McFadden for Heisman

By By Jason Peterson

By Jason Peterson

Tebow, schmebow.

I don’t remember hearing so much pomp and fluff for a Heisman Trophy candidate since, well, last year.

That’s the problem with college football these days — every facet of the game, from the Heisman Trophy down to the political correctness of a school mascot, is overly hyped, analyzed and recycled all over again. Gurgle, rinse, spit. How hard is it, people?

Has anyone seen the track record of Heisman winners lately? It’s not too impressive. We ought to be asking which is the greater curse: winning the Heisman or gracing the cover of Madden video games?

In the past 15 years, the list of Heismans includes such “winners” as Gino Torretta, Charlie Ward (who rejected the NFL and went to the NBA), Rashaan Salaam, Danny Wuerffel, Ricky Williams (huffing and puffing of the wrong kind), Chris Weinke, Eric Crouch and Jason White (who is living in the past as an owner of an OU memorabilia shop).

Let’s take a look at some of the runner-ups during those same years: Marshall Faulk, Peyton Manning, Larry Fitzgerald, Adrian Peterson, Vince Young and last year’s second-place vote-getter — Darren McFadden.

The truth is, there are several athletes worthy of the award this year, and Tim Tebow is one of them. There’s no question that the man is a freak of nature. No one in college football history has put up the kind of versatile numbers that he has in two seasons.

If the gods of Heisman don’t change things around soon, then yes, Tebow takes the trophy this year and adds to the list another who won’t live up to his billing in the pros. But if they want to get it right this time, they’ll go with McFadden.

I’m a firm believer that the Heisman Trophy winner should be an indication of how well a college football player’s game will translate to the pros. The end goal for college players is to make it to the NFL, and right now, every NFL team will take McFadden over Tebow.

Sure, Tebow has better numbers. Heck, he has more rushing touchdowns than McFadden, but sometimes numbers belie the real facts of the matter.

For one, Tebow is Florida. He has those numbers because every one of his teammates is an offensive liability. On the same note, McFadden is forced to share the ball with another top running back-Felix Jones. The two have combined this season for 2,842 yards and 26 touchdowns. Most of those figures would’ve gone to McFadden if he were the only option on his team.

For instance, both Florida and Arkansas lost to Auburn this season. McFadden touched the ball 18 times out of 52 plays and gained 48 yards of total offense against the Tigers. Hardly Heisman numbers, but hardly accountable for the loss, either.

Against Auburn, Tebow had his hands in a whopping 46 of 55 plays for Florida. Tebow gained 276 yards of total offense but, because of his involvement, is almost directly responsible for the loss.

McFadden’s combination of power and speed (4.3 40-yard dash) allowed him to rip off runs of 80, 73, 56 and 51 yards at any given moment. Tebow’s longest rush came against lowly Troy for 25 yards. Prorate those numbers to the NFL, and Tebow will basically be T-boned by NFL linebackers.

None of this really matters, though. It’s likely that the gods of Heisman and the gods of BCS are one and the same. When the Heisman ceremony rolls around, they’ll stump us all and go with Hawaii’s Colt Brennan.

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