I tend to shy away from criticizing the media, and OSU for that matter, when it comes to any sort of column/campaign/idea mostly because I know people are trying their best to create quality content and partly because…well…I think I’m actually part of the media now which makes me fair game for retributive critique.
I can’t let this one go though. Linking Justin Blackmon and Brandon Weeden together for a proposed Heisman campaign via Facebook and Twitter is not a good idea. In fact, it’s an atrocious lack of foresight if the goal is to bring Barry’s 22-year old Heisman back to Heritage Hall.
David Ubben wrote a post the other day where he mused,
If you honestly want a player to win the Heisman, anyone with any sense is going to market the quarterback. Receivers, unless they make a big impact in the return game, don’t win Heismans. And even then, it’s near impossible. Perception or not, marketing for the Heisman is a big deal for players at schools that aren’t traditional powers.
Ubben then had this to say after I said “so I assume you aren’t on board with the Weeden2Blackmon thing?”
The problem OSU faces, and Mike Leach is on line one to discuss this, is that their receiver is actually the better player than their quarterback. He’s the better talent, the better performer, the better pro prospect, and probably the better story. So what’s the solution? Well it’s certainly not doubling down on both of them as promotable Heisman candidates and (presumably) hoping one clarifies the already-murky picture at the end of the season.
Side note: I completely understand who OSU is marketing as its Heisman favorite is a non-issue for most people and should be treated as such in blogs and columns. This is college athletics, who cares what decisions are made off the field?!? That’s fair, just don’t forget that the administrators running the show (a few of them anyway) become wealthy people because the teams their employer fields are successful in football or basketball. Winning Heismans = more notoriety = better recruits = more talent = more wins = more money = richer administrators. Don’t forget that, I’m just bringing a little accountability to the table.
As another aside I should mention how much I hate it when people break down something specific they dislike about another entity or situation and offer up zero solutions, so yeah, I’m not going to do that.
Instead, might I suggest that you pick one of these guys and just let the marketing budget rip for all its worth. If you have to borrow from LeBryan Nash’s shoe fund then do it. If you have to lop a little off the top of Frank Anderson’s $300k+ salary I’m cool with that. Hell, if you have to move some numbers around on the ledger of Byron Eaton’s McDonald’s tab you’re probably still paying off, that’s okay. Just get it done.
For my money I’m rolling the dice with Blackmon. One of the biggest problems with this campaign is that you’re essentially introducing a nation only familiar with #81 to a quarterback you’re now telling them is his equal. The result: split Heisman votes, no clear frontrunner, and absolutely no shot at the stiff armed trophy.
I know Ubben noted that wide receivers historically have a tough time winning the thing (the last one to do it was my first, and maybe only, Big 10 crush – Charles Woodson) but the fact of the matter is that this year, as long as Andrew Luck goes down at some point, there aren’t a ton of QBs you can ride all the way to NYC in early December. Landry Jones? Okkaaay, sure, if OU goes undefeated. Kellen Moore? Meh, who are his WRs? Denard Robinson? Please. Terrelle Pryor? Oops.
So the race might be as wide open as its been in recent memory in terms of a positional standpoint.
The @Weeden2Blackmon thing, it’s a clever idea, really it is, and for any other purpose (leisure, wittiness, marketing for the school, etc.) it would be fine. But not for this, not when you’re essentially removing yourself from consideration from the most important award in sports before the games even get underway.