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The Heisman Breakdown

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The Heisman is awarded to the “nation’s most outstanding football player,” although it should read: “nation’s most outstanding football player…as long as you play quarterback or running back for a big market team.” Until the qualifying language changes, this trophy should always come with a disclaimer. Check this out: 9 of the last 10 Heisman winners were quarterbacks, with that one exception being a running back. Even more crazy: only one defender has ever won the Stiff Arm, corner back Charles Woodson in 1997.

Having said this, it’s still the most prestigious individual award in collegiate athletics. Put one of these on your mantle, and you’re a made man and instant legend, even without a successful NFL career. It buys dinners, secures deals, drops panties, lands otherwise non-qualifiable jobs, and gains access where the common folk can’t. You think Eric Crouch is spending lonely nights in his one-bedroom after staring at a computer screen for nine hours in a cubicle? You think he buys his own beers at the local Lincoln booze hall? You think he can’t use the point-n’-pull method? Think again, assholes. So, who are these candidates and which one enters this elite fraternity?

I concluded my Heisman scouting last weekend in Waco, TX where I watched Robert Griffin III take on a very formidable Texas defense. “So spill it, Roger. Is Griffin the leader in the clubhouse?” Slow down, chief. Let’s take a look at all the candidates first.

Montee Ball, RB Wisconsin

– 275 carries, 1,759 yards, 32 TDs
– 20 receptions, 255 yards, 6 TDs

“Montee? Never heard of him. He British?”

No he’s not, but Montee Ball is the lesser known of the Heisman candidates. That’s largely due to his late season emergence. Ball averaged an un-Heisman-esque 90 yards over his first four games. However, he later hit his stride averaging 185 yards over his last five. He closed out his season to the tune of 137 yards with three TDs in a thrilling Big 10 championship win against Michigan State. Having a strong game on that stage in such dramatic fashion will give Ball a nice surge, but I don’t think it’ll be enough.

Robert Griffin III, QB Baylor

– 267 for 369 passing, 3,998 yards, 36 TDs, 6 INTs
– 644 yards rushing, 9 TDs

Just call him RG III. An interesting note about RG III’s ascent up the Heisman list is the voters’ propensity to select the guy from a national championship contending team, or BCS bowl team at minimum. Very rarely does a player win this trophy when not wearing the uniform of one of these programs. But the man took Baylor to a 9-3 record. Baylor. From Waco, TX. His leading candidacy shows what caliber of football player Griffin really is.

“I could be wrong, but I think Baylor won its first Heisman tonight.”

That’s what he told ESPN’s Samantha Steele on the field after working the Texas D last Saturday in Waco. I must say I agree.

Andrew Luck, QB Stanford

– 261 for 373 passing, 3,170 yards, 35 TDs, 9 INTs
– 153 yards rushing, 2 TDs

And then we have Andrew Luck, or Neck Beard Pledge, Dick’s go-to moneymaker. Luck hasn’t only been an exciting football player to watch on the field, but he’s won you some good money if you’ve been following Dick Perry’s advice. Throughout most of the season, Luck has been mentioned as a “once in a generation” type of NFL prospect, so he’s had hype surrounding him from the jump. That gave him the edge early on, but others have undoubtedly caught up to him. And from purely a numbers standpoint, he’s not in RG III’s neighborhood. I think we can assume the west coast voters will favor Luck, but I don’t think that will be enough to push him over the top. We all know Dick would have NBP’s back if he were given a vote, but he doesn’t…yet. I mean shit, Erin Andrews has a vote now.

Tyrann Mathieu, DB LSU

– 71 tackles, 54 solo, 6.5 TFL, 7 PBU, 1.5 sacks, 5 FF, 2 INTs
– 16.2 punt return average, 2 TDs

Mathieu, better known as the Honey Badger, is the lone defender of the finalists. And in case you skipped the intro, defenders don’t win Heismans. It just doesn’t happen. One reason for this is it’s hard to compare the stats of a defender to an offensive guy. Mathieu certainly isn’t someone who jumps out at you on paper, but defensive players rarely do. His game is so much more than that. He’s a game-changer in every sense of the term, and he’s a well-rounded football player. He’ll force a fumble, knock a receiver out cold and return a punt for a TD all in the same game. He’s the type of player who will knock you on your ass, make fun of your mother, then knock up your girlfriend after the game. He’s the best defender in the nation, but he can leave his acceptance speech at home.

Trent Richardson, RB Alabama

– 263 carries, 1,583 yards, 20 TDs
– 27 receptions, 327 yards, 3 TDs

Richardson looks to follow in the footsteps of the 2009 Heisman winner and former teammate Mark Ingram. It’s scary to think that these two traded reps for Bama two years ago. It’s even scarier to think that Richardson is already considered the better running back by some. His numbers aren’t quite what Ingram’s were when he took home the Stiff Arm, but expect him to get a ton of southeastern love from the voters.

“But Dorn, his numbers are dick compared to Ball’s (pun open for interpretation). Why will he receive more votes than him?”

Don’t forget, Richardson plays in everyone’s favorite conference, the SEC. Haven’t you heard about the D they play over there?

Dorn’s Prediction

RG III becomes Baylor’s first ever Heisman winner.

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Dillon Cheverere

Dillon Cheverere (@DCheverere) is the Vice President of Media for Grandex, Inc. Email:

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