Sunday School Special: The Heisman

I cannot help but feel disappointment that Ndamukong Suh did not win the Heisman Trophy.  The chance to earn the school’s 4th and become the historic first lineman to win was a golden opportunity for the program to grow.

As we know, it did not happen.  In fact, Suh wasn’t as close as we had all hoped.

But just as Suh disrupted just about every team he faced in 2009, big number 93 disrupted college football’s biggest awards ceremony.

There is no question that when I look at the numbers, Suh’s impact on Colt McCoy’s Heisman hopes was devastating.  Just as he smeared Texas’s quarterback time and time again last Saturday, Suh smeared McCoy’s presumed coronation as “college football’s most outstanding player.”  While McCoy did finish ahead of Suh in the vote and was only 159 points behind winner Mark Ingram of Alabama, it is clear that when you look at the actual numbers compared to the projections by Stiff Arm Trophy, McCoy was a recipient of an early Heisman vote.  McCoy was well behind Suh in the projections.  But those projections were – I think – mostly of Heisman voters who waited until the results of last Saturday before voting.  People who voted for Suh were unafraid to publicize their vote because he was by far the most impressive candidate who played on December 5th.  He was also a popular “outlaw” candidate.  The defensive lineman whose performance was not laden with obscene statistics.  You had to watch football to appreciate Suh, you couldn’t just look at a box score.

As close as McCoy was to actually winning, despite being owned by Suh and the Blackshirts and nearly throwing away the Big 12 Championship, I have to believe that he received a large amount of early votes.  These voters saw McCoy run and throw all over Texas A&M on national television on Thanksgiving night and, as they were falling asleep from the turkey, they dozed off convinced that McCoy was the best player.

They sent their votes in, still asleep at the polls, before seeing how he would play against a quality defense.  Until that point, McCoy had only played one really stout unit – Oklahoma’s – and in that game McCoy was very average.  We all know how McCoy fared against the Blackshirts.  He won the game – not because he really did anything to win it – but lost the Heisman.

And Suh ruined it for him.

Not only did he make McCoy look BELOW average, but he also waged a one-night Heisman campaign of his own.  The Missouri effort put him in the discussion.  The Texas game made him the discussion.

As far as I see, Ingram owes Suh an assist on winning this award.  Not that Ingram isn’t a great player.  But he was the “safe” vote.  The supposed “best player on the best team.”  He was going to get his votes from the parochial southern press because he dethroned the mighty Tebow.  But McCoy was going to win.

That is until Arlington, Texas on December 5th.

So while Husker Nation will be angry that “Texas got the best of Nebraska again” think again.  The replay booth saved McCoy from the ultimate Merkle’s Boner, nothing could save his Heisman campaign from the Indomitable Suh.


3 Responses to Sunday School Special: The Heisman

  1. Jeff Smith says:

    Wow! You must be older than you look – Merkle’s Boner? 🙂

    That’s OK, I like old time baseball better than the current game (reading about it and listening to “The Glory of Their Time” anyway). But then I am old.. 🙂

    Good column. I’m cynic enough not to think Mr. Suh would win, but fourth!?? That is a sad reflection on the voters.

  2. johnnybish1 says:


    I am a sports history junkie and a Cubs fan, so anything that connects the two like Merkle’s Boner is a natural for me.

    Plus I get to use the word “boner.” Heh, heh!

  3. Ed Bishop says:

    Your point is well taken and the proof is that Suh had more votes in the Big 12 district than McCoy did.

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