So, the Heisman is a joke.
Alright, maybe that’s a little harsh. It’s fine. It’s an award. It doesn’t really mean that much. It’s supposed to be a celebration of the most outstanding player in all of college football (for that particular year), and sometimes, they get it right. Other times, they don’t. It’s never usually a surprise, and it’s somewhat of a popularity contest that is voted on by journalists and former winners of the award. That means that about half the voters are competent and the other half is comprised of idiots, like basically any vote ever. Fortunately, whether right or wrong, it’s okay because, quite frankly, no one really cares.
If you must get into a debate regarding “who is going to win the Heisman…,” the best time to do it is a little early in the season, when the names are starting to be thrown out there but a lot of football has yet to be played. Like, well, right now, for example.
I’m not here to make a case for anybody or tell you who will win (** COUGH ** Jamarr Robinson of Bethune-Cookman ** COUGH **). This is about understanding the candidates in a different way. Possible intangibles that might win a person’s vote. Mostly throw stats to the ditch and look at the overall picture:
– What does the player have going for him?
– What does the player have working against him?
– What Phil Collins song most aptly represents the “essence” of the player (aka the “PCR”)?
* For the record, the PCR is fairly arbitrary. It doesn’t mean the song’s lyrics necessarily relate to the player or that the player is referenced in the song. I feel I explain myself in a semi-decent manner. Suggest your own Phil songs if you feel like it. Also, songs under the Genesis name are fair game and will be denoted with a (G) *
And the nominees are…
ANDREW LUCK, QB, STANFORD
– Going For Him: Big, white quarterback (good track record for those over the past decade); Stanford guy; 4-year guy; shaved the beard (beard was fine but not befitting of an honorable Heisman winner, i.e. Cam Newton, Reggie Bush, etc.); consensus #1 pick in next year’s NFL draft; the favorite since basically last year; made that one-handed catch
– Going Against Him: Not the “cool” pick because everyone has been favoring him forever; no one sees him play; poor teeth; not attending an SEC school
– PCR: “In The Air Tonight.” The top hit of Phil’s career and the song everybody knows. Even people who don’t listen to Phil Collins very much (aka the lowest common denominator) know the song.
RUSSELL WILSON, QB, WISCONSIN
– For: Dual-threat player with composure; mature; a supposed leader on and off the field; has that steady, unwavering vibe
– Against: Plays for Wisconsin, who hasn’t done jack on the road; has yet to really be tested and is a little under the radar because this is year one with the Badgers; not attending an SEC school
– PCR: “Easy Lover.” Great, inspiring song with solid melody/groove dynamic. Benefits from Phillip Bailey’s involvement, much as Wilson benefits from Montee Ball.
ROBERT GRIFFIN III, QB, BAYLOR
– For: The rising “it” guy in the NCAA; historical, statistically unparalleled first month of a season; awesome nickname (RG3); wears the face-guard, which sort of makes him look like a cyborg and/or “Gizmoduck” of “DuckTales” fame:
– Against: Still not THAT well-known; plays for Baylor; threw an interception; not attending an SEC school
– PCR: “Don’t Lose My Number.” A lot of people forget about or are unaware of this song, but you hear it and realize, “Man, this is a fucking GREAT song!” I recall one morning where I was sick as a dog in the middle of January, and I went into a grocery store at about 5:30 AM before work. I felt like the walking dead, but that song came on and I remember going, “Jesus, this song really does it all. Flawless. What a terrific day.”
TRENT RICHARDSON, RB, ALABAMA
– For: Firmly establishing himself as the most well-rounded, top back in the nation; climbing the overall ladder; runs like a powerhouse beast; catches well; blocks well; plays at Alabama (SEC)
– Against: Slightly overshadowed by his team; not a household name (yet); not heavily hyped prior to the season, even though everyone knew he was good
– PCR: “I Don’t Care Anymore (G).”: Just a straight-up, balls-to-the-wall song. Grown-man shit. Get out of the way.
MARCUS LATTIMORE, RB, SOUTH CAROLINA
– For: Smooth, all-around runner; does his usual thing most of weeks (i.e. tears it up); good, silky smooth name; plays at South Carolina (SEC)
– Against: Plays at South Carolina, where attention goes to the “Old Ball Coach” and you are unfortunately associated with Stephen Garcia; steady but not overwhelmingly remarkable; I predicted he would win the Heisman (kiss of death)
– PCR: “Another Day In Paradise.” A well-known hit that is solid and endearing. Good, but you can live life while it’s playing and not be distracted by the tune. A nice soundtrack piece as you face the day.
KELLEN MOORE, QB, BOISE STATE
– For: Always good; the anchor and face of the perennial underdog that passes all tests; white QB; numbers are usually through the roof
– Against: Not a standout personality; a bit awkward off the field; plays for Boise State; not attending an SEC school
– PCR: “Against All Odds.” As it says, “… so TAKE A LOOK AT ME NOW.” A strong song, but not the most exciting thing in the world. Gets it done, inspiring, and performed with precision and grace, as Phil is known to do.
LANDRY JONES, QB, OKLAHOMA
– For: Always good; cleaned up, as he shaved the ‘stache that made him look like a bit of a child-molestor in previous years; white QB; gets the Midwest support at Oklahoma
– Against: Not remarkable; a more socially-developed Kellen Moore, in a
way; not as good as Sam Bradford; not attending an SEC school
– PCR: “One More Night.” A steady, Collins-jam that rolls along and, generally, satisfies. Not too explosive, except for when Phil really belts out “… ‘CAUSE IIIIIIII CAN’T WAIT FOREVER!!!!”
DENARD ROBINSON, QB, MICHIGAN
– For: Highlight-reel type of player; dual-threat player (sort of); has a catchy look; big stat games; always looks cool when a Michigan guy is all over the place because it conjures up memories of Desmond Howard and the uniforms are cool and all that
– Against: An erratic player; throws up a fair amount of garbage; actually, not even that good of a QB; Michigan isn’t exactly what it used to be; not attending an SEC school
– PCR: “Sussudio.” A jumpy little number that immediately catches the ear and has tons of energy. However, a song that sometimes makes me go, “… this is kinda stupid.” Definitely more sizzle than steak, in my opinion, but Collins has the chops to get away with that.
TYRANN MATHIEU, CB, LSU
– For: A black guy with blonde hair; weekly staple of the “Top Plays” segment(s); impact player on the defensive end; historical numbers for an LSU defender; truly makes at least one big play per game; charismatic, shit-talker; aggressive and imposing; plays for LSU
– Against: Defensive player; a potential PR nightmare; LSU student-athlete, meaning he might fuck somebody up during class or at a concert or something and end up not finishing the season
– PCR: “Land of Confusion (G).” It’s a dark, semi-aggressive Genesis song. “… making too many problems… and there’s not much love to go ’round.” Sounds about right.
LAMICHAEL JAMES, RB, OREGON
– For: Dynamic back that is the headline of the super-hip Oregon offense; putting together what is basically an incredible statistical year; has that “swagger” associated with his name, which is fairly well-known; name is close to “Lebron James,” so maybe there’s some sort of osmosis, cosmic, subconscious status-transfer thing that happens there
– Against: Went the way of his team and lost a little “sugar” this year; had a lackluster performance in front of the whole world against LSU; known criminal (domestic violence); voters probably not eager to give another Heisman to another Pac-10/12 RB right now; not attending an SEC school
– PCR: “I Can’t Dance. (G)” Genesis song that is well-known and just has that FUNK. Grooves and swings. The type of song that will make a lady look at it and go, “Dammmmmmmn, what I would do to THAT.” If it were a person, I mean.
CASE KEENUM, QB, HOUSTON (“Invisible Touch”); NICK FOLES, QB, ARIZONA (“Throwing It All Away”); BRANDON WEEDEN/JUSTIN BLACKMON, QB/WR, OKLAHOMA STATE (“Two Hearts”)
– Wes Lilliman (who, amazingly, is not a heavy drug-user)