The Suzuki Heisman Trophy goes to?
After watching college football's regular season come to an end, I have concluded a few things.
1. The UA football team had to be the biggest disappointment of the year. The coaching staff is being brought back in its entirety, which I think is a mistake. I do not believe that junior college recruiting is the way to go in repairing a non-existent secondary. Coach Tomey has already indicated that he is willing to do so, opting for the quick fix instead of building up a secondary for the future. Ortege Jenkins will have a better year next year because he won't see Keith every time he looks behind him.
2. The BCS point system almost made a major mistake by not including the Hokies in the Sugar Bowl. Who wanted to see a title game between Nebraska and Florida State? Just watch every title game in the late-80s and early-90s to see that.
3. The Heisman race should have included people from smaller schools. To name a few - RB Travis Prentice from Miami of Ohio, QB Chris Redman from Louisville, RB LaDainain Tomlinson of TCU and WR Trevor Insley from Nevada.
So, without further adieu, here are my top five picks for the Heisman.
T5. WR Dennis Northcutt of Arizona & WR Troy Walters of Stanford
These two mighty-mites tore up the Pacific 10 Conference this year. Northcutt, with his game breaking speed, great vision and all-around play finished with 88 catches for 1,422 yards. He kept the Wildcats' ship afloat when impending disaster lay ahead. Walters, great hands, precise route running and will to win elevated the Cardinal to its first Rose Bowl appearance since 1971. He finished with 74 catches for 1,456 yards.
4. RB Shaun Alexander of Alabama
Playing in the SEC, Alexander excelled against tough competition and carried his team to a bowl appearance. His powerful running and ability to make defenders miss when necessary led his team to victories over Florida, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Southern Mississippi and Arkansas, all ranked teams at the time of the game. He finished with 1,286 yards on 272 carries.
3. WR Peter Warrick of Florida State
He is the second most dynamic player in college football. He cuts on a dime, has track speed and has sticky hands. He ran, threw and caught the ball this season showing what versatility he has. A virtual lock for the trophy if he didn't run into legal problems, Warrick still led his team to an undefeated record and a Sugar Bowl appearance. An inspired performance against Florida elevated him back into the race. He ended the season with 71 catches for 934 yards.
2. RB Ron Dayne of Wisconsin
"The Great Dayne" led his Badgers to their second Rose Bowl appearance in the 90s. He bowled over teams with his incredible size. The 5-foot-11, 265-pound Dayne would also run away from you when he got in the open field. He finished the year second in the nation in rushing, but broke the all-time rushing record in Division I-A football, surpassing the record set by Texas RB Ricky Williams last year. He totaled 1,834 yards on 303 carries.
1. QB Michael Vick of Virginia Tech
A human highlight film. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound Vick runs a 4.3 second 40-yard dash, can throw the ball 65-70 yards on a rope and is a magician in the pocket. He led the Hokies to an undefeated season. The Hokies demolished all of the ranked teams that they played. Vick will, God willing, play Florida State in the Sugar Bowl and will bring the Hokies their first national championship. Don't believe me? Watch the game. He will make a believer out of you. He finished the year with 90 completions for 1,840 yards, good enough to lead the nation in passing efficiency and QB rating. He also rushed for 580 yards on 110 carries, third best in the Big East conference.