The question on football lips is, “whose NFL career will be ruined” by winning this season’s Heisman Trophy?
The year-end award that has led to professional football swoons by the likes of Pat Sullivan, Johnny Rodgers, John Capelletti, Mike Rozier, Andre Ware, Ty Detmer (had enough? NO!), Gino Torretta, Charlie Ward (who turned out to be a genius with a great career with the Knicks), Rashaan Salaam (enough? NO, NO, NO!), Danny Wuerffel, Chris Weinke, and Jason White (to name just a few) announced its three finalists yesterday.
After another great season that has landed his Gators in the BCS Championship Game, Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, who already has one career stopper on his mantle, seems in a world of trouble. Two Heismans? Unthinkable professional debacle.
Tebow, the rugged and multitalented junior, was the first sophomore to win the Heisman last year and is trying to become the second player to win it twice. Archie Griffin (seven NFL seasons, 2,808 rushing yards, 1,607 receiving yards, and 13 touchdowns—hey, that’s not bad, he played for the Bengals) hit the exacta as a junior and senior in 1974/1975.
Sam Bradford from Oklahoma and Colt McCoy from Texas joined Tebow as Heisman finalists announced Wednesday.
Bradford has directed the highest-scoring team in major college football history, leading the nation in passer rating (186.3) and TD passes (48) while throwing for 4,464 yards. The Sooners have scored 702 points and became the first college team in 89 years to reach 60 points in five consecutive games when they won the Big 12 title game 62-21 over Missouri last Saturday.
McCoy, who is following in the footsteps of another college whiz turned pro clunker (Vince Young), is, like Tebow, a threat to both run and pass. McCoy set a major college record with his 77.6 completion percentage, breaking the mark set by Daunte Culpepper (the poor man is playing for the Lions!), and is the Longhorns’ leading rusher with 576 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Yet again, Texas Tech is left standing at the altar unattended. Their QB Graham Harrell put up big stats and got Heisman buzz all year, but when your defense gives up more than 60 to the Sooners, you’re suddenly outside the Sports Museum of America in downtown New York looking in. All Harrell did this year was pass for 4,747 yards.
Surely, that’s worth a trip to the Big Apple?
Somewhere, Cullen Harper is giggling.