Meanwhile, this Guy Gets it Right: The Case for Quinn for Heisman

After looking at the CBS Heisman rankings referenced in my previous post, reading the following article from the NY Sun was refreshing.  Allen Barra has an outstanding article up comparing Brady Quinn and Troy Smith and their respective Heisman resumes.  The article is a must read for Notre Dame fans.  Here are some of the highlight…

Until about 21 years ago, it was understood by seasoned observers that the quarterback for the no. 1 team in the country was seldom a legitimate contender for the best player in the nation, if only because if a team was good enough to be ranked no. 1, it was difficult to accurately assess the quarterback’s contribution. Before Florida State’s Charlie Ward in 1993, Notre Dame’s Angelo Bertelli in 1943 and Johnny Lujack in 1947 were the only quarterbacks for no. 1 teams to win the Heisman.

This is an interesting point that not too many pundits have brought up this year or even in recent years.  The last few seasons, its generally been a given that the best player on the best team is automatically at least a finalist for the Heisman.

Barra goes on to mention some quarterbacks who won the award without being on a #1 team.

Virtually all the other Heisman winners at quarterback, notably Navy’s Roger Staubach (1963), Florida’s Steve Spurrier (1966), and Stanford’s Jim Plunkett (1970), won their Heisman because of, not in spite of, playing on teams that weren’t national championship contenders. Their statistics were thought to be accurate reflections of their own abilities rather than their teammates’.

Mt favorite line of the article however has to be…

Thirty-five or 40 years ago, Brady Quinn of Notre Dame (no. 11) would be a clear favorite for the Heisman Trophy. Instead, no. 1 Ohio State’s Troy Smith, a fine player but perhaps no better than a dozen others at his position, will probably win it in a landslide.

Allen concludes his article with the following…

A careful look at the record convinces me that Troy Smith is destined to join their number. But whatever happens to Smith in the NFL, Brady Quinn put up numbers this year that were at least the equal of Troy Smith’s, and he did it against tougher opposition and with far less help from his teammates. By any objective yardstick, he deserves the nod over Troy Smith as the outstanding college football player of the 2006 season.

Now, while I can’t argue much with Smith winning as I think he performed at a high level all year and with his performances against Texas and Michigan, he clearly was at his best against the best.

With some people in the media, such as our boy Dennis Dodd, not even placing Quinn in his top 7 for the Heisman, its nice to see someone stand up for Quinn and state some obvious facts that some people fail to recognize.

Now, before we get a bunch of Ohio State fans over here commenting on how much more deserving Smith is than Quinn, I already acknowledged that I can’t argue much with Smith winning this year.  My point with this post, however, is to show that those who think Quinn doesn’t even deserve to be in New York with Smith are out of their mind.

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  1. Is it too late to start this back up again? I mean really people, Quinn PLAYED HORRIBLY against Michigan, USC, Georgia Tech, and LSU, and wasn’t even that good in UCLA and some of the other games.

    Oh, and for all you fellas who LOVE to talk about stats … Brady Quinn’s stats are STILL better than JaMarcus Russell’s …

    Brady Quinn = better NFL prospect than Smith, hands down, although Smith has as good a shot as being “the next Drew Brees” as any. And Troy Smith = better college player than Quinn, hands down, although Quinn’s 11,900 yards speak for themselves.

  2. I can’t believe this topic still exist. COLLEGE FOOTBALL SEASON IS OVER, LET IT GO! Don’t even start NFL talk because college success NEVER dictates NFL performance. McSweeney, kindly shove the i’m not racist card up your ass. Let me get this straight, all the articles on this website, the comments on those acticles, and the national debate between Smith and Quinn is based on height. Get for real, Smith/Quinn debates have been going on for the longest and the height stuff is fairly new info. Take a look at the earlier comments on this topic there are way more ones with racial implications than height. Hell, YOUR 3.3% article was shut down due to several inappropriate comments, I bet those comments didn’t refer to him as a midgets. Look at last years QB comparison, there was alot of talk about Young/Lienart too. Both being 6’5 there couldn’t have been height issues behind that. Blacks playing QB is the biggest race inequality in the history of sports. The first black QB to play was in ’53, first starter ’68, ’76 black QB leds NFC in passing, first Super Bowl winner ’88, and first inducted into Hall of Fame ’06 (I bet this is the first time 2 black QB are going head to head for a nat’l champ.). Not saying that black QBs are completely discriminated against, but when you have Smith/Quinn, Young/Lienart, Manning/McNabb, etc debates there is going to be some racial tension. Also, Drew Brees is like 5’11 and he has been one of if not the best QB in the NFL over the last few years.

    P.S. McSweeney i’m not calling you a racist and I know the articles and comments were not solely based on height.

  3. To be honest Philip I beleive that the Oline will better than people think. Keep in mind to that the Irish actually lost alot of talent up front last year but the talent the coaches have brought in from last years recruiting class is actully more talented than who played this year with the exception of Young. Why they didn’t start the freshman I don’t know. I remember that Holtz was in a similar situation with his Oline and also his Dline but went on to win the National title. I don’t however think that he (Weis)will win the title next year but I think you’ll see a better Oline. As far as the Dline well all I can say Minter better not make any long term plans in South Bend if they get blown out again. Yet again he hasn’t had the talent to really work with. Some say the system is too difficult and some say the too predictable. I beleive it’s both but with the talent coming in for Defense I really beleive that the D will turn around. Remember that Willingham was handed a very good D but Weis wasn’t. He needed to bring in Offensive players first and that he has and now it’s the deffense turn and by the looks of things that is also happening. Yes a few lineman would be nice and

  4. The reason Quinn won’t win is because of his awful Michigan game. If he had had that terrible a game, likely ND wins or at least makes it respectable. So, unfortunately, despite the fact that Quinn, like Rocket, won the Maxwell Award, he (like Rocket) will not get the Heisman. Honestly, for all this crap about ND being a media darling, I would think that Rocket would’ve won over Detmera nd Quinn would win over Smith.

    Still, with the common opponent of Michigan on the schedule, and based on their respective performances, I don’t see any reason to really bellyache too much about Quinn not winning the Heisman. It’d be nice though cuz based solely on individual stats, BQ wins this hands down cuz he IS the better QB, who played a tougher schedule and who had better numbers while having to scrambel for his life most of the season.

    Makes me wonder what kind of offensive line play we will have next year, and who should be behind center if its worse. But that’s looking a little ahead.


  5. Wow. I am an OSU AND ND fan and Wilson just got crushed by McSweeney. Wilson’s email embarasses my OSU side. Check your facts next time. Quinn won the Unitas Award and Maxwell Award and won’t get the Heisman because the media gave it to Smith months ago. For the record and for next year’s race, Darren McFadden and Ray Rice are pretty darned good too.

  6. If you say it enough, that makes it true. That’s what is happening with the repeated criticism of ND’s schedule.

    Sagarin ranks Notre Dames schedule as the 20th toughest in the country. Ohio States is ranked 38th.
    Anderson: ND: 26, tOSU: 33.
    Colley: ND: 32 tOSU: 48
    Massey: ND: 19 tOSU: 31

    Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Texas and Northern Illinois is tOSU’s non-conference schedule. ND/tOSU Common opponents: Michigan, MSU, Penn State. OSUs other Conference opponents: Indiana, Illinios, Minnesota, Iowa, Northwestern. NOT WISCONSIN.

    How does ND’s commonly criticized portion of the schedule, the academies, compare to Bowling Green, Cincy, and N. Illinois. About the same in most rankings.

    How does Georgia Tech, UCLA, USC, Stanford, Purdue and North Carolina compare to Texas, Iowa, Illinois, NW, Indiana, and Minnesota. Much better. No comparison. UCLA is nearly ranked as high as Texas (higher in the computers).

    I think when you really look at ND’s schedule, you realize that they played a tough one, even if Stanford, UNC, Air Force and MSU are having a down year. Clearly tougher than tOSU. Let’s put that ND’s schedule is weak argument to bed.

  7. If I didn’t know any better I think Nebaska and Willison don’t like Quinn. “Look, 275 yards per game and wins over a bunch of unranked teams does not a Heisman season make”. Troy Smith played a bunch of unranked teams as well and his passing wasn’t any better than Quinns. Nebraska I suppose you have a answer for this as well? Need I remind you that Playing Indiana,Bowling Green,Northern Illinois,Fighting Illini aren’t exactly heavy weight contenders. USC,Michigan,Georgia Tech, and UCLA is better than people thought aren’t exactly cupcakes. All the Big conferences will scedule non rank teams especilly the BIG 12,but GOD forbid if ND does. Oh by the way the Heisman award is suppose to be an individual award last time I checked not a team award. Quinn more than Likely wont’ win the Hiesman but don’t think for one moment that Quinn won’t do well in the NFL. Last time I checked there hasn’t been a QB that has to roll out to see over his oline that has won a superbowl. And far as Troy being able to move around yes he can do all that but the NFL is that much faster and the talent is too great. Vick was the second coming and so far no superbowl,McNabb is a great QB who by the way doesn’t move as much as he used to and his #’s HAVE GONE UP. I beleive that he could a superbowl but he isn’t going to win until he returnes.
    Wilson I find it interesting that you mention Flutie. He had the same abilities that Smith has but like you pointed out was just a back up. You also seem to think that repeating last years stats for Quinn should have easly happened. If that’s the case then Quinn wins the Hiesman because he still has more yards passing, 5 more touchdowns than Smith and oh by the way Smith did tie Quinn for intereceptions. But never mind stats!!!! Most of the QB Heisman winners weren’t even on the # one team in the nation when they won it. If you don’t beleive it look it up.

  8. One minor edit. Philip Rivers gaudy senior year completion percentage of 72% exceeded Quinn’s current 63% mark. And therefore, by my rough calculations, this Wilson fella is only 99% talking out of his ass as opposed to 100%.

  9. Wow, the idiots have come out of the woodwork responding to this article, Frank.

    Where do I begin?

    “If Quinn played like he did last year, he wins the Heisman hands down.” ***In 2006 Quinn has thrown for MORE touchdowns and LESS interceptions than he did in 2005. His 35-to-5 touchdown-to-interception ratio is the BEST IN THE NATION by a considerable margin.

    “Look, 275 yards per game and wins over a bunch of unranked teams does not a Heisman season make.” ***This is what you call DEFENDING Troy Smith’s Heisman candidacy? This season Smith has thrown for an average of 209 yards per game against a schedule in which 10 of Ohio State’s 12 opponents were unranked. Of the three Heisman finalists, Troy Smith has faced the least number of ranked teams. Quinn is ranked 7th in passing and 8th in total offense out of all Div I-A players, while Smith is ranked 37th in passing and 32nd in total offense.

    “Leinart had far more offensive talent around him than did Troy Smith. There were PLENTY of games where all Leinart had to do was allow Reggie Bush and LenDale White to bail him out, a luxury that Smith did not have.” ***So much stupidity, so little space in which to refute it. A lot of directions we can go here. There’s Ted Ginn, Jr., Smith’s go-to WR who’s projected to go in the first round of the NFL draft 5-10 spots BEFORE Leinart’s favorite target, Dwayne Jarrett. There’s a Buckeyes’ ground attack that ranks 18th in the country and averages 180 ypg, which is close to 60 yds MORE per game than ND’s 76th-ranked rushing offense.

    “if Brady Quinn wanted the award, he should have had a year like Carson Palmer had when he won the award, or at least a year like Eli Manning, Drew Brees, Rex Grossman, and Philip Rivers did when they DIDN’T.” ***Is it too much to ask for people to maybe not just MAKE CRAP UP to try and prove a point? Quinn’s senior year stats: 274-432 (63%) for 3,278 yds, 35 TDs and 5 INTs; Manning’s senior year stats: 253-400 (63%), 3,340 yards, 27 TDs and 9 INTs; Brees’ senior year stats: 309-512 (61%) for 3,668 yds, 26 TDs and 12 INTs; Grossman’s senior year stats: 287-503 (57%)for 3,402 yds, 22 TDs and 17 INTs; Rivers’ senior year stats: 348-483 (72%) for 4,491 yds, 34 TDs and 7 INTs; and lastly, Heisman winner Carson Palmer’s senior year stats: 309-489 (63%) for 3,942 yds, 33 TDs and 10 INTs. Hmmmmm that’s funny…Quinn has an equal or better completion percentage than ALL the QBs you’ve mentioned, plus a TD-INT ratio superior to ALL the QBs you mentioned. Top-to-bottom, Palmer’s and River’s senior years are the only ones that even merit mention in the same paragraph as Quinn’s, let alone the same sentence.

    “If Troy Smith were Brady Quinn’s height, he would be a top 10 draft pick hands down.” ***And if I had a breasts and a vagina I’d never leave the house. Seriously, at least try to make a point here.

    “If Smith played for pretty much any other coach except Tressel, his numbers would be far better, and if Quinn played for Tressel his numbers would be worse.” ***Again, I’m having enough trouble keeping your “real” data straight. Let’s not argue hypotheticals, shall we? I mean, Troy Smith played behind an o-line that gave up 11 sacks while Brady Quinn played behind an o-line that gave up 30 sacks. It’s “obvious” if Quinn were at OSU, behind an o-line that gave him three times as many opportunities to throw the ball while having a better corps of running backs to back him up, his numbers would be worse. (What kind of bizarro world do you people come from anyway? Let me guess: either Morgantown, WV, or the obvious choice, Columbus, Ohio.)

    “…you guys are looking at Smith through the same glasses that Rush Limbaugh and Allen Barra viewed Donovan McNabb. If it were up to you guys, Steve McNair, Donovan McNabb, Vince Young, Jason Campbell and all the rest would be playing wide receiver or safety.” ***Kindly shove the race card up your ass. This isn’t about Troy Smith being black. It’s about him being 5’11”. (NFL Scouts are already suggesting the OSU media guide overstates his height by “at least two inches.)

    In tennis parlance, I believe that’s what they call game, set and match.



  10. Off the subject…

    MARK MAY is a complete and total reject. what the hell is wrong with his “snobbs-dale” ass. was he not recruited by notre dame or was he too dumb to get in(probably). he is pathetic. i use to enjoy watching college gameday and all that other crap on espn. now i can’t at all. he argues about everything, as if we need any more of that on espn. he hasn’t said a good thing about notre dame since he first came on the show. we all know he is jealous so the only way he can stay on nd is by bad-mouthing brady quinn and charlie weis, as if palko or wanstadt are any better. sorry to interupt, but he is a joke and needs to be canned quickly. e-mail espn as i’ve done the last five years so they can realize the shit he blows out of his ass is awful.

    go irish… keep recruiting

  11. Timmy the Fixer:

    If you think that Troy Smith is going to be a 7th round pick or is merely Craig Krenzel with more weapons, then you haven’t watched a LICK of college football. The ONLY KNOCK against Troy Smith as far as the NFL is concerned is his height. If Troy Smith were Brady Quinn’s height, he would be a top 10 draft pick hands down. And as for Quinn’s stats: like I said before, 275 yards a game aren’t Heisman numbers. If Smith played for pretty much any other coach except Tressel, his numbers would be far better, and if Quinn played for Tressel his numbers would be worse. That is a fact that everyone acknowledges except A) Notre Dame fans and B) people like Barra who have this infatuation with dropback QBs. Not only will Troy Smith be off the board by the middle of the second round, but if he lands in the right situation, he could start as a rookie. Just make sure that when it happens that you ND fans don’t chew your tongues off in anger. Troy Smith has better numbers than Aaron Rodgers (who is about the same height by the way), and you guys have him playing DB in the NFL. That shows that you guys are looking at Smith through the same glasses that Rush Limbaugh and Allen Barra viewed Donovan McNabb. If it were up to you guys, Steve McNair, Donovan McNabb, Vince Young, Jason Campbell and all the rest would be playing wide receiver or safety.

  12. The Heisman Award is an individual honor that another ND QB (Hornung) won the Heisman with a 2-8 record. Stat-wise, straight up, Quinn beats Smith. Team record, though, has grown into a factor in the time since. After all, Hornung found out he won the Heisman when he got a phone call from Moose Krause at the AD’s office. This year’s winner will likely have 20 media appointments to make before the night’s end and 10 endorsement deals by month’s end.

    Troy Smith is basically Craig Krenzel with a lot more weapons. Don’t get me wrong – I do not agree with the writer of the article on anything. But if you look at this thing on a one to one basis, Quinn beats Smith. Quinn will get drafted higher next year, he put up better numbers this year, and will likely have a long career in the NFL with a team that he helped drag from the doldrums. Jeff Samardijza was never Ted Ginn or any of the athletically gifted OSU players Smith has benefited from having over the past four years.

    Troy was 12-0 and Brady was 10-2 – that has become the bottom line. To a point, I agree. But this is an individual achievement. If we were to go on the basis of that, then Quinn wins hands down. What he and Weis have combined to do in 24 games is nothing short of resurrecting a program that took pride in just getting a bowl game near January 1 three years ago.

    Brady Quinn will likely be eating Sunday brunch at the Plaza with his family 18 hours after being selected in the Top 5 of the 2007 NFL draft when the Philadelphia Eagles take Troy Smith in the 7th round. Two years ago, I wouldn’t have seen that scenario for a Brady Quinn. Two years ago, I saw a future NFL backup DB in Troy Smith that gets picked in the 7th round. Quinn deserves the Heisman based on the miraculous personal evolution alone!

    Should we really give the second best QB in the country the Heisman when the best QB in the country is also a candidate? Think about that one.

  13. I am going to play the ND card here – “Why does Allen Barra hate Troy Smith and Ohio State?” I mean he must if he said anything negative about them or positive about someone else right? There are some points that stick out in helping to prove that he is not the genius (ie. pro-ND) that you perceive him to be. First, he mentions the NFL! When will ND fans realize that the NFL or a players future prospects in that league mean nothing in this argument. Second, the statistical argument. Granted, Troy Smith is on a better team with 2 great RBs but you could argue that his stats would be better without such a good running game and a coach who values wins over passing stats. Finally, a QBs job is to direct the offense and win games and on that count there is no argument. Time after time Troy Smith seems to play his best when there is the most on the line and not even the most ardent ND fans can say that Quinn does the same. Is Troy Smith a better NFL prospect? Who cares. Is he more valuable to his team? Hard to say but even that doesn’t matter, the Heisman is not an MVP award. Has he outperformed every other college football player this season? We will find out on Saturday night that he has and it will not mean that everyone who voted for him has a negative ND bias, like I do.

  14. Allen Barra’s column is bunk. First off, he is factually incorrect. Miami QBs Vinny Testaverde and Gino Torreta won the award before Charlie Ward did, and that Barra claims that the “negative trend” started with Ward is just another example of why the former Wall Street Journal writer was pretty much the only one who supported Rush Limbaugh’s equally incorrect remarks against Donovan McNabb, and thanks Nebraska for beating me to the punch on that one.

    Second, Barra is presuming that Quinn’s high draft status will mean that he will become a successful NFL QB. Well, tell that to the teams that drafted Rick Mirer, Heath Shuler, David Carr, Cade McNown, and for that matter the first teams for Joey Harrington and Vinny Testaverde. Meanwhile, guys who drop in the draft go on to have long, very good NFL careers all the time.

    And third, where was Barra when Matt Leinart got the award? Leinart had far more offensive talent around him than did Troy Smith. There were PLENTY of games where all Leinart had to do was allow Reggie Bush and LenDale White to bail him out, a luxury that Smith did not have.

    And fourth, what about all the QBs who won the Heisman on huge numbers for pedestrian teams and didn’t do squat in the NFL? Ty Detmer and Andre Ware come to mind; Doug Flutie was little more than an NFL backup.

    These fans of Notre Dame, Brady Quinn, and dropback passers need to face facts: if Brady Quinn wanted the award, he should have had a year like Carson Palmer had when he won the award, or at least a year like Eli Manning, Drew Brees, Rex Grossman, and Philip Rivers did when they DIDN’T.

  15. Allen Barra is the same guy who agreed with Rush Limbaugh that Donovan McNabb was overrated, so take everything that he says with a grain of salt. Look, 275 yards per game and wins over a bunch of unranked teams does not a Heisman season make. Guys have seasons like that every year. Quinn did not put up huge numbers, and he did not lead ND to a big victory. His season was NOTHING like Carson Palmer’s Heisman season, for instance, when Palmer closed the season with 9 HUGE GAMES, including an excellent performance in an overtime loss to Washington State. And yes, USC did have a bad offensive line and no running game that season.

    Meanwhile, Quinn didn’t even play well in the ND losses; as a matter of fact he didn’t even play well in a lot of the wins! If Quinn played like he did last year, he wins the Heisman hands down. If Quinn played the entire year like he did the Penn State game, he wins the Heisman hands down. But neither was the case. But do not go doing sob stories for Quinn; he will have a Notre Dame degree and go #1 overall in the draft. If he has any type of NFL career at all, he will be a marketing darling, the face of the league (as folks are now getting sick of the Peyton Manning – Michael Vick thing), and will have pretty much any off – the – field opportunity that he wants: acting, coaching, broadcasting, etc. So quit pretending that the guy is getting harmed in any way.

    And another thing that Barra is wrong about: Troy Smith’s NFL potential. Mel Kiper said the same thing about Smith that I have been saying for awhile: the guys’ game is very similar to that of Drew Brees, and if he does a good job in the combine he will go about in the same spot in the draft that Brees did. Sure, Smith doesn’t have Brees’ stats, but he is much more mobile and has a stronger arm. The kid can play, has shown remarkable improvement all throughout his college career, and if he is tall enough, he and Quinn will be rivals in the NFL and compared to each other throughout their NFL careers just as they were in college. As a matter of fact, do not be shocked if Cleveland or Detroit don’t grab him in the second round.

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