Watching the Presidential Debate while drafting an article about the closing gap between Geno Smith and Braxton Miller in the Heisman Trophy race is dangerous.
Why, you ask?
Because instead of lining up statistics, comparing strength of schedules and looking at future opponents, all I can do is imagine the two quarterbacks in a crowded Pennsylvania hall somewhere fielding questions and making their case to be the next Heisman Trophy winner.
I tried to fight it. I promise, I really did. It was futile.
Without further delay, I present to you the 2012 Heisman Debate between candidate Braxton Miller and candidate Geno Smith ... moderated by Robert Griffin lll.
Robert Griffin lll: Good evening ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the 2012 Heisman Debate. My name is Robert Griffin III, and I will be moderating tonight's event between Braxton Miller and Geno Smith. Each candidate will be asked questions and have the opportunity to respond accordingly, you know, like any debate you've ever seen before. Why do I need to explain this?
Anyway, let's jump right in. The first question is for Geno Smith. Mr. Smith, your West Virginia team just lost to Texas Tech by five touchdowns. Why should Heisman voters overlook that?
Geno Smith: Well first off, I want to thank the people of Pennsylvania for hosting this event tonight. It's nice to get out of Morgantown every once in a while ... everything smells like burnt couches there.
Voters shouldn't overlook our loss to Texas Tech, because at the end of the year, I want them to see how far we've come after facing that adversity. I threw for 275 yards in the loss, a pitifully low number for me, but I'd like to point out that my opponent hasn't thrown for more than 250 yards in a game one time, not just this season, but in his entire career!
Robert Griffin lll: Braxton Miller, your response?
Braxton Miller: Thanks Mr. the Third, and thank you, people of Pennsylvania for having me.
Robert Griffin lll: It's actually Mr. Griffin, not Mr. the Third.
Braxton Miller: Griffin isn't your middle name?
Robert Griffin lll: It is not.
Braxton Miller: Weird. Anyway, I don't think voters should overlook West Virginia's loss to Texas Tech either, but for entirely different reasons. My opponent failed to score more than two touchdowns against a Texas Tech team that had given up 41 points to Oklahoma the week before.
Not only that, but the 275 passing yards he's boasting about required 55 pass attempts. You don't see me throwing 55 passes because shoulder ligament injuries are one of biggest threats America is facing right now.
A true Heisman trophy winner finds ways to win, and Mr. Smtih failed to do that against Texas Tech.
Robert Griffin lll: Excellent, moving...
Geno Smith: I'd just like to say that my defense is a dumpster fire. Hard to win when that side of the ball is literally leaking points.
Braxton Miller: My defense keeps d-coordinator Luke Fickell up at night, like its Freddy Krueger and Fickell is some teenager on Elm Street.
Robert Griffin lll: Moving forward gentlemen. Braxton, some people have criticized the strength of Ohio State's schedule. Weaker opponents typically inflate a candidate's numbers. What would you say to those people?
Braxton Miller: I'd tell those people that I appreciate their concerns, but instead of looking at my opponents, look at my numbers and my circumstances instead.
I've done the best with what I've been able to go up against. When I had the opportunity face a quality defense, I delivered. Against Michigan State, a defense that currently ranks seventh in the country, I put up 315 total yards, including a 63-yard go-ahead touchdown pass to Devin Smith after my team lost the lead. We won that game, on the road, 17-16.
All year long, I've delivered in the clutch. Despite my defense faltering, I've put the team on my shoulders and carried us to seven straight victories.
Robert Griffin lll: Geno Smith, your response?
Geno Smith: Oh, I'm up? Sorry, I was just laughing at the teams Ohio State has played this year.
Braxton has padded his stats against defenses that currently have defensive rankings of 116 (Miami), 75 (UAB) 79 (Cal) and 103 (Indiana). I'm pretty sure Joe Bauserman could put up decent numbers against those defenses.
Robert Griffin lll: Who is Joe Bauserman?
Geno Smith: ...
Braxton Miller: I honestly have no idea.
Robert Griffin lll: Alright then. To close out the debate, I would like both of you to compare your game to one of the last two Heisman Trophy winners. Geno Smith, since you like to pass the ball so much, you'll compare yourself to me. Braxton, since you're such an effective runner, you'll compare yourself to Cam Newton. Geno, you're up first.
Geno Smith: Well, like you said, I do prefer to pass the ball before running it. I like to spread the ball around instead of allowing the rich to get richer like my opponent. Why not allow the success of your team to spread across multiple playmakers, instead of just benefiting myself?
My plan allows for more folks to get a piece of the pie, unlike my opponent.
Robert Griffin lll: Interesting. Braxton, let's have your comparison to Cam Newton.
Braxton Miller: Well, I'm not sure this comparison is fair. I have it on good authority that Cam Newton's mother is actually a Ford F-150. How else could he just truck defenders like that?
Either way, I run the ball because that's what my coaches, and more importantly, my team expects me to do. If carrying the ball 15 or 20 times is what it takes to carry my team to a victory, that's a sacrifice I'm willing to take. My opponent is confusing my "greedy play" with a different, more effective strategy for winning.
Robert Griffin lll: Alright folks, that wraps up this first of many Heisman Debates between these two candidates. Please stay tuned on Saturday's throughout the fall for more action.
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