Tradition is what makes college football great, however its clearly dead. What killed it? Well, greed and stupidity-the conference realignment movement is ruining the sport. However the Heisman is still revered, or at least its deemed important by many. So why can’t I bring myself to care about the award? Well, let’s take a look (and yes I will pick the winner).
It was 2003, or 2004, and I was rooting for Larry Fitzgerald, wide receiver from Pittsburgh, to win the Heisman. He lost, yet he was clearly deserving of winning, at least as much as the other guys. And this is the problem with the award, a problem that the voters can fix tonight: only quarterbacks and running backs win the award these days. So that makes the award not only just an offensive award, but also one that is a QB/RB award. The Heisman to me is supposed to be awarded to the best player in the nation, the guy who represents the qualities you want in a player. The best of the best, and only one college player can receive the award. Its literally the Highlander of college sports.
So the fact that these days anyone who is not a QB or RB can be nominated, but have little to no chance of winning the award, cheapens the award and has reduced its luster in my humble opinion. Right or wrong, I feel that there have been players just as deserving of winning as the actual winners themselves, who have been cheated out of getting that chance. Also the fact that offensive and defensive lineman are almost never nominated at all is a joke. Not to mention the fact that until recently only juniors and seniors won the award.
So thank God for Tim Tebow (I’m never typing those words again) for winning the award as a sophomore. Tonight there is a chance that a freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel, known famously as Johnny Football, could win the award. Also in the mix is senior Collin Klein, who is very deserving but probably will not win, and a defensive player has a chance. A guy who plays only on defensive, and is one of the most dominating linebackers in the nation-Manti Te’o. He is the best hope for the first pure defensive player to win the award, and that is great for the sport.
Tonight might actually mean something. Its important finally because the award, if given to either Johnny Football or Te’o, signifies that the Heisman goes to the best college football player, not just a great offensive player. Both of those guys in my opinion fit that mold. Too bad I have to suffer through an hour long program to get there, though. I’ll be honest: I don’t care about who won in 1973, or who was the 3rd runner up in 1968. For some, tradition still matters.
Who will win: Manti Te’o, linebacker for Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Who should win: Johnny Manziel, quarterback for Texas A&M Aggies
Darkhorse candidate: Collin Klein, quarterback for Kansas State Wildcats