I love hype for individual players, especially in football. In my life I've seen maybe 5 glamour guys who would have been great on any team. Deion Sanders, Barry Sanders, Eric Dickerson, Jerry Rice and Peyton Manning are the only ones I'm sure of and I've been watching football since I was 4 years old. So I write in a sort of regular fashion about college players that I've hyped up in my mind to the point that I think they're way more awesome than any other player. In short, I try to hype my own Heisman contenders. Guys I would vote for if I was given the chance.
Past recipients of my hype honors are Mike Williams, Michael Crabtree and Jahvid Best. I always like to be a bit of a front runner. When I was 12/13 years old, my favorite college players were Andre Ware and then David Klingler. I was sure that both would be great NFL QB's. I still think Ware could have been great in the right situation. But it didn't happen. And so I will try to project my terrible clairvoyance into the future.
Quick side note: I'm not always terrible at these things. I was dumbfounded that Warren Sapp could fall to the #12 pick in the draft (he is one of my all-time favorites and part of the reason I still love Miami in spite having never enrolled there) and had Derrick Brooks (Pensacola, FL!)and Ray Lewis pegged for HOF careers before they'd played a down in the league. OK, so maybe I think everyone good out of the state of Florida, QBs excepted, is going to be great in the NFL. It works out well that about half the best players of my lifetime are from Florida. Anyway, on to the poll!
This isn't who I think will win the Heisman. These are the best players I've watched this season. So this is how I would vote for the award if I were given a vote to cast:
1.) Ryan Mathews, RB, Fresno St. - If you watched the Boise State game, you get it. This guy is bonkers. He had a terrible game against Cincinnati and still rushed for 145 yds. 3.8 ypg, sure, but they can't all be 60+ yd rushes, can they? No, they can't.
2.) Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame - Look, I hate this kid. I watched that stupid press conference he did when he signed with Notre Dame. He seems obnoxious and his hair is still stupid even if it isn't as stupid as it was 3 years ago. His parents seem like assholes and he seems destined to be a total bust as a pro because he seems like he's been stage-mommed into this moment in the spotlight. But I've also watched him play. A lot. Notre Dame is on all the fucking time and I watch at least a little of every one of their games so I can root for whoever they are playing to beat the ever-living shit out of them. My point here, in placing this little fucker this high on the list, is that if he weren't their quarterback this year and at the end of last season then a lot of the teams they've played would, in fact, have beaten the ever-living shit out of them. Charlie Weis is a dope of a head football coach and a terrible recruiter but he must suck Clausen's dick in effigy every night in thanks and praise for making Weis look a little better than he really is. Jimmy Clausen is the best Clausen yet. Which seems like faint praise but it really isn't. Whichever Clausen it was that went to Tennessee was a really good college QB. If Jimmy gets injured, Notre Dame is done and it might be bad enough that the most institutionally racist contract in sports - Weis' massive, poison pill-laden contract extension for doing pretty much the same job Ty Willingham did - might actually be terminated. So this guy gets my vote as playing the best of any QB I've watched. Ouch.
3.) Tim Tebow, God's chosen mohel for Christianity, Phillipines - He got a concussion and he hasn't throw for shit this year. He might be in a haze of sucking for the rest of this season because of the head injury (which is one year earlier than I'd figured. Boy, I am fully on-board the bandwagon that carries the banner exclaiming, "Tim Tebow will be a terrible NFL player") but I hope Tebow doesn't screw it up. I don't mean the Heisman. He might end up winning it by default because the hype starts so early now that he gets votes from people that are basing their votes on preseason publications. I mean that I hope Tebow doesn't screw up the lifetime of devotion he has lined up from UF boosters and graduates and hangers on. He could be even more loved by Gator fans than Steve Spurrier. If he came out of the closet right now, he might be the greatest barrier breaker since Jackie Robinson. SEC fans would be forced to reckon with his Jesus-sucking lips and love for baby penis in a whole different way. And Tebow would still get all the love and respect he gets now. Maybe he would even get more panties and breasts thrown at him because all the stupid college girls would think they had a mission to save the saviour. I don't think he will ever quite come out of the closet (does attending a "gay re-programming" camp count as being outed?) but he could do a lot of good that way. For the award ranking? Tebow really does make the Gators win. In a way I hate watching him. He's a fullback who throws the ball sometimes and it always looks dangerous to me when he does throw. But he's a great fullback.
4.) Jahvid Best, RB, Cal - I might have mentioned that he isn't really having all that great of a year. He got 5 TDs in that one game but only had two good looking runs. But talent goes a long way. And this guy should be the #1 pick in the draft next year. If the Vikings somehow end up with the #1 pick they should either trade Adrian Peterson to the Cowboys (the reverse Herschel Walker trade) or keep Best, Peterson and Taylor, give the QB job back to Tarvaris Jackson, and cut every receiver except Percy. Because at that point a pass is just a trick play and you've got 5 guys on the field that can run it even when the defense is stacked to stop the run. Jahvid Best is the best player in college football but he isn't having a great year. Because his overhyped teammates are still garbage and Jeff Tedford's ability to make terrible QBs look good is wearing out. Goddamn can he recruit RBs, though.
5.) Case Keenum, QB, Houston - I love the Cougars when they pass. It makes me feel safe, like I'm back at home watching David Klingler's whole life take a turn in the wrong direction because the Hurricanes decided to punish the University of Houston for having the audacity to show up and think they could play in the Orange Bowl. Also, I haven't watched anything but highlights of this guy. But I like him a lot.
Others in the picture:
Mt. Cody, fat guy, Alabama - He's the whole reason 'Bama is ranked so high. If you're going to vote for a defensive guy (and I don't mind if you do. I was thrilled with Charles Woodson winning the Heisman, even though he was a WR/KR besides being a CB, and I hate Michigan/the whole Big 10 except for the 11th team in the conference) vote for the one most responsible for his team winning. Eric Berry is great but his team is going to lose 6 games this year. He (Berry) is like the Aeneas Williams of college football. He's great but not transcendent. Mount Cody could be the next Fridge. I'd love to say Trent Richardson (Pensacola, FL!) deserves a vote but he isn't there yet. And Julio Jones hasn't done enough this year to justify a vote. Cody is awesome.
Colt McCoy, QB, Texas - Who am I fucking kidding? This guy is gonna win and he's great. But I hate watching his noodle arm. I hate watching him scramble. I hate Texas. But this is my actual Heisman prediction at this point. Included in this prediction is the understanding that, if somehow everything holds and no other major players are injured, Texas is going to absolutely throttle Oklahoma this year. It will be like 2005 all over again. And my honest pick for best Texas players? Nate Newton's son. That kid is fucking awesome. He's better than Trent Richardson and the freshman RB at Virginia Tech, too. He should get some votes from Texas boosters but he won't.
Jacory Harris, QB, Miami - I still love you, Jacory. We have time. Let's work this thing out!
Jeremy Avery, RB, Boise State - Pretty similar to Ryan Mathews. I don't think either one is a great feature back in the league (really, those are pretty rare. Best might be the only draft-eligible RB that I think that highly of) but they could be pretty good. Reggie Bush without the signing bonus and wasted high draft pick. Avery doesn't get the ball as much as Mathews, though, and he doesn't look quite as fast.
Joe McKnight, RB, USC - You know what's awesome? Seeing USC go through what Miami and FSU went through earlier in the decade. You can't stay that good forever. FSU went as long as is possible being a top 5 team with loads of NFL talent and Miami took it to greater heights than anyone probably ever will again in my lifetime. Seriously. Those FSU and Miami players didn't just get drafted. They went to the NFL and became huge fucking stars. When Andre Wadsworth became a bust is right about when FSU got punctured. When Sean Taylor got shot and Antrel Rolle turned out to be a terrible cover guy with good turnover skills, The U completely flamed out. Now it's USC's turn. They haven't got as many great players in the league now as they did 25 years ago. This isn't even their best era for putting out players, their players are only great in college for the most part. What will be the end result of their dying dynasty? Will it be probation that kills them? Whatever it is, this is the only guy on their team that I like to watch. And he's not all that great. He's just fast.
Tony Pike, QB, Cincinnati - I love this team. And this guy actually looks legit to me. Like he could be a starter in the NFL.
George Selvie, DE, USF - One more defensive guy. I don't know how good FSU's line really is this year but USF killed them. I'm giving all the credit to Selvie because he's the one that's gameplanned. But the whole D-Line looks good for South Florida.
Todd Reesing, QB, Kansas - I never see him playing anyone even passably good (no pun intended) but he looks awesome when I watch him. He's too short to start in the NFL, though. Too bad.
Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri - My favorite QB in the Big 12. All the other guys could be system guys but I'm sold on this one. Guaranteed now that I've said that he will go in the 6th round and never take a snap in the NFL but I will still root for him every preseason to beat out JaMarcus Russell for the 5th QB spot on the Falcons practice squad.
Ed Dickson, TE, Oregon - Really? No, but I like Oregon's team (which means I like Boise State's team a lot better) and I wanted to throw out a pass catcher of some sort. This guy had the best game of any TE this year and my dad's best friend when I was growing up was named Ed Dickson. He took us to a Navy game once. Which leads me to...
Ricky Dobbs, QB, Navy - My last pick. I love Navy. I want Navy to win a National Championship. I'd probably even root for them over Miami. This guy isn't really all that great. He's a good option QB. He's no Tommy Frazier but Frazier never won a Heisman, either. Eric Crouch did. Eric Crouch fucking sucked. He was never any good and he was not the reason Nebraska won anything. He was just the only guy on the team that anyone could remember. And they seemed like a really good team until Miami absolutely shredded them. Also, Ricky Dobbs sounds like that David Cross character from Mr. Show. So Run, Ricky, Run!