Why Matt Grothe (as of now) should win the Heisman
USF quarterback Matt Grothe's chances of winning the Heisman Trophy are improbable. I know that. Then again, how improbable is it that his Bulls are the No. 2 ranked team in the nation? The list of Heisman hopefuls doesn’t even include Grothe. And I want to know: why not?
He is the starting quarterback of an undefeated team, and he is the chief reason why that team is undefeated. So I'm here to make his case. Matt Grothe for the Heisman!
Is he the best college football player in the country? Probably not. Does he have the best numbers out there? No. But when we compare him to the other Heisman hopefuls, I think I can make a pretty good argument against each and every one. So, to members of the jury (or, in this case, the Heisman voters), I humbly submit my case:
Grothe vs. Matt Ryan, QB, Boston College
Ryan has thrown for more than 1,000 yards more than Grothe and has 17 TDs compared to Grothe's seven, but he also has thrown twice as many interceptions. Two other things. Grothe is more versatile, rushing for 346 yards compared to Ryan's 38. Plus, BC hasn't played anybody. The Eagles' best victory might have been against a really bad Notre Dame team, and Ryan had his second-worst game of the season statistically. The Eagles certainly haven't faced any team as good as Auburn or West Virginia. Not yet, anyway.
Grothe vs. Andre Woodson, QB, Kentucky
Again, Grothe gets a huge advantage with his legs. Woodson, in fact, has minus-85 yards rushing. Woodson has put up huge numbers , but most came against teams such as Eastern Kentucky, FAU, Kent State and a Louisville team whose defense would have trouble stopping Armwood High. If you delve into the numbers, Woodson's worst games statistically were against then-No. 1 LSU and South Carolina. Yes, Kentucky beat LSU. Then again, it did lose to South Carolina.
Grothe vs. Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
Bradford might have the best stats of anyone in the Heisman race even though he's a freshman. He has thrown for 20 touchdowns, has completed over 70 percent of his passes and has a 181.1 passer rating, which is better than all the Heisman candidates. But who has Oklahoma played? Texas? Okay, that's not a bad team. But who else? Miami? Please. And don't give us Missouri. Sure, the Tigers were undefeated, but they do this every year — they start hot then get clobbered when they start playing real teams. I think Grothe has faced better competition.
Grothe vs. Colt Brennan, QB, Hawaii
You have to feel bad for Brennan. No one ever sees him because his team plays at 2 in the morning. On the surface, his numbers look impressive — 20 TDs, 2,395 yards, a 69.9 completion percentage. But here’s all you need to know to dismiss Brennan as a serious candidate: Northern Colorado, Louisiana Tech, UNLV, Charleston Southern, Idaho, Utah State, San Jose State. Can we move on now?
Grothe vs. Dennis Dixon, QB, Oregon
Dixon is a double threat like Grothe, but Grothe has rushed for more yards. Dixon's most impressive performance was when he threw for 292 yards and three scores, and rushed for 76 yards and another score against Michigan. But Michigan was reeling from losing to Appalachian State the week before and was not the team it is now. In his biggest game against Cal, Dixon threw for 306 yards, but was picked off twice. And Oregon lost.
Grothe vs. Tim Tebow, QB, Florida
Tebow has rushed for more yards. A lot more yards. He has thrown for more yards. A lot more yards. But Grothe's case here? Common opponent. Grothe threw for a score and ran for another against Auburn. Tebow did the same against Auburn: one TD in the air and another on the ground. But there were two differences. Tebow threw an interception against Auburn. And the other difference? Grothe won his game against Auburn.
Grothe vs. Mike Hart, RB, Michigan
Hart is leading the nation in rushing and has rushed for 100 yards in every game, including games of 215, 188 and 187. But, come on, his team lost to Appalachian State. It wasn't his fault. In fact, only because of him, Michigan wasn't blown out by Appalachian State. But still, we're honestly going to vote for a guy whose team has lost twice, including a game to Appalachian State?
Grothe vs. Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas
The preseason favorite has had a good year, but not a spectacular year with 822 yards and seven TDs on 147 carries. Teammate Felix Jones has numbers almost as good: 673 yards and five TDs on 66 carries. Anyway, Arkansas is 3-3, including a loss to Auburn when McFadden rushed for only 43 yards on 17 carries.