Heisman Hype: Colt McCoy Vs. Sam Bradford
* I should begin by noting that I am not a Texas or Oklahoma fan, and I have no rooting interest in either team. I'm merely writing this as a college football fan and nothing more *
Here are their stats against common opponents:
Mizzou: 29/32 337 yards 2 TDs 0 INTs; 11 rushes for 23 yards 1 TD
Baylor: 26/37 300 yards 5 TDs 2 INTs; 8 rushes for 21 yards
Kansas: 24/34 255 yards 2 TDs 0 INTs; 16 rushes for 78 yards 2 TDs
A+M: 23/28 311 yards, 2 TDs 0 INTs; 11 rushes for 49 yards 2 TDs
Texas Tech: 20/34 294 yards, 2 TDs 1 INT; 13 rushes for 16 yards
OSU: 38/45 391 yards, 2 TDs 1 INT; 10 rushes for 41 yards 1 TD
Total: 160/210 for 1888, 15 TDs 4 INTs; 69 rushes for 228 yards, 6 TDs
76.19% at 8.99 YPA; rushing at 3.3 YPC
2116 total yards; 21 total TDs
Mizzou: 34/49 384 yards 2 TDs 0 INT; 1 rush for 7 yards
Baylor: 23/31 372 yards 2 TDs 1 INT; 2 rushes for 4 yards 1 TD
Kansas: 36/53 468 yards 3 TDs 0 INT; 4 rushes for 14 yards
A+M: 22/33 320 yards 4 TDs 0 INT; 5 rushes for 23 yards 1 TD
Texas Tech: 14/19 304 yards 4 TDs 0 INT; 5 rushes for 18 yards
OSU: 30/44 for 370 yards 4 TDs 0 INT; 4 rushes for 16 yards 1 TD
Total: 159/229 for 2218; 19 TDs 1 INT; 21 rushes for 82 yards, 3 TDs
69.43% at 9.685 YPA; rushing at 3.9 YPC
2300 total yards; 22 total TDs
Both quarterbacks are obviously great players. They've blown the doors off their conference, avoided mistakes, and made fantastic plays throughout the season. So which player is more deserving of the award?
If the Heisman were a true MVP, McCoy should win it in a heartbeat. Few players this year meant more to their team, and McCoy's moxie and leadership helped guide the Longhorns to an 11-1 record.
The Heisman, however, is clearly not an MVP award. If that were the case, players like Michigan State's Javon Ringer, Utah's Brian Johnson, and Pittsburgh's Lesean McCoy would be in the hunt.
Instead, the Heisman usually goes to the QB or HB who keeps his team in the BCS hunt, puts up gaudy stats, has a spectacular highlight reel, and makes big plays in big games.
Both McCoy and Bradford still qualify under those circumstances, but when put side-by-side, it appears that Bradford pulls ahead.
His spinning, John Elway-esque near-touchdown against Oklahoma State has become a staple of sports shows, while his video game stats and mistake-free play have helped Oklahoma become the first team to score 700 points in a season.
He's undoubtedly a great player, and his performance in the Big XII Title Game—which appears to have punched the Sooners' ticket to the BCS National Championship Game—will leave a lasting impression in voters' minds.
That being said, if I had a vote, I'd still vote for McCoy; here's why:
1) It is unfair to punish McCoy for playing one less game. It is the result of the system and the voters that Oklahoma played for the Big XII title over Texas. McCoy already shredded Missouri in the regular season; there is nothing to indicate that he would not have done it again.
Missouri's passing defense is ranked 117th in the nation. What Bradford did against the Tigers should be looked upon as an accomplishment, but for purposes of Heisman voting, it should be looked upon in relation to McCoy's sterling performance.
2) He won the head-to-head matchup. Texas scored 45 points in the win, the most that any team has scored against Oklahoma this season, while scoring a season low 35 points. McCoy was mistake-free, going 28/35 for 277 yards (adding 31 yards on the ground) while Bradford threw two interceptions.
If voters are going to punish McCoy for throwing a key interception against Texas Tech, then they ought to view Bradford's performance in the Texas game in the same light.
3) McCoy is the MVP of his team. He completed 77.6 percent of his passes this year. As Kirk Herbstreit pointed out, it's difficult to do that against air. Yet, McCoy managed to do it against a difficult schedule that included a myriad of top 10 teams.
He's also added 576 yards on the ground at 4.5 YPC, which would be a good stat line for a decent backup RB. Put them together, and it's impossible to deny McCoy's talent and athleticism. Bradford's 53 total TDs is certainly an accomplishment, but McCoy's 42 total TDs is nothing to scoff at.
4) McCoy never lost a game. Bear with me here. McCoy did not drop a bread-basketed interception on the last drive against Texas Tech. McCoy was not defending Michael Crabtree when he broke two tackles and tiptoed his way into the end zone.
No, all he did was drive his team 80 yards down the field—going 4/5 passing and added 11 key rushing yards—to score the go-ahead touchdown with 1:29 remaining.
It was the kind of drive on which Heisman hopes and championships are built. He was not on the defense, and he put his team in a position to remain undefeated.
Remember: when Colt McCoy walked off the field for the last time—not just in the Texas Tech game, but in every game—his team was winning. That's the surest sign of a champion, and it proves that McCoy is a winner.
He did everything he could do this year, and he's come a long way from that kid who could never live up to Vince Young. He's exceeded all expectations and he deserves the Heisman.
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