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Posted on: November 23, 2008 12:19 pm
 

The Heisman Stranglehold

I know many people have noticed that it has been sometime since we have seen a number of non-QB players win the Heisman trophy.  Why is that?  Why is our college football culture so infatuated with QB's.  What has changed from the good ole days of power runners winning the award?  Since 2000, there has only been one non-QB win and that was only because Reggie Bush had an almost untouchable season. Who was on his coat tails most of the year though...Texas' Vince Young and Bush's teammate, and previous Heisman winner, Matt Leinart.  We need a return to the days when it wasn't automatically assumed that gaudy passing statistics equaled a Heisman mantel-piece.

2008 Assumptions...Let's assume that trends continue and this year's power players continue to produce.  With that in mind, this year's trophy will be awarded to another QB (Bradford, McCoy, Harrell or Tebow).  Even if someone from another position like Crabtree, Maclin, Rodgers or Ringer make a run here at the end, they will not have enough to overtake any of the previously mentioned QB's.

25 Year Analysis...With this year included (with the above assumptions), the last 25 years (1984-2008) have produced the following: 15 QBs, 7 RBs, 2 WRs and 1 CB.  In fact only one defensive player has ever won the award, but we'll go over that here in a little while.  Out of the 10 non-QB winners over this time period, every runner-up except one (1994 - K. Carter) has been a QB.  QBs have dominated the voting landscape since the mid 1980's and it appears to not change anytime soon.

25 Years Before That...From 1959 to 1983 there were 17 RBs, 1 FB, and 7 QBs who won the trophy.  The runner-up finishers during those years included 12 RBs, 9 QBs, 1 OL, 1 DL, 1 WR and 1 LB.  It showed the prowess of the power runners and demonstratred that the voters looked at a variety of positions for inclusion to the Heisman voting.  Why is this?

The "Woodson One"...Since 1935 when Jay Berwanger beat out Monk Meyer for the inagural distinction of the country's best player, there has been only one defensive player that has won this award.  This is an incredible thing to think about.  College football has seen players like Chuck Bednarik, Don Whitmire, Dick Butkus, Hugh Green, Brian Bosworth, Reggie White, David Pollack, among others and still only one defensive player has won.  In fact, since 1935 there have only been 20 total defensive players who have finished in the top 5 of the Heisman race.  That means that only 5% of all top five finishers have been a defensive player.  Only 5 of those 20 being in the top 2.  Try wrapping your head around this and you develop a migraine.

QB or not QB, That is the Question...In our country, it has become apparent that fans, media and the players themselves drool everytime they see a QB throw for 400-500 yards week in and week out, yet hand to the RB 5 times.  Not me my friends.  Many fans out there, that are also a fan of the NFL, play fantasy football.  In many leagues points are given less to QBs and WRs, than that of the RBs.  Why is this?  Probably because from the moment a RB touches the ball, they are left with the task of making a play much more individually than those other "offensive getters."  Of course, it takes an incredible line opening holes, WR/TE's making downfield blocks and the right play called at the right time, but if the RB is not talented, the play will amount to nothing anyway.  QBs have to rely that once they get the ball to their receiving corp, that that player turns upfield and continues to turn the play into a positive gain.

"The Running QB"...Here is where I will take an exception in this discussion.  Obviously, if there is a QB that is not only good through the air, but also on the ground, then he is more deserving of being the Heisman winner.  In the last couple decades we have had a few of these dual threat QBs, but not many.  If looking at the most recent 25-year period, like we did above, you could argue that the only true dual threat QBs were Eric Crouch and Tim Tebow.  You may even be able to throw Charlie Ward and Troy Smith's name in there if you want.  The argument against a player like Smith though is he did more with his legs earlier in his college career versus his Heisman year.  In 2005 he rushed for 611 yards and 11 touchdowns versus 233 yards and 1 touchdown in 2006.  Think about some of the great running/passing QBs over the past 10 or so years that have received Heisman votes, but did not get the ultimate prize...Vince Young, Michael Vick, and Brad Banks.  What would have happened if Dennis Dixon hadn't destroyed his knee last year?  In my opinion, one of the biggest debacles in this dual-threat category is the exclusion of Brad Smith during his time at Mizzou.  He was the first career 8000 yard passer and 4000 yard rusher.  He had two separate years where he threw for over 2000 and ran for over 1000.  The interesting thing about Brad Smith is that he never finished in the top 5 in his 4 years.

The Underclassmen Dilemma...As much as Tebow goes against all good things sacred to us Dawg alums/fans, it was fantastic to see an underclassmen break the "Heisman Ceiling" for the Freshmen and Sophomores.  There have been some incredible players when talking about these underclassmen.  In 1941, Angelo Bertelli became the first high finishing underclassman.  A few years later, the Army combo of Glenn Davis and Doc Blanchard finished 2-3 in 1944.  Who won the '45 and '46 trophies...none other than that Army duo.  One of the most heralded underclassman, Herschel Walker, took the world by storm for 2 straight years, before winning the award in 1982 as a junior.  Most say that his freshman and sophomore years were better than that of his third, but that cieling got him.  One of the most recent badboys was Oklahoma's Peterson in 2004.  That year was incredible, but Leinart, a QB of course, got him in the end. 

Where am I going with all this?...We need the return of the non-QB Heisman winner.  One that epitomizes the essence of hard knock football.  I would love to see an offensive lineman get the award.  Not since Orlando Pace, has there been an O-lineman mentioned among the nation's elite.  I want to see more Freshmen and Sophmore contenders as well.  Well, I guess I will hope for next year's prospects to change the recent QB lull...

Posted on: August 26, 2008 10:37 am
Edited on: August 26, 2008 10:38 am
 

My Experience as a top 15 Finalist

 

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<center>My 15 Minutes of Fame as a Top 15 Finalist
I will never forget the events of the last 6 days. This past week was the end of the inaugural season of the $7.3 Million FLW Fantasy Fishing League. With the regular FLW tournament season and the Forrest Wood Cup Championship coming to an end, so did the 2008 fantasy fishing season. Unlike many other fantasy games, FLW boasted the biggest payout in fantasy sports history. For the 6 regular season tour stops, FLW paid out over 500 places, with the top finisher coming home with $100,000 cash. Some of the other great prizes included gift cards for Wal-Mart, BP and food items, as well as prizes from Berkley, Eagle Claw, Solar Bat and Stearns. In the FLW Cup Championship, Michael Bennett took home 1st place against a very tough field. With his fairly dominate showing at Lake Murray, he brought joy to many people affiliated within fishing. Not only did he win a cool $1 million for the win, but he had the opportunity to give $1 million to one lucky fishing enthusiast. In order to be applicable for the top prize you had to be consistent over the whole year of fantasy fishing. My experience through this whole year was incredible, and it only got better within the last week.
Before the Forrest Wood Cup Tournament, I had strategically placed my anglers in order from where I thought they were going to finish from 1st to 10th. Let me tell you, I was glad that I decided that I went with my gut and put Michael Bennett in my top position. On Sunday, August 17, I watched FLW Live with heightened anxiety, because I not only had Bennett in my final 10, but also Jay Yelas. Bennett came into the final day holding the lead, and when he came to the weigh-in scales to show the world what he caught, I about had a heart attack. After the rest of the top 10 weighed in that evening, he stood 3 lbs 11 oz out of taking home the title. He slowly pulled out his fish, one by one, keeping the entire audience in suspense throughout the process. When finally, he double fisted his last two fish and raised them in the air with joy. With that win, he catapulted me up with an extra 6000 points for my season long point total. At which time, I began to think outlandish thoughts of being one of the top 52 ranked participants. With being in the top 52, I would be guaranteed an overall season prize. They had also announced on the FLW Live broadcast that they would be bringing the top 15 finalists to Columbia, SC for an awards ceremony.

Approximately 1 hour later, my phone rang, and I thought, could it be? I rushed to the phone, only to my chagrin, a friend from my bass club was on the other end talking about Bennett's performance. Shortly after that call ended, my phone rang again. Thinking it was yet another person wanting to talk about the recent tournament results, I nonchalantly picked up the phone, only this time my caller ID picked up a number I had never seen before. I answered and the man on the other line said, "Hi…is the Brent Meyer?" Before he could go any further, I about lost it. He then said that he was with FLW fantasy fishing and all I could think about was, who is scamming me? Was it one of my bass club friends, a family member, a buddy from work, but for sure this was not really happening? After a short discussion, I realized that this was the real deal. The gentleman said FLW would like me to come up to Columbia, SC and participate in the festivities of giving away $1 million dollars. The next day I went into work and got it okayed to miss a few days and made plans to make my way up to South Carolina.

Not only did FLW ask me to come, but offered to bring my wife as well. We flew out on Wednesday and arrived into Charlotte, NC in the early afternoon. We met up with the other finalists and representatives from FLW in the airport. They had a chartered bus waiting for us, which took us to our hotel. That night we had a fantastic dinner with some of the FLW tour pros (Michael Bennett and Luke Clausen), executives from FLW and the other fantasy fishing finalists. Following the dinner, everyone tried to settle down from all the excitement and get prepared for Thursday's festivities. The following morning rolled around, which greeted us with a great home-style breakfast, and preparation for the event. We traveled to the Columbia Coliseum a few blocks away and started rehearsing for the live event. This event was going to be broadcast around the world on FLW Live, which made us all even more excited. Our family and friends that could not make it would be able to watch and experience the event with us.

 Before the event started, FLW supplied us with tour jerseys to wear onstage. Even if I never become a FLW Tour pro, I at least felt like one for a day. One of the best aspects of being a top 15 finalist was the fact that we got to keep our jerseys. They were specifically made for the top 15 finalists, with a special "Top 15" patch. It got even better when they had us go on a boat parade through the city of Columbia. I was lucky enough to be representing the Snicker's boat. It was an absolutely great experience to do something like that...plus my experience of sitting in a loaded Ranger Z520 did nothing but fuel my passion for fishing. Following the parade, we all came back inside the arena to get ready for the event. Shortly thereafter, the show began. They called us up one by one on stage as we were greeted by Irwin Jacobs (chairman of FLW outdoors) and Michael Bennett (FLW tour pro and 2008 Forrest Wood Cup Champion). The crowd and ambiance of the event were incredible. We were standing on the same stage as the pros do, surrounded by the same sponsor boats, the same hosts and a nice size crowd (of course not as big as the one that attended for the final weigh-in a few nights earlier).

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 We went through one by one and revealed our prizes in dramatic fashion. I think my heart stopped a few times throughout the event. When they got to me and I revealed my 14th place prize (Yamaha Grizzly ATV valued at $8000), I was ecstatic. I had come up short in the race for a million, but knew that next year was right around the corner. I also realized that one or two more correct picks throughout the year, and I would be right up there in the running, which fueled my competitiveness for next year's race. It was by far the most I had ever won, and more than many people win, playing fantasy sports. FLW Outdoors is an incredible organization, and it was evident by the gracious people that we encountered throughout the whole event. I know that I can't possible thank everyone by name, but everyone throughout the whole FLW Outdoors organization deserves kudos. FLW fantasy fishing gave everyone an opportunity to join Player's Advantage to help them pick anglers based on lake/angler matchup, home lake advantage, previous FLW events, among many others. The best thing about this program is that next year they are offering it for even a lower price, which no one can afford to pass up. With this year now complete, we can focus on next years first event on the famed Lake Guntersville, which will be exciting, not only for the anglers, but for all us fans experiencing fantasy fishing!

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Posted on: March 7, 2008 1:08 pm
 

Festivus & the Airing of Grievances

Airing of Grievances...

I just have to say that stupid drivers should be removed from their driving priviledges.  As every driver at one time or another has had to go through a driving test with some form of a written exam, most people must flush that stuff out right away and never think that they will ever need to use it.

I was driving to work today, and earlier this morning we had a series of serious storms roll through the area, which subsequently knocked out power to many parts to the city.  Therefore, there were numerous intersections which did not have functioning traffic lights..and I guess [sarcasm becoming very thick] that means that every driver is out for themselves and no more rules must apply.  I probably saw at least 5 "almost" wrecks in a short period of time because of idiots not paying attention, or just doing whatever they want.  In every state I have ever lived, when traffic lights go out, drivers are suppose to treat the intersection as a 4-way stop.  Anyway, I wish that all of these "drivers" would have been ripped out of their cars and stuck on the street corner, with a sign that reads, "I am a moron," and be forced to take the bus for atleast a month.

Posted on: February 26, 2008 10:10 am
 

Where are all the fishing lovers?

I have been away for awhile and came to the realization that there are not many posts on this site for the fishermen out there.  This coming at a time when probably one of the most important BASS tournaments in the world occurs...the BassMasters Classic.  This year, the event being held at Lake Hartwell on the GA/SC border, had multiple people vying for the coveted honor of Classic champion.  Quite an honor too...the Classic happens once a year and has only been played out since 1971.  Anyone watching saw AJ come from behind in day one to leading after day 2 and then wrapping things up on the final day.

Some of my favorite past BM Classics include...

1.  Kerchel's win in the mid 90's (the only amateur ever to win - BASS federation member...unfortunately his early death 5 months later claimed a very promising angling career)

2.  Clunn's unmatched mark of 4 Classic titles (1976, 1977, 1984 - largest in history 75+ lbs, 1990)

3.  Guido & Dion Hibdon (first father-son winners, 1988 & 1997, respectively...lets not forget either that Dion's win was the closest in the history of the event.  He won by 1 oz. to Dalton Bobo, who was penalized 4 oz for bringing a dead fish to the scales)

4.  Martens close calls with all of his 2nd place finishes.

There are so many other great memories that deserve praise as well, like KVD's powerful performances, or Bobby Murray winning 2 of his own, or Omori being the first foreign born winner...but that is what makes this event so great, great performances in the biggest event!

Congrats to this year's winner Alton Jones...Cliff Pace coming up short with KVD rounding out the top 3!

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com