A Case for Denard to be in NYC for the Heisman Ceremony

Submitted by bklein09 on November 8th, 2010 at 3:38 PM

Note: This started as a board post and evolved into something diary worthy (I think). However, bump to the board if need be. Thanks!

So I know that there are 3 games left, and I know that individual awards don't matter in comparison to the team winning games.

And I also know that the Heisman does not go to the best player in college football anymore, but rather to the best player on a top 10 team. Its been that way for a long time.

HOWEVER, I find myself looking at the stats that Denard is continuing to put up and can't help but wonder why he is getting absolutely ZERO consideration after the media explosion that happened earlier in the season.

Let's look at some facts:

Total Offense:

Denard leads the nation with 351.44 YPG (ahead of Cam Newton by almost 50 YPG!)

In terms of pure yardage he is 3rd behind Griffin III and Moniz who have each played an additional game.

Rushing Offense:

Denard is 2nd in the nation with 149.89 YPG (behind OR's James at 166.38)

However, he is actually leads James in total yardage with 1349! James is only counted for 8 games because he was suspended for punching his girlfriend against NM, while Denard is counted for 9 despite barely playing against BG and missing close to a half against Iowa and Illinois.

So basically if someone out there was ambitious enough to do a "yards per 60 minutes played," I guarantee Denard would be the nation's leading rusher.

DRob is also 2nd in the nation with 7.37 YPC behind Taylor Martinez and well ahead of James at 6.79.

Passing Offense:

Denard's Total Passing Yards (1814) are obviously nowhere near the top of any list, but being a duel-threat QB that isn't really relevant (see Total Offense).

However, Denard ranks 11th! in Passer Efficiency Rating (160.90) with Kellen Moore and Cam Newton leading the way.


Denard has 25 total TDS, 12 Rush and 13 Pass.

James has 18 total TDs, Newton has 34, Moore has 22.

Denard has 7 INTs and may 2-3 lost fumbles? So we'll say 10 TOs

James' TO #s are irrelevant (plus I can't find them), Newton has 5 INTs, and Moore has 4 INTs.

So, after looking at those numbers the question becomes: Why is Denard not a Heisman contender any more?

The Answer: Oregon, Auburn, and Boise are undefeated. Plain and simple. If Michigan only had one loss or less and was in the top 10, I would almost guarantee that DRob would still be in the thick of the Heisman race even if his numbers were exactly the same.

Now a lot of people would say, well its not all about the numbers. There are other factors.

And I would agree with them. BUT this is not Timmy Chang, Colt Brennen, or one of the Texas Tech QBs putting up 6000 yards.

We are talking about a sophomore QB on a Big Ten team! Michigan's schedule is no joke, and declaring Denard to be a "system" QB in the line of those mentioned above doesn't seem to fit. What is the system? Passing? Rushing? Scoring? Denard ranks well in every category.

Its just frustrating to me that the media blew up in epic proportions during the first part of the season over Denard, but now they barely give him a mention. I think they definitely gave him too much pub by declaring him the winner after week 4, but I also think they are giving him too little respect at this point in the season.

Denard has numbers comparable or better than every other top Heisman candidate, and he plays a schedule much more difficult than that of Oregon, Boise, and most other teams outside the SEC.

And last but not least lets not forget that he plays on a team FAR worse than those of James, Newton, or Moore. Its funny that Michigan's record is a big part of the reason he is not under consideration when the fact that Michigan is terrible on defense should be an even bigger credit to his abilities.

Newton, James, and Moore are all on teams surrounded by superstars and playmakers, and while Michigan does have an excellent offense, our team as a whole is not very good.

People should realize once again that the Heisman is about the most outstanding player in college football, regardless of record. I know that strength of schedule has to be considered in making that determination, but having a bad team should not count against you.

I'm not saying that Denard should win the Heisman. I think Newton would have my vote at this point. But Denard would be second or third without a doubt in my mind, and I hope that other people are thinking the same thing. The kid deserves it.



November 8th, 2010 at 3:47 PM ^

Well, he's pretty even with Cam Newton, but Cam Newton hasn't lost a game by throwing 3 interceptions. If we pull off an upset or two, his name will be right back in the race.


November 8th, 2010 at 3:52 PM ^

It's absurd even what he did last week, I think he's one more 150 yard rushing performance away cementing himself as a finalist.  Hope he waits for Ohio State to do it.  That'll really up his chances.

Edit: let me rephrase... he needs on more 'big performance'... preferably against OSU, but hey why not against everyone else?


November 8th, 2010 at 4:01 PM ^

and putting up numbers against legit opponents (signature night games give you bonus points) is the other.

Denard has done neither. The Turnover-a-palooza against the "legit" opponents (as defined by msm) is fact a downer as far as his candidacy goes.

I am as much of a tin-foil kind of guy when it comes to UM football, but cmon, claiming DR is ahead of Cam "pay me more" Newton is silly. 

We don't need any distractions, let's fly under the radar and see if we can pull off a miracle against the buckeyes. 


November 8th, 2010 at 4:12 PM ^

Granted there is still a quarter of the season yet to play, but if Pryor gets an invite over Denard and assuming Denard maintains his averages/ ish, the Heisman Trust/ voters would be a complete joke.

I fully believe Newton will win due to the season Auburn is having, but to not give the guy that will set all sorts of records, including holding 4/5 of the top offensive production games in his team's storied history, being the only player to have two 200/200 games in a regular season, first member (fingers crossed) of the 1500/1500 club, would be an embarrassment to the game. 

Ann Arbor Cardinal

November 8th, 2010 at 10:19 PM ^

is not the best player in college football. It's been said before, but it goes to the most media-worthy skills player on the offense of a top-5 or maybe top-10 team. So I'd go even farther than "being on a winning team is one criteria" - being on ranked team is a necessity. We can argue whether that is a good or bad way to judge a player, but I don't see how anyone can argue that is not the modern Heisman award. And if it is, Mr. Robinson should not be invited to New York, since UM won't be breaking into the top-10 anytime this year.


November 8th, 2010 at 4:00 PM ^

I think he should get a trip to the Downtown Athletic Club, too. Personally I think he'll be there because of the records he'll end up breaking by season's end and a lot of voters will put him on their ballot.

This talk does make you realize something great here though...we have TWO MORE YEARS OF DILITHIUM! That's still unbelievable to me. 


November 8th, 2010 at 4:01 PM ^

with Denard having a major role in wins against Wisky and especially OSU for him to get invited.

Consider our previous Heisman winners: Harmon, Howard, Woodson, and the nature of their performances against the Buckeyes.

Denard's going to have to cut down on turnovers and keep doing the other things he does for that to happen. He's certainly capable of doing that, but that alone won't mean we beat either team, given our defense.

A trip to NY also depends on other candidates for winning teams, and DR has no control over that.

He's just a sophomore so I don't really care anyhow.


November 8th, 2010 at 4:01 PM ^

How the rest of the season plays out will determine what happens.  If we were somehow able to beat Wisc and OSU then while Denard sticks with his dilithium ways, he is back in there for the Heisman.  If not, based on the improvement Denard made coming into this season, imagine what he is going to be like next season.  Junior Denard Robinson......There is your Heisman!!


November 8th, 2010 at 4:05 PM ^

Not bad. Denard only a sophomore and putting up these kind of numbers...and a good kid.Old cam....well he has been playing college football since 2007, people say ,when it comes to football cam is money.

Young Pretty a…

November 8th, 2010 at 4:20 PM ^

If Michigan continues to win, I expect him to be in NYC.  He should have a great game against  Purdue, and if he performs well against Wisconsin and OSU, I think it would be a travesty if he wasn't atleast invited to NY.  If not, we still have this pic

Cosmic Blue

November 8th, 2010 at 4:24 PM ^

im not saying its a good argument (but you could make it), that denard is not even the best QB on his team. tate has come in and done very well when called upon. i think that that also has a lot to do with people not thinking he is as great as some of the other players out there

howeva, that did not stop them from giving it to ingram last year when richardson looked just as good. so nevermind


November 8th, 2010 at 6:11 PM ^

Denard may not be the best QB on his team. Tate has done a decent job at back up but its not even close compared to what Denard continues to do. Tate scares the living hell out of me pretty much every other play. He has 3 int's and two fumbles lost in what adds up to pretty much a game and a half this season. I'm sorry but Denard is a much better passer now also.


November 8th, 2010 at 5:03 PM ^

I didn't know James was suspended for a domestic violence issues, but was wondering why he had one less game played.  I'm guessing he will not get the trophy simply based on that.

Right now, I think Denard has more work to do to get invited, but definitely has a chance.  His  injuries and mistakes during the recent high profile games have hurt.  The Wisconsin and osu games will be huge though.

I agree about the records playing too much of a role, but that has been the trend the past several years.


November 8th, 2010 at 5:09 PM ^

Also, Denard has not punched his girlfriend and has not been arrested for being in possession of stolen property and for obstruction of justice.  He has also not been accused of being paid to play.  I know these things don't affect most people's votes, but isn't that kind of sad?  At some point does being an a-hole detract from you being the "best player," regardless of your athletic talents?

Do you think that any Heisman voters may be a bit leery of voting for Newton out of fear that the allegations might prove true, causing him to have to pull a Reggie Bush and return his trophy?


November 8th, 2010 at 5:10 PM ^

I think him being only a sophomore hurts his chances as well. Most of the voters probably assume he will be in the running for the next two years as well, so they may be more willing to give an upperclassman the nod, even if they are not as deserving as Denard.

Harvest Wain

November 9th, 2010 at 10:36 AM ^

I feel like this trend has a lot to do with Larry Fitzgerald NOT winning the Heisman in 2003.  He was a sophomore, and was runner-up to Jason White, a senior out of Oklahoma.  When Larry was picked third, and White never made an NFL squad, I think the Heisman voters realized that regardless of class, the most Heisman-worthy player should win.

Roy D Hibble

November 8th, 2010 at 5:31 PM ^

Denard is something, that cannot be denied.

Howeva, he came up real short in the three losses. MSU dominated him; Iowa relegated him to an afterthought; PSU was up something like 34-10 before he caught fire.

We're all in love with "ZOWIE ZOINKS! 500 million yards!" But Denard lacks a signature win against a good team (redundant? Yes, by gourd).

Durability is not exactly a strong point, either. He has been injured in nearly, if not every, game.

Go out and win three of the last four (or ALL OF THEM), not go down to injury, and be the same guy against OSU and Wisconsin he was against Notre Dame and Indiana, and HELLZ YEAH! Pencil him in.


November 8th, 2010 at 5:52 PM ^

Bit of an overstatement, as he still put up 301 total yards of offense.  The turnovers hurt, but dominated by MSU is a bit much.  Look at his first two games and then compare them to the 3 losses:


2010 Regular Season Game Log Passing Rushing
4-Sep Connecticut W 30-10 19 22 186 86.4 43 1 0 172.39 29 197 6.8 32 1  
11-Sep @Notre Dame W 28-24 24 40 244 60 31 1 0 119.49 28 258 9.2 87 2  
9-Oct Michigan State L 34-17 17 29 215 58.6 49 1 3 111.59 21 86 4.1 16 1  
16-Oct Iowa L 38-28 13 18 96 72.2 20 1 1 124.24 18 105 5.8 12 0  
30-Oct @Penn State L 41-31 11 23 190 47.8 60 1 0 131.57 27 191 7.1 32 3  


November 8th, 2010 at 6:54 PM ^

i BELIEVE DRob is out of consideration and maybe even being talked about as much because he can not finish a game!  i am all for DRob getting all the yards he can for his team to win.  he does not know how to avoid contact like some of the greats did, much like a QB coache  will tell a gunslinger to throw the ball away to avoid a sack and negative yardige situations DRob really needs to be taught how to avoid hits and fall better,  as wierd as that sounds. all the greats know how to fall so they absorb the least amount of bodily damage!  i promise you the same thing will happen next year even when Michigan wins nine or ten games next year if DRob can not stay in the game!  here is to hoping each and every practice he learns the value of hating that he is off the field in some of this seasons critical situations.  Go Blue beat purdue!


November 8th, 2010 at 9:58 PM ^

"He falls funny."  Denard is still healthy going into the tenth game of the year because like most great runners with extremely quick reflexes, it's very difficult to get a solid hit on him. Such as has been the case this season. The head-to-head hit that caused dizziness was rare and RR did the right thing in keeping him out. However, he did fall awkwardly on his knee or thigh early in the season that caused a deep bruise. It was a freak occurrence and something that happens rarely. He has shown he's far more durable than our recent running backs like Minor and Brown, both very talented but never nearing 1K in a season due to a malady of injuries for each.

If he were to take head on shots, I'd be afraid for him. His ability to avoid hits is the reason he's still reasonable healthy and the probably starter vs. the Boilers.


November 8th, 2010 at 7:30 PM ^

I totally agree with you. If we were to win out at this point, and Denard continues at a 200p/100r/Game clip, I would be willing to bet some real money that he would make it to NYC. No-one in the nation means more to their team than Denard Robinson.

IMO, Denard's got 2 chances to throw his name back into the Heisman talk. Well, three. I think he needs another 200/200 game against Purdue, and that seems doable. If he can lead the effort to knock both wisconsin and Ohio State out of BCS contention, he'll get a lot more attention.

Quite frankly, I've got growing optimism that we have a great shot to knock off OSU at the Shoe. It definitely could be another shootout, but OSU's d is riddled with injuries. If we come in fully mentally prepared and wipe away the intimidation factor of playing in the Shoe, Denard can slice and dice the buckeyes.


November 8th, 2010 at 8:07 PM ^

Thinking three big games and we have to win at least two, maybe three for him to get invited.  Having said that I think we can do it and he can get there.


November 8th, 2010 at 8:51 PM ^

Denard obviously has the numbers, but he needs a signature win or two to really be in the conversation. If he dominates Purdue, pulls the upset against Wisco while going over 2000 yds passing and 1500 yds rushing, then leads Michigan to a victory in the Shoe, I think he is invited and might just win the thing. If he breaks 2000/1500 and beats Wisco and Purdue, I think he should be invited, especially if its a close loss against OSU where it was the defense and not his turnovers that were the difference. 

Either way, he has to be the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year right?

Indiana Blue

November 8th, 2010 at 9:41 PM ^

is that Denard is already on next year's top Heisman contenders list ... absolutely no question in my mind.  So next year he'll have the hype going in ... plus he will be 1 year better (smarter & stronger) than this year.

Go Blue !


November 8th, 2010 at 9:43 PM ^

I would like to see Denard receive an invitation to NYC for the greatest vanity award in all of sports and decline on the grounds that he did not lead his team to a hugely successful season and, "call me next year".

biakabutuka ex…

November 8th, 2010 at 10:31 PM ^

I didn't think there was any question Denard would be invited. He's having as statistically amazing of a season as Colt McCoy did two years ago (a 76.7% completion percentage!!!/leading the nation in rushing as a QB!!!), and like McCoy I think he should not only show, but win. But McCoy lost to Bradford--a bigger, less statistically accomplished, but very similar player, with more wins. And likely so will Denard to Newton. Not that I'm biased or anything...


November 9th, 2010 at 9:03 AM ^

signature win is what everyone talks about...He finishes the season with 3 straight victories then he will likely get it...Tebow won on a 9-3 Florida team his sophomore year as well.  Like everyone says, if he finishes with 2000/1500 and beats wis and OSU...I love his chances but I think Newtown would have to put up a clunker.  Like a 3 or 4 int day in a loss to Bama or something to be overtaken in the race unfortunately.


November 9th, 2010 at 9:34 AM ^

I think he WILL get an invite to New York.  It's unfortunate that he won't win it even if he had better numbers than everyone else... all because of the team's record.  But if the team went 3-0 down the stretch it would be largely because of Denard and he could pull it out.  I would be most happy with the 3-0 part and the trophy would be secondary.  He'll win it next year though so I'm not too worried.


November 10th, 2010 at 3:17 PM ^

As long as Dr. Lou keeps bad-mouthing him and people writing that RR is trying to use Denard to save his job, the numbers or wins he puts up aren't gonna matter.  Like the BCS, this is a beauty contest... it's worse than the Soviet Union judge judging the American figure skater.


November 10th, 2010 at 3:01 PM ^

I think that Denard will definitely get an invite.  Even if he gets next to no first place votes, he'll probably get a lot of 2nd or 3rd place votes.  He hasn't been in the media much lately, but when he breaks the single season QB rushing record and becomes the inaugural member of the 1,500-2,000 club, that accomplishment will be impossible to ignore.  He is the nation's leading rusher, and out of the top 40 rushers, he has the second highest ypc (Martinez is #1).

If this stuff with Newton continues to blow up, he's got a shot at winning.