The Portland Metro Area Gets Alright NFL Games: Week 10

Last week was officially graded as an “OK” week for NFL on TV in the Portland-Metro Area. Will this week be any different? Let’s find out.

Here is what we have coming up for Week 10:

Am I seeing this right…no Packers or Patriots this week? What is going on?

At first glance we have two games that I am interested in. Let’s take a deeper dive into what is on TV this week:

Thursday Night

Chargers @ Raiders

We are looking at a primetime AFC west game without any realistic playoff implications. Gross. Derek Carr vs Philip Rivers. The outcome of this game does not matter to me one bit.

CBS Early

Chiefs @ Titans

We have a potential game with Matt Moore vs Ryan Tannehill under center. Two former Miami Dolphin starting QBs. I would honestly prefer to watch the Ravens beat up on the Bengals during this time slot. Hopefully Mahomes plays in this one.

Fox Early

Falcons @ Saints

^ Me when then Saints are on TV again against a 1-7 team.

CBS Late

Rams @ Steelers

Not sure why we get this game. The Packers playing the Panthers is much more important to the NFC playoff picture.

Sunday Night

Vikings @ Cowboys

Kirk Cousins, I do like that. I love watching the Cowboys play.

Monday Night

Seahawks @ 49ers

Is this rivalry back? I hope so.

Wrap-Up

This is an “Alright” week for NFL action in Portland. We get to end our weekend with the two best games – Vikings @ Cowboys and Seahawks @ 49ers.
– Buzz

College Football Rankings (Week 10) And Picks (Week 11)

We lost another undefeated team for the fourth week in a row – the SMU Mustangs fell to the Memphis Tigers on Saturday night.

Many contributors to Hefty Headlines were invited to participate in our Week 9 poll. EVERYONE (except for Chamby) participated:

Hefty Headlines Top 10 Poll: Week 10

Our top three teams remained unchanged this week. Georgia and Oregon each found themselves tied for #4 after their big wins this weekend. There is some clear voting bias in our poll – Clemson and Penn State only showed up in 4/5 top tens – greatly impacting their rankings.

Voting Trends

Week 11 Picks

If The CFP Happened Today…

Let’s see what happens this week before getting too ahead of ourselves. Will be exciting to see what happens with LSU @ Alabama this weekend.

Heisman Picks

Just like with the playoff rankings…let’s see what happens with LSU @ Alabama.

Previous Weeks

  • Pre-Season: Trevor Lawrence – QB – Clemson
  • Week 1: Jalen Hurts – QB – Oklahoma
  • Week 2: Joe Burrow – QB – LSU
  • Week 3: Jalen Hurts – QB – Oklahoma AND Joe Burrow – QB – LSU
  • Week 4: Joe Burrow – QB – LSU
  • Week 5: Jalen Hurts – QB – Oklahoma
  • Week 6: Jalen Hurts – QB – Oklahoma
  • Week 7: Joe Burrow – QB – LSU
  • Week 8: Joe Burrow – QB – LSU
  • Week 9: Joe Burrow – QB – LSU

Final Week Nine Thoughts

  • Buzz: Some bogus calls in the Georgia-Florida game – at least that is what my brother was screaming at the TV.
  • Tommy Nuggets: Boring week
  • Bix: Seasons over. UW sucks. Bring on 2020.
  • Klyde Frog: UCLA is in prime position to win the Pac-12 South! And the Beavers have a really explosive offense. I don’t know if Arizona’s D Coordinator was the issue.

Wrap Up

Penn State @ Minnesota and LSU @ Alabama. Do I need to say more than that to get you excited for this weekend?

– Buzz

NFL Playoff Picture – October 29th

It is way too early in the NFL season to do this – but here we are. At this point we are looking at a pretty solid playoff picture. There is a bit more turnover in the AFC – and as long as the Steelers are left out – I’m happy.

Wildcard Round

Vikings @ Packers

A decent game with division rivals in the first round. Would be cool to see the Vikings have some playoff success against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.

Seahawks @ Cowboys

This would be an interesting rematch from last year’s playoffs. The Cowboys beat the Seahawks 24-22 in the 2019 Wildcard Round.

Texans @ Ravens

Lamar Jackson vs Deshaun Watson – would be fun to watch.

Bills @ Chiefs

The Chiefs find themselves without a first round bye at this point. This reminds me of when the Titans surprised the Chiefs in the Wildcard Round a few years ago.

Divisional Round

Highest Remaining @ Saints

Despite not having Drew Brees for a few weeks, the Saints still find themselves with a first round bye at this point in the season.

Lowest Remaining @ 49ers

The 7-0 49ers are off to a hot start. The road to the Super Bowl goes through San Francisco, for now.

Highest Remaining @ Colts

The Colts are a surprise in the AFC – I’m not sure that many would have them pegged for the #2 seed after losing Andrew Luck to retirement right before the start of the year.

Lowest Remaining @ Patriots

The Patriots have the #1 seed in the AFC. Can anyone beat them in Foxboro? Please?

Wrap Up

Kind of interesting that of the four teams currently looking at a first round bye – three of them are led by a Bill Belichick QB. San Francisco has Jimmy Garoppolo, Indianapolis has Jacoby Brissett, and of course New England has Brady.

– Buzz

The Portland Metro Area Gets OK NFL Games: Week 9

Last week was officially graded as a “the worst” week for NFL on TV in the Portland-Metro Area. Will this week be any different? Let’s find out.

Here is what we have coming up for Week 9:

This week is looking as expected – we get the four regulars on our TV schedule – Steelers, Seahawks, Packers, and Patriots. Let’s dive into the game by game matchups to see if this is a salvageable week.

Thursday Night

49ers @ Cardinals

The 49ers are one of the best surprises in the NFL this season. Nick Bosa and the 49ers defense take on Kyler Murray and the Arizona offense. The Cardinals have new addition Kenyan Drake to revamp their depleted backfield. This is better than our usual Thursday Night game.

CBS Early

Colts @ Steelers

This is a gross game. The other alternatives in this time slot are Jets @ Dolphins and Titans @ Panthers. I guess I would rather be watching the Panthers game.

Fox Early

Buccaneers @ Seahawks

This is a better game than what CBS is airing. I’m hoping for a high scoring affair – and for Jameis Winston to eat a W.

CBS Late

Packers @ Chargers

No thanks. I have no interest in watching Rodgers vs Rivers.

Sunday Night

Patriots @ Ravens

Sign me up for more Lamar Jackson. He is the most exciting player in football. Can’t wait to see how he does against the Patriots.

Monday Night

Cowboys @ Giants

Hopefully the Cowboys stay on track against the Giants on Monday Night. The only downfall to getting this game will be the announcers.

Wrap-Up

This is an “OK” week for NFL action in Portland. We get three enjoyable games to watch – all in primetime.
– Buzz

College Football Rankings (Week 9) And Picks (Week 10)

The Oklahoma Sooner football team fell this week to unranked Kansas State. In three consecutive weeks we have had an undefeated team lose to an unranked team.

Many contributors to Hefty Headlines were invited to participate in our Week 9 poll. EVERYONE participated:

Hefty Headlines Top 10 Poll: Week 9

The LSU Tigers remain our number 1 team in the nation. Ohio State jumped Alabama. Penn State and Florida round out our top five. Our biggest drop went to #10 Oklahoma, who fell six spots after their loss to unranked Kansas State.

Due to consistent bitching from our pollsters – we now will produce a weekly top ten, rather than a weekly top 25.

Voting Trends

Week 10 Picks

If The CFP Happened Today…

  • Buzz: This poll is kind of a wash until LSU plays Alabama and Penn State plays Ohio State. Clemson will likely snake their way in to this. There is an opportunity for Oregon or another SEC team to find their way into the final four. I’d really like to see what happens with an undefeated Baylor team and if they would get in.
  • Tommy Nuggets: Ohio State looks unstoppable right now, but we‘ll see. Winner of LSU/Bama is in. Clemson is in, although their schedule is annoying. Toss up after that…
  • Bix: Oklahoma’s disappointing loss might keep Jalen hurts from getting revenge against his former team. LSU or bama will get a loss and then only one into the SEC title.
  • Chamby: No real thoughts. Michigan can spoil Ohio State in a couple weeks.
  • Klyde Frog: The LSU-Alabama game will sort out the #1 seed. I hope the Pac-12 gets in this year.

Heisman Picks

  • Buzz: Joe Burrow is the Heisman front-runner until LSU loses. Chase Young looked like the most dominant player in the country. JK Dobbins is the key to that Ohio State offense – he deserves more credit for the success of that team.
  • Tommy Nuggets: Chase Young deserves it
  • Stormin’ Mormon: Baylor Romney had his Heisman moments bs Boise. Watch out
  • Bix: Tua needs to get healthy but if he wins out and keeps producing I think he wins. (I think Tua beats burrow ob 11/9)
  • Chamby: If Oregon commits to Verdell, his numbers will be ridiculous. Stop using Dye and let Verdell be the dude.
  • Klyde Frog: Joe Burrow has been so good he can have a down game and still stay up there. I have watched 1 drive of an Ohio State game so I have not seen Chase Young play. Jalen Hurts almost put up 500 yards of offense but still lost. Not his fault.

Previous Weeks

  • Pre-Season: Trevor Lawrence – QB – Clemson
  • Week 1: Jalen Hurts – QB – Oklahoma
  • Week 2: Joe Burrow – QB – LSU
  • Week 3: Jalen Hurts – QB – Oklahoma AND Joe Burrow – QB – LSU
  • Week 4: Joe Burrow – QB – LSU
  • Week 5: Jalen Hurts – QB – Oklahoma
  • Week 6: Jalen Hurts – QB – Oklahoma
  • Week 7: Joe Burrow – QB – LSU
  • Week 8: Joe Burrow – QB – LSU

Final Week Nine Thoughts

  • Buzz: Oklahoma got screwed on that onside kick. #8 was blocked into the kick – making it not an illegal touch. Would have like to have seen that one play out. Oregon comes away with an exciting win during #pac12afterdark. The Canes are working their way towards a bowl game this year.
  • Tommy Nuggets: Big 12 is a joke!
  • Bix: Oregon Squeaked our another one….chip and UCLA turning it around. 7 rushing TDs by QBs in the Oklahoma vs Kansas State matchup. Gotta be close to a record.
  • Klyde Frog: Oregon should have lost. I enjoyed watching UCLA destroy ASU. Herm didn’t have an answer!
  • Chamby: Go Ducks!

Wrap Up

This weekend is decent – but I am looking forward to the following weekend. On November 9th we have Penn State @ Minnesota and LSU @ Alabama.
– Buzz

Horrible Heismans: Troy Smith – 2006

In my last post, Horrible Heismans: Eric Crouch – 2001, I went into detail about how undeserving Eric Crouch was of the award in 2001.

Today, we are moving forward to the year 2006. The Heisman winner that year was Troy Smith – of the The Ohio State University.

Let’s Talk Stats

PlayerSchoolClassPosSummary
Troy Smith*Ohio StateSRQB203 Cmp, 311 Att, 2542 Yds, 30 TD, 6 Int

At first glance those are some decent numbers. Over 2,500 yards passing, 30 TD, and just 6 INT. Those numbers alone wouldn’t be enough to make anyone Heisman worthy – Smith must have had wild rushing numbers too.

Nope.

Let’s get to the rushing stats later. For now, let’s focus on passing.

2,542 YDS, 30 TD, and 6 INT.

Those numbers include his BCS Championship performance – but honestly that performance does not matter much, he threw for just 35 yards and 1 INT in that game.

Anyways – 2,542 YDS is the fewest thrown by a Heisman winning QB since, yep, Eric Crouch. Every QB to win the Heisman since then has surpassed 2,542 YDS passing.

Aside from Eric Crouch, the most recent QB to win the Heisman and throw for less yards than Troy Smith was in 1971. Pat Sullivan – from Auburn – threw for 2,262 YDS while winning the award that season.

In 1988 Barry Sanders won the award. His rushing yards and touchdowns eclipse what Troy Smith put up throwing the football in 2006.

Smith played in 12 regular season games in 2006. He failed to pass for 200 yards in six of those games. He threw for over 300 yards once in 2006.

Now I know you are going to say, “wait dude, Troy Smith is African-American, he probably had great rushing stats for a quarterback.”

Fine, let’s take a look at his rushing stats

YearSchoolClassPosGAttYdsAvgTD
*2006Ohio StateSRQB13722042.81

Yikes. Not great numbers there. In 2005 he ran for over 600 yards and 11 TD. His numbers fell off big time his Senior year.

If we combine the numbers – we are still looking at just 2,746 Total Yards and 31 combined TD.

Let’s compare that to everyone else in 2006:

*This is a screenshot from https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/years/2006-leaders.html

Troy Smith finds himself out of the Top 20 with those numbers. He has less than half of the total yards that Colt Brennan put up at Hawaii.

I know what you’re going to say, “OK fine, he was an efficient passer – let’s look at his pass efficiency rating.”

Fine, here you go:

*This is a screenshot from https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/years/2006-leaders.html

Whoa – 7th? Falling behind Brennan makes sense. However, Smith wasn’t even on the level of Tyler Palko, John Beck, Kevin Kolb, Jared Zebransky or JaMarcus Russell.

Troy Smith was a solid QB – but was he the best player in the country? Probably not. I need to figure out how he won this thing.

Heisman Moment

Could not find one – not very Heisman-like of him.

Team Resume

The Ohio State Buckeyes were the #1 team in the country through the entire 2006 season.

They beat #2 Texas on the road early in the year.

They ended their regular season defeating #2 Michigan. Along they way they also beat #24 Penn State and #13 Iowa.

It is hard to believe, but they were ranked #1 in every single poll for the length of the season. That is, until they lost to Florida in the BCS championship.

Troy Smith was the key player on the best team heading into bowl season.

Who Deserved to Win The Heisman?

If Troy Smith was not deserving – then who should have won the Heisman Trophy in 2006?

Let’s take a look at the final voting results:

RkPlayerSchoolClassPos1st2nd3rdTot
1Troy Smith*Ohio StateSRQB80162132540
2Darren McFadden*ArkansasSORB45298147878
3Brady Quinn*Notre DameSRQB13276191782
4Steve Slaton*West VirginiaSORB65194214
5Michael Hart*MichiganJRRB55879210
6Colt Brennan*HawaiiJRQB64496202
7Ray Rice*RutgersSORB1164479
8Ian Johnson*Boise StateJRRB1134473
9Dwayne Jarrett*USCJRWR1112247
10Calvin Johnson*Georgia TechJRWR182443

Troy Smith was named on 94.8% of Heisman ballots, the second highest amount of all time. Marcus Mariota was named on 95.16% of ballots in 2014.

Troy Smith also had the second largest margin of victory – beating Darren McFadden by 1,662 points. O.J. Simpson (USC) won the award over Leroy Keyes (Purdue) by 1,750 points in 1968.

The Case for Darren McFadden:

Arkansas was such a cool team in 2006. They had one of the greatest backfields of all time: Darren McFadden, Felix Jones, and Peyton Hillis.

McFadden surpassed 100 yards rushing in seven games. He had a season high of 219 yards against South Carolina.

His receiving numbers were light – 11 receptions for 145 YDS and 1 TD.

He was also 7/9 passing on the year for 69 YDS, 3 TD, and 1 INT.

YearSchoolClassPosGAttYdsAvgTD
*2006ArkansasSORB1428416475.814
YearSchoolClassPosGRecYdsAvgTD
*2006ArkansasSORB141114913.51

The Case for Brady Quinn:

Brady Quinn was better than Troy Smith. He was a four year starter at Notre Dame, and also pretty good. Four year starter + Notre Dame + Pretty Good = Heisman contender.

Notre Dame started the year ranked #2 and floated in and out of the top ten throughout the season. They ended the regular season with a 10-2 record – their losses coming to #11 Michigan and #3 USC.

YearSchoolClassPosGCmpAttPctYdsTDIntRate
*2006Notre DameSRQB1328946761.93426377146.7

The Case for Steve Slaton:

Steve Slaton led the backfield for one of the most exciting offenses in college football. Paired with Pat White – the two were electric for the West Virginia Mountaineers for many years.

2006 was an impressive year for Slaton. He rushed for over 100 yards in ten games, and over 200 yards twice. His season high came against Pitt when he ran for 215 yards and 2 TD on 23 attempts. He also had 6 receptions for 130 yards and 2 TD in that game.

The Mountaineers were a top 10 team most of the season – peaking at #3 after a 7-0 start. They finished with an 11-2 record. Their losses came to #5 Louisville and South Florida.

Truth be told, Slaton has a stronger case than McFadden for this award. He performed better and played for a better team.

YearSchoolClassPosGAttYdsAvgTD
*2006West VirginiaSORB1324817447.016
YearSchoolClassPosGRecYdsAvgTD
*2006West VirginiaSORB132736013.32

The Case for Mike Hart:

Mike Hart was a solid 4-year starter for the Wolverines. In 2006, he set career highs for rushing attempts, rushing yards, and rushing TDs.

The Wolverines started the year with an 11 game winning streak, including a big win on the road at #2 Notre Dame. They peaked at #2 in the AP poll. They eventually fell to #1 Ohio State in their last game of the season – and again lost in the Rose Bowl to USC.

Hart had nine games with over 100 rushing yards. His season high was 195 yards against Minnesota.

YearSchoolClassPosGAttYdsAvgTD
*2006MichiganJRRB1331815624.914
YearSchoolClassPosGTDRecYdsAvgTD
*2006MichiganJRRB1314171257.40

The Case for Colt Brennan:

Colt Brennan was legit. He consistently put up video game numbers.

In 2006 Brennan set the single season Passing TD record – a record that still stands to this day. He threw for 58 touchdown passes. He also threw for the second most yards ever in a single season – 5,549. A number that has now fallen to 5th on the list.

If we throw his rushing yards into the mix – he ranks second in all time total yards in a single season – with 5,915 yards.

So the numbers are there, how was his competition and how did Hawaii do?

The Warriors finished with an 11-3 record. Their losses came on the road to Alabama, at Boise State, and in their last regular season game at home to Oregon State. They only defeated one power 5 team – Purdue.

YearSchoolClassPosGCmpAttPctYdsTDIntRate
*2006HawaiiJRQB1440655972.655495812186.0
YearSchoolClassPosGAttYdsAvgTD
*2006HawaiiJRQB14863664.35

The Case for Ian Johnson:

Here we have another WAC player in contention for the biggest award in college sports. So how can Ian Johnson possibly justify getting the award?

Ian Johnson finished 4th in the nation in rushing yards with 1,713 yards – he also led the nation with 25 rushing TDs.

Johnson topped 100 rushing yards in eight games prior to Heisman voting. His season high came against Oregon State when he rushed for 240 yards and 5 TD.

Boise State worked their way from unranked all the way up to #9 prior to Heisman voting. They finished the year with a win against #7 Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl.

YearSchoolClassPosGAttYdsAvgTD
*2006Boise StateSORB1227717136.225

The Case for Ray Rice:

Ray Rice was one of the best backs in college football in 2006. He was second in the nation in rushing yards and touchdowns. He put up big numbers in a weakened and not what it used to be Big East.

Ray Rice topped 100 rushing yards in nine games – his season high came against Pitt when he rushed for 225 YDS.

Rutgers was a solid team. They started the year unranked and peaked at #7. They entered bowl season with a 10-2 record and as the #16 team in the country.

YearSchoolClassPosGAttYdsAvgTD
*2006RutgersSORB1333517945.420

So…Who Deserved the Heisman?

The RBs all put up pretty similar rushing numbers.

  • McFadden – 1,647 – 14 TD
  • Slaton – 1,744 – 16 TD
  • Hart – 1,562 – 14 TD
  • Johnson – 1,713 – 25 TD
  • Rice – 1,794 – 20 TD

I guess the nod goes to Slaton there – he tops 2,000 total yards when you consider receiving. He also faced better competition throughout the year.

Now let’s look at QBs.

  • Troy Smith – 2,542 YDS, 30 TD, and 6 INT
  • Brady Quinn – 3,426 YDS, 37 TD and 7 INT
  • Colt Brennan – 5,549 YDS, 58 TD and 12 INT

The numbers from Brennan are almost comical. Smith was clearly not the top QB of this class – he definitely should not have taken home the Heisman.

If I had a vote in 2006, it would have looked like this:

  1. Colt Brennan – Hawaii
  2. Steve Slaton – West Virginia
  3. Brady Quinn – Notre Dame

Wrap Up

In my next edition of Horrible Heismans – I’m coming for someone from Alabama. The 2009 Heisman vote was despicable – Mark Ingram did not deserve the award that year.

– Buzz

The Portland Metro Area Gets The Worst NFL Games: Week 8

Last week was officially graded as a “solid” week for NFL on TV in the Portland-Metro Area. Will this week be any different? Let’s find out.

Here is what we have coming up for Week 8:

Thursday Night

Redskins @ Vikings

This is terrible! The Redskins might be the worst team in football. The Vikings have the most boring generic create a player white QB.

CBS Early

Bengals @ Rams

This is terrible! The Bengals might be the worst team in football. The Rams have a few superstars, but not enough for me to tune in to this game.

Fox Early

Seahawks @ Falcons

This is terrible! The Falcons might be the worst team in football. By now, you should know how I feel about watching the Seahawks play.

CBS Late

Browns @ Patriots

Finally – a watchable game. The Browns have their version of solid players, the Patriots are the Patriots. Should be a good game, could be a blowout.

Sunday Night

Packers @ Chiefs

I despise Aaron Rodgers. The Chiefs are fun to watch, but are they fun to watch with Matt Moor at QB?

Monday Night

Dolphins @ Steelers

This has to be a joke, right? There is no way that this is the Monday Night game.

Wrap-Up

This might actually be “The Worst” week of football games we have had on TV. The Falcons, Redskins, Steelers, Dolphins, and Bengals have combined for a 4-29 record. We somehow have the opportunity to watch them all play this week. Yikes.

– Buzz

College Football Rankings (Week 8) And Picks (Week 9)

Another week, another upset. Wisconsin loses a shocker to Illinois – one week before their big game against Ohio State.

Many contributors to Hefty Headlines were invited to participate in our Week 8 poll. Five members of our committee participated:

Hefty Headlines Top 25 Poll: Week 8

The LSU Tigers remain our number 1 team in the nation. They are followed by Alabama and Ohio State. Oklahoma jumped Clemson to become our new #4. Our biggest drop went to #22 Boise State, who fell nine spots after their loss to unranked BYU. #12 Oregon somehow fell three spots despite beating Washington on the road.

Wake Forest, and Iowa State re-enter our poll this week.

Others receiving votes: Wake Forest 2, Cal 1, Temple 1, SDSU 1.

Voting Trends

Week 9 Picks

If The CFP Happened Today…

  • Buzz: LSU is the clear #1. Ohio State and Alabama are on the same level. The debate is at #4 – between Oklahoma and Penn State.
  • Tommy Nuggets: Too early…
  • Chamby: Boring foursome. Go LSU?
  • Klyde Frog: If I had my way, the SEC would only get 1 team. Cannot be a national champ if you do not win your conference.

Heisman Picks

  • Buzz: Joe Burrow is the man. He is putting up unreal numbers against solid competition. That is what separates him from Jalen Hurts.
  • Tommy Nuggets: I don’t have thoughts…just facts and correct picks.
  • Chamby: Hurts has been my go to since day 1 and has Oklahoma averaging 50.4PPG, hasn’t done anything to lose that spot. Fields is running an offense that is averaging 49.7PPG, not bad.. Chuba Hubbard leads the NCAA in rushing at 1,265 yards and 15 touchdowns. He is averaging 6.5 yards a carry…which is absurdly only good for 17th in the country????
  • Klyde Frog: Joe Burrow is the front runner. I know it HURTS being the other candidates, but he is TAYLOR made for this.

Previous Weeks

  • Pre-Season: Trevor Lawrence – QB – Clemson
  • Week 1: Jalen Hurts – QB – Oklahoma
  • Week 2: Joe Burrow – QB – LSU
  • Week 3: Jalen Hurts – QB – Oklahoma AND Joe Burrow – QB – LSU
  • Week 4: Joe Burrow – QB – LSU
  • Week 5: Jalen Hurts – QB – Oklahoma
  • Week 6: Jalen Hurts – QB – Oklahoma
  • Week 7: Joe Burrow – QB – LSU

Final Week Eight Thoughts

  • Buzz: Very disappointing that Wisconsin fell to Illinois. They were looking ahead to next week and it cost them. Miami looks god awful – it is time for a complete program reset, starting with the Adidas sponsorship. Oregon is looking sneaky good – they may back themselves into that #4 playoff spot.
  • Tommy Nuggets: Anyone else tired of filling out Top 25 Rankings???
  • Klyde Frog:Everyone on UCLA’s schedule better be on upset alert!
  • Chamby: Go Ducks
  • Stormin’ Mormon: How bout them cougs?

Wrap Up

Big weekend ahead. Wisconsin @ Ohio State, Auburn @ LSU, and Notre Dame @ Michigan. Let’s hope for some wild upsets to shake things up a bit.

– Buzz

Horrible Heismans: Eric Crouch – 2001

I was looking at Heisman stats today at work. That is what the city pays me to do while I teach children. In my statistical deep dive I started with the most recent Heisman – 2018’s Kyler Murray – and worked my way backwards. For the most part, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. That is, until I arrived at the year 2001.

When I got there I saw something so disgusting that I yelled at my 5th grade students, “I said we are SILENT reading!”

“But Mr. Buzz,” spoke one brave little girl, “this is math class, not reading.”

“I SAID SILENT!”

My angry outburst was fueled by the shockingly poor statistics of the Heisman winner in 2001. At first glance, they simply can’t be true.

Let’s Talk Stats

PlayerSchoolClassPosSummary
Eric CrouchNebraskaSRQB105 Cmp, 189 Att, 1510 Yds, 7 TD, 10 Int

The Heisman Trophy winner in 2001 threw the ball 189 times in 12 games. He averaged just under 16 attempts per game. Let me type the following stat line in bold – I need to get this point across – 1,510 YDS, 7 TD and 10 INT.

The Heisman Trophy winner threw more interceptions than touchdowns.

In 1970, Jim Plunkett won the Heisman with 19 TD and 19 INT.

In 1963, Roger Staubach won the Heisman with 7 TD and 7 INT.

The last time a Heisman Trophy winner threw more interceptions than touchdowns was in 1956 – Paul Hornung threw 3 TD and 13 INT.

Crouch played in 12 regular season games in 2001. He failed to pass for 100 yards in three of those games. He threw for over 200 yards zero times in 2001.

Now I know you are going to say, “wait dude, I know that Crouch was a prolific runner, he must have had insane rushing stats.”

Fine, let’s take a look at those too.

PlayerSchoolClassPosAttYdsAvgTD
Eric CrouchNebraskaSRQB20311155.518

Pretty good rushing stats for a QB. Pretty wild that he ran the ball more times than he threw the ball.

Eric Crouch surpassed 100 rushing yards in six games during the 2001 season – with a high of 191 against Missouri.

If we combine the numbers though – and his 63 yard TD reception – we are still looking at just 2,688 Total Yards and 25 combined TD.

Let’s compare that to everyone else in 2001:

*This is a screenshot from https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/years/2001-leaders.html

Eric Crouch doesn’t even crack the top 20 with those numbers. Every single Heisman winning QB since 2001 has cracked the top 20 in total yards during their respective season – except for Troy Smith in 2006.

I know what you’re going to say, “you just addressed total yards – you bum – let’s just talk rushing stats”

Fine, you asked for it.

I looked at every quarterback that was voted into the Heisman top 10 – dating back to 2001. Here are all of the quarterbacks in that category that rushed for 1,000+ yards:

RankNameYearSchoolClassPosGAttYds
1Jordan Lynch*2013Northern IllinoisSRQB142921920
2Jordan Lynch*2012Northern IllinoisJRQB142941815
3Denard Robinson*2010MichiganSOQB132561702
4Lamar Jackson*2017LouisvilleJRQB132321601
5Lamar Jackson*2016LouisvilleSOQB132601571
6Cam Newton**2010AuburnJRQB142641473
7Johnny Manziel**2012Texas A&MFRQB132011410
8Keenan Reynolds*2015NavySRQB132651373
9Pat White*2007West VirginiaJRQB131971335
10Braxton Miller2012Ohio StateSOQB122271271
11Colin Kaepernick*2010NevadaSRQB141731206
12Eric Crouch*2001NebraskaSRQB122031115
13Deshaun Watson*2015ClemsonSOQB152071105
14Braxton Miller*2013Ohio StateJRQB121711068
15Vince Young*2005TexasJRQB131551050
16Kyler Murray**2018OklahomaJRQB141401001

*Heisman winning season

Eric Crouch is all the way down at #12 on that list. It is also important to note – every single QB on this list threw for more yards and touchdowns than Crouch did during his Heisman campaign.

Now let’s take a look at total rushing touchdowns for a QB that was voted into the Heisman top 10 – dating back to 2001. Huh? Whatever – just go with me here.

RankNameYearSchoolClassPosGYdsTD
1Keenan Reynolds*2015NavySRQB13137324
2Jordan Lynch*2013Northern IllinoisSRQB14192023
3Collin Klein*2012Kansas StateSRQB1392023
4Tim Tebow**2007FloridaSOQB1389523
5Lamar Jackson**2016LouisvilleSOQB13157121
6Johnny Manziel**2012Texas A&MFRQB13141021
7Cam Newton**2010AuburnJRQB14147320
8Colin Kaepernick*2010NevadaSRQB14120620
9Jordan Lynch*2012Northern IllinoisJRQB14181519
10Lamar Jackson*2017LouisvilleJRQB13160118
11Eric Crouch*2001NebraskaSRQB12111518
12Marcus Mariota**2014OregonJRQB1577015

*Heisman winning season

Crouch comes in at #11 on this list. I guess the question now is, what information can we gain from these two lists?

Eric Crouch was a very good running quarterback in college. Was he one of the best of all time? No – not even top 10.

Heisman Moment

You could argue that Eric Crouch had two defining Heisman moments. On was a 95 yard run against Missouri.

The other was a 63 yard touchdown reception against Oklahoma.

Team Resume

The Nebraska Cornhuskers were a Top 10 team through the entirety of the 2001 college football season. They started the year ranked #4 in the AP poll, and finished ranked #8.

#17 Notre Dame visited Nebraska in Mid-September – a game Nebraska won 27-10.

In late October – #2 Oklahoma came into town and lost to Nebraska 20-10.

The Cornhuskers lost to #14 Colorado in late November – their first loss of the year. That 62-36 loss led to Nebraska missing out on the Big 12 title game.

Despite being ranked #4 in both the AP and Coached poll – Nebraska was the #2 ranked BCS team and found themselves playing for the Rose Bowl and BCS Championship. They were defeated by the Miami Hurricanes 37-14.

Who Deserved to Win The Heisman?

If Eric Crouch was not deserving – then who should have won the Heisman Trophy in 2001?

Let’s take a look at the final voting results:

RkPlayerSchoolClassPos1st2nd3rdTot
1Eric CrouchNebraskaSRQB1629888770
2Rex GrossmanFloridaSOQB13710587708
3Ken DorseyMiami (FL)JRQB10912267638
4Joey Harrington*OregonSRQB546866364
5David Carr*Fresno StateSRQB346058280
6Antwaan Randle ElIndianaSRQB463951267
7Roy WilliamsOklahomaJRDB133635146
8Bryant McKinnieMiami (FL)SROL261214116
9Dwight FreeneySyracuseSRDL262442
10Julius PeppersNorth CarolinaJRDL2101541

This was the 5th closest Heisman race of all time. Crouch edged out Rex Grossman by just 62 points. He only surpassed 3rd place Ken Dorsey by 132 points.

The Case for Rex Grossman:

Florida was ranked #1 to start the year – never falling below #7 throughout the season. They finished the regular season with a 9-2 record. Their losses came on the road at Auburn and against #5 Tennessee. The loss to Tennessee kept them out of the SEC championship game. The Gators entered Bowl Season ranked #5 and ended their season at #3.

Grossman was a solid quarterback for the Gators all season. He started off the year with nine straight games of 300+ yards passing. His season high was against Louisiana State – he threw for 462 YDS and 5 TD.

He was a reliable QB for the Gators – except for during the loss to Auburn, a game in which he threw 4 INTs.

YearSchoolClassPosGCmpAttPctYdsTDIntRate
2001FloridaSOQB1125939565.638963412170.8
YearSchoolConfClassPosGAttYdsAvgTD
2001FloridaSECSOQB113480.25

The Case for Ken Dorsey:

Dorsey led the Miami Hurricanes to a perfect 11-0 record heading into bowl season. He did have a huge outlier of a game against Boston College. Miami won that game 18-7, but Dorsey threw 4 INTs

Outside of that one game his numbers were consistent and he was a reliable quarterback. The Heisman Trophy is for the best player – and it is hard to determine if Dorsey was that good or if he was just a product of that dominant Miami team.

YearSchoolClassPosGCmpAttPctYdsTDIntRate
2001Miami (FL)JRQB1118431857.92652239146.1

The Case for Joey Harrington:

Harrington led the Oregon Ducks to a 10-1 record before bowl season. The Ducks started the year ranked #7 – dipped to #11 at one point – and finished the season as the #2 team in the country. The lone loss for the ducks came midway through the season against Stanford.

Harrington was consistent all year – he rarely turned the ball over – throwing multiple interceptions in just two games.

YearSchoolClassPosGCmpAttPctYdsTDIntRate
*2001OregonSRQB1221436458.82764276143.8
YearSchoolClassPosGAttYdsAvgTD
*2001OregonSRQB1255561.07

The Case for David Carr:

David Carr had a phenomenal year for the Fresno State Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs beat Colorado (the same team that beat up on Nebraska) on the road to open the season. They then played #10 Oregon State and won 44-24. In their third game they traveled to #23 Wisconsin and beat them 32-20. In those three games, Carr threw fro 768 YDS and 7 TD with just 1 INT.

Fresno State worked themselves all the way up to #8 in the AP poll. After back to back losses to Boise State and Hawaii they fell out of the top 25. They briefly worked their way back into the top 25 by the end of the season. They lost their bowl game to Michigan State and ended the year unranked.

David Carr threw for 300+ yards in 10 games for the Fresno State Bulldogs. HIs season high was against Utah State – he passed for 432 YDS and 6 TD.

The obvious knock against Carr is that he played in the WAC – and didn’t have the best competition to play against through the whole season.

YearSchoolClassPosGCmpAttPctYdsTDIntRate
*2001Fresno StateSRQB1434453364.54839469165.9
YearSchoolClassPosGAttYdsAvgTD
*2001Fresno StateSRQB1494670.75

The Case for Antwaan Randle El:

He has often been referred to as “better than Eric Crouch” by me – just now.

The Indiana Hoosiers were an average football team – finishing the year with a 5-6 record. Their best moment of the season was defeating #22 Michigan State 37-28.

Randle El was an exciting dual-threat quarterback – he was fun to watch. It is truly hard to tell if he was a Heisman-worthy quarterback – or just the best athlete on a bad team.

YearSchoolClassPosGCmpAttPctYdsTDIntRate
2001IndianaSRQB1111823151.1166495120.1
YearSchoolClassPosGAttYdsAvgTD
2001IndianaSRQB111889645.18

So…Who Deserved the Heisman?

The Heisman should have been awarded to Rex Grossman. The Gators we a good team all year – and he was nothing but consistent.

Derek Carr had more impressive stats – but he also competed in the WAC.

Grossman played a tough SEC schedule along with an out of conference game against Florida State. To go along with his consistency – he also led the nation in passing efficiency.

If I had a vote in 2001, it would have looked like this:

  1. Rex Grossman – Florida
  2. David Carr – Fresno State
  3. Joey Harrington – Oregon

Wrap Up

In my next edition of Horrible Heismans – I’m coming for someone from THE Ohio State. The 2006 Heisman vote was a joke – Troy Smith did not deserve the award that year.

– Buzz

The Gambler’s Guide To Football 10/17-10/21

A new week deserves a new approach. It is always darkest before the dawn. Tomorrow, tomorrow, there’s always tomorrow. Tomorrow is a new day.

Without further ado – it is time to go down the rabbit hole and look ahead at this week in football.

History

On the season – I am down a significant amount, 33.81 units. I have a 61-90-2 record, which amounts to a 40.4% win rate.

I need a new approach. In the past I have thrown out endless picks, hoping more would be winners than not. Obviously, that was stupid. I enter the week with a new approach – I will only pick games in which I have some idea of what is going on.

Overall, I have no idea what I am doing. Anyways – here are my picks for the upcoming weekend in sports:

College Football

So far this season – I have a 28-36-1 record with college football. Last weekend I was 8-16 – sheesh.

Florida -6 @ South Carolina

  • The Gators are coming off a close loss on the road at LSU. The Gamecocks are coming off a huge win on the road at Georgia. Florida will be looking to bounce back and have a statement game – the Gamecocks will still be riding high from last week – they will be unprepared for the Gators.

Wisconsin -31 @ Illinois

  • Wisconsin is absolutely dominating lesser competition this year. I think they beat Illinois by at least 6 touchdowns.

C

Indiana @ Maryland +6

  • Indiana is still Indiana. Maryland has shown signs of a solid offense – and they have cool uniforms.

LSU -18 @ Mississippi State

  • The LSU offense has been unstoppable this year. Mississippi State didn’t show up against Tennessee last week – they have no shot against LSU.

Kentucky @ Georgia -25

  • The Georgia Bulldogs will bounce back in a big way following their surprising loss to South Carolina. I think they are head and shoulders above Kentucky.

Tulane +4.5 @ Memphis

  • Two 5-1 teams battle it out in this one. Tulane has been impressive so far this year – and they have great looking uniforms. I am taking Tulane and the points in this one.

NFL

I am 29-45-1 in NFL action this year. That is very bad. I feel like this may be the hardest sport to bet on.

Kansas City -3 @ Denver

  • The Chiefs are coming off of a loss and a short week. I think they are ready to come out of their brief slump – Mahomes will be slingin’ the ball in this game.

San Francisco -10 @ Washington

  • The 49ers have looked solid so far this season. The Redskins continue to be a dumpster fire – I have the 49ers winning by two TDs on the road in this one.

Philadelphia +3 @ Dallas

  • The Cowboys have been in quite the slump – I think they continue to fall this week. The spotlight of Sunday Night Football and the points makes me want to go with the Eagles.

New England -10 @ New York Jets

  • The Jets looked good last week, but the Patriots are the Patriots.

Wrap Up

I don’t want to make any guarantees, but I think we are looking at a 10-0 week here. I would never tell anyone what to do with their money, however

– Buzz