johnson throwing to Duke Williams.

Arkansas: that big offensive line.

LSU: handing the ball to Leonard Fournette and company.

Ole Miss: a talented group of offensive linemen.

Miss. State: an overrated Dak Prescott.

Texas A&M: incredible skill and depth at WR.

East

Florida: an incredibly talented secondary.

South Carolina: Pharoh Cooper may be the best player in the conference.

Georgia: a running game that can move the football.

Kentucky: four returning starters on the offensive line.

Missouri: ability to run the football.

Tennessee: a loaded group of wide receivers.

Vanderbilt: getting to play in the SEC East and not the West.

SEC Bowl Previews: December 30 Games

Dec 29, 2014 -- 1:05pm

By Gary Brown

Follow on Twitter at: @cfbupdate

Each day an SEC team is playing during bowl season we will preview the game and give you reasons to watch.

We start with the December 30th games.

Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl
#22 LSU (8-4, 4-4 SEC) vs. Notre Dame (7-5)
2:02pm Tuesday, 12/30 | LP Field, Nashville | ESPN

Notre Dame was 6-0 and had the world in front of them when they faced Florida State on October 18. Then, a penalty took a late touchdown of the board and the Fighting Irish went into a free fall for the balance of the season losing four of their last five after that game. Mid-way through the season this team had dreams of the college football playoffs, and spent the balance of the season just trying to figure out what was wrong.

LSU had a disappointing season by the standards set over the last decade. The Tigers won eight games, but they had four stinging losses that really defined the season. Auburn routed LSU, they lost to Mississippi State in a game where they tried to rally late to win, took a tough home loss to Alabama in overtime and were shut out by Arkansas.

LSU lacked offensive punch in 2014 and most of the issues can be traced to growing pains at quarterback. Anthony Jennings only completed 48.8% of his passes and had ten touchdowns to go with seven interceptions. The ground game was solid and could have been better if the Tigers had any genuine threat of a passing attack. On defense, the Tigers gave up more yards than normal, but still finished second in scoring defense in the SEC.

The return of Everett Golson at quarterback was supposed to be a big boost to the Notre Dame offense, and while he had great moments there were too many times where he made big mistakes. An example of his play that cost the team, there are the four picks against Arizona State. The Irish were also not as good on defense as they needed to be and finished the season 86th nationally in scoring defense giving up 29.3 points per game.

The Call: Both teams brought higher expectations into the season than the Music City Bowl, which means that neither team is just wild about being in Nashville. That means overall talent should prevail and the edge in this category would go to LSU. Quarterback play will also be important. If one signal caller can win the game it would be Golson, though both could lose it for their team. This should be a close game, but expect LSU to rack up another win for the SEC.

Belk Bowl-Georgia (9-3, 6-2 SEC)vs. Louisville (9-3, 5-3 ACC)

 Kickoff: Tuesday, Dec. 30 at 5:30 p.m. CT

TV Channel:ESPN

At most schools a 9-3 record is reason to celebrate. Georgia fans view it as another disappointing season for the Bulldogs under Mark Richt. While there were big wins over Clemson, Missouri and Auburn, there were the moments of failure that haunt this Georgia program. The loss to South Carolina was a tough one given how the Gamecocks lost to Texas A&M.  Against Florida the Dawgs were manhandled and in the game with Georgia Tech they managed to pull defeat from the jaws of victory.

Louisville had a solid first year trek through the ACC and had Florida State on the ropes for much of their game before being wore down by the Seminoles. An early season loss to Virginia was disappointing, but the Cardinals were able to put that in the rearview mirror successfully.

Like most Bobby Petrino teams the Cardinals will be able to put points on the board and average 32.6 points per game. A holdover from the Charlie Strong years as head coach is a solid defense. Louisville is second in total defense in the ACC and is only giving up 20.5 points per game.

Georgia will be without longtime offensive coordinator Mike Bobo and play calling duties will be handled by tight end coach John Lilly. Don’t expect the Bulldogs to shift away from their physical running game with Nick Chubb carrying the load.

The Call: While this should be a good game the physical running of Georgia will be the toughest Louisville has faced this season. Despite the impressive stats of the Louisville defense against the run, Georgia should be able to find separation in the second half. In addition, the Georgia defense is the SEC’s best against the pass and they should have success in making Louisville one dimensional. As long as Georgia does not stray too far from their typical game plan, they should lock up win ten this season for Mark Richt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SEC Bowl Previews

Dec 26, 2014 -- 8:32am

By Gary Brown

Follow on Twitter at: @cfbupdate

Each day an SEC team is playing during bowl season we will preview the game(s) and give you reason to watch.

Today we look at the December 29th games.

SEC Bowl Picks

AutoZone Liberty Bowl
West Virginia (7-5, 5-4 Big 12) vs. Texas A&M (7-5, 3-5 SEC)
2:00 pm Monday, 12/29 | Liberty Bowl Municipal Stadium, Memphis | ESPN

For West Virginia the season had a lot of “almost” feel to it. The Mountaineers played Alabama tough in their opener, were in the game with Oklahoma until late, barely lost a heartbreaker to TCU and beat Baylor 41-27. While this team was in position for more, the folks in Morgantown have to be happy about the turnaround from a 4-8 record last season.

On Thursday night, August 28 the world of college football was anointing Texas A&M a national title contender and Aggie QB Kenny Hill a Heisman contender. The October happened. A&M went on a three game losing skid with losses to Mississippi State, Ole Miss and a 59-0 thumping by Alabama. The Aggies were sinking fast and Kenny Hill was on the bench. The Aggies did pull off an upset of Auburn, but closed the season out with loses to Missouri and LSU. The season that started with a bang, turned into a dud for Kevin Sumlin’s team.

This game will feature two schools that, well, to be charitable, don’t specialize in defense. Both head coaches do like to score, so if you want to see points on the board this is a game you will not want to miss.

West Virginia quarterback Clint Trickett has been one of the keys to the Mountaineers rebound in 2014. He passes for just under 300 yards per game while completing 67.1% of his passes. He has thrown eighteen touchdowns this season, but also turned the ball over on interceptions ten times. Those interceptions, along with eighteen lost fumbles are a big reason West Virginia did not have a bigger 2014 than they did.

Despite their record, Texas A&M is still able to score and averaged 34.4 points per game while churning out 449 yards per outing. Kyle Allen finished the season out at quarterback and has thrown twelve touchdowns to go with six interceptions. The Aggies are not very good on defense, but one player to keep an eye on is true freshman defensive end Myles Garrett. He was second in the SEC in sacks this season with eleven.

The Call: Both rosters are full of young talent and are looking to get things moving in the right direction as 2015 rolls around. Just looking at the two teams, it seems there is more talent on the Aggies side of the football and those West Virginia’s turnovers loom big as bowl games usually mean timing is off and mistakes seem to be more frequent. On the other hand, Texas A&M saw a season that started with plenty of hope just fall of the cliff. If Kevin Sumlin has his team focused and forward thinking, then expect the Aggies to give the SEC a bowl win.

Advocare V100 Texas Bowl
Arkansas (6-6, 2-6 SEC) vs. Texas (6-6, 5-4 Big 12)
9:00pm Monday, 12/29 | NRG Stadium, Houston | ESPN

Get the complete Texas Bowl Preview Here

 

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