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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Well, what now? Neither Troy Smith or Lamarr Woodley did anything to distinguish himself last weekend. Steve Slaton fumbled away his team's MNC chances, though an arm injury had something to do with that.

Irish bloggers are getting progressively more ornery about the continued omission of Official Heisman Candidate Brady Quinn from the majority of MaxwellPundit rolls. ROM runs the thing and is on the warpath:

I can't wait for Wednesday when the blog brigade of dumbies vote for the likes of Steve "Fumblitis" Slaton, Lamarr "Victor Abiamiri has more sacks than you" Woodley, and some WAC running back ahead of Brady Quinn. Anti-Irish sentiment at its finest.
This is an odd thing to shift the burden of proof to Quinn skeptics. What, exactly, are Quinn's qualifications other than being a very pretty senior? A smorgasbord of empty-but-similarly-pretty numbers against teams ranked 109th, 86th, 94th, 76th, 93rd, and 107th in pass efficiency defense. (Upcoming: numbers 106 and 89, then #25, USC.) General failure as a passer in games versus Georgia Tech and Michigan. Only a clinical dissection of a Penn State team foolishly dedicated to three-and-four man rushes and a soft zone stands out as anything better than average this year. Two dozen quarterbacks would have Quinn's statistics if slotted into his place. Nearly two dozen have better numbers to date: he's but 19th in passer efficiency. There is no argument in favor of Quinn that Colt McCoy or Nate Longshore can't obliterate. So Irish fans are reduced to arguing that the Notre Dame offensive line couldn't block a poodle and Darius Walker actually died in 1896.

The reason no one's voting for Quinn is that there is not much reason to vote for him. After his spectacular failure against Michigan, Quinn's only ping on the national consciousness was to nearly blow the Michigan State game before Drew Stanton and the Spartan secondary generously returned the favor. Since then he's been treading water against no one in particular. He's proven excellent at glorified seven-on-seven drills and precisely nothing else. Call that anti-Irish if you want, but that's no MaxwellPundit winner in my eyes.

So, then, who is? I must return to the stated principles laid out in the (Friedrich) Nietzsche Theory of the Heisman:
The ideal Heisman candidate is frightening to behold unless he is on your side, in which case he is your flagbearer and protector. The ideal candidate is a force of nature that rolls through his opposition against tremendous odds. His name is graven on the tombstone of instant replay's creator as a justification. He is not sunnily efficient, or competent, or a great fat beast who crushes only the weak. He is slightly terrifying. There is a small but real possibility that he is the escaped prototype of a CIA-developed breed of unkillable soldiers; he is not man; he is overman.
So... with the lack of flawless candidates, I end up sorting amongst the flaws and get this:

1. Calvin Johson, Georgia Tech

A wide receiver can only do so much to be involved in a game. He runs routes; the quarterback throws or does not throw to him. All he can do is run crisply and hope to get open. Unless you are Calvin Johnson, in which case the idea of "getting open" is absurd: you are always open because you own the area 8-25 feet above the playing surface.

Why did Georgia Tech steadfastly refuse to give Johnson the ball against Clemson? No one will ever know. What we do know: if you throw, he catches. And runs. And is impossibly big, fast, and elusive. Give him the damn ball.

2. Lamarr Woodley, Michigan

Can hardly be blamed for the 26 points Ball State managed, as nine were handed to the opposition by the offense and fourteen more were at the expense of backup cornerbacks as Woodley observed from the sideline. It would have been nice if he could pad some numbers but

3. Troy Smith, Ohio State

Can certainly be blamed more than Woodley could for his 100-ish yard, 1 INT performance versus Illinois, but with Alex Boone out and OSU staked to a 17-point lead Tressel decided to play Lloydball and get out of there intact. Result: run run run run run run. Debordism is contagious. He drops but remains... he's still sixth in the country in passer efficiency.

4. Marshawn Lynch, Cal

Two touchdowns versus UCLA though not a ton of yards.

5. Reggie Nelson, Florida

Still here and dreadlocked.