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Sunday, November 25, 2012

My Heisman ballot, Bama/Georgia play for two, and 12-0 in Columbus

If I were in control of the Heisman, here's what the top five would look like.

1) Johnny Manziel - He just had the best season in the history of the SEC, which has not only been the best conference in the country for the last seven years, but it excels defensively.
2) Johnny Football - Who else can strike the pose while stiff-arming a future first round draft pick to the ground before evading 17 tacklers to find the open receiver in the end zone?
3) Scooby Doo Johnny - Because even in a scooby doo costume he's still the best player in the country.
4) Fake Identity Johnny - At least he didn't steal his roommate's laptop
5) Johnny's right knee - a little Rocky, a little Mateen Cleeves, Willis Reed, virus-laden Jordan, etc.

The EP3+ is a statistic I have been developing through the season that rates a team's offense and defense using every competitive drive in the season and adjusting it for the level of competition. By this metric, Manziel has faced three of the top four defenses (Alabama, LSU, Florida), five in the top 25, and eight in the top 50. In only one of the remaining four was Manziel still in the game by the mid-3rd quarter, and another of those four, Sam Houston State, is better defensively than five of Oregon's opponents, five of Kansas State's opponents, and seven of Clemson's opponents.

I would send Taj Boyd and Collin Klein nice letters complimenting them on a nice season. Manti Te'o gets nothing because 1) he's all narrative and 2) Johnny could do it better if he played defense.

Georgia and Alabama destroyed their respective opponents this weekend to setup up a SEC/MNC title game. Technically the winner will have to run a victory lap against Notre Dame, but the SEC can now start to celebrate its 7th consecutive national championship (and 4th Heisman in five years). I mean this as no offense to Notre Dame. The Irish have won a lot of games against decent teams. But as soon as Oregon was out of the title picture, it was just a question of which SEC team would bring home the hardware.
What about Ohio State? The Buckeyes are 12-0 but are ineligible because they did their best Gene Chizik impression. According to the model, Ohio State has the nation's 64th toughest schedule for going undefeated. Their highest ranked opponents in the BPR are Nebraska at 15, Michigan at 21 and Penn State at 47 (as they were ranked before this weekend). This puts Ohio State in Boise State, TCU, and Utah territory back in the BCS busting days - they did all they could against their schedule, but their schedule was full of chumps. Sorry. Maybe you shouldn't have cheated.

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