Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Why Cam Newton won't win the Heisman Trpohy.

To begin this article, I would like to point one thing out. I am NOT an Auburn hater. As stated in my profile, I am quite the opposite. I am an Auburn fan (when they are not playing Georgia) and my school's most beloved Head Coach and Athletic Director played at Auburn. My all time favorite athlete played at Auburn and one of my dearest friends is an Auburn grad (wud up Phil!). I felt this was a needed intro statement since early today I got hammered for a comment made in haste regarding a Tebow-esque article. So, now that we've established that we can move on.

I would like to start this blog by wishing everyone a happy first BS week! Oh wait! (My apologies I left out the "C" on accident.) Let's try this again...happy first BCS week! Now that we are getting a clearer picture of college football's National Championship race, we are also getting a clear picture of who the real Heisman Trophy candidates are. Jake Locker, Denard Robinson, Terrelle Pryor have all stayed on the short list with losses. While Kellen Moore, LaMichael James and Cameron Newton have become the Big Three in the conversation. With their teams being undefeated and with James and Newton playing big time schedules I am going to go ahead and rule out Kellen Moore. Even though the rankings don't prove Boise State a fraud the people who vote Heisman should see right through them and that is why Moore won't take the trophy.

So now we've narrowed the Heisman down to two.

James is blowing up Pac-10 defenses, with 848 yards rushing, 87 yards receiving and 10 touchdowns. Newton is exploding onto the SEC scene with 1,278 yards passing, 13 passing touchdowns, five interceptions, 860 yards rushing with 12 touchdowns. To summarize, Newton has 2,138 total yards and is responsible for 25 touchdowns! Moore is the only one kind of close to this number with 1,555 total yards and 16 touchdowns.

Currently, you would say Newton is the only dog in the fight. He is a beast! The next best player has nine touchdowns less and 583 less total yards! He alone has more yards running than the only Running Back on the list! This being the only season you will see Cam Newton playing college football, you could easily say this is a done deal...but in the words of the famous Lee Corso "Not so fast my friend!" What would keep Newton from college football's most coveted individual award?

Let's flash back to the end of the summer (September 14th, 2010). The temperature here in Atlanta was still hovering around 90 degrees and Georgia fans were talking about Marcus Lattimore's ridiculous beat down of the Georgia defense. When the news came down that Reggie Bush would forfeit his Heisman Trophy for allegedly taking money and gifts from agents valued at over $200,000 while still playing at the University of Southern California, Reggie respectfully gave the trophy back after being ruled ineligible as well as not honoring the "integrity" qualification of the Heisman. Why is this important to the 2010 race?

Because there is the possibility that Newton's past mistakes may come back to haunt him now. You see, the 6-6, 245lb. Quarterback did not start his football career at Auburn and work his way to starter. He actually started out his college career at Florida as a redshirt backup Quarterback to Tim Tebow. During his time at Florida Newton went six of 12 for 54 yards and no touchdowns in his two seasons with the Gators. He also was arrested for allegedly stealing a laptop and then throwing it out the dorm room window while being questioned by police. The charges were eventually dropped since Newton was a first-time offender and his punishment was a pre-trial intervention program. Now the story goes that Newton did not steal the laptop but was simply a victim in the deal. He states that he bought the laptop from another student, at a “Tom Stimus” super cheap price, and that he should have known better. Newton has been open and honest about the incident calling it a mistake, and his responsibility to know better. So, why should this keep him from winning the trophy?

There are two reasons why the best player in college football won't win the Heisman trophy this year. The first is because even though Newton has said the right things and served his punishment, there is still the fact that he threw the laptop out the window. Why would a guy who didn't know the machine was stolen -- throw it out the window after being questioned by police? I think this question leads to the second reason, which is the Heisman Trust is already feeling like they have a tarnished image from the Bush scandal. So, do they want to take a chance on a questionable situation? I really don't think they do. My opinion is that they would rather give the award to a squeaky clean character guy than to someone who has a "past" because they don't want the controversy in 2010. Since Newton won't be coming back to Auburn in 2011, he won't take the stiff-arm trophy.

However, I could be completely wrong. Now, that ESPN basically owns the rights to the award, the Ego Sports Programming Network doesn't like to be wrong. The entire Heisman talk has revolved around Newton and I honestly think they could flex their muscles and get their way. Both situations would be completely unfortunate. Television companies should not be able to lobby for candidates just as the Trust shouldn't be able to lobby against them. Are they? That is my latest conspiracy theory. I have to say, I would be a liar if I told you I was sold on Newton's on-field character; the fact is Newton is by far the best player in the country and  deserves the trophy --should he be a finalist.




Not sure I am doing this right because it's been a LONG time since I have cited articles. But here are my sources.


Heisman Trophy
ESPN: Heisman Race
Heisman Mission Statement
ESPN: Newton's Stats
Newton's Arrest
Newton Addressing His Arrest
Reggie Bush "Cash & Carry"

Tom Stimus
video

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