My attempt at creating a hype machine isn't working. For some reason, I'm not getting a lot of traffic to my awesome site here. Sometimes I provide links and sometimes I don't. I almost never have pictures on the site, but ProFootballTalk made it all the way to NBC with minimal eye candy. They just have those terrible video segments with Florio and that guy that tries to keep his baldness a secret from himself. So I'm sticking to my guns and not putting a bunch of pictures on here. Links might help, though, so you can check out the stats page for Chris Owusu, my new favorite kick returner. I'm sorry, Brandon James, you've been burned. The loft has no more room for you. Other than that I'm just putting out a list of guys that I've watched that stand out to me. The #1 on my list does make me cringe. I apologize for that. But he's played better than anybody else in college football so far as I can tell.
I'll update my terrible, under-analyzed picks for the week tomorrow. I'm still really happy about the Hurricanes beating Oklahoma but I feel like it should have been a bigger win. If they were a legit title contender or even in the same ballpark as 'Canes teams of the past they would have been able to keep building on that 21-10 lead, b.s. personal foul or no. Also, their schedule is looking less and less great by virtue of FSU tanking the rest of the season. If FSU somehow goes 7-0 the rest of the way that would really help UM's strength of schedule. On to the Heisman race!
1.) Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame - Yeah. He's a little jerk. I hate his team. I hate his school. I'd probably hate him if I met him. But, damn, he's a good college QB. He tore up Washington. I stand by my presumption that if he gets hurt Notre Dame will start losing a lot. So we all have something to pray for here. P.S., the NCAA's website thinks the most important statistic for a passer is completions per game. I'd never even thought of that as a statistic before checking out their website.
2.) Tim Tebow, QB, Florida - This ranking is in serious jeopardy this week. If a dazed Gay Jesus plays and gets beat up by LSU, then he's out of it. If he doesn't play and UF wins anyway, then he's out of it. So he has to play and look all inspirational this week or he's a-tumbling. The whole city of Jacksonville will fall into the sea out of pure despair if their only worthwhile contribution to society is humbled.
3.) Noel Devine, RB, West Virginia - Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back! He's currently #3 in the country in rush yds/game and he's the most fun player to watch since Rocket Ismail. If you saw the game last Thursday you saw him at his best. I think he can make it in the league. He reminds me of Napoleon Kaufman.
4.) Jacory Harris, QB, Miami - Is he over-rated? Yeah, probably a little bit. Are his numbers great enough to justify this? No, probably not. Is Miami going to lose at least one more game this year before the ACC title game? I would guess they are. But I want to make it absolutely clear because I don't think I have done so before now: Robert Marve is a sucker. UM would be at best 1-3 if his punk ass was still the quarterback. He's a whiny little jerk who doesn't get the team concept. And I'm glad he's gone. I look for him to have a Mitch Mustain-type career at Purdue. Which is to say, I expect Robert Marve to ride the bench at Purdue. Good riddance. Jacory, on the other hand, has a fairly weak schedule coming up. Look for him to rise significantly from his perch at #25 in the passing efficiency rankings. He'll probably get shut down by USF's defense but he can at least do to them what he did to the Sooners. And IF Miami actually runs the table between now and the ACC title game, then Jacory will get all the credit. He deserves it. He runs this team really well.
5.) Case Keenum, QB, Houston - This was a tough call for my last numbered spot. I didn't see the game on Saturday and I know Houston lost to a terrible UTEP team. But I can read a box score and Keenum put up monster stats. So he stays in here. If Houston finishes 10-2 and out of the CUSA title game, that doesn't really diminish Keenum's standing to me as long as he throws for 5,000 or so yards. It's in the realm of possibility. And I still believe in this guy as a good player in his own right, rather than "just another Texas Tech QB", for a point of comparison. Keenum isn't on defense fucking everything up for the Cougs.
The rest of the bunch, for me:
Ryan Mathews, RB, Fresno St - it's not his fault his team can't get a win. This guy is awesome. They didn't play this week but if you get a chance to watch them play, take it. He's almost as much fun to watch as Noel Devine.
Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State - Well, they won, didn't they? And Avery did nothing so I'll give some credit to the guy who's second in pass efficiency right now. Behind Clasuen.
Greg McElroy, QB, Alabama and Chris Todd, QB, Auburn - Neither one of them stands out that much to me but they look good and deserve some much-needed hype.
Mark Ingram & Trent Richardson, RBs, Alabama - Ingram ad the great game this week. Richardson actually sort of sucked. But I think they're equals and 'Bama is my current fave to win it all,so...
Mount Cody, DT/FB, Alabama - Tough to quantify his impact but this is the reason the Tide were great most of last year and the reason they're great so far this year. I don't know what he'll be like in the NFL but I would say he'll probably be more similar to Sam Adams than Ryan Sims.
Ryan Williams, RB, Virginia Tech - He's a beast, he's a dog, he's a motherfuckin problem. He's Virginia Tech's best player except for that DB who missed 3 games. And that guy doesn't count.
Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame - He looked pretty awesome against Washington. Enough that I'm not sure if it's Clausen, the receivers, or both that make the Notre Dame passing game look soooo good. It might all come crumbling down like Charlie Weis' career if they get blown out by USC again, but for now they look great.
Tony Pike, QB, Cincinnati - ...and still undefeated. I want to see Cincinnati and USF play each other. That could change my estimation of this guy. I think he's great now. May end up higher or off the list.
Colt McCoy, QB, Texas - Whatever. Nobody cares. He'll win it and still nobody will care. I expect Texas to light Oklahoma the fuck up. McCoy is one spot behind Jacory Harris in pass efficiency. And I legitimately don't think McCoy deserves his hype but somebody on UT-Austin's team needs to be put out front. He's the soft tosser with the memorable name. That is all.
Toby Gerhart, RB, Stanford - He's gonna be a fullback in the NFL. He's not very fun to watch run because he looks slow to me. But he beat UCLA so he gets a mention. I like him right now for beating UCLA. If Stanford beats USC again expect this guy to go national.
I'd like to write about Hawaii's awesome pass offense but I haven't actually seen them play. Texas Tech is such a system for QB's that all any of their QB's can do is make it worse. Taylor Potts is OK but he's not doing all that great.
Like I said, tomorrow is the day for all of your ill-informed weekend gambling advice. Maybe I'll branch out and do an NFL column on Thursday or Friday. Depending on whether I have time and/or feel like it. I'm just talking to myself anyway.