If I had a vote on the Heisman Trophy ballot, I would have been torn between the work of both Derrick Henry and Dalvin Cook of Florida State.
Henry broke records, set standards and was the one player in the country who continued to get better as the season wore on – with all due respect to Deshaun Watson of Clemson. Cook was Florida State’s offense for most of the season. The sophomore running back got better as games progresses and played some of his best football against the country’s best teams. In the end, it was Henry who helped Alabama to the second seed in the College Football Playoff and when it comes down to impact, players who put their teams in position for greatness overall get a bigger piece of coverage. That is why Henry is going to New York and Cook, who by his own right had an unbelievable season, is staying home.
Regardless of how FSU fans like it and will claim there is an ESPN bias involved in this, it was the right decision. If Cook were to have been invited to the Heisman Trophy show at the Downtown Athletic Club, then LSU’s Leonard Fournette, despite some shaky moments down the stretch, deserved to travel to the Big Apple as well.
The Heisman Trophy, although the most important award in college football, is subjective and won solely based on a popularity contest. Had it been selected by numbers and performance over the years, both Peyton and Eli Manning would have won the award, Darren McFadden wouldn’t have finished twice and a guy named Gordy Lockbaum would have taken home the hardware.
It is one of the most honored tradition and one of the most controversial. While every living Heisman winner has a vote and the media is given a chance to pick its “favorite,” there is no clear “fair” way to select a winner,
As taken from the Heisman Trophy Trust website, the criteria for determining the winner of the award is as follows…
The Heisman Memorial Trophy annually recognizes the outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity. Winners epitomize great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work.
Even with all the questions of who has been left off the finalist list, Henry should win based on numbers and what he has meant to the Crimson Tide football team over the course of the season, period.
MUSCHAMP IN SOUTH CAROLINA
The best thing Will Muschamp did when he was announced as head coach of the South Carolina Gamecocks was take a shot at himself.
When asked about recruiting in South Carolina with Dabo Swinney and Clemson and the rest of the SEC, Muschamp was quick to respond.
“I can recruit. Have you seen my wife?”
Oh, it looks like things will be interesting in Columbia for sure.
The one person who was pleased with the hire, regardless of the national outcry for the decision to choose a coach who was fired at Florida and had troubles coaching at Auburn, was former coach Steve Spurrier.
“I think Will and his staff will do very well,” said Spurrier, the Gamecocks’ winningest coach who resigned in October, creating the opening the school filled with Will Muschamp this week.
“He’s a well-respected defensive coach,” Spurrier said. “For whatever reason down at Florida the offense never quite got going, but I’m sure he learned a lot and he’s ready to go.”
The approval of Spurrier is actually more important than one might think. Spurrier was replaced at Florida by Ron Zook, who lasted three years in Gainesville. Urban Meyer replaced Zook and won two national titles.
Meyer was replaced by Muschamp and was gone in three seasons, only to be replaced by Jim McElwain.
Muschamp is replacing another legend in college football. The pressure will be on not only to recruit top players, but to also win early and put heat on Clemson.
OHIO STATE WANTS TO BE NO. 1
While the Ohio State Buckeyes won’t be able to defend their national title form last year, it will not stop the program from being one of the best teams in recruiting, if not the best when it comes time to national signing day.
According to Cleveland.com, “With 18 verbal commits in its 2016 class, Ohio State has the strongest-rated recruiting class in the country, and with what could be up to four or five more open spots remaining, the Buckeyes could get even stronger.”
That’s a scary thought for any team facing the Buckeyes in 2016 and beyond and the rest of the Big 10.