Jul 22

The Heisman and CJ

Posted By:Brett Haynes  Tags:

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Photo: by USPresswire

I had caught word that here in town a few local businesses would be handing out CJ Spiller for Heisman posters. These posters are limited edition (and life-size) and so I figured it would be pretty cool to have one. I drove down to the location I had heard would have the posters, arriving fifteen minutes early "just in case". Did I get a poster? Not a chance. The scene at the super-market looked like the scene outside of Death Valley minutes before kick-off. Hundreds of fans (maybe thousands) wrapped the building and had on orange shirts, and some even had their kids with them in full cheerleading or football player gear. This was amazing, and it got me to thinking.....

The first thoughts the scene gave me were ones of humor, disbelief and joy all rolled into one. It was joyful to know that I owned a college football website - for these folks reminded me just how many college football fans are out there! Now I just need to market my site better...

The second thoughts I got were that these people were freakin crazy! I mean, who had time to stand in the hot sun for an hour to maybe get a poster for crying-out-loud??? It's not like this free poster came with a season ticket, or a chance to meet CJ himself, or even a coupon for a half-priced gallon of milk. It was just a poster.

And finally, and most seriously, I got the thoughts that CJ Spiller's chances of winning the Heisman Trophy are about the same as my chances of summitting Mount Everest in the next 6 months: It is just not going to happen.

I love Spiller. His fancy runs and game-breaking speed are so much fun to watch. Though some would say he needs more toughness, I think he has added that to his game and is ready to show it. Fans caught glimpses of the kind of back he can be when Dabo Swinney changed the way he was used in the second half of 2008. He also has great hands for a running back. He has a chance to score with each touch, no matter the yard-line. He is an outstanding running back that has all of the tools of a Heisman caliber player.

What he doesn't have is a team that can put him in the position to win the trophy (or at least I don't think so yet, anyway).

To win the Heisman (unless you play for Notre Dame), you must be in national title contention at least for a good part of the season. The player may not neccesarily have to be on an undefeated team to win the trophy - but it better be darn close. One reason this is important is that when your team is ranked in the top 5, your team tends to be on prime-time TV more, Sportscenter more, etc...boosting the media's awareness of your season.

Another reason this elite record is needed, is that if your team is 10-1 or 11-0 or whatever, this means you - as the star offensive and special teams player -  probably had really good numbers! Clemson cannot possibly go 11-0 if CJ Spiller does not have a huge season. But if CJ Spiller does have a great season, stranger things have happened than CU winning 11 games in one year (see; Watson, Tom, 2009 Open Championship).

So I guess the point of this short article is that the CJ Spiller for Heisman hype is just that - hype. I love Clemson, and I love CJ Spiller. But unless my Tigers win the ACC and are ranked in the nation's top 10 (probably top 5), I just do not think he will even be considered...




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