Sports

Dear college football pundits: AJ McCarron deserves the Heisman Trophy

Shortly after yesterday’s epic Iron Bowl – I don’t use that word “epic” very often, but they’ll be talking about this one a century from now, assuming American football is still being played – I heard a pundit opine that Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron’s Heisman Trophy hopes were now dead.

Seriously?

Look, I hate Bama. I don’t give a rat’s ass about Auburn, but I wish they’d won by 100. Anytime Nick Saban goes down it’s a party at my house. That said, I watched the game and all I saw was one reason after another to vote for McCarron. The award is allegedly for the best player (assuming he plays QB, RB or WR), not the best guy on a team with a good kicker. If you would, point to the part where McCarron let his team down.

C/ATT YDS AVG TD INT QBR
A. McCarron 17/29 277 9.6 3 0 81.2

In addition. he launched the longest pass in Alabama history and generally had his way with the Barner secondary.

Then, of course, there’s this:

SEASON CMP ATT YDS CMP% YPA LNG TD INT SACK RAT RAW QBR ADJ QBR
2013 207 306 2676 67.6 8.75 99 26 5 10 165.9 79.7 83.5

And not that it’s relevant, but this and this and this:

SEASON CMP ATT YDS CMP% YPA LNG TD INT SACK RAT RAW QBR ADJ QBR
2012 211 314 2933 67.2 9.34 85 30 3 22 175.3 76.3 81.5
2011 219 328 2634 66.8 8.03 69 16 5 13 147.3 68.9 76.7
2010 30 48 389 62.5 8.10 47 3 0 2 151.2 48.4 47.0

All told, McCarron’s all-time record as  starting quarterback drops to 36-3 with two national titles. If his coach had recruited a kicker he’d be odds-on favorite for a third national title in four years. All those folks who keep telling me that Tim Tebow is the greatest QB in college football history – blow me.

I don’t know a damned thing about McCarron past what I see on TV, and big money college ball being what it is I don’t kid myself that I’m talking about Mother Teresa. But he’s been, without argument, the best player on the best team in the game over the past four years, and if you think his performance yesterday diminished his worthiness, you need to reevaluate your standards. There was damned near nothing more anyone could have reasonably asked of the Bama QB.

If I had a Heisman vote it would go to AJ McCarron. I realize that there are other fantastic players out there and I can’t fault you for favoring one or the other among them. But if you think that somehow McCarron blew it with his performance yesterday, please do us all a favor and STFU.

Categories: Sports

4 replies »

  1. Are you fucking daft? Been hit in the head with one wet soccer ball too many?

    He’s Alex Smith and Colt McCoy rolled into one–a mediocre game manager on a great team.

    Have you seen Famous Jamies play? Yeah, yeah, yeah, he’s a rapist. This is football–lots of QB’s are rapists, e.g., LSU’s, Pittsburgh’s.

    • Some folks seem to be misreading what I’m saying here (getting the same static on one of my lists). To be clear, the argument is less that he should obviously be the winner, although that is how I would vote. Instead, it’s about the idea that Saturday’s result should cost him the Heisman, which is what I heard a pundit say in the aftermath of the game. If he was a candidate going in, that performance should only have helped him. I thought this was made clear in the beginning and I note at the end that there are others you could certainly justify voting for.

      As for the idea that he’s nothing more than a game manager on a great team, this pretends that he didn’t make all those throws, didn’t make all those correct decisions, that anybody could have done it in his absence, etc. It’s a team game and he’s the most important cog in the offense. Whether he’s flashy or not, he’s done a fantastic job. He put his team in a position to win Saturday and I’m hard-pressed to think thank anyone else could have done a whole lot more. Does that mean he’s better than Winston? I don’t know. I said after seeing one game that Winston was the real by god deal and he had a great future playing on Sundays ahead of him. Clearly he’s the logical heir apparent to Rapistberger in Pittsburgh, but that’s another argument, I guess.

  2. Strangely enough, you’re not alone in this delusion–http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1873005-nfl-scout-says-alabama-qb-aj-mccarron-is-similar-to-tom-brady. Which means that Mr. McCarron is going to get paid a lot of money to carry a clipboard for a year or so. All it takes is one fool, right Timmy?

    Although “average arm strength, great with reads” has generally not proved to be a successful formula, e.g., Colt McCoy. But then again “great arm strength, bad with reads” hasn’t worked so well either (Jamarcus, anyone?) Still, former has generally fared better than the latter. Farve/Glennon vs. Smith/Schaub

    How have other (recent) Alabama offensive skill players fared in the pro’s? There are only five–Julio, who’s done very well and Ingram, Lacy, Richardson and McClain, all four of whom were great at Bama but suck outside the Saban system.

    I realize using their pro careers to judge how they are as a college player is a bit specious, and also that using projected pro careers is even more specious–Cam Newton’s and Terrell Pryor’s physical attributes are identical statistically, but in real life…..

    However, we don’t have much else to go on. The problem with Alabama’s success is it makes judging their QB impossible, just as USC did with Leinart, Sanchez, Cassell, Barkley, et al. Oklahoma has done the same. (By the way, remember how Cassell looked in the New England offense vs. how he has looked at KC and Minnesota. Maybe even the great Brady is the product of the system as much as he is a talented player.)

    So since we can’t really tell if McCarron is any good or not and since he comes from a rancid racist cesspool of cheaters, he shouldn’t win.

    (For the record, I still think Bridgewater may end of being the best of this lot.)

    Hope I’ve sorted it out for you, my confused friend.

    • This is sort of like Microsoft customer support. It’s all accurate, but completely unhelpful.

      Things like “pro potential” have precisely zero place in this conversation. It’s all about what you accomplished at this level. As bad as I hate Tebow, I never really carped about the Heisman because he was successful at the game he was playing. He had absolutely no pro potential whatsoever and he couldn’t read a defense and while his arm was strong enough that he could throw the ball through a brick wall (on the off chance that he could actually HIT the brick wall), none of that mattered.

      Even if McCarron is an average-armed game manager – and man, has that become an epithet or what? – let’s be very, very clear about what he has accomplished. By all rights, Bama should be headed for its third straight title. His arm looked fine on those long balls he threw the other night and “managing the game” is often another term for “winning the game.”

      Again, there are arguments to be made for Manziel and Winston, and I agree, Bridgewater may prove to be the best pro QB of the lot when all is said and done. But none of that diminishes the point I’m making in the original post.