Just your typical pinch hit, game tying solo shot with two outs in the 9th to send it to extras. But Brian McCann wasn't done. If you know anything about McCann's game it's the clutch factor in him. He's done it his whole career. The 5-time All-Star then comes up in the 11th inning and hits a walk-off 2 run blast that could be felt all the way to Stone Mountain.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
We are still over a 100 days left till the college football season kicks off but what better way to do argue about the mundaneness of the offseason then to look at the current odds for the Heisman Trophy.
To win the Heisman Trophy doesn't require you to be the most outstanding player in the nation anymore. In fact it hasn't been that way for over 20 years now. It requires you to be a quarterback and in some cases a running back for one of the top 3 teams in the nation at the end of the season. 9 of the last 11 winners have been QBs with the exceptions of Reggie Bush (vacated in 2005) and Mark Ingram (2009) who both played in BCS National Championship games. So with Vegas odds out now at such sites as SportsInteraction.com be sure to calculate the chances of your favorite player actually getting to a National Championship game into consideration before throwing down your second mortgage on a college kid.
Here are the favorites:
Andrew Luck +300 - Luck deserves to be the odds on favorite since he is the best quarterback in the nation and is probably the best player in the country regardless of position. In order for Luck to win it he will need to get Stanford back to a BCS Bowl game and if recent history indicates anything he will need to have them playing for the championship. With their two toughest games at home vs Oregon and Notre Dame there is a decent chance Stanford goes undefeated during the regular season in the new Pac-12. If Luck can stay healthy and the Stanford defense steps up and goes undefeated then it's his to lose.
Denard Robinson +500 - Shoelace is probably the best athlete in the country and last season he became the first ever player in NCAA history to run and pass for over 1500 yards in a season. With that being said he really has no chance of winning the award. Michigan will most certainly not be contending for any kind of championship this season under new head coach Brady Hoke. Shoelace also has to learn a brand new offense which is more West Coast then option run first under coach Rich Rod.
Marcus Lattimore +500 - Since Tim Tebow and Sam Bradford won the Heisman as sophomores it is no longer a taboo to think an underclassman could win the award. Still I don't think arguably the nation's best running back has much of a chance of winning the Heisman playing on South Carolina. The Cocks would have to reach the BCS Championship game and I don't see them as being better than LSU, Alabama, or Arkansas this season in the SEC. Lattimore would need at least 1600 to 2000 yards rushing with 15 TDs minimum and the Cocks in the BCS Title game to win it. Not happening.
LaMichael James +600 - James should probably have the second best odds behind Luck considering he returns as a Heisman finalist and a team that played for the BCS Title last year. Again the Heisman is more political and hype then actual merit and I'm not even sure James is the best running back in his conference (I tend to side with Washington's Chris Polk). But if Oregon is back in a BCS Title game and James puts up the similar rushing stats then he will be a finalist. James is probably the second safest bet and I don't even consider him a top 10 player in the nation.
Landry Jones +600 - The Sooners have two Heisman Trophy winning QBs in recent history with Sam Bradford and Jason White and this year Landry aka Mustache Mafia has a legit chance with a stacked Oklahoma team. With the Sooners legitimate BCS Title contenders in 2011 Landry has a good shot of at least being a finalist for the Heisman if he puts up similar numbers or better as his sophomore season. If the Sooners go undefeated and Landry puts up Sam Bradford-type numbers then he will win it.
Justin Blackmon +1000 - Blackmon finished 5th last season in the Heisman despite putting up insane catches, yards, and TDs for a wide receiver. A wideout hasn't won the Heisman since Desmond Howard did 20 years ago at Michigan. The chances of Blackmon winning it are slim to basically none unless the Cowboys can get to the BCS Title game.
Ryan Broyles +1200 - The only way Broyles can win is if his teammate Landry Jones get injured midseason and the Sooners still make it to the BCS Title game. Broyles put up astonishing numbers last season in Norman but he isn't the big play receiver that Blackmon and Notre Dame's Michael Floyd are. Broyles is a great college player but he really has no chance of winning the Heisman.
Trent Richardson +1200 - A lot of the pundits believed the best RB in the Alabama backfield the past couple of seasons wasn't Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram. Richardson will get his chance to be the feature back this season in Tuscaloosa. I can see ESPN really pushing him for the HypesMan if he has a huge season and if Bama wins the SEC. It would be their feel good story with the recent tornado destruction of Tuscaloosa.
Knile Davis +1500 - Davis is one of the more underrated backs in the nation and this is a pleasant surprise to see him this high. Last season for Arkansas he ran for over 1300 yards and 13 TDs. With an early season schedule with the likes of Missouri State, New Mexico and Troy he should pad his stats before a huge game in Tuscaloosa on September 24th. It would take tremendous games versus Bama, Auburn, South Carolina, and LSU plus a SEC Championship appearance for Davis to get serious consideration. It's possible but not likely.
Robert Griffin III +1500 - Great player but does anybody realistically expect Baylor to contend for a National Title? Not happening and it's too bad because Griffin might be the best talent in the nation. The only way he becomes a finalist for the Heisman is if he can lead Baylor to wins over TCU, Okie State, Oklahoma, and Texas.
Chris Polk +1800 - Polk ran for 461 yards combined in season ending wins over Washington State and Nebraska and will probably rush for over 1500 yards this season. Watching Polk runs you will notice very rarely does he go down on first contact. In order for him to be standing on the podium in New York City in December he will have to care the Huskies on his back and lead them to a Pac-12 championship over either Stanford or Oregon.
Brandon Weeden +2000 - The 27 year old senior would have to pull a Chris Weinke and lead the Cowboys to a BCS Title game to get serious consideration over his teammate in Justin Blackmon. He has a shot but just out of principle alone and the Weinke rule he isn't eligible at his age.
Case Keenum +2000 - Keenum has already played four years of college football but got granted a 5th year due to medical hardship. He's thrown for over 13000 yards and 107 TDs in his career. He's basically the Colt Brennan of 2011. He will get a shot to break Hawaii's Timmy Chang all-time passing yardage leader if he can throw for over 3500 yards this season. He has a legit shot at the record. The Heisman? Not so much.
Michael Floyd +2500 - It's hard to determine if Floyd has a legit shot at the Heisman considering we still don't know if he will be missing any games from a DUI arrest. Floyd is a beast when healthy and will get a chance to set numerous Notre Dame records with catches, yardage, and TDs during his senior season. The problem with Floyd and the other receivers up for the Heisman is you usually have to be a special teams standout too as a kick returner. The only chance Floyd has of winning the award is if Notre Dame is playing in the BCS Title game and even at that point I would think whomever is QBing or Cierre Wood might get more serious consideration.
Darron Thomas +3000 - I'm probably going to ruffle some Duck feathers with this but I'm not even sure Thomas is a top 3 QB in the Pac-12. I think Andrew Luck is obviously better and I could make a legit argument that USC's Matt Barkley and Arizona's Nick Foles are better passers. But then again the Heisman doesn't always go to the best passer or the best QB for that matter. It goes to the QB who can get his team to a National Championship and Thomas has a much better chance than Barkley or Foles.
Matt Barkley +3000 - Don't laugh but if Andrew Luck would have come out this past season we could be talking about Barkley as the #1 pick for the 2012 NFL Draft. Barkley has no chance of winning the Heisman since USC is on probation and can't even go to a bowl game but it would not surprise me in the least to see him outshine Luck at home on October 29th. It's probably a good thing he doesn't win the Heisman because Lane Kiffin is bound to get all of USC victories vacated within a couple of years.
Nick Foles +3000 - Foles is a good quarterback who needs to get better during crunch time. It wouldn't surprise me to see him really break out this season and lead Arizona to some upsets.
Kirk Cousins +3300 - The rising senior in East Lansing would have to lead Sparty to a Big Ten Championship to be a serious contender and that's not totally out of the realm of possibility with the Buckeyes and Badgers both taking a step back this year. In terms of extreme long shots he might be the safest bet.
Aaron Murray +4000 - For a first year starter Murray had an outstanding season for the Red and Black. He will be missing key targets this year in AJ Green and Kris Durham and the schedule doesn't play the Dawgs any favorites with Boise State and South Carolina opening up. I do believe Murray is the best QB in the nation's toughest conference but I can't see him leading the Bulldogs to a SEC Championship this season.
Danny O'Brien +6000 - What does Vegas know that we don't? I mean they can't seriously have O'Brien as a Heisman contender and not have Boise State's Kellen Moore. Is this some kind of sick joke? Don't get me wrong O'Brien is good but how in the hell do you leave off Moore? O'Brien has no shot at winning the Heisman this season. Zip.
Greg Reid +6000 - Defensive backs even as explosive as Greg Reid have no shot at the Heisman. If Florida State is going to be a top 5 team this season then QB EJ Manuel will be the Heisman favorite.
Obviously I'm surprised Kellen Moore and South Carolina's Alshon Jeffery were left off the list. Both guys are elite talents on teams that could compete for a National Championship which is essential to being a Heisman finalist. If defensive guys were ever seriously considered you could make arguments for Alabama's Dre' Kirkpatrick, UNC's Quinton Coples, Notre Dame's Manti Te'o and a host of other defensive talents. Unfortunately they are not or Ndamukong Suh would have won it in a landslide two seasons ago.
If I were to guess right now what the voting could look like at the end of the 2011 regular season it would be this:
1. Andrew Luck, Stanford
2. Landry Jones, Oklahoma
3. Justin Blackmon, Okie State
4. Kellen Moore, Boise State
5. Marcus Lattimore, USC
Posted by Matt Fairchild (email@example.com) at 9:20 AM