Is Denard Still a Heisman Contender?

Submitted by IllegalShift on October 20th, 2010 at 11:04 AM

As a fan I hate to say this, but Denard Robinson is hanging on to the Heisman race by a thread. Two weeks ago after the Mich St loss, we still had him in the #1 spot when people like ESPN had already knocked him out of the race. 

So my question to all Michigan fans is, does Denard deserve to still be in the Heisman race?



October 20th, 2010 at 11:08 AM ^

Sorry, but he has no chance as the season progresses. Too many losses will doom him, as will the interceptions and sore knee and shoulder.

I don't care about the Heisman, though, and nobody else should. It's the most ridiculous award in all of team sports, with only one legit winner (1997) in the last 50 years.


October 20th, 2010 at 12:59 PM ^

Be that as it may, the fact that Desmond put up those monster numbers (23 TDs!) in an offense where he was the only deep threat, and faced constant double-teams, is all the more remarkable.  He actually had slightly more yardage the previous season, but fewer TDs.


October 20th, 2010 at 11:10 AM ^

has a lot to do with recruiting and program prestige.  Why would you not care?  Anything positive that keeps UM in media can only help with recruits.  Just saying.


October 20th, 2010 at 11:16 AM ^

It doesn't matter how ridiculous the award is. It would still be a great moment for Michigan and a huge boost for RichRod's profile as a coach, leading to better recruiting. I can't imagine anything negative coming out of winning the Heisman.


October 20th, 2010 at 11:18 AM ^

....sentence you posted. Only one!?! I dislike Tebow, but the season he won it he deserved it.

Tony Dorsett in 1976? There are some others who won it that deserved it as well, including some who won it in close races. Overall, the award has been awarded rightly, with recent times trending towards the MVP of the best team. For example, Bush didn't deserve the award over V Young, and Ingram didn't deserve the award over Suh or Gerhardt.


October 20th, 2010 at 11:25 AM ^

IF we keep losing, and IF he keeps throwing INTs, and IF he continues to be hurt, he won't win?  I mean, a reasonably possible prediction...but, well, duh.

To the original question, you may be right, in that his chances have gone way down. But it's certainly not zero chance, particularly if we win some games, and he starts playing just a little bit better (not a lot).

Put it this way...we get to 8 wins, and Denard tears up OSU for 500 yards (in a win or a loss), I'd say he has a pretty good chance.  It's doing that which is going to be hard.

And I'm sure you could come up with a whole lot more ridiculous team awards in sports if you put your mind to it. (And a whole lot more legit winners).


October 20th, 2010 at 1:33 PM ^

So who used the word IF? This is exactly what I wrote:

"Too many losses will doom him, as will the interceptions and sore knee and shoulder."

As far as the Heisman goes, it's a ridiculous award because—with the singular exception of 1997—fully half of the players on any team are functionally and automatically excluded from serious consideration from the get-go. Let's be honest—if Lloyd Carr hadn't been wise enough to see the advantage of using Woodson on offense, the chances of Woodson winning the Heisman would have declined drastically, and Manning would have been the beneficiary. The Heisman was originally conceived when everybody played two ways, so it was legitimate to regard it as an award for the "best player in college football."

Under the current actual but unwritten constraints, Desmond was certainly the most worthy recipient in 1991, by far. But was he really the single best college football player among all the players on all the teams in D1A that year? That's a different question.


October 20th, 2010 at 11:09 AM ^

His play in the first 5 games puts him there. If he continues in B10 season to be a non-factor, then he isn't there at the end. My own personal opinion is that he will blast another few teams on the schedule for 400+ total yards, and this two-game stretch will be the anomaly of the season. Remember, he still had over 300 yards against MSU, and the biggest reason he didn't get more yds/TDs wasn't the MSU defense, but his own misreads or poor throws. I have a feeling that Denard busts a 250/250 game against PSU next week.


October 20th, 2010 at 11:09 AM ^


Sure, he deserves to still be in it. Former winners have had bad games before(and I would say neither MSU nor Iowa game was a "bad" game for him). I seem to remember we completely shut down Ron Dayne in his winning year, etc. I do think after these last two games that the only two games that matter are Wisconsin and Ohio State. If he shreds Penn State/Illinois/Purdue and then has average games again against those two, I don't think he'll win it. He needs to shred a great D to win it, I think. OSU is obviously a perfect venue to do that. 


October 20th, 2010 at 11:10 AM ^

Is he still the nations leading rusher?

Is he still the 16th most efficient QB in the country?

Has he passed for a decent amount of yards given that we are barely over the halfway mark?

Hmmm... I'd say that's a yes


October 20th, 2010 at 11:13 AM ^

The Heisman is about performance over the whole season.  We've still got 5 games to play.

I'm more interested in winning football games than hyping Denard at the moment.  It's been unlikely from the start that he'd win it, anyway.  Not many Heismans have gone to players on 8-4 teams.

Now if he goes nuts and beats Wisconsin and OSU with the team finishing 10-2, we've got a different story to tell.


October 20th, 2010 at 11:12 AM ^

He's still putting up decent numbers, but they aren't the astronomical numbers he was putting up earlier in the season.

If we had actually had a competent defense this entire season, this is where I would have expected Denard all along -- putting up the type of numbers he's put up these past two games vs the ones he put up the first 5 games.

You have to think if we weren't having to outscore our opponents up to the last minute, we would have drained more time off the clock, thus slowing down the amount of total yards we gained by the end of the game.

He's still got two more years, I'm not worried :)


October 20th, 2010 at 11:16 AM ^

Yes and no.  It depends on how he plays obviously.  If he plays like the first five games of the season, he'll have a good chance to win it, despite these last two games.  If he has another game like this though, no I wouldn't think so.  He's had two bad games and in comparison to Newton (Top 5 team, big rushing threat, high QB rating) and Moore (Top 3 team, huge stats) it would be hard to beat them out if he had another one...

By the way, how the hell is Auburn so good suddenly?  I really need to look into their team but how did their coach suck so bad at Iowa State but turn Auburn around?  I know Gus Malzahn is ridiculous but damn...


October 20th, 2010 at 11:35 AM ^

They have also played a bunch of teams with meh defenses.  Let's see how looks against LSU and Alabama.  A couple of their wins have been really close, high-scoring affairs, and those can turn around against better defenses.  But yeah, Newton has been a revelation.


October 20th, 2010 at 11:23 AM ^

I think that he's not only in it but in the top 5 (at least, maybe still the leader), with a significant step down in opposing defense coming for the next three games.  Cam Newton is in the leader group, but we'll see what he does against a few more decent defenses.  Andrew Luck?  Possibly.  Mallett is out.  Pryor is out.  Taylor Martinez was never legitimately in it.  No other Big Ten player has even entered the conversation.  LaMichael James is still in it, but there is no way that a running back with fewer yards on the season than Denard will win it.  Not a snowball's chance.  Kellen Moore might be the leader.  He is putting up insane numbers and if his team goes undefeated he might win it.


October 20th, 2010 at 11:32 AM ^

From a pure stats perspective, certainly - even the past two "down" weeks are relative, as he had 301 yards against MSU and then 201 yards against Iowa in a little over a half of play.  But at the same time, he's been exposed a bit the past few weeks for his lack of touch passing, and while I fully expect that to improve over the season, he needs a good showing against an above-average defense.  Also, the team needs to win for him to have any chance.  But right now, he's in the running, but I doubt he or anyone else on the team really cares.  


October 20th, 2010 at 11:49 AM ^

There are a few general criteria on which players are evaluated for the trophy:

1. Best player on the best team - more likley to be Kellen Moore, Cam Newton, or LaMichael James at this point in the season.  No one is going to mistake Michigan for the best team this year.

2. Clutch performances in big games (read - Woodson over Peyton Manning).  Denard has the two game winning drvies against clubs with mediocre records.  Considering he was closer to goat-like substance for MSU and Iowa, he would have to destroy Wisc and OSU to make this a positive.  Newton and James here again.

3. Most valuable player.  This was Denard weeks 1-5 without a doubt.  He'll probably regain some of that form the next three games but give ground against Wisc and OSU.

4. Best player in college football.  Given the recent picks, again an uphill battle.

He has a realistic shot of picking up some votes, which is still cool.  More like Mike Hart Heisman finish awaits him me thinks.


October 20th, 2010 at 11:59 AM ^

He controls his own destiny.

If he amazes against PSU or OSU with all eyes watching, he's right back in it.  People are so extreme,  3 weeks ago people were saying he was a lock.   It's all based on wins and a wow factor.  If he just puts up average stas for him the next few weeks and puts up like 500 yds against OSU and they win in dramatic fashion you are telling me he won't get votes swung his way. 

Likely? no.  Possible? yes


October 20th, 2010 at 12:07 PM ^

He has to beat a good team and stay healthy to be in the race. Imo. Everyone said he could not take the punishment over a season. They have been right to this point. They also said he would not to have these numbers vs good teams. To this point he has not. I think he is next years favorite but this year is a long shot.