Originally published November 7, 2012 at 12:30p.m., updated November 7, 2012 at 01:19p.m.
A disturbing trend in its infancy stages, if unchecked, threatens to send the Heisman Trophy electorate down a similar path that has tainted Pro Football Hall of Fame voting and taken sizzle out of induction ceremonies.
Canton voters in recent years determined that a disproportionate number of skill-position players were getting inducted at the expense of All-Pro grunts.
Hence, less famous players gained induction instead of more recognizable, deserving, household names such as former Lawrence High halfback, Kansas University All-American halfback/quarterback and AFL/NFL superstar quarterback John Hadl.
Now the unofficial college football intelligentsia platform states that defensive players don’t get nearly enough Heisman Trophy love because the Heisman voting is all about hype, and since the quarterbacks get all the hype, they win all the trophies.
Football is all about quarterbacks and that’s why they win most of the Heismans.
KU coach Charlie Weis recruited linebacker Manti Te’o to Notre Dame and is his biggest fan, but if given the chance to steal one player from another college football roster for his 1-8 team, does anyone of sound mind believe that Weis would rather add Te’o to his defense than Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein to his offense?
NFL general managers blessed with the first pick in the draft don’t make their selections based on hype, not when in many instances their jobs are on the line. History reveals the risky nature of drafting quarterbacks first, yet the decision-makers still do it because they know nobody can reverse the fortunes of a franchise as can a quarterback.
All but three of the past 15 overall first picks have been quarterbacks, including Manning brothers Peyton and Eli and big-time busts Tim Couch and JaMarcus Russell.
Quarterbacks are this important: With a healthy Todd Reesing standing in the shotgun, KU went on a 25-6 run. Starting with the game in which Reesing suffered a groin injury and continuing through games started by five other quarterbacks, Kansas has gone 6-34.
It’s value, not hype, that wins trophies for quarterbacks.
As a Heisman elector, I am obligated to keep my completed ballot a secret, but since I won’t fill it out for a few more weeks and so much can change between now and then, there’s no harm in sharing opinions on the most worthy candidates.
Quarterbacks Collin Klein of Kansas State (17 rushing touchdowns, 12 TD passes, two interceptions, No. 1 in QB rating), Texas A&M’s Johnny “Football” Manziel (16 passing and 15 rushing scores), Alabama’s A.J. McCarron (19 TD passes, no interceptions) and Oregon running back Kenjon Barner (coming off a 321-yard, five-touchdown day against USC) rank ahead of any defensive player.