I told you last week that I was going to change the name but I didn’t tell you it would be so late in the week. So, surprise! It’s Thursday! Welp, I’m setting a goal to actually get this done for Monday next week. Tuesday at the latest. Anyway, I’m switching from the worn and used mania to the more personal and debilitating manic. No reason for the Heisman to be all fun, let’s bring in some lows, too. It’s Mental Health Month, after all.
There is only one mainstream candidate playing tonight but there are some other good’uns that are sort of off the radar. Teddy Bridgewater (QB, Louisville) hasn’t really made his move yet but he gets discussed every week on national TV. He’s always worth watching even if some Ohesians, who will be named upon request, are not overly enthused with him. Bridgewater has a strong arm, doesn’t make a lot of mistakes, and has gotten his sack problem under control. Great, you know him already or you’ve stumbled into a weird internet place for somebody with your very limited awareness of college football. He’s going to tear Rutgers to shreds.
Rutgers actually has some offensive talent of their own even though they’re pretty much average in terms of production. Paul James (RB, Rutgers) had some big games to start the year but got injured two weeks ago against Arkansas and will probably miss the game. The good news for Rutgers is that freshman Justin Goodwin (RB, Rutgers) stepped up last week against SMU, running for 149 yds and 2 TD in the first extended action of his career. It remains to be seen how much of an impact he can have against the nation’s top scoring defense (something, something, weak schedule) but Rutgers is, for what it’s worth, the best team Louisville has faced so far. I’m hoping Goodwin can show off a little bit just to make things interesting. He won’t be in the running for any sort of awards this year but he might be worth remembering in the future. Rutgers did have a legit candidate just a few years ago (Ray Rice).
Also playing tonight are USC and Arizona which features one interesting star-type player. It won’t be Marqise Lee (WR, USC), because he’s probably out, but if you’ve never seen Ka’deem Carey play you should tune in. He’s a burner and Arizona runs a ton. USC has some serious problems with their run defense (and everything else, so far) and Carey should be able to eat them alive. I don’t quite get the line in this game. USC is favored but the game is in Arizona and USC is trotting out a brand new coach, and every single thing I’ve seen from the Trojans this year suggests that Arizona plays a type of offense that they won’t handle well. This could be easy money if you’re of that persuasion. If I’m wrong you should know that I don’t ever gamble, except at the track, so you should probably take advice from somebody that does.
I like looking for players that are way off the map and following them. My new guy to watch is Antonio Andrews (RB, Western Kentucky). He’s currently leading the nation in rushing yards (aggregated, not per game) and he’s got a pretty good offensive mind drawing up plays for him. His next game (on Tuesday, yuck) against Louisiana-Lafayette presents a decent shot for a 200-yd game, assuming he can get the necessary amount of touches. It’s a horrible draw from a casual standpoint but this is the kind of stupid game I like to watch. It’s apparently going to be shown on ESPN 2 so tune in, if you must, and see what Bobby Petrino and one good rusher are worth against one of the esteemed Louisiana- schools. I can’t guarantee you’ll be entertained but I’m pretty sure I will be. Andrews was among the nation’s leading rushers last year but I’d be lying if I told you I know anything about him.
In a turn back to the real world of Heisman candidates, Bishop Sankey (RB, Washington) has finally broken through a little bit to gain some national name recognition but he’s in a tough spot this week. I could focus on Keith Price (QB, Washington) but I’m making a commitment to the run this week. QBs are all over every corner of CFB coverage this year so I’m working hard to go against the grain. Last week Washington came pretty damn close to taking down Stanford and now they get to turn around for one of the few tougher matchups available. Oregon might have their best team yet and they’ve got a ton of depth. If Sankey can go off even as much as he did last week, the Huskies could really make the Ducks sweat. Washington is easily the best team Oregon has faced this year and either Sankey or Price is the best individual player they’ve seen. Last year’s game was a disaster for Washington but, like the Seahawks in the NFL, the Huskies have a huge advantage at home. Maybe even equal to Oregon’s homefield advantage. If U-Dub can pull off the big upset this week then Sankey’s name is probably going to move into the upper echelon in the national discussion of Heisman candidates. It’s… possible.
OK, this whole campaigning for running backs thing has not been easy but now we get to the fun part. Lache Seastrunk (RB, Baylor) is the only serious candidate among the RBs as of now. He’s big, he’s fast, he’s playing in the most ridiculous offense of all time (through 4 games), and he’s got a great name. He also brought some NCAA scrutiny to the Oregon program. As in the case of Bishop Sankey, Seastrunk isn’t even necessarily the top name candidate on his own team. Right now, Bryce Petty (QB, Baylor) is on the Heisman Pundit shortlist but I actually believe Seastrunk will start seeing more hype if Baylor keeps putting up 70 pts every week. This week they face Kansas State who has pretty much sucked this year but they did hold Oklahoma State to 33 pts last week so Baylor might actually stay under 50 against them. I’m not sure what kind of burger Baylor will lay on the Wildcats this week but if it’s only a 30-burger or, gasp!, a 20-burger then you can forget about either of the Bears candidates getting a boost until at least the Oklahoma game. I don’t know, I’m pretty excited to see what happens in this game. It’s a bad proposition for the Bears as far as their national profile goes. If they murder K-State in their serial fashion then we’ll all just chuckle at how bad Bill Snyder’s team is this year. If Baylor has to fight for their lives, even if it makes the team better in the long run, we’ll all rush to assume the 70.5 ppg was just a mirage. With my well-established love of burgers, I’m hoping Baylor drops an 80-burger this week and then Coach Snyder turns around and drops a Really Nice Letter-burger on Art Briles.
I’m struggling to focus on my hook for this week because, OHMYGOD!!!!, did you see Jameis Winston (QB, Florida State) put the fraud in Maryland Fraudapins last week? Holy crap. I feel like Jameis was reading twitter when people started to question him during the Boston College game because he’s somehow gotten more superhero/messiah-y since then. His big moments this year are still ahead of him (Miami, Clemson, Florida, probably the ACCCG) so it’s possible he won’t stay in the race but I’m a true believer. As a side note I want to berate anybody that feels the need to give this kid a nickname. “Famous” Jameis is dumb. Why do you need to differentiate him anymore than his name already does? Can’t we just call him Jameis and let that be it? Are sportswriters worried that their readers (stop laughing) won’t know which Jameis they’re writing about unless they add some asinine sobriquet to him? Boo to all wannabe Grantland Rices out there.
That’s all for this week. Next week I might try to put together another pained list of guys that won’t get any votes in the real race but I haven’t decided yet. There are no WRs that I would put in this class right now. I like Ty Montgomery and Mike Adams just fine but I don’t really buy either one as the main man on their own squads. I’ll free myself to at least write a little bit about Johnny Manziel (QB, aTm) and Tajh Boyd (QB, Clemson) next week. For the record, I might let myself get sold on Tajh Boyd after all. But I won’t pay for the ticket until Clemson is free and clear of the FSU game. My gut says the Seminoles are going to curb-stomp the Dabos but there’s always some doubt in my mind. Until next week, you know, whatever. Signing off or whatever.