Michigan Football: 3 Reasons Denard Robinson Won't Win the Heisman
Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson can practice his Heisman pose all he wants, but he won't be hoisting the trophy in New York this December.
"Shoelace" has crumbled under pressure against quality opponents this season, throwing only one touchdown and six interceptions in losses to Alabama and Notre Dame.
Big Blue supporters hoped that Robinson would become the third straight dual-threat quarterback to win the Heisman and possibly lead them back to a BCS bowl, but the outlook is looking bleaker by the day.
With his team's 2-2 record, largely due to his poor play, Robinson's Heisman hopes have now turned into hallucinations. Here is why he will not win the legendary trophy.
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It would take a great deal for Heisman voters to somehow forget about Robinson's dreadful start to the season. In fact, he would probably need the Neuralyzer from Men In Black.
In all seriousness, voters wouldn't even raise an eyebrow if Robinson puts together back-to-back four-touchdown performances against Purdue and Illinois in the next two weeks.
Robinson and the Wolverines will likely need to run the table in the Big Ten—winning against Michigan State, Nebraska and Ohio State—to even get back into consideration.
U-turns are allowed in Michigan and "Shoelace" needs to turn the wheel right away if he wants any chance at salvaging this season.
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History says that the Heisman Trophy has never been won in the first four weeks of the season—but it certainly has been lost in that time frame.
While Robinson isn't competing with Heisman winners of the past, they are a great rubric to grade Robinson's performance thus far.
"Shoelace" is currently 54-of-99 passing with 837 yards, six touchdowns and eight interceptions. On the ground, Robinson has 441 yards and four touchdowns on 66 carries.
Anyone can tell you those don't look like Heisman numbers, but look at the stats of the last two winners, Cam Newton and Robert Griffin III, to see where he stands.
Newton: (Passing) 43-of-68 for 683 yards, nine touchdowns and three interceptions. (Rushing) 75 carries for 485 yards and five touchdowns.
Griffin III: (Passing) 92-of-112 for 1,308 yards, 18 touchdowns and one interception. (Rushing) 36 carries for 173 yards and one touchdown.
Aside from their overall gaudy numbers, it is their performances against quality opponents that elevated them to the top. Newton had wins against Mississippi State, Clemson and South Carolina—including a five-touchdown performance against the Gamecocks.
Griffin III also shined on the biggest stage, throwing for five touchdowns in a 50-48 win against TCU in Week 1.
Big games brought out the best of these quarterbacks, leading them to the Heisman Trophy. Robinson, on the other hand, has been exposed under these circumstances, throwing for more picks through four games than Newton and Griffin III did all season, making him unworthy of the award.
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With Robinson and USC quarterback Matt Barkley's struggles to start the season, there is no longer a clear-cut favorite to raise college football's most prestigious trophy.
However, don't mistake that for Robinson still having a shot.
There are plenty of worthy contenders who have been impressive in this wide-open race. West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith appears to be the early leader, completing 96 of 118 passes for 1,072 yards, 12 touchdowns and no interceptions.
Smith has not been challenged yet this season, but will get his chance to shine with Texas, Kansas State, TCU and Oklahoma still on the schedule.
Florida State quarterback EJ Manuel wowed the nation last Saturday against Clemson, combining for nearly 500 total yards and two touchdowns. Manuel leads a dangerous Seminoles squad, which has an extremely favorable schedule remaining. By the looks of it, only Virginia Tech and Florida stand in the way of an undefeated season in Tallahassee.
Other contenders include Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein, Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray and Oregon running back De'Anthony Thomas. Don't count out Nevada running back Stefphon Jefferson either. Jefferson leads the nation with 699 rushing yards and 11 rushing touchdowns.
The season is far from over, but consider Robinson's campaign done after the primaries.