ESPN has Denard as current Heisman Watch leader

Submitted by Jedelman11 on September 20th, 2011 at 9:02 PM

Currently behind a paywall, ESPN Heisman Predictor has Denard in the top spot...

Here's the link

Robinson maintains lead:
It may seem odd to have a darkhorse such as Robinson still in the lead, but it is important to remember that the Predictor considers only what has happened thus far.
At this point in the season, Michigan's 3-0 start looks the same as Stanford's as far as the Predictor is concerned. Once the undefeated teams start to fall and the BCS standings are released, the true contenders will be begin to rise to the top.

Good to see him up there with Andrew Luck, Landry Jones, and Kellen Moore. Here's to hoping that by the end of the season the Worldwide Leader in Sports will have no choice to remand Heisman Watch to "Just Give Denard the Damn Trophy"

EDIT: Trimmed down some of the copied materials



September 20th, 2011 at 9:19 PM ^

Well good for him, I feel bad that they had to disclaim it like "we expect Michigan to lose in the future so he won't be a frontrunner in weeks to come" but that'll happen.

One thing of many that I like about Denard is that he is such a humble person and he manages all the hype well.

Good luck to him in future games (obviously), first because he's a good guy and it shows, and second because if he does well that means good things for the team.


September 21st, 2011 at 9:09 AM ^

Denard is of the rare variety that could actually win it on a mediocre (hopefully not-but ya know) team.  I actually don't think it was the teams lack of progress last year that cost him serious contention for the award but his injuries and lack of production.  If he can keep up this type of production and individual dominance on a team that does not end the season in contention I still think he will be a finalist.  He could be the rare baseball MVP on a bad team.  The A-Rod (circa 2003ish) of college football.


September 20th, 2011 at 9:29 PM ^

The key to Denard staying where he is in the Heisman race is the conference schedule. Last year he had a good start to the year (So did Forcier two years ago) but faltered once the conference schedule began. Michigan must remain near the top in the conference for him to have a legitimate shot at the Heisman.


September 21st, 2011 at 10:50 AM ^

Does the article address the fact that the stats from the WMU game have been vacated?  I wonder if this has any effect on the Heisman voting.  I would like to think not since Denard still performed on the field but I wonder if past precedent of Reggie Bush being deleted from the record books and losing his Heisman has any binding effect . . .



September 20th, 2011 at 9:37 PM ^

No offense.. I LOVE me some D-Rob (and can't wait to fly back this weekend to see him play in person again), but I don't know how you can have him near the heisman lead when he is completing less than 50% of his passes.


September 20th, 2011 at 9:38 PM ^

Anyone who doesn't have Robert Griffin #1 on their list right now is not paying attention.

Griffin's statline has been completely unreal thus far (2 games), 41 of 49 passing with 8 TDs, 0 INTs and 624 yards. You can also tack on 107 rushing yards and the guy even caught a pass this year.

I hope Denard can keep improving every week so his name is still being mentioned for the Heisman in January (or December, whenever they award it) but right now, RG III should be getting most of the love.

We know what Denard is capable of and we haven't seen most of it yet.

Two Hearted Ale

September 20th, 2011 at 9:50 PM ^

The Heisman trophy is supposed to be given to the most outstanding player in collegiate football but has traditionally been given to the best runningback, quarterback, or ocassionally receiver.  Lately it has been given to the best runningback or quarterback on the best team.  By todays standards Barry Sanders would not have won the award because Oklahoma State lost two games in 1988.

Denard may have an outstanding season but Michigan likely won't be in the national championship picture so he won't win the award.  On the other hand, if he wins the Heisman that means Michigan is having an outstanding season so I love it that his name is being mentioned.  The award is still a joke but I'd love to see more of them come to Michigan.

maize and brew…

September 20th, 2011 at 10:05 PM ^

Stop with the heisman talk. Lets win games. I thjnk we should have learned our lesson last time. Fan bases always call it the September Heisman award for us. So stop posting this stupid bullshit heisman talk.

Franz Schubert

September 21st, 2011 at 8:41 AM ^

MSU refers to it as September heisman because they are jealous of the publicity. Denard finished 6th last year as a first year starter if you didnt know, so its not at all out of the realm of possibility. Why are you such a chicken little? Its fun for fans to talk about these things and guess what, the ESPN predictor is NOT comprised of biased UM fans.


September 20th, 2011 at 10:06 PM ^

It's kinda sad to think that your team basically has to be playing in the national championship game to win the Heisman. Sometimes there's people who just simply deserve it more. Not saying Denard is that guy, but I don't like the "Michigan's 3-0 record matches Stanford's" argument here.


September 20th, 2011 at 10:22 PM ^

I love Denard and I love Michigan, but what has Denard done to be the leader for the heisman. I don't blame Denard for this and i'm glad he is as humble a young man as you'll find.

 By the end of the year he might deserve it , but as of right now he should'nt even be in the top 10.

Happy Gilmore

September 20th, 2011 at 11:46 PM ^

I thought I read somewhere that their statistics for calculating this take in to account time/situation in the game, weighting things like an epic 4th quarter comeback, converting on 3rd downs, etc etc for more points (like ESPNs new "QBR" rating for NFL QBs). In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if they are using the same statistics (slightly modified to accomodate other position players) to calculate this Heismen prediction that they use for the QBR and simply taking an average score.

Bo Lytle

September 20th, 2011 at 11:00 PM ^

Notre Dame reduction ceremony key note speaker.  Seriously, Denard has everything to do with a heisman conversation.  On sorcery and black magic alone.  And i'm being serious.  Hail



Franz Schubert

September 21st, 2011 at 12:38 AM ^

The award should go to the best player period. The best player just might be on an 8-4 team and therefore the BCS standings should have NOTHING to do with it. How idiotic can it get? I realize its been this way for awhile now but its still wrong that you have to be on a great team to win an individual award. If Cam Newton played for Florida last year instead of Auburn he would not have won the award despite being by far the best player.

Im not saying Denard should win the heisman but pointing out that his passing stats are not as good as the best passers in the country does not eliminate him. When you factor in the insane rushing ability of Denard that more than off sets some of those limitations. Its about the best football player, not the best passer. I say this because it seems almost as if some think Denard has to have elite passing numbers like A. Luck but fail to factor in the rushing yards. Just for the record I would vote for Luck as of now.



September 21st, 2011 at 7:55 AM ^

If he wants to stay in the race he is going to have to regain his form as a serviceable passer.  I shudder to think how this season would be going without his ability to make defenders look bad.


September 21st, 2011 at 9:17 AM ^

Denard has created a ton of excitement, but his performance to date does not justify serious Heisman consideration.  At this time last year, his numbers were substantially better in just about every category and his passing percentage was somewhere in the 70's. Let's hope that he figures out this footwork thing that Borges is talking about and turns the passing game around.


September 21st, 2011 at 9:34 AM ^

I love that Denard is getting talked up (by someone, at least) but he either needs to complete more of his passes or run for a bazillion more yards.  I'll take either with a bunch of W's, plz.


September 21st, 2011 at 10:52 AM ^

Sounds like people are just looking at his stats and not his actual play. He hasn't looked too impressive passing the ball and it'll show later in the season as we play better teams.