Saturday, October 17, 2009

College Football Blotter Report: Reality Check

At the close of the weekend, most college football teams have now played half their season.  So what have we learned?  What stories are people not recognizing?

1. Tim Tebow is out of the Heisman race:  This one must be confusing to most people.  Sports Illustrated still says Tebow is in the lead.  ESPN says he is in the lead.  The truth however, is that no sane voter could even give Tebow a 5th place vote if the season finished today.  He has had fewer than 200 total yards in three of his five games this season.  His passing numbers are way off; he is only on pace to throw for 1900 yards this year.  In comparison, in his Heisman season Tebow threw for 3200 yards and had ZERO, count em, ZERO games with fewer than 200 total yards.  The other huge factor working against Tebow is that he has already blown one of what may only be three Heisman showcase performances.  The Gators may have won, but Tebow was unimpressive against LSU: 172 total yards, 1 TD and 1 INT.  Unless Tebow goes on a historic passing stretch and has a huge SEC championship game, not only does he not have any business winning the Heisman, he doesn't even deserve to be invited to New York as a finalist.

2. Colt McCoy is close to being out of the race too:  Against the fluffy part of his schedule, McCoy has ranked as only the 22nd QB in the nation in QB efficiency.  He has also thrown at least one interception every single game. (He has 6 INTs already, while he only had 8 all of last year)  And on top of that, McCoy is putting up poor rushing numbers, averaging only 11 yards a game.  (McCoy ran for over 500 yards each of the past two seasons) While McCoy has been middling thus far, unlike Tebow he has not wasted any of his showcase games as of yet, and could still jump back into the race with big games against the two Oklahoma schools.  On the other hand, losing to a 3-2 Oklahoma team next week could knock him out of the race completely.

3. Iowa's resume is stronger than most think:  Iowa has been a hard team to peg this year.  One week they almost lose to a I-AA team; the next they are trashing an in-state rival by 30 points on the road.  One week they are beating a top 5 team on the road; the next they are holding on for dear life against a Sun Belt team.  So what do we know about this team?  While the style points haven't been there, the resume speaks for itself; wins against 3-3 Iowa State, 3-2 Arizona, 5-1 Penn State, and 4-2 Michigan give Iowa four victories against average to above average BCS teams.  Hard to argue with that.

4. TCU is going to have a better BCS case than Boise:  Take a look at the schedules of Boise and TCU.  If they both go undefeated, which resume looks better?  TCU will have road wins against two ACC teams, a road win against BYU, and a win against Utah.  Boise will have a win against Oregon, and.....and.....that's it.  If Boise gets to a BCS game this year, they will be the second non-BCS school to sneak its way into the big time with close to zero on their resume (Hawaii 2007).

On the Field Heisman Rankings:
The Heisman race continues to be completely unpredictable this year, as it seems that every week a new contender falters.  This week it was Greg McElroy posting a poor performance to push him out for the time being.

1. Tony Pike, Cincy: A bit of a ho-hum performance for Pike this week against Miami (Oh), but when 270 yards and 2 TDs is an off day, I think it speaks to how good of a season Pike is having.

2. Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame: I really hate to put Clausen up this high before the USC game, but with a lack of strong candidates Clausen's numbers are just too huge to ignore at this point in the season.  Clausen leads the nation in passing efficiency and has 1544 yards and 12 TDs in 5 games this year, albeit against weak competition.

3. Ryan Williams, Virginia Tech:  Williams keeps hanging around the Heisman discussion, and the Freshman's performance is becoming harder and harder to ignore.  Williams had 182 total yards and a TD against Boston College this week, and ranks fifth in the nation in rushing yards.

4. Jaquizz Rodgers, Oregon State: Quizz has quietly been racking up TDs all season for the Beavers, and added 4 more this past week against Stanford to go along with 271 total yards.  A monster performance like that combined with Rodger's 13 TDs so far this year deserves at leas a one week stay in the rankings.

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