Thursday, December 07, 2006

Thursday 12/07 A.M. Quickie:
Troy Smith for Heisman? Why...NOT.

Troy Smith is going to win the Heisman. I don't have any specific scoop; like the rest of you, I simply assume this as fact.

Should the Heisman be for the most talented player in college football? The most valuable? Some combination?

Is Troy Smith really the best player in college football? Or does he get at least a little "Geno Torretta Bonus" for being the QB of the No. 1 team?

To steal a baseball stat, is Troy Smith's VORP (Value Over a Replacement Player) really that high -- or could you stick a serviceable QB in at Ohio State and do just as well? (See Krenzel, Craig)

If that's the case, maybe Smith isn't the best player in college football. And it's not like I'm nominating Brady Quinn. If Quinn played for any team but Notre Dame, he'd be at home, not in New York.

(Meanwhile, I saw that the ceremony would only feature three players: Smith, Quinn and Darren McFadden. I'm not sure why they ever went away from bringing the five top players to NYC for the ceremony. Even though at least 3 of the players perennially knew they weren't winning, it was always such an honor to be invited to New York to the ceremony.)

If Heisman worthiness is a function of talent and singular value to a team, I'd give my vote to Arkansas sophomore RB Darren McFadden. The Razorbacks were a surprise SEC title game runner-up, and the entire offense ran (and passed) around McFadden.

It's no surprise that Arkansas' loss to USC to start the season came with McFadden unable to play due to injury. And, even though Arkansas signed the top high school QB in the country, the most effective QB on the team was... McFadden – whether he was running out of a throwback single-wing/"Wildcat" formation or throwing the ball with uncanny success.

Darren McFadden is college football's LaDainian Tomlinson. He is its most talented player and – given Arkansas' unlikely success – one of its most valuable (and, yes, more valuable to his team than Troy Smith was to his).

Two years ago, I gave Reggie Bush my Heisman vote over Matt Leinart, who ended up winning the award. At the time, Bush was the most talented player in college football – and I'm quite sure that Leinart wouldn't have been Leinart without Bush being Bush. I was right about who *should* have won, but a year early on who *actually* won.

My 2006 Heisman vote goes to Darren McFadden. He won't win this season, but – based on my track record – they might as well engrave his name on the Trophy for 2007. But he's the best player THIS season, too.

Comments Question: Given that Troy Smith WILL win the Heisman this year, a few questions: (1) Do you think, like me, that another player SHOULD deserve the award? (2) If not, who do you think should be No. 2? (3) Which player didn't get much consideration but should have?

Quick Take on Today's Biggest Storylines:

Barry Bonds on the defending World Champion Cardinals, whose fans are among the wholesomest in sports, would be hilariously awesome. I can't wait to see where he ends up.

Jason Schmidt signs with the Dodgers (3Y/$47M), which is fascinating because he's staying in the division, joining a team that could really use that super-top-line ace.

Wait: Are the Red Sox going to miss out on Matsuzaka? What a waste that would be.

Wait: Are the Red Sox going to sign Eric Gagne? I know they're moving Papelbon to the starting rotation, but...Gagne?

As I'm still in Chicago...:
*Signing Ted Lilly? The Cubs are off the deep end. And if they sign Gil Meche, too, will that make the Yankees players in the Zito auction? But not as off the deep end as the Royals, who after a decade of parsimony caught whatever spenditis the Cubs currently suffer from.
*Trading Freddy Garcia? The White Sox better get a big year from Brandon McCarthy.

How is Tom O'Brien going from BC, where he had the Northeast recruiting scene much to himself, to NC State, one of the most competitive recruiting markets in the country, an upgrade? And staying in the conference? He must have really seen he was never going to do better than his perennial 8 or 9 wins in Chesnut Hill.

If you were Rich Rodriguez, would you leave West Virginia – with an awesome chance to go unbeaten and make the BCS title game next season – for an Alabama program that is all impossible expectations (uh, and money)?

If you were Miami, would you hire Bernie Kosar, who has zero experience as a college football head coach? I sure as hell wouldn't.

College Hoops: Butler wins again. What I'd really like to see is an instant-classic matchup between Butler and Wichita State for "Most Legit Mid-Major" of 2006-07.

NFL: I'll take the Steelers over the Browns in an utterly meaningless game, then give you the rest of my picks for the week tomorrow.

-- D.S.


Bear said...

...even though Arkansas signed the top high school QB in the country...

Uh...Tebow? I kind of remember some big hoopla when he signed with Florida.

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

1/2 an inch of snow here in Dayton...that calls for a level 50 emergency.

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

Troy Smith wins games...period. We saw what happened when "just another QB" was with the team. Justin Zwick went into OSU as the golden boy and came out shunned by fans. So to answer your question, not just any QB can play at OSU.

Take Smith off the OSU team and they lose to Texas this year and Michigan the past 3 years. Not to mention all the other close games. Come on Dan!

And if Brady Quinn went to Michigan or USC...he'd have the same stats...and he'd be invited.

Ed Lamb said...

I'm with Dan on wondering why Tom O'Brien or Rich Rodriguez would be contemplating moves.

Money seems to be the answer in both cases, but what I saw in this morning's paper was that both will only be getting raises in the 200K range. That's a lot of money to me. But it shouldn't be for either of the coaches, who are already making more than $700,000 per year.

Plus, WVU is pledging to make its football facilities the envy of the known universe.

Add in the fact that bot would be taking huge steps down in terms of talent, recruiting, and stadiums/practice sites, and you just have to ask, "What gives?"

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

Also...speaking of Dayton Flyers put a hurt on Creighton last night.

BLUE said...

there are a lot of guys who don't get any pub for the heisman because they're small school guys. Ian Johnson, Colt Brennan, Garret Wolfe. The truth is nobody knows their name. The heisman became a popularity contest and it's like electing a class president, it doesn't mean dick. Hey maybe you can buy OJ's on ebay.

Brave Sir Robin said...

Another thing to consider is how little Smith really has to do. His stats would be much higher if OSU really needed him to do more.

Matt T said...

How about the fact that McFadden was injured and not able to play in the USC game because he got a in a bar fight.

I think he's the MVP, but not neccesarily the Heisman.

Without Smith, they may not beat Penn State, OSU scored 2 late INT returns and scored a TD on a ridiculous Smith scramble and TD toss.

How about the Braves rebuilding their bullpen by trading an oft injured 5th starter for a stud reliever. Schuerholtz is back at it

CorrND said...

Bernie Kosar doesn't just have zero experience as a college head coach, he has zero coaching experience of any kind at any level.

Football isn't like basketball, where former players routinely step directly into coaching roles, sometimes straight to head coach.

Miami would be insane to hire him.

CorrND said...

geoff, did you see how many of Quinn's passes were dropped by receivers, particularly McKnight. As someone said, Quinn can't play defense and he also can't be at the other end to catch his perfectly thrown passes.

Quinn's one true fault is not being able to escape the pocket, compounded by not throwing the ball away early enough.

Josh said...

Vacate the Heisman this year. No one deserves it.

RevScottDeMangeMD said...


Troy Smith had a fantastic year. He DESTROYED Notre Dame. Justin Zwick would have never made the runs AND throws he made vs. them. You would love Troy Smith if he was on ND. You say that I hate ND so much it's disturbing, you hate OSU and Troy Smith so much it's embarrassing. Just admit he is a really good QB.

Brian in Oxford said...

I'd like to see someone show up at the Heisman ceremony not in a suit, and then explain it, "I couldn't afford it, and I told coach not to give me money for one so that he doesn't end up on probation." Even better if he shows up 10 minutes late because he had to hitch a ride to New York from Orlando a couple of nights earlier. Or if he was up late studying for finals.

Of course, Pujols would argue that the Heisman shouldn't go to a guy from Notre Dame because they're not playing for the championship.

How does BC like getting raided by the ACC now? ha! More recruits for Rutgers, Syracuse, and UConn perhaps?

And lastly, if two mid-majors play each other, how does that prove legitimacy? If two SWAC teams play when they're 7-0, the winner doesn't become any more legitimate to the big boys!

I'd love to get some snow tonight. 35 degrees and gray is a waste of my time. Either really be winter or have it be 65 out. But it only looks like an inch, tops, here (about a half hour from the WWL).

Anonymous said...


Have you seen any of the Buckeyes games? How can you say he's a game manager when the Buckeyes are putting up sooo many points. The fact is, without Troy Smith the Buckeyes would have lost to Texas, Penn State, and Michigan. The Heisman is not about the most skilled player, its about the Most Outstanding Player, the MVP. Without him, the buckeyes would have had to play Zwick and easily would have lost 3 games. Please back up your theories about him being the next Gino Torreta with actual facts. Watch the Buckeyes play and then comment on them. No other player deserves the Heisman in 2006 more than Smith. It will be wide open next year, but this year we have a clear cut choice. Give credit when its due instead of posting to get publicity. He's simply the Heisman winner. Can't wait till he lights up the Gators on January 8th.

Josh said...

When you are using this years Penn State team in defense of anything, you can't be helped.

Anonymous said...


His name is COLT BRENNAN, and he's a JUNIOR

Don't give me Ohio State wouldn't be good without Troy Smith, they still have Ted Ginn Jr. and Anthony Gonzalez to catch the ball and if they didn't have a decent QB they could hand it to Pittman and Wells and Laurinitis would still rock it on D.

Quinn throws to Samardzija and McKnight. I do think Quinn is better than Smith though.

Can someone name a receiver on Hawai'i? Anybody? If you got Davone Bess you have been paying attention.

I have a great stat for everyone... Who are these two players?
Player 1: 350/515, 4301 YRDS, 68%CMP, 8.4 YPA, 35 TD, 13 INT, 155.5 QB RAT
Player 2: 199/297, 2507 YRDS, 67% CMP, 8.4 YPA, 30 TD, 5 INT, 167.9 QB RAT

As you can see, Player 2 seems to have passed less but done slightly better (5 less TDS, 8 less INTS) but they have the same completion rate and the same yards per attempt.

Answers: Player 1 is Colt Brennan last year, Player 2 is Troy Smith this year.

Did you hear about Colt Brennan last year? That's what I thought. Yet he's very close to our lock of a Heisman winner this year.

The real question is if Colt Brennan comes back for Senior year and improves as much as he did between his Sophmore and Junior years how could he NOT win the Heisman?

Anonymous said...

I have no problem with Troy Smith as the Heisman. You are very wrong that you could plug anyone in at QB for OSU. What Smith brings is the one thing that NONE of the other candidates have had: Leadership and Poise.
The man has weathered every storm like a champion. He has represented his team well and always remembered those that have helped him.
Are his stats huge? No. But Ohio State would NOT be where it is without him.

Anonymous said...

I do think leadership is big in the Heisman.
McFadden? Leadership and Poise aren't things that are attributed to him. Not yet anyways.

Quinn? ND's leaders are Zbikowski and Weis. At least to the general public, and probably most voters.

Just my opinion.
I think all 3 are great players. But everyone has great talent on the top teams, its the intangibles that set a player apart. Troy Smith has those intangibles, the others don't.

RevScottDeMangeMD said...


impressive rant...but allowe me to retort.

timmy chang, danny kolb, david klingler, any BYU quarterback, any texas tech quarterback...what do they all have in common? offenses that throw the ball 50+ times a game and play HS teams.

brennan is good...but he would not be putting up those numbers at any other school. why do you think he transfered from usc? oh wait...that whole rape thing. too soon?

chipp said...

Sorry for not reading all the comments yet, but...

Quinn has 700 more yards and a 7:1 TD:INT ratio vs Smith's 6:1. Smith was sacked a lot less which I consider an important part of being a QB. Smith only had 233 RY on the season with under 4.0 Y/C and 1 TD - not impressive.

As Ben asked, why not Colt Brennan or Ian Johnson? All Johnson has done is lead the nation in TDs (24 to McFadden's 14) with 6.4 Y/C (to McFadden's 5.9). Oh, and Boise St is undefeated. (interesting note: they're both Sophs)

When was the last time a non-BCS Conference player won the Heisman? Actually, maybe they know something: Ty Detmer (BYU) in 1990 and Andre Ware (HOU) in 1989.

Anonymous said...


Dave, Great point about Kosar - true, he has no experience but he should be commended for staying involved over the years and now trying to help out his school. He is one of the few good guys to come out of the "U".

I think Dan is either crazy or just trying to start arguments by comparing Toretta and Smith. I had my doubts about Smith and I certainly hate the idea of giving the Heisman simply to the QB of the top team but I started watching his games (especially vs. Mich) and I was convinced without a doubt that this guy desrves the Heisman.

The question of "What constitutes the Heisman" should be discussed and argued but not this year. Smith deserves to win this year's award!!!

Sheldiz said...

guy -- i was hoping you'd show up with some Colt Brennan info.

ToddTheJackass said...

I'm really sad to see Tom O'Brien go from BC. Not only has the program been very competitive under him, but he was a good guy and the graduation rates for the players were always excellent. I hope he can maintain that level of academic excellence in NC State, and hope he does well there. That being said, I'm really disappointed that he'd go to an ACC rival. Seems kind of cold, when he had such a great thing going at BC.

Re: Ohio St., not sure how many of you caught this, but I think the Onion had by far the best write-up of the year thus far in regards to the BCS. In all seriousness, I probably agree with this:

-Todd (Boston)

Anonymous said...

I've got to go with Colt. Best individual performance by a QB. If he's legally playing for a Div. I school, then he's eligible, no matter what else happened.

It's bad enough that only QBs and RBs usually get considered, why does it have to be the #1 program in the country, when your "MVP" is most certainly surrounded by more talent than lesser programs.

Isn't it enough that he goes to the championship game?

Anonymous said...

I'm going to be the completely insane individual that says Miami SHOULD hire Bernie Kosar.

1. If he's a complete disaster, you've lowered expectations and it will be easier to find a replacement (like Rodrigez after he has a down year).
2. If Pete Carrol can be a success basically just recruiting and QB coaching, I'm sure Kosar can match up with that. Everyone is impressed with his football IQ. It worked for Spurrier. Miami needs an X's and O's guy very little in the ACC, and former quarterbacks are more likely to develop coaching skills anyway.

Sheldiz said...

i will admit that the ESPN "feel good" special about the high school football team in Alaska was a tear jerker. didn't see the colt brennan one, though.

jhawkjjm said...

Heisman is easily Smith. However, I wouldn't be as surprised if Brady Quinn wins it as a "lifeteime achievement award". see Eric Crouch

But yes, the Heisman is a complete joke of an award. This is an award where Jason White won it as a junior, which was a joke, and then lost it as a senior when he put up even better numbers, also a joke.

RevScottDeMangeMD said...


already mentioned his troubled past. and yes, i saw that piece and wanted to vomit.

Wow...we agree on something...maybe we CAN get along! If I can chaaaaaaange...then you can chaaaaaaaaange! We all can chaaaaaaaaange!

Charlie Weis is fat

Anonymous said...

How can Colt Brennan not win the Heisman?

David Klingler.

Jon said...

2003 results - 1st Jason White, 2nd Larry Fitzgerald, 3rd Eli Manning

2006 - 1st Troy Smith, 2nd Darren McFadden, 3rd Brady Quinn

I think that's a pretty good comparison between two Heisman classes.

Brian in Oxford said...

Hey, the Heisman is presented by the Downtown Athletic Club of New York.

If we wanted to shell out a cool mil for nice looking trophy, I bet we could organize our own award, and vote on it ourselves. And have ESPN carry the ceremony.

Natsfan74 said...

Colt Brennan is a great quarterback, but not a Heisman Trophy quarterback. He is an accurate passer with a strong arm, but he is in a system that throws teh ball 50-60 times a game with no real running game. This is the same system that allowed Timmy Chang to put up the same type of numbers. But for more perspective, Chang had 6 years of college with two red-shirt seasons due to injury. In his 2 red-shirt seasons, the back-ups also put up ridiculous numbers. In 2001, Nick Rolovich threw for 543 yards and 8 touchdowns against undefeated BYU. And let's not forget to decrease these numbers by the obligatory 20% for playing in the defenseless WAC.

Brian in Oxford said...

The Royals just pumped out 55 million for 5 years of Gil Meche?

Do they THINK this counts as "playing with the big boys"?

Eeeeyikes! How many years until they dump that salary to some wild-card desperate team in July?

Anonymous said...

"Didn't a SYSTEM also produce back to back Heisman winning QBs in Carson Palmer and Matt Lienart?"

- Yeah that Palmer sure is a system QB and I guess he lucked out in the NFL as well going into the QB factory that is the Cincinatti Bengals System (a system that produced such legends as Kitna, Akili Smith, & Klingler)

DON'T compare Brennan to Palmer or Leinart, you just look foolish.

Anonymous said...

Re: Smith
Comparing Smith to Toretta is a joke. Toretta won the Heisman because of the 3-step gun formation and Miami's loaded roster. Never has anyone less mobile played football.

Re: Meche
One of us needs to file for MLB Free Agency. I'm betting we get someone to offer 4 years / $20 million sight unseen out of reflex.

Anonymous said...

Kitna put up gaudy numbers at Cinncinnati, just like Palmer. Leinart may or may not be successful. So comparing Brennan to these guys is valid.

Mega said...

Royals sign Gil Meche for 5 yrs/55 mil?!

Folks, this is why they are the worst team in the MLB.

And that huge sigh of relief you just heard? It was all the White Sox fans thanking the good Lord that Jon Garland did not get traded to Houston for crap.

Garcia to the Phils for a AA or AAA guy in Gonzalez, then another pitcher that SUCKED in the NL? Methinks Kenny Williams got fleeced in this deal. With the huge salaries these pitchers are getting, he should be getting at least 1 more player in that deal.

Mega said...


I can be your agent. We'll get the Koufax comparisons started ASAP (ala Borass)

CMFost said...

No major quarterbacks this year have what it takes to succeed in the NFL. Not Smith, not Quinn, not Slaton, not Brohm.

I am by no means a Brady Quinn fan but he is going to be a solid pro. He is already successfully running a pro offense I think he is the most poised to jump right into the NFL

CMFost said...

I for one am so happy that Tom O'Brien is leaving BC and taking his Dungy/Shoettheimer disease with him. Just like those to Coaches O'Brien could never really get his team to win when they needed it.

Look at the Miami game this year or the Syracuse game 2 years ago when I win meant a BCS Bowl.

I can not wait for the Bob Davie era to start at BC.

CMFost said...

2. If Pete Carrol can be a success basically just recruiting and QB coaching, I'm sure Kosar can match up with that. Everyone is impressed with his football IQ. It worked for Spurrier. Miami needs an X's and O's guy very little in the ACC, and former quarterbacks are more likely to develop coaching skills anyway.

Do not underestimate how good of a defensive coach Pete Carroll is, he was the D-Coordinator on some successful 49ers teams

Anonymous said...


revscott said...
"offenses that throw the ball 50+ times a game..."

natsfan74 said...
"but he is in a system that throws teh ball 50-60 times a game with no real running game."

Geoff-detroit said...
"Didn't Tommy Chong or whatever pass for a billion yards there, too?"

ok. in order....

the Rainbow Warriors throw the ball LESS THAT 40 TIMES A GAME and I could be wrong, but last time I checked, numbers that are less than 40 are not more between 50 and 60 or more than 50

on the no real running game comment...
FACT: Hawai'i has more rushing yards than Maryland, UCLA, Alabama, Miami, Pitt, BC, Tennesse, and here's the killer NOTRE DAME
care to retract your statement?

We will assume by Tommy Chong you meant Timmy Chang (or Timothy Kealii'okaaina Awa Chang).
This is Colt's Junior year. I will Compare it with the average Timmy Chang year.
AVG CHANG: 347/609 Passing, 57% CMP, 4268 YRDS, 7 YPA, 29 TD, 20 INT, 1.5 Rush TD, 121.1 QB RAT
BRENNEN: 373/517 PASSING, 72.1% CMP, 4990 YRDS, 9.7 YPA, 53 TD, 11 INT, 5 Rush TD, 182.8 QB RAT

So in short, Colt completes more passes in fewer attempts for more yards on a better average, for almost twice as many TDs and almost half as many INTs, with more than 3 times as many rushing TDs, and Chang's passer rating is 2/3 of his.

But yeah, the same as Chang.

Steve said...

Did someone actually in all seriousness say they are excited about the Bob Davie era starting for their school? Wow. Just wow. The only exciting thing about that would be getting him out of the booth.

Kevin said...

I actually agree with you that five guys should go to NYC - it's great for these kids to be honored, even if everyone knows they're not gonna win. Besides, everyone knows Troy's gonna win it this year - why didn't they just invite him?

Natsfan74 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Natsfan74 said...

Bonds to St. Louis? Does Bonds think that threat will hold enough water to make SF sign him quickly?

The White Sox had the one thing most coveted in sports right now - quality starting pitching making less than $10M per season. Why would they trade Garcia for such little return when they see what guys like Lilly and Meche are getting on their own? Future Schmuture....

As a UH season ticket holder (Go 'Bows), I have had plenty of opportunity to watch their various quarterbacks. They still call a pass on 78% of their downs, they threw the ball over 50 times in 3 games this year, and under 40 times in 3 games, so add in the called passes that became runs (scrambles and sacks) and you are back to 50 per game. Their running game is a ruse to keep defenses almost honest, but their running yards are largely draw plays and quarterback keepers.

No doubt Colt is a great passer, but his numbers compare to David Klingler and Andre Ware - largely inflated due to the type of offense. In 2001, Nick Rolovich threw for 373 yards per game and 4 TD per game. This is a system that allows for explosive numbers.

Anonymous said...

Wait a minute, is Samardjiza coming out? So, at least the fantasy world has a potential superstar coming out. He's a classic big target outlet receiver for a bad QB.

Too much depends on which team they end up with. It looks like Quinn will be the first QB taken, however.

Josh said...

Calvin Johnson, Adrian Peterson, maybe Dwayne Jarrett, Quinn, Ted Ginn, Chad Henne maybe, Robert Meachem...those are just some skill guys that will or could be in the draft.

BLUE said...

Colt Brennan did play against Purdue, so that's big 10 right? He was 33/48 for 434yds and 3 td's. But then again the Big 11 stinks this year, so you have to discount that, but don't count that against Troy Smith. The truth is, other then Michigan, the only tough Defense that Troy Smith faced this year was in practice. So go blow his stats out your ass.

MP said...

I would've traded Buehrle if I was the Sox.

But I will argue that Troy Smith was the running force behind the OSU offense. I don't think you could stick another QB in who would do just as well. I really don't.

Not to underscore McFadden's importance to Arkansas, of course. I agree, Dan. Vote for the player who isn't up there just because he's on the #1 team. The Heisman is way too biased.

Brian in Oxford said...

Say what you want, but the fact that there aren't any CBS or FOX promos during the game (in stunning HD, of course...thanks, Adelphia) makes the NFL network telecast, well....not that bad.

natsfan, you're on the island? I had a blast for a week this past summer with the then-future mrs. (ok, she's not a mrs., she's a dr.) How many home games do the Rainbows get a year? I know the NCAA gives them an extra game per year, but are teams lining up for the chance to visit each year?

the red sox last year taught me that you don't trade pitching just because you have it! will the white sox learn that soon enough into the season?

Anonymous said...

The most dominant college football player is Joe Thomas, tackle, Wisconsin. He should win the Heisman!