It’s been about a week since Reggie Bush gave up his Heisman Trophy. Is this mess finally over? Anything else people want to pressure him into doing?
There’s no denying what Bush did was wrong. Even if what he did exactly is kind of fuzzy, we know he was involved with a sports agent while playing college football, a big no-no.
A Heisman-less Bush must now move on with his life. It must be tough, what with his millions of dollars, Super Bowl rings and memories of a relationship with Kim Kardashian.
Bush said his giving the Heisman back was “not an admission of guilt.” He can think what he wants. Officially, the Heisman Trust said the 2005 Heisman would be vacant.
Yet a bunch of crazy talk erupted last week that former Texas Longhorns quarterback Vince Young wanted the award.
Bush won that Heisman. By a lot. He received the second highest amount of votes ever and doubled the votes Young received. The race wasn’t close.
Who’s to say Young would have won had Bush been ineligible? Bush and 2004 Heisman winner Matt Leinart were on the same team, they could have split votes. Yet Bush still won in a landslide. Without Bush who’s to say Leinart doesn’t become the second two-time Heisman winner.
Ignorant fans say Young should have won, especially since he almost single handedly beat USC in the Rose Bowl. Guess what, geniuses? That game happened after the Heisman Trophy was handed out. You can’t use that as a case for Young nabbing the award.
The man behind this madness was none other than Texas’s Mack Brown, the world’s best (or worst) politician disguising himself as a college football coach. “I talked to Vince and told him that it would be very important for the University of Texas football program if the Heisman was brought back here,” Brown said. “Not for you, but for the university I’d like for you to stand up and say you want it because I think it would be important to bring it back here.”
In 2004 Brown persuaded pollsters to bump Texas up in the rankings in order for the Longhorns to play in a Bowl Championship Series game. It worked and poor Cal, perhaps the second best team in the nation that season (yes, including undefeated Auburn and Oklahoma) was unfairly pushed aside despite being ahead of Texas during the final weekend of the regular season.
Common sense prevailed, as Young won’t be awarded a Heisman he didn’t deserve.
Now that the Heisman mess is sorted out, I have some points to bring up regarding the entire Bush saga:
USC’s facing severe penalties is simply wrong. The NCAA has to change its method of punishing schools. Why should these players who were middle schoolers at the time pay the price for Bush’s misdeeds?
There needs to be a way to penalize the player. Make him (or her) pay back whatever tuition costs, whatever room and board costs, any fees associated with going to school for a free ride. Fine the college a hefty dollar amount.
But don’t punish players that have nothing to do with the situation. That makes no sense.
I also don’t think what Bush did was really that bad. These student-athletes make universities loads of cash. You want to know what’s bad? Using steroids, that’s bad. Having someone else do your homework, that’s bad. Cheating or falsifying grades to get into college, that’s bad.
Your parents getting a pad? Driving a new car? Travel expenses paid for? How does this help someone on the field?
Finally, who here thinks Bush was the only Heisman winner to get a little something extra? Not just Heisman winners, you know these athletes get a little something extra not just in the classroom, but in the wallet. Watch “The Program,” it’ll clear everything up.
Imagine if a Heisman winner from back in the day, maybe from the 60s or 70s, was found to be dirty. Would a media frenzy come about? Would hardware be given back?
I think every university is dirty until it’s caught. When I went to school, an instructor offered to give me a free A if I just continued writing coverage on their sport. No attendance, no work, no tests, just a free grade. I wasn’t an athlete, just a mild mannered reporter without the physique of Clark Kent.
Hell, I knew an older dude who played baseball about four decades ago, was heavily recruited by many universities, and had tremendous offers. One, which sounded very tempting, went like this: Attend our school and you’ll never have to go to class. Ever. You’ll get a degree and all you have to do is play baseball.
This was a tiny college that was hurting, but the offer was out there. Not from a coach, but from an administrator. A big shot was offering that “education.”
Temptation is out there. Bush got popped and now the Heisman is his penance. Unfortunately, USC is serving its penance for years to come.
I like to kick things off with a bang. I know this may sound crazy, but follow my logic. The Broncos aka Blue Magic return 21 starters on offense and defense from last season. They went undefeated last season. They’ve got a great quarterback, a very talented offensive line and a spectacular defense that is full of seniors and returning starters. Also, unlike most teams who have gone undefeated, this team still feels disrespected and still legitimately has something to prove.
They’ll put everything on the line when they begin the season against Virginia Tech. That game is literally for all the marbles, because the Broncos can’t win it all without an undefeated season. If they beat the Hokies, I don’t think there’s anyone – not even Nick Saban and Alabama – that can stop them. Don’t forget that every time this team has gotten the spotlight they’ve stepped up to the challenge.
Heisman Finalists: Jacory Harris (UMia), Kellen Moore (Boise), John Clay (Wis), Dion Lewis (Pitt), Landry Jones (Okla)
If you follow my logic on Boise, it’s gotta be Moore. Taking a WAC team to the BCS National Championship Game has to get you a Heisman. It just has to. I think there will be a legitimate argument to be made for Dion Lewis, but the voters are tired of seeing sophomores win it and that will kill his chances. As far as Mark Ingram goes, I just think Trent Richardson splitting time and Greg McElroy being able to throw the ball down the field are going to take too many of his touches this season.
Championship Game Match-ups:
ACC – Miami 31 – Florida State 6
I like Florida State out of the Atlantic division because no one else in the Atlantic should be any good. Clemson could be decent, but I think the ‘Noles have enough fire power to get by them. The real slugfest is going to be in the Coastal, where a tough North Carolina team, reigning champions Georgia Tech and the always dangerous Virginia Tech Hokies aren’t gonna make Miami’s life easy. I just like Randy Shannon’s team too much this year to pick against them.
Big XII – Oklahoma 38 – Nebraska 24
This is probably the easiest game to pick. No one from the North should challenge the Huskers this year as they prepare to exit the conference and in the South it should come down to Oct. 2 and the Red River Shootout to determine a winner. If you read my worst college quarterbacks of 2009 article, you know what I think of Texas Tech QB Taylor Potts and as much as I like Tommy Tubberville, I don’t see him pulling any championships out of that kid.
MAC – Central Michigan 41 – Bowling Green 35
I just randomly picked two teams from the Mid-American Conference. You can’t seriously expect me to have thoughts on the MAC. I couldn’t even name every team in the MAC off the top of my head. In fact, I probably couldn’t name five. And honestly, I prefer it that way.
SEC – Alabama 21 – South Carolina 16
I’m of the impression that Florida-Alabama III cannot happen. It defies all laws of SEC logic. Two teams cannot own the conference in perpetuity. The players are too good, the coaches are too good and the home-field advantages are too strong. I think Bama is too good to be stopped even with their insane schedule, which leaves Florida (a team with no senior class) as the odd man out. Also, all South Carolina needs is for Steven Garcia not to play like a complete bum and they could really be good.
If Florida does manage to beat ‘Bama when they play on Oct. 2, I like them to win the East, but I don’t think ‘Bama will recover and take the West. Either way, there is no way (read: NO WAY) that Alabama and Florida will play for the SEC title at the end of the year. The SEC Gods will simply not allow it.
With the Heisman trophy candidates announced this week, there is no doubt in my mind who this year’s winner should be and his name is Toby “White Power” Gerhart. I’ve taken the liberty of giving him the nickname “White Power” for a couple of reasons.
First, no player in the country ran harder or with more power than Gerhart. In his two prime time appearances this season, against USC and Notre Dame, he ran over, into and through defenders to the tune of 178 and 205 yards respectively. Even in a losing effort against arch rival California, Gerhart put up 136 yards and averaged 6.8 yards a carry.
The second reason I call him White Power is that no one in college football is whiter than Toby Gerhart. From not being able to wear a suit with any style – just look at the man’s roster picture – to having a haircut that couldn’t have possibly cost more than $8, he personified whiteness in every way. Not to mention he goes to Stanford and his name is Toby, the whitest name on the planet. The name Toby is so white that if my mother had named me Toby I would tell people to call me Kunta.
Gerhart combined his whiteness and his power to create an awe-inspiring running style that no defense he faced all year was able to stop. In the game against Notre Dame, he must have broken something like 1,000 tackles and gotten half the Fighting Irish defense laughed at during film study the next day. Against USC, he hit Taylor Mays so hard that his girlfriend died.
But Gerhart didn’t just play well in primetime, he was amazing every single week. He leads all of the FBS in rushing, with 1,736 yards, and touchdowns, with 26. He’s run for more than 100 yards in every game except for two and he averaged 4.8 yards a carry in both. He’s averaging 5.6 yards per carry for the season, which is amazing considering he’s only had a run of more than 30 yards in a game four times this season and has thrice not had a single run of more than 16 yards.
There’s no question he’s put up big stats, but the most important thing Gerhart has done this year is be dependable. He took a Stanford team that went 5-7 just a year ago and made them into a Pac-10 contender. He was hands-down the most exciting player in the country to watch this year. Anyone who reads my articles regularly – I’m talking to you, mom – knows that I’m a Tim Tebow guy. But this year, the man that deserves the trophy and the man who has earned it is Toby “White Power” Gerhart.
As Tim Tebow lay motionless on the field in the third quarter of Saturday’s game against Kentucky, the crowd at Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, KY, and everyone watching on TV, held their collective breath. The scene – Tebow laying motionless on the field as his teammates attempted to pick his limp body up from the turf – is eerily reminiscent of the iconic “The Death of Superman” comic where Superman is killed by villain Doomsday (if you’re a nerd, you’re no doubt familiar with this comic, if you have a life, however, you’ll want to ask one of your nerd friends about it).
After Tebow was taken off the field, carted to an ambulance, held at the hospital overnight and diagnosed with a concussion, Florida Head Coach Urban Meyer attempted to reassure everyone at the press conference that Tebow was just fine. “He asked me ‘Did I hold onto the ball?’ I told him he did and he winked at me and said ‘It’s great to be a Gator.’”
For starters, Meyer’s story is obviously a boldfaced lie. At that moment, Tim Tebow had no idea he was a Gator, let alone it was a great day to be a Gator. But Meyer didn’t tell this whopper of a lie to reassure voters or boosters or pollsters… he told it to reassure all of us that the mighty Superman was alright and that nothing – not a concussion or a tracheal lobotomy – was going to stop him.
Tim Tebow has become more than a person, he has become a myth. He’s bigger than UF football – hell, he’s bigger than football. This season is about more than winning a National Championship, it’s about anointing the Great One.
In addition to his Heisman trophy and the enormous picture that hangs in front of the athletics complex at the University of Florida, Tebow has already been elected to the school’s hall of fame. His pledge to Gator Nation after the loss to Ole Miss last year is literally etched in stone outside the stadium. He’s spawned no less than three nationally renowned sportswriters from large, legitimate news organizations to devote blogs entirely to him. And he’s inspired national television announcers to literally say, on air, “Superman wears Tim Tebow pajamas.” Clearly this is no ordinary man… he has become otherworldly.
It’s as if this were all ordained to further his legend: the hit, the concussion, the ‘great day to be a Gator’ quote, the all-too-convenient bye week for him to recover. For an ordinary man, a mild traumatic brain injury would keep him off the field at least two weeks. But Tim Tebow will play on Saturday, October 10th, against LSU. Because Tim Tebow is not a man, he is Superman, and Superman would never miss a game.