Friday, December 09, 2011

RGIII will (deservingly) win the Heisman

Way back in August, I wrote some stuff about the Heisman and how it's become a de facto best-back-on-the-best-team award. Upshot:
The Heisman has become the Best Back on the Best Team Award (or occasionally the Most Dominant Player on a Very Good Team Award),

Now that we've got that out of the way, here are the old and outdated criteria that most people think still matter but really don't:

1. Huge, mind-blowing stats (only necessary if playing on a good-but-not-great BCS team)
2. Being a household name at the start of the season

Like I said before, this isn't 1992, and nobody will care if Case Keenum throws for 5,000 yards and 40 touchdowns while Andrew Luck throws for 2,500 and 30 touchdowns. We're not in the Ty Detmer/Andre Ware era anymore.

As for No. 2, neither of the past two winners was even on the radar at the start of the season -- Cam Newton wasn't even on the freakin' Davey O'Brien watch list, which is comprised of pretty much every quarterback anybody thinks might be capable of being good. If your team is elite and you're the star quarterback/running back, you can win the Heisman.
Woo self-promoting blockquote. Anyway, I then listed a whole bunch of guys who could fall into that last category; Robert Griffin wasn't one of them. At no point did I seriously consider the possibility that (a) Griffin would be good enough to offset Baylor's mediocrity or (b) Griffin would be so good that Baylor would also be pretty good.

Robert Griffin is probably going to win the Heisman tomorrow, as he should. I saw about half of Baylor's games this year and would describe Baylor as a slightly less talented version of 2010 Michigan playing in the best top-to-bottom conference in the country this year. And that team went 9-3. The reason: RGIII.

The numbers are totally and utterly ridiculous in every way for a guy playing in an actual conference. Here, have a poorly formatted chart:

Pct TD Int Yds YPA Rating
Robert Griffin III 72.36 36 6 3998 10.83 192.31
Andrew Luck 69.97 35 9 3170 8.5 167.5
Griffin could play his worst game of the year in the Alamo Bowl and still break the all-time single-season pass-efficiency record of 186.0. Ridonkulous. I should probably mention that he also has 644 rushing yards and nine touchdowns, which would make him a decent starting D-I running back if he were solely a running back.

Going back to Baylor being 2010 Michigan, consider this: RGIII accounted for 67.9 percent of the offense for a team that went 9-3 despite finishing 106th (!) in scoring defense and 114th (!!!) in total defense. In their three losses, they gave up 36, 55 and 59 points. They won games in which they gave up 48, 31, 39, 38 and 42 points. Griffin accounted for at least two touchdowns in every game this year and had more touchdown passes than incompletions (lol) until late in the fourth game of the year. His pass efficiency at that point was something absurd like 221; the dip to 192 isn't that significant considering the absurdity of what he was doing in September.

I was asked about two weeks ago who I'd vote for if I had a ballot. My response: I'd take RGIII but could justifiably vote for Andrew Luck, Trent Richardson or even Tyrann Mathieu. Luck and Richardson are probably the two most talented players in the country, and Mathieu has zero chance of actually winning but has been basically the defensive/special teams version of RGIII. I honestly don't know which of those guys I'd leave off my ballot; probably Mathieu since he went ham on punt returns at super-convenient times but was also the second-best corner on his own team. He's the one guy who's not totally vital to his team's awesomeness (whether that's fair or not is irrelevant at hair-splitting time).

StiffArmyTrophy published this yesterday:

By now, this won't be a surprise to anyone: Baylor's Robert Griffin III is going to win the Heisman Trophy.

By our reckoning, he's going to get approximately 2000 points - 71% of a perfect unanimous #1 vote. (This year, 2781 points is perfect.)

That actually would be a surprise if I weren't an obsessive sicko who'd been kinda-sorta keeping up with the straw polls. HeismanPundit's "final projection" was as follows:

1. Robert Griffin, 32 (8)
2. Andrew Luck, 23 (4)
3. Trent Richardson, 10 (1)

And the StiffArmTrophy numbers aren't even close:

1. Robert Griffin, 482 (133)
2. Andrew Luck, 282 (41)
3. Trent Richardson, 164 (22)

FYI, those are both compilations of ACTUAL votes. The latter one includes only about a third of the total ballots but gives Griffin such a huge lead that the rest won't matter.

So Robert Griffin III is probably gonna win the Heisman. This has nothing to do with SEC hatred (hahahahaha* stop) or Luck being anything other than Mr. Awesome At Everything and has everything to do with RGIII scorching the earth while playing for freakin' Baylor. Hooray for that.

*This is from Paul Finebaum: "Much heat leaving RG3 off my Heisman ballot. SEC defenses would have eaten him alive. Haters get a clue." Mmmkay.

Obvious SEC troll is obvious.


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