Lamar Jackson wins by the 6th largest margin in the history of the Heisman.
|Finalists||1st place||2nd place||3rd place||Point Totals|
People have posed the question of what exactly Peppers would have to do stats-wise to be seriously considered in the Heisman race. I figured I would put his numbers up against the Honey Badger, a player who was comparable in terms of versatility on the defensive side and dynamic returning abilities. Mathieu gained considerable Heisman hype after an incredible year for a true freshman, and followed it up with an even better sophomore season, earning 34 first place votes for Heisman en route to a 5th place finish in the race.
Mathieu season stats:
Defense- 59 solo tackles, 17 assisted, 7.5 TFL, 1.5 sacks, 9 PBU, 2 INT, 6 FF, 5 FR, 2 FR TD.
Offense- No rushes or receptions.
Punt returns- 27 returns for 421 yards (avg. 15.6) with 2 TD.
Kick off returns- None.
Peppers season stats through 3 games:
Defense- 20 solo tackles, 8 assisted, 9.5 TFL, 2.0 sacks, 0 PBU, 0 INT, 1 FF, 0 FR, 0 DEF TD.
Offense- 2 rushes for 24 yards. 0 receptions.
Punt returns- 8 returns for 173 yards (avg. 21.6) with 1 TD.
Kick off returns- 2 returns for 81 yards (avg. 40.5) with 0 TD.
Some things that stands out is that Peppers is living in the backfield in his role as a hybrid LB, and he could finish with an ungodly amount of TFLs and sacks. But, in order to get into the Heisman race, he will need to make some special plays. The Honey Badger made his fame punching the ball out and getting in position to make big plays on defense. Peppers will need to get 1-2 defensive touchdowns in order to be considered. The lack of any INT is still a glaring hole in his collegiate resume, especially given that he dropped a sure pick 6 last year.
Where Peppers can make his move is on offense. He was deployed for the first time yesterday, and picked up yards with ease. If he gets 200 rushing yards and 100 receiving yards with 3 TD-- a slight improvement from last year--that would be a big boost to his resume. For comparison, Woodson had 231 receiving yards and 2 TD to go with 15 rushing yards and 1 TD.
Finally, on the kicking game, Peppers is off to an otherworldly start. If he can finish the year with Mathieu's avg return numbers, he will likely have popped off another punt return TD and be a freak of nature. If he can take a kick off return to the house, well then, we might have a real race on our hands.
Overall, this is just for fun and I'm going to enjoy watching Peppers regardless of how it all plays out, but I figured I'd add some perspective to give people a sense of what he needs to do to get into the discussion.
Our old friend Charles Woodson is a 14 Seed facing off against 1988 Derrick Thomas from Alabama. Voting is pretty straight forward.
Today started off like any other day. At about 8am, my co-worker said "Hey, I got a metal crate shipped to me for an advertising promotion. I think you're going to want to see this." So, in an attempt to avoid any real work, I followed him. The crate looked somewhat important:
So he opened it and everyone looked at me as I melted down like the Nintendo 64 kid on Christmas:
Apparently it is making the rounds prior to the season starting. This is the replica that is used for College Gameday, but it still looks pretty awesome:
Of course, two of my co-workers suggested a road trip to Ann Arbor to present it to Devin. I reminded them that this kind of talk is frowned upon in sports due to the overwhelming presence of superstition. They settled for this picture:
I'm bringin this up because it is already being vomited on ad nauseum in every sports media source. For the latest, see eveyone's favorite hated man--Skip Bayless.
The obvious question: does Te'o deserve the Heisman trophy? More importantly to this fan base, how does Te'o's season compare to Charles Woodson's Heisman winning season. (the only primarily defensive player to ever win the award)
Cursory facts to consider:
- Stand out plays (Heisman "moments")
- Overall performance
- Winning a National Championship
- Tough competition (2nd Place Peyton Manning vs...)
- Strength of opposition
- Rest of the team
Have at it!
Edit: I feel like I opened Pandora's box here by mentioning Skip Bayless and some opinions he had. Everyone and their mother has been mentioning Te'o as a Hiesman candidate--Bayless was just the most recent article I
read became aware of.