Trap of the Day: Heisman Trophy
Tomorrow evening, college football’s most illustrious fraternity will crown its newest inductee. The question is, who will be the next Heisman Trophy king?
Andrew Luck, Stanford Cardinal: Making his second-consecutive appearance at the Heisman Trophy presentation, Luck has been one of the favorites to strike the pose all season long. Although he is the top prospect in the upcoming NFL draft, many voters will question whether Luck is deserving of the prestigious award knowing he couldn’t win the “big one,” unable to lead his Cardinal squad to a Pac12 title. Not to worry for Luck, he’ll be taking home the largest NFL paycheck out of any of the Heisman finalists.
Trent Richardson, Alabama Tide: Playing in the toughest defensive conference in the country, Richardson has been an absolute horse for the Tide’s offensive attack. Any player that rushes for over six yards per carry in the SEC is well deserving of Heisman praise. Although Richardson was a significant factor in Bama reaching this year’s BCS National Championship, his full body of work in 2011 may not be enough to bring home the grand prize. The knock on Richardson: he averaged nearly 11 yards per carry when the Tide already lead by 15+ points and he scored 40% of his touchdowns versus “cupcake” non-conference opponents. In contrast, Richardson scored zero rushing TD’s versus tougher SEC foes LSU, Arkansas and Auburn.
Robert Griffin III, Baylor Bears: The silky smooth quarterback has emerged as the Heisman favorite entering Saturday’s presentation. The dual-threat speedster has been a headache for defensive coordinators all season long with an ability to both throw the deep ball accurately, while being able to tuck it in and scramble for a big gain. RG3 has also been incredibly poised and efficient throwing for a staggering 36 touchdown passes, coupled with only six interceptions. If I had to bet on it, RG3 will be the man taking home the hardware.
Montee Ball, Wisconsin Badgers: Ball is the most underrated finalist heading into the decision tomorrow night. Ball arguably had the hottest finish out of any of the candidates, crossing the goal line 17 times while rushing for nearly 1,000 yards in his final five games as a Badger. As the nation’s leader in total rushing yards and touchdowns, it is a fair assessment that Ball had the best season in college football. Unfortunately, a significant factor in the Heisman decision year-after-year is based on how a team finishes in the win-loss column. Wisconsin finished 2011 with two heartbreaking losses in which they blew a lead in the final minute of the game. Voters shouldn’t hold this against Ball, but they just might.
Tyrann Mathieu, LSU Tigers: Nick-named the “honey badger,” Mathieu has been a phenomenal playmaker for the Tigers all season long. As the only defensive player to be selected to the presentation, Mathieu’s statistics don’t jump off the page like some of the other players he’s up against. However, the honey badger’s highlight reel speaks for itself. From clutch punt-returns to timely forced fumbles, Mathieu has been stellar nearly every second he’s been on the field. Unfortunately for Mathieu, voters may be hesitant to select him due to his mid-season suspension in which he tested positive for synthetic marijuana. Not to fear though, as just a sophomore, Mathieu has a great shot to return in 2012.
So who will it be? The debate continues inside the Heisman Trophy trap!