Friday, December 09, 2005

Notre Dame Players snubbed

In college football awards, hype and bias often outweighs actual performance, and Notre Dame players got snubbed in three of the top awards this year.

At the Home Depot College Football Awards show this year, Notre Dame got snubbed in every category they were nominated in.

The Davey O'Brien Award, which goes to the Quarterback of the year, went to Vince Young of Texas. Vince Young had a spectacular year this year, and is deserving of consideration for this award, leading the nation in pass efficiency rating.
However, Brady Quinn had a higher completion percentage, yards, touchdowns, total offense, and lower interceptions. Young benefitted from a weak schedule and an offense that used Vince's legs as much as his arm. And his team went undefeated.

The Biletnikoff Award goes to the Receiver of the Year, and was awarded this year to Mike Haas of Oregon State. In a situation opposite the O'Brien Award, Haas won because his team sucked, and was playing from behind much of the year, and he was their only weapon. He led the nation with almost 140 yards per game. However, he didn't do much to help his team win - for all those yards, he only had 6 touchdowns. Jeff Samardzija, on the other hand, tied with Dwayne Jarrett of USC (another finalist) for the most touchdowns this season with 15, and finished with 108 yards per game (10 yards/gm ahead of Jarrett). He also wasn't the only target on his team, as he had to share catches with Maurice Stovall as well (93 yds/gm, 11 TDs).

Another snub this year was from the Heisman trophy, which hasn't even been awarded yet. I'm not saying that Brady should win it, as Reggie Bush made it clear that he is head and shoulders above the rest of the country. However, Leinart's 2004 Heisman and Young's undefeated record bumped them above Brady, even though they had worse numbers. I could deal with all of that. However, every year, the Heisman invites the top four or five finalists to the award ceremony. For no apparent reason, the Heisman trophy decided to pare down the list of invitees to only three this year, leaving Brady Quinn at home.

The worst snub, however, came from the Walter Camp Foundation All-American team. Instead of choosing Quinn or even a worthy Vince Young for Quarterback, last year's Heisman mesmerized them into picking Leinart as teh first-team QB.
Worse than that is the receivers. There are two receivers chosen at receiver, and Walter Camp chose to choose Dwayn Jarrett as their second wideout.

With the exception of being thrown to more (not catching a higher percentage, though), there are NO statistical categories that Jarrett led Samardzija in. Zip. Zero. Zilch. He managed to tie him in touchdown catches, largely due to Coach Pete Carroll's tendency to run up the score. USC beat teams by 53, 47, 46, 42, and 30 points this year. Coach Weis, on the other hand, called off the dogs as soon as the Irish got up by three scores, CHOOSING never to beat their opponents by more than 24 points. (he had opportunities to do so 7 times this year).

Some other snubs include Brandon Hoyte not finishing as a finalist in any defensive awards, Fasano not winning the Mackey Award (won by UCLA player), and that Coach Weis' amazing turnaround of this team was overshadowed by JoePa ressurecting a team that HE had killed in the first place.

Hopefully, Coach Weis will use these snubs to motivate the team into kicking the tar out of the Buckeyes this year in Tempe.

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