In the four seasons that I've been writing The Watch, no Heisman Trophy race has been as excruciatingly tight as this year's, with three players (maybe four if you count Texas Tech's
The Watch's ballot, however, came down to Bradford and McCoy (to read why Tebow was not the pick, see below), and, after much hair-splitting, the choice was McCoy by about the width of a credit card. I'm sure Bradford backers will send e-mails along the lines of "How could you vote for McCoy over Bradford? Bradford passed for more yards and more touchdowns than McCoy and won the Big 12 championship" (with much more colorful language thrown in). So to answer those e-mails in advance, let's explain.
Why does McCoy deserve the Heisman over Bradford? There are a few reasons, the main one being that McCoy regularly makes plays with his feet while Bradford rarely does. (And, yes, I saw Bradford's 10-yard touchdown pass to
Meanwhile, Bradford is aided by a lethal rushing attack (led by the electric
The second reason behind the McCoy choice is that his offensive line is far inferior to Bradford's. Texas allowed 22 sacks this season, and McCoy was hit hard in games against Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Texas A&M, to name a few. Still, he got off the turf and made plays. Bradford, playing behind arguably the best offensive line in the nation, was barely touched. The Sooners allowed just 11 sacks this season, giving Bradford time to stand in the pocket and pick out his receivers.
Speaking of Bradford's receivers, they're the third and final significant reason why McCoy gets the edge. The Watch watched every televised snap that both Bradford and McCoy took this year, but, regrettably, did not track each receiver's yards-after-catch stat. Still, it's safe to say that the Sooners' band of gamebreakers led that by an enormous margin. Every week it seemed as if Iglesias,
There are other reasons why McCoy got the edge (his NCAA-best 77.6 completion percentage, his uncanny knack of moving the chains on third down, his win over No. 1 Oklahoma), but the main reasons were the three above.
The Watch is not Bradford bashing. Again, he had a phenomenal season and had the edge over McCoy in many areas, the most significant coming in the downfield passing game. (McCoy threw mostly short and intermediate routes.) But even if you give Bradford the edge in passing, McCoy has an enormous edge in running.
The Watch had to split hairs to come up with the pick for the "most outstanding college football player in the United States for 2008," and that choice was McCoy.
McCoy's The Watch's first choice for the Heisman Trophy. We'll find out Saturday night if he wins it.
Bradford has a great case for the Heisman. McCoy's, in this opinion, is just greater.
So why wasn't Tebow, who got a lot of Heisman love from color analyst
Even Tebow would admit that he fails by that definition in 2008. While he was great after the Ole Miss game, McCoy and Bradford were great right out of the gate; their respective bodies of work are greater than Tebow's. One reason why The Watch voted for Tebow over
That said, The Watch expects Tebow to be a running and passing monster in the BCS championship game on Jan. 8 against the Sooners, lift his team to the title and be named the game's MVP. But even that wouldn't change The Watch's mind on this ballot.