Posted on: December 9, 2010 8:45 am
Edited on: December 9, 2010 9:51 am
Posted by Chip Patterson
Sometime around the middle of the season, it became pretty widely accepted that the Heisman Trophy had been narrowed down to a two-man race. Oregon running back LaMichael James has looked unstoppable at times, leading the nation's most dominant offense to an undefeated season and now a spot in the BCS Championship Game. Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, well, he's just been doing those Cam Newton things.
There were no surprises when the finalists were announced. On Saturday, James and Newton will be joined by Stanford's Andrew Luck and Boise State's Kellen Moore in Times Square for the addition of one more player to the storied history of the Heisman Trophy. Newton is considered to be the favorite, despite the controversy that has swirled since word of alleged solicitation by Cecil Newton came to light. With several writers being very vocal about leaving Newton off the ballot, what does the competition think?
"I don't care what happens off the field. Whatever that situation was, to me he's still the best player in the country,'' LaMichael James said Wednesday at the College Football Awards media session. "I would vote for him twice.''
James does not have a vote, much less two, but the point comes through loud and clear. The counter-argument to the Newton-hate is just that: he is the best player in the country. James has been phenomenal in Oregon's offense, but much of his success is a credit to that team. There have been times this season where Newton has just simply put the Tigers on his back and taken over a game. Without Newton, Auburn would not be in their current position.
Or perhaps James is hoping for a repeat of 2005. After Reggie Bush won the Heisman Trophy in New York he met his runner-up, Vince Young, in the National Championship. Bush got the Heisman, but Young led Texas to a thrilling last minute victory to win the title. Let Newton get the glory on Saturday, then James can get his revenge on January 10.
Posted on: December 6, 2010 6:38 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
The Heisman Trophy will be handed this Saturday in New York, and while there really isn't all that much suspense surrounding who is likely going to be taking home the hardware, until now there was some question as to which players would be making the trip. Well, that suspense is over.
The four finalists for the Heisman were announced on Monday, and they are as follows:
Now, if the votes were based solely on performance on the field this season, then there wouldn't be much doubt that Cam Newton was going to be walking out of New York with the trophy in his hands. Still, who knows for sure how the voters are going to vote considering everything that has taken place with Newton this season, and the fact that Reggie Bush just gave up his Heisman a few months ago.
Nobody wants to see that happen again, and according to some voters I've seen on Twitter, there are some voters who left Newton off of their ballot. Which means that there is a chance that somebody other than Newton will win the award, though I wouldn't bet on it.
Posted on: December 4, 2010 8:30 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
We asked at halftime if the Hail Mary from Cam Newton to Darvin Adams had done enough to erase the cavalcade of mistakes from Auburn in the second quarter, mistakes that had seemed to hand momentum back to South Carolina and undone a dominant first quarter from the Tigers.
The answer over the second 30 minutes appeared to be a resounding "Oh goodness yes," as Auburn cruised to an overwhelming 56-17 victory in the SEC Championship Game. Spencer Lanning missed a 42-yard field goal on Carolina's first drive of the half, wasting a 10-play, 50-yard march, and from there it was nothing but Auburn. Newton scored on a one-yard plunge to cap a 75-yard drive on Auburn's ensuing possession, and the rout was on, starting with this T'Sharvan Bell pick-six of Stephen Garcia:
That put Auburn up 42-14, and from there the only question was what kind of stats Newton might finish with to put the finishing touches on his Heisman campaign, which by every indication will result in his becoming the third Auburn Tiger to win the award. The answer: 17-of-28, 335 yards, and 4 touchdowns in the air, 14 carries for 73 yards and 2 scores on the ground. In the process, he became the No. 1 quarterback in the country in pass efficiency and just the second player ever to both run and pass for 20 touchdowns in a season. (Tim Tebow , of course, was the first; just a little while later, Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick becaee the third.) While the discussions about Newton's now NCAA-approved eligibility and his father's transgressions will no doubt continue apace, the discussion of who has been college football's most dominant player this season is over.
Up next for the Tigers: the BCS National Championship Game against Oregon, where they will seek to become the fifth consecutive SEC team to lift the crystal football. The game promises to become the highest-scoring national title game -- by a wide margin-- in the BCS's history, as even in victory (one that featured another stout second-half performance defensively), Auburn's 20 first downs and 5.2 yards-per-carry allowed likely didn't do that much to convince viewers they'll be able to slow down the Ducks.
But after today -- and the 56 points and 589 total yards -- it's also worth wondering at this point if anyone, much less Oregon, can stop Newton and the Gus Malzahn machine now that the NCAA has not. When even your Hail Mary's are working, it's safe to say every last cylinder is hitting. When the BCS title game kicks off Jan. 10, we strongly suggest we all buckle up.
Posted on: December 2, 2010 4:02 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
On Saturday December 11, the Heisman Trophy winner will be announced and presented with the iconic statue in the heart of New York City. He will be greeted with fanfare and praise for his selection to join the ranks of college football's greatest players.
Popular belief says that player will be Auburn's Cam Newton.
Which of course means that we will follow the announcement (if he does win) with hours upon hours and pages upon pages debating whether a player tied so closely to amateur improprieties should be given the game's top award. In the post-Reggie Bush era, there is a segment of the population that would offer a resounding "NO."
No matter which side of the discussion you fall, it will be discussed. Who better to exploit on the trends of sports media than the WWL?
ESPN will broadcast the presentation of the Heisman Trophy, and following the program they will debut their newest film in the 30 for 30 documentary series. Interestingly enough, the film revolves around the Southern Methodist University football program in the 1980's.
The film, cleverly titled Pony Excess, will likely have promos flooded through the commercial breaks of the Heisman broadcast. For those that stick around and watch the film, they will quickly draw ill-timed comparisons between the new Heisman Trophy winner and the stars of the Mustang teams from that era. Cam Newton may emerge from the "pay-to-play" allegations as a Heisman Winner and National Champion, but ESPN is not doing him any favors with their choice of scheduling.
Of course this could have been booked for months, or LaMichael James could win the trophy. If he does, and ESPN does a last minute switch to a documentary on domestic violence, I'll know this is all part of their wicked scheme.
H/T: Friends of the Program
Posted on: October 27, 2010 2:39 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Auburn quarterback Cam Newton is far and away the leader in the Heisman race so far this season. He has singlehandedly put the entire Auburn offense on his back this season and carried it to an 8-0 start and the top spot in the BCS polls. Honestly, if you have a Heisman vote right now and you don't plan on giving it to Newton, you aren't doing it because you don't think he deserves it, you're only voting for somebody else to be different.
But what if you're the latest Heisman winner, and you happen to play for Auburn's biggest rival? Is that reason enough not to vote for Newton to win the Heisman? Possibly, but Mark Ingram went on The Dan Patrick Show on Wednesday and said he'd throw a vote Newton's way if he feels he deserves it.
"We'll see what happens," Ingram said. "We'll see how the rest of the season plays out and who keeps playing the best football. They're definitely playing the best football out of everybody right now.
"If he's the best and has been the best so far, I wouldn't have no problem. I'm a real person and I can't hate on the man."
That's right, Ingram "wouldn't have no problem" voting for Newton. Could it be that Ingram is intentionally using the double-negative to throw off the scent, and that he has no intention of voting for Newton? Now, as we've seen in the past, the proper usage of grammar and syntax can be a problem for members of the Alabama football team . It's very possible that Nick Saban 's misuse of the english language has transferred to the rest of the team like some unstoppable virus, hell bent on creating run-on sentences and leaving participles dangling.
But, no, I believe Ingram is too smart for that. He's obviously just trying to fool us all into thinking he supports Newton's campaign. Well he hasn't fooled this blogger!
I'm on to you, Ingram.
Hat tip: CFT
Posted on: October 26, 2010 11:02 am
Edited on: October 26, 2010 11:04 am
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Cracks abounded yesterday when Twitter collectively heard that Urban Meyer had described the agony of watching former Gator Cam Newton go apenuts for Auburn by saying "It's really hard." (No, the CBS College Football Blog was not above joining in .) Which, all gym-class joking aside, it has to be at this stage; Meyer and his offensive staff have been totally unable to either adapt John Brantley to the existing Gator offense or adapt the offense to Brantley, a problem that Newton would have rendered utterly irrelevant if he'd remained in Gainesville.
But even so, was that actually what Meyer meant when he said it? Someone get us an ALCOA sponsorship, because here's the transcript , and now You Make the Call :
Reporter: Do you allow yourself to watch Cam Newton on Saturday? Did you watch him?On the one hand, Meyer's defense makes logical sense. If you're one of America's most richly-paid coaches and your team is riding the first three-game losing streak of your current tenure, with your biggest rivalry game of the season coming up against one of the SEC 's hottest teams, you probably don't have a whole lot of time to kick back with a cold one on Saturday afternoon and watch one team you won't play take on one you've already played.
Then again: the highlights of Newton's masterpiece performance against LSU were near-inescapable Saturday for even the most causal of football fans, and suffice it to say Meyer is not a casual football fan. Meyer is certainly aware of them, aware of what Newton is doing at Auburn, and aware that -- according to the Miami Herald 's Mike McCall -- he made a sizable mistake in evaluating Newton's potential:
The verdict here? When Meyer adds "I'll tell you that" to the difficulty of watching Newton, he's not talking about carving out the time for it. He's talking about watching a player he recruited, groomed, and eventually let walk away win a Heisman Trophy -- probably -- for someone else while the quarterback he promoted instead flails. Meyer is only human. You can bet it's hard.
HT: Team Speed Kills .
Posted on: October 23, 2010 6:12 pm
Edited on: October 23, 2010 8:53 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
POSTGAME UPDATE: The play below was the highlight, but in the end the Auburn offense had plenty enough to see off LSU , 24-17. As in, had 527 total yards of offense , 25 first downs, a staggering 441 rushing yards, and a flatly unbelievable 8.5 average yards-per-carry. The big second-half blow was Onterio McCalebb 's 70-yard jaunt in the fourth quarter to give Auburn the final seven-point margin.
Nick Fairley continued to pace Auburn's defense (4 tackles-for-loss, 2.5 sacks), but the story here -- given the strength of the LSU defense -- is the rise of what is without question the SEC 's most fearsome offense ... and arguably, give or take an Oregon , the country's.
Auburn leads LSU 17-10 in the third quarter, but even the score of this matchup of undefeated SEC heavyweights sort of pales next to a transcendent football play like this one from Cam Newton :
If Newton wasn't already your Heisman front-runner, he is now. In fact, he's in danger of lapping the field.
Posted on: October 16, 2010 5:34 pm
Edited on: October 16, 2010 6:23 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
While Denard Robinson was grabbing most of the intention during the first month of the college football season, now that Michigan has begun to fade a bit -- it lost last week, and could be on its way to another loss against Iowa -- there is some room atop the Heisman discussion. Much like the Arkansas linebacker in the clip above, Cam Newton is running right over everybody in his way.
The Auburn Tigers lead Arkansas 27-21 at halftime, and Cam FREAKING Newton is running roughshod all over the Arkansas defense. He's thrown for 88 yards and rushed for another 143 on 13 carries. In other words, he's dominating the Arkansas defense and is putting his team in a position to be 7-0.
Though he is getting some help.
Auburn was given a gift touchdown by the officials following a big Newton run to set the Tigers up inside the 10-yard line. On the next play Mario Fannin got a carry and fumbled at the one-yard line before going into the end zone, Arkansas recovered the fumble, but according to some mystery official, Auburn had scored a touchdown. To anyone watching the replay it was obvious that Fannin had not broken the plane of the goal line with the ball in his arm, but tell that to the replay official who ruled it a touchdown anyway.
Also not helping Arkansas today? Ryan Mallett left the game in the second quarter with what Bobby Petrino said was some kind of head injury.