Thursday, July 15, 2010

Viva Le Resistance!

Andy Dalton' Heisman Chances are Making the Sound of a Dying Giraffe

You'll recall a couple of weeks ago I put out the call to the hundreds of thousands who comprise SpitBlood Nation to get in touch with's Stewart Mandel re: his Heisman hopeful list and threaten nothing short of decapitation if he doesn't get our boy AD into the mix. Mandel is usually pretty reliable when it comes to correcting his errors and, as fate would have it, he didn't disappoint me this time. From his current mailbag...

Stewart -- I saw your list of preseason Heisman candidates and I am perplexed at how you could have left Andy Dalton of TCU off your list. I understand you have a lot of people to cover but he is coming off of one of the most successful campaigns that TCU has seen. He is a couple of games away from beating the school's all-time wins record. He may not be flashy, but he is a proven winner. Come on Stewart, get with the program.
-- Chuck, Dallas

That Heisman list must have been pretty all-encompassing, because I didn't get a whole lot of complaints about excluded players -- just a whole bunch from Dallas/Fort Worth. Dalton's omission was not intentional. Perhaps subconsciously my lingering memory of his three picks in the Fiesta Bowl affected my thinking, but that's not entirely fair, considering Kellen Moore -- who did make my cut -- didn't exactly tear it up that night in Glendale, either.

While Dalton is far from a favorite, I could see him entering the discussion early, especially if he has a big game in TCU's nationally televised opener against Oregon State. Beyond that, however, the Horned Frogs aren't going to play in a lot of must-see-TV games, and Dalton would have to put together much gaudier stats than he did last season (2,756 yards, 23 touchdowns, eight interceptions) and lead his team to another undefeated season to remain a factor.

Read more:

I'm not sure if Chuck from Dallas is a reader of ours, but regardless, we appreciate your dedication to the cause. Pretty cool that, out of all the potential snubs on his list, Dalton is the only one that stood out to Mandel and got the fanbase in an uproar. Shows that little old TCU has picked up a few more supporters over Dalton's career.

But I think the main thing to be noted in his reply is that it clearly reflects how the voters for these things think and why it's going to be exponentially more difficult for a non-BCS athlete to get into the Heisman mix regardless of statistics: The voters have shorter memories than a 12 year old without his Ritalyn and obviously have no clear idea how the whole satellite television + DVR arrangement truly works. These guys write about college football for a living. That's all they have to do. For Mandel, he puts out several columns a week and attends games on Saturdays. That's it. That's what he gets paid extremely well to do. So why couldn't he Tivo a couple of Frogs games and just watch a few offensive series in between Lost podcasts? And that doesn't even exist anymore, so BOOM, free time! Seriously, he could devote 30 minutes every other football weekend to seeing how Dalton plays and cast judgment. Like I said, it's his JOB! All of us would kill for that opportunity. Do those guys even go into an office? I mean, if we're considering this in normal job terms, he could potentially put in 40 hours a week of watching football, give or take a few hours to hash out his columns, and be fully informed. I'll make it simple, Stuey - record the Oregon State game, the Baylor game, the BYU game and the Utah game and just watch our offensive series. Heck, just watch passing downs. DVR's have a fast forward button. It's AMAZING! This will take considerably less time than it takes for you to figure out which underrated TV babe to make your mailbag crush. And come to think of it, YOU DISCONTINUED THAT TOO! So even MORE time! And while some, like WWHD, don't exactly use the whole DVR rewatch system to its highest efficiency, I have no doubt that a college educated sports writer could get this system down with minimal practice.

And also on that note, you can't see it until you click the article, but next to the reply there is a picture of Dalton from the Fiesta Bowl with the caption: "TCU's schedule could hurt Andy Dalton's chances of remaining in the 2010 Heisman race for long." Now, at first I took this to be the same old song and dance that our strength of schedule would be a detriment to his campaign, but after reading his response it's obviously television related as well. And while most of his top tier guys - Terrelle Pryor, Jacquizz Rodgers, Jake Locker, etc - are going to benefit from playing in BCS conferences with productive television contracts, he has Kellen Moore and Case Keenum in the same conversation. Ignoring the Virginia Tech game, is watching Kellen Moore pick apart stalwarts like San Jose State, Louisiana Tech and New Mexico State on ESPN superior to seeing Dalton do the same to BYU, Utah and Baylor on a second tier network? Or having the only proof of Keenum's existence be in box scores because no one watches CUSA games? Does ESPN really rule the world that much? Again Stu, DVR. The magazine will pay for it, I promise.

As for the former part of my argument, I'm not going to sit here and suggest that we should completely neglect what happened in the Fiesta Bowl; in the biggest game of Dalton's career, he didn't play anywhere close to his best game. No one holds that against him - it's not like he's Ross Evans and blew it despite the only person he had to look out for was himself - but it's true. So it's natural that, when putting together a preseason list of any sort, these mental midgets will give heavy consideration to recent events. But at the same time, what does it matter? It was ONE game, and while it was unfortunately the last one on record for AD, it was still just one game in 13. AND bowl games have no bearing on the Heisman voting. This is glaringly noted year after year when the Heisman runner up, typically matching up against in the favorite in the BCS National Championship, uses that snub as victory fuel. So, hypothetically, if TCU goes 12-0 this year and Dalton throws 3 INTs in the bowl game, it won't affect the voting. I'm not saying either of those things happen - although I think the first is extremely likely while the second is just the opposite - but just trying to show that the bowl game shouldn't be weighted heavier than regular season performance. Rewatch the Clemson game; we don't win that without Dalton. Nor the Air Force game. The Heisman has to focus on stats, I get that, but if Tebow won mostly based on crying and his "will to win," Dalton should at least be in the picture. And if he wants to imitate Tebow's Heisman season and score a bazillion touchdowns on his own, that won't hurt either.

But, in the meantime, let's take solace in the fact that our angry emails were heard and that when it comes to internet battles, we're currently 2-0 and batting 1.000. Mandel may just be one sportswriter, but if he's a heavyweight, and if we can get to him, we can get to anyone. Andy Dalton may not win the Heisman, but I'll be damned if we don't get him as much publicity as possible.

Go Frogs.


buffalo said...

go chuck! go rooster!

buffalo said...

SWW, get your own style! quit ripping off david foster wallace.

Middle Man said...

chuck would be middle man. i was surprised to see he picked my question to answer. regardless its good to see TCU getting headlines

LA Frog said...

Maybe we need "AD for Heisman" koozies with the Rooster's head shot one one side and his stats on the other. We could send them to all the voters

D said...

now thats a good idea

the toddler said...

Well, I put him on my list, and Phil Steel has him on his list as well.