Dont Overlook Smaller College Football Programs!

adam blackburnContributor INovember 9, 2008

Year after year, in every aspect of the game, smaller football programs are often overlooked.

Memories of a great Boise State team walking all over a highly ranked Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, Larry Fitzgerald (PITT) losing the 2003 Heisman race to Jason White (OKLA) supposedly based on team record not player performance as the Heisman should be.

Not to take away from White who was a great player, but he finished ranked 8th in passing yards, 26th in completion percentage, and 8th in QB rating.

Fitzgerald, on the other hand, finished first in almost every receiving category, but since his school was a lower profile (and ranked lower) many voters chose White instead, Basing there votes on team performance instead of individual stats.

If the Heisman was based on team performance then every year, the National Champions should pick one of there players to win it since they are the best team it would only be fair. Now how dumb does that sound?

Again this year, a small school player is setting the precedent nine games into the year, but still Jarrett Dillard of Rice is still never mentioned in the run for Heisman, although he is far ahead of leading receiver candidate Michael Crabtree of Texas Tech. Oh and by the way he has less receptions but still WAY better numbers than Crabtree.

Ever since the BCS was implemented, Strength of Schedule has become one of the biggest things in determining a team's grit and power.

I think this has contributed to the brainwashing of those voting on awards and polls. A small team like Ball State does not have the recruiting power of teams like Alabama, Penn State, USC, Ohio State, and Florida.

I think if you are going to incorporate Strength of Schedule into the Heisman equation then you should also calculate Strength of Recruitment!

If this were the case, we would find out that the small schools and players we are overlooking, if put on a level playing would probably walk all over 50 percent of the teams in the top 25!

People do not realize that Nick Saban, one of the best college coaches of the last 2 decades, came from a very small Toledo school, but as soon as he was given the chance to move up, he was an instant success at Michigan State, LSU, and now Alabama.

My point to this is, the coaches and kids who put up big numbers at small schools would still put up the big numbers if they were given a chance to play at a bigger school.

Most of your LaDainian Tomlinsons (TCU '97-'00) go to smaller colleges and Junior Colleges because of grade requirements or to stay closer to home. A kid that wants or in most cases NEEDS to stay close to home should not be punished for this decision.

I understand that you must incorporate Strength of schedule into the polls in order to determine which team is the strongest in the nation. My only concern is that this is going to continue to spew over into individual awards like the Heisman.

If this continues to be the case college sports, is going to be so predictable that all your team's best player would have to do to win the Heisman is lead his team to the national championship or at least the top 3 in the final standings.

What if Graham Harrell had lost to Texas and then later in the year loses to Oklahoma knocking Tech to No. 14 or 15 in the BCS polls? Does this mean he would be any less worthy than Colt McCoy if Texas were to win the Championship, but McCoy ends up with way less in every offensive category than Harrell?

Would this be right just because Harrell would have two team losses to McCoy's 0? I don't think it would be, and if it is not right for a high-profile team such as Texas Tech, then it should not be right for a smaller school!

Your comments are appreciate.

Thanks and please check out my football stats article it may help us all out!