Thursday, June 30, 2005

Heisman Contenders

The formula for a Heisman Trophy winner is pretty simple play for a top 25 team and have outlandish statistics or be the best or most influential player for a national title contender. The Heisman Trophy is supposed to be awarded to college football's most outstanding player, yet rarely does the best player win.

Matt Leinart did have an outstanding junior year in 2004, but his sophomore campaign was better, and Reggie Bush was the best player on USC's roster last year. Leinhart is the second straight Heisman winner to return for his senior year. Oklahoma quarterback Jason White was unable to win a second straight Heisman last year, even though statistically he had a better year than in 2003. This year's preseason favorites are last year's finalists Leinart, Bush, and Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson.

Every year surprise players have breakthrough years and become Heisman contenders. How many preseason publications had Peterson as a Heisman favorite or Utah's Alex Smith last year. In 2003 who what of thought of White to win, after coming off two knee surgeries. In 2002 Carson Palmer of USC broke three years of mediocrity to win and Penn State's Larry Johnson ran for over 2,000 yards despite the doubters to finish second. In 2001 Florida's Rex Grossman had a spectacular year, but was denied a deserving Heisman, as well, Fresno State's David Carr came out of nowhere to throw for over four thousand yards and finish in the top five. In 2000 28 year old Florida State quarterback Chris Weinke beat out another surprise Josh Heuple of Oklahoma.

This year's surprise contenders contain some high school all-americans, that have yet to live up to their hype. In no particular order 2005's ten surprise Heisman contenders, remember these are not the Leinarts, Petersons, Ted Ginns, Chris Leaks, Vince Youngs or players from non-BCS teams(BYU's Ty Detmer was the last player of current non-BCS schools to win in 1990 and probably the last until the BCS is dissolved).

Brodie Croyle, Alabama
Gerald Riggs, Tennessee
D.J. Shockley, Georgia
Reggie McNeal, Texas A&M
Brandon Kirsch, Purdue
Leon Washington, Florida State
Michael Robinson, Penn State
Marshawn Lynch, California
Skyler Green, LSU
Marcus Vick, Virginia Tech

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