Cincinnati Bearcats Football

Why Not Cincinnati's Tony Pike for Heisman?

PISCATAWAY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 07:  Tony Pike #15 of the Cincinnati Bearcats throws a pass against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Rutgers Stadium on September 7, 2009 in Piscataway, New Jersey.   by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
D NewmanContributor ISeptember 15, 2009

OSU's Terrelle Pryor is on every major sports website's watch list (FoxSports, Sports Illustrated, CBSSportsline, ESPN) for the Heisman Trophy.

Here are Pryor's 2009 stats:
1 passing TD
351 passing yards
2 rushing TDs
66 rushing yards
116.92 passer rating

Through two games, that doesn't look terrible, especially if you consider he plays for a run-first team.

But those are, by no means, Heisman numbers.  The Heisman goes to the most "outstanding" player in college football.  You are not outstanding when you average roughly 175 passing yards and 33 rushing yards.

I'm not saying he isn't good, or that he won't be great next year.  But he is no Heisman winner this year.  The only reason he is on this list is because his team started the year in the top five.

Tony Pike cannot get his name on any watch list to save his life.  I'm not going to say that he would put up 1,000 yards or TDs against USC, but he would against Navy.

Here are his stats:

6 passing TDs
593 passing yards
1 rushing TD
16 rushing yards
195.5 passer rating

Those stats come from roughly five quarters of play.

Numbers don't tell the whole Heisman story though; wins and losses play a part.  Matched with a seemingly-even opponent, Pike led his team to a 32-point win.  Matched with an inferior opponent, he led them to a 49-3 point halftime lead.  Not comparable to USC, but notable nonetheless.

Navy was far inferior to Ohio State, yet Pryor's defense had to finish that game for him.  USC scored fewer than twenty points, and Pryor's completion percentage was 44.  I'm not saying Pike would do better, but this isn't about what he would do, it's about what these players do.

Pryor took the blame for that game, and I like that.  I wouldn't have pointed a finger specifically at him, but with that 44% completion, it's hard to deny.


I know, it's starting to sound like I just think Pike deserves to be on the list because he is the Cincinnati quarterback, but here are Tebow's stats (Tebow is, of course, the media darling/Heisman favorite):

425 passing yards
5 passing TDs
0 interceptions
72 rushing yards
2 rushing TDs
197.95 passer rating

So Pike has as many TDs as Tebow, over 150 more yards, but one more INT.  If the votes were due tomorrow, I would still say Pike deserves to win, simply because he won his in-conference game and Florida hasn't really played anyone as good as Rutgers.

Colt McCoy is another favorite:

654 passing yards
5 passing TDs
2 interceptions
35 rushing yards
1 rushing TD
155.8 passer rating

McCoy has more TDs, but also more INTs and a lower passer rating than Pike.

So, there you have Pike and a comparison of the three "top" BCS QBs.  Pike looks far superior to Pryor, although neither have really won a huge game yet.  He's come up with Tebow-like numbers despite better competition (in one game at least).  And he has thrown smarter passes than McCoy.  It's true that there is a lot of football left to be played, but what do you think?

I'm going to close with a quote from a SportsLine article: "He's a better pure passer and more NFL-ready than Tim Tebow.  He's got a stronger arm than Colt McCoy.  He's got the smarts of Jevan Snead and unlike Sam Bradford has two perfectly healthy shoulders."

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