- Created on Tuesday, 06 December 2011 20:47
- Last Updated on Thursday, 16 May 2013 07:51
- Written by Travis Pulver
Wisconsin, LSU, Alabama, and Stanford fans can call me biased all they want to, but the man who deserves to win it this year is none other than the quarterback for the Baylor Bears—Robert Griffin III.
Oh, you’re just biased because you write for a Texas-based website!
I thought some of the cynical readers out there would say that, and that’s okay; I’m ready for you.
First, let me say that I do believe that all five of the guys heading to New York this weekend are tremendous football players. Running backs Montee Ball (Wisconsin) and Trent Richardson (Alabama) are going to make some NFL fans very happy in the near future. LSU’s Tyran Mathieu is electric and an absolute joy to watch. Andrew Luck will make a fine professional quarterback no matter what team he lands with.
Robert Griffin III is simply better.
Detractors will try to claim that he’s just an athlete because he runs so much. He did have 644 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground, but his average yards/carry was just 4.0; Andrew Luck had just 153 and two touchdowns.
When it comes to Griffin, running was not a major part of his game. It was the threat of the run. The simple fact that defenses know that he is capable of taking off for big gains forces them to respect the run even when they have to protect against the pass. Can the same be said for Andrew Luck? I think not.
The threat of Griffin running is compounded by the threat he poses as a passer. His 3,998 yards is the sixth best total in the nation; his completion percentage (72.4) is the fifth best. Only three other QBs have more passing TDs than him (36; hint—none of them are named Andrew Luck). Did I mention that he is second in the nation in total offense (386.8 yards/game), and his QB rating is the best (192.31)?
Well, statistics are not all that matters. He didn’t win as many games as Trent Richardson, Andrew Luck, Montee Ball, or Tyran Mathieu.
That is true; let’s take a look at who everyone played. According to the NCAA, LSU had the toughest schedule in the nation this season. Of the remaining candidates, Baylor was next with the 8th toughest. Alabama came in at 25th and Wisconsin was further down at No 45. Stanford’s schedule was a bit further down the list at No 61.
So it can’t be said that Griffin was the benefactor of an easy schedule, while one can wonder why Luck and Ball didn’t do better considering the relative ease of their schedules. True, they both played some quality teams. Baylor and Robert Griffin played more.
Even when he didn’t win he still had incredible games. Against Kansas State he threw for five touchdowns and had one interception. He had over 400 yards and three touchdowns against Texas A&M.
Oklahoma State can be his only black mark; he had two interceptions. Since they were two of only six thrown all season and he still had 425 yards passing that day it’s not much of a black mark.
Luck has been the frontrunner, but he simply doesn’t deserve it. The man has not played as complete a season as the other candidates. LSU is a talent rich team and Matheiu is only a sophomore; normally that doesn’t matter, but this season it will.
Ball is like Luck; he hasn’t played a complete season either. Against UNLV, Northern Illinois, South Dakota he could have done more. He needed to play better in clutch games like Michigan State and Ohio State; he wasn’t bad, but a Heisman winner doesn’t lose the big game.
Griffin, on the other hand has won the big game when he needed it last week and against one of the best teams in the nation.
In the end it should come down to Trent Richardson and Robert Griffin III. Alabama may got a lot more of the hype, but don’t be surprised if it is RG3 coming home with the hardware.