And the Heisman Goes to ... Stat Rackers? Saints?
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I saw an interesting article by Christine Brennan of USA Today.
She discussed the Heisman Trophy and what the winner really represents. Brennan stated her belief that some of the players who have won the Heisman or are being considered for the award live up to the creed of its mission statement, par of which says:
"The Heisman Memorial Trophy annually recognizes the outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity."
She argues that winners like Cam Newton, who won it back in 2010 while being investigated by the NCAA, and Johnny Manziel, who went through his own investigation this year, don't really exhibit what the award is about.
Now, some will argue -- and probably rightfully so -- that both investigations led nowhere, and both were deserving of the award because of the type of year they were having.
Which leads to my question: Should we just consider only stats for the Heisman? Forget about off-field activity, wins and loses, and just say whoever has the best stats should win the award.
If that were the case, then there's no question most think the best player in America is still Johnny Manziel. A large sampling of the rest would say it's Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston.
The problem is, both Winston and Manziel have exhibited questionable morals, which may present a problem for them this time around. Brennan says her vote is going to AJ McCarron of Alabama and that Winston will be left off her ballot due to his off-field activities. This just doesn't cover his alleged rape case anymore, but also reports of other things that are coming out about him, such as stealing soda at a restaurant and a rock throwing incident that was kept quiet by FSU officials.
Manziel's off-field antics have been well documented. And he hasn't really had a Heisman moment since the Alabama game, a game in which the Aggies lost.
Brennan argues that McCarron is the perfect Heisman candidate. He's a senior, has a stellar record as a starter, and has good numbers, too (23 touchdowns, five interceptions). He also has never been in trouble off the field, which is huge.
André Williams of Boston College is another candidate who has flown under the radar. He's having a great year, compiling 2,000 rushing yards. Problem is, his team isn't contending for anything.
I believe that, when considering a Heisman candidate, voters should not only consider stats but body of work and integrity. But if this award is strictly going to be about stats, then the mission statement of the Heisman needs to change.