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Thread: Why Ron Cook should not have a Heisman vote

      
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    Default Why Ron Cook should not have a Heisman vote

    Heisman Trophy coming here
    Monday, August 30, 2010
    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


    For the first time in 34 years, the Heisman Trophy is coming back to Pittsburgh.

    Not necessarily to Pitt, although running back Dion Lewis has a big shot of winning.

    To Pittsburgh.

    Give me Lewis and Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor. You can have the rest of the Heisman field.

    Several players from our little corner of the world have come close to the Heisman since Pitt running back Tony Dorsett won it in 1976 as the key part of Pitt's national championship team. Pitt linebacker Hugh Green (1980) and wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (2003) and Penn State quarterback Chuck Fusina (1978) and running back Ki-Jana Carter (1994) finished second. Pitt's Dan Marino and Craig Heyward, Penn State's Kerry Collins, Larry Johnson and Michael Robinson and West Virginia's Major Harris and Steve Slaton finished in the top five, Harris doing it in 1988 and '89.

    Lewis and Pryor are capable of finishing higher than second for three important reasons:

    Each plays the right position; running backs (15) and quarterbacks (15) have accounted for 30 of the 33 Heisman winners since Dorsett. It has become something of a quarterback award; eight of the past 10 winners were quarterbacks. Positional bias clearly hurt Pitt's Fitzgerald and Green.

    Each will play plenty of big games and get a lot of national exposure. Lewis will show his stuff to a national Versus audience Thursday night at Utah. Pryor's first big game will be against Miami Sept. 11.

    Each plays for a team that's heavily favored to win its conference. Ohio State starts the season No. 2 in The Associated Press poll and is a strong national-championship contender. If Pryor gets the Buckeyes to the title game Jan. 11 in Glendale, Ariz., he almost certainly will win the Heisman.

    You're probably wondering: What about Alabama's Mark Ingram, the 2009 Heisman winner? He has all the credentials, right? He's a running back on a high-profile Southeastern Conference team, the preseason No. 1 choice in the AP poll.

    Although it won't be surprising if Alabama makes it two national championships in a row, it will be shocking if Ingram wins the Heisman again. In the 75-year history of the award, only Ohio State running back Archie Griffin won it twice in 1974 and '75. Voters -- I am one -- tend to have high expectations for previous winners, perhaps unrealistic expectations. Ask Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, who won as a sophomore in '07, then finished third and fifth the next two seasons. Good luck to Ingram trying to buck that trend.

    Pryor has to be the preseason Heisman favorite. If his performance in the Rose Bowl against Oregon Jan. 1 is any indication, he's going to have a magnificent season. That day, he went from being an athlete playing quarterback to just, simply, a big-time quarterback.

    Pryor struggled at times in his first two seasons at Ohio State. He had a hard time living up to the extraordinary hype that followed him from his playing days at Jeannette High School, where he was, arguably, the most-coveted recruit from Western Pennsylvania. He also was constricted by coach Jim Tressel's conservative offense. It's tough for any quarterback to put up big numbers when he's throwing 13 times a game.

    But everyone at Ohio State says Pryor has matured. The Buckeyes are his team. As for Tressel, well, it's nice to think Pryor earned his confidence with that 23-of-37, 266-yard, two-touchdown game in the 26-17 win against Oregon. Look for a more wide-open Ohio State offense.

    The Heisman is Pryor's for the taking.

    Lewis is a bit more of a long shot.

    Working in Lewis' favor is a recent trend toward sophomore winners. Tebow became the first sophomore to get the Heisman in '07 and was followed by two more, Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford and Ingram.

    Working against Lewis is a lack of respect for the Big East Conference nationally. In the six years since Miami and Virginia Tech left the league to join the Atlantic Coast Conference, West Virginia's Slaton was the only Big East player to finish in the top five of the Heisman voting. He was fourth in 2006.

    To win, Lewis, who ran for 1,799 yards last season -- 141 more than Ingram -- must shine in Pitt's non-conference games, beginning with Utah this week. He can't afford to have a bad game late in the season, say against West Virginia Nov. 26 or at Cincinnati Dec. 4. It hurt Fitzgerald in the voting that he had just three catches for 26 yards in a 28-14 home loss to Miami in the final regular-season game in '03. More than anything, Pitt has to get to at least nine wins and win the Big East. Four Pitt losses hurt Fitzgerald. It was easy to vote for Oklahoma quarterback and winner Jason White and put Fitzgerald second on my ballot. No player has won the Heisman for a team with more than three losses since Notre Dame's Tim Brown in '87.

    I'm thinking Pryor and Ohio State and Lewis and Pitt will be up to the challenge. Certainly, one of the players and his team will be, right?

    Mark Dec. 11 on your calendar. The 76th Heisman Trophy will be presented that evening at the Nokia Theatre in Times Square, New York. It will be a night to celebrate in Pittsburgh.

    Ron Cook: rcook@post-gazette.com. Ron Cook can be heard on the "Vinnie and Cook" show weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on 93.7 The Fan.


    Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10242...#ixzz0y4OVuPzf
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    Default Re: Why Ron Cook should not have a Heisman vote

    Really? You have a vote and you are already proclaiming the "favorites" and likely winners...already saying who you would and wouldn't bet on? Great. Nice job on the no bias ****...I hate the Pittsburgh media............and I really dislike Ron Cook.
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    Default Re: Why Ron Cook should not have a Heisman vote

    Quote Originally Posted by BigBen2112 View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Really? You have a vote and you are already proclaiming the "favorites" and likely winners...already saying who you would and wouldn't bet on? Great. Nice job on the no bias ****...I hate the Pittsburgh media............and I really dislike Ron Cook.
    John Perrotto has a vote on the MLB Hall Of Fame. too
    The Standard Is The Standard and The Pittsburgh Sports Forum Is The Standard


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    Default Re: Why Ron Cook should not have a Heisman vote

    Cook shouldn't have a vote on what's for lunch.

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    Default Re: Why Ron Cook should not have a Heisman vote

    Quote Originally Posted by BigBen2112 View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Really? You have a vote and you are already proclaiming the "favorites" and likely winners...already saying who you would and wouldn't bet on? Great. Nice job on the no bias ****...I hate the Pittsburgh media............and I really dislike Ron Cook.
    Yea... I agree...

    But just to play "devil's advocate", it's sorta his job to stir things up a bit and promote conversation and thought... Maybe...

    Either way, everyone proclaims who they think are "front runners" and what not... It happens in every aspect of sports before the seasons start.
    "You only have one life, and you will not get out alive. Make the most of your time and have no regrets." - Me.

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