ESPN Loves them some Denard today

Submitted by JeepinBen on September 13th, 2011 at 1:13 PM

The WWL has quite a bunch on our Dilithium QB today:

First, an insider article where he vaults to the top of their Heisman Predictor:

(the copied Denard section is free here:

After accounting for just 144 yards and zero touchdowns in Michigan's rain-shortened Week 1 victory, quarterback Denard Robinson failed to crack the Heisman Predictor's top 10.

What a difference a week makes.

Or, to be more specific, what a difference a quarter makes.

Entering the fourth quarter of the Michigan Wolverines' showdown with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Robinson had only one touchdown and Michigan trailed 24-7. Had the game ended at that point, Robinson would have had 84.5 points and likely would not have been selected for the Predictor's top 10. Fifteen minutes of game time and four touchdowns later, Robinson had racked up 13.5 more points and propelled himself to the top of this week's rankings.

Because Notre Dame was unranked at the time of the game, the Predictor does not award Robinson any bonus points for the victory. However, it would be unfair to say this was just another game. Voters who look for "Heisman moments" are sure to stash this one away in the memory bank, and it certainly could factor into their decision come December. And thanks to a relatively easy month ahead, Robinson should remain in the Heisman conversation.

However, the key to Robinson's campaign will be Michigan's late-season performance. Three of the Wolverines' final six games will be against teams currently ranked in the top 25 (the Michigan State Spartans, Nebraska Cornhuskers and Ohio State Buckeyes), plus another tough road game against the Iowa Hawkeyes. Another late-season collapse would end any hopes of bringing the Heisman back to Ann Arbor.


Then Pat Forde chimes in: (

Go ahead, call it a comeback

In trying to explain Michigan's crazy comeback Saturday night against Notre Dame, quarterback Denard Robinson said multiple times: "We ain't stopping till the clock says zero-zero." Those are words to live and play by, because now more than ever it seems that no lead is safe and no deficit too deep in college football. We've already had half a dozen remarkable rallies in games that seemed over, plus many other lesser comebacks. The Dash's list of the best after only two weeks:

Michigan (10) against Notre Dame, Sept. 10
On a scale of 1-to-Lazarus: Give it a Joe Montana (or a 9).



September 13th, 2011 at 1:14 PM ^

When hungry and thirsty in the football-friendly town of Ann Arbor, The Dash suggests dinner at Sava's (39), a joint with an eclectic menu and a beer list to match. Try the chorizo sausage burger topped bleu cheese and a chipotle sauce and a Bell's Two-Hearted Ale.

Then take a walk to the Alley Bar (40) for a Founder's Pale Ale, brewed in Grand Rapids. Thank The Dash later.

Mustachioed Ge…

September 13th, 2011 at 2:48 PM ^

Actually, I have some info on this. Some friends that I graduated with started a student consulting firm and one of their first clients was Savas. Savas has since moved to a larger area across the street where another restaurant used to be (I am blanking on the name but it was a rather memorable name). The service is definitely better now and the food is great. 

Six Zero

September 13th, 2011 at 1:31 PM ^

It's no longer about the Most Valuable Player, and it's becoming all about the Most Hyped Player.

I said it last year, and I'll say it again-- the key to winning the Heisman is doing something, anything, spectacular every week of the season.  That's how Charles won it in '97, and that's certainly how Cam Newton won it last year.  It's not about being the most dominant player in the college football landscape, it's about being the biggest spectacle.  It's always a good starting point when your team wins every week-- just ask Mark Ingram-- but that's another story, I suppose.

Denard is all of that and more, but he won't win the Heisman, this year or the next.  Not int he manball system.  And the best thing of all is that we already know he doesn't care-- he wants the team win more than the trophy.

LSA Aught One

September 13th, 2011 at 3:15 PM ^

I love the fact that he cares more about the team than personal glory.  We also have to remember that with the negation of Week 1's stats, his numbers will be based upon less performances.  I imagine they don't normalize stats, either...


September 13th, 2011 at 3:30 PM ^

Unfortunately, I agree.

I wish I could say that I think Denard is the best player in college football. But he isn't. He is one of the most inconsistent. He is, however, one of the most exciting to watch. That shouldn't win Heismans, but it does.

I don't really even want him to win the Heisman right now. He needs to become a much more consistent passer first. I think he can do it, but it's gonna take time. Those first 3 quarters of ND were atrocious. Hell, let's be honest. The last quarter was also frightening. Almost every pass was a jump ball. Without our receivers being intensely commited to making the catches necessary to win, I don't think we would have.

The one pass I recall that looked perfect was to Jeremy Gallon when he ran it down to the 20 or 15. That was a great pass, but then Gallon was completely uncovered. Denard really has to improve as a passer before he wins much of anything.

Someone else said that we wouldn't have won the game without him. That may be true but only in the sense of a literal absence at quarterback. Gardner might not have been able to do the job. Or maybe he would have. I think Gardner's pretty talented. I think he's a more typical player for quarterback than Denard. But I think with someone else in that offense as QB, we easily could've won the game. Not anyone, but someone good. Denard is not irreplaceable. He is a highly valuable asset to our team right now, but he is not at all irreplaceable.


September 13th, 2011 at 3:48 PM ^

There's a lot of ramble in there, but this? 

"I don't really even want him to win the Heisman right now."

" He is a highly valuable asset to our team right now, but he is not at all irreplaceable."

Dude, you're just special.  I hope we don't have to find out how wrong that last comment is for 2 years.


September 14th, 2011 at 12:42 AM ^

Leave it to members of a sports board to buy into all the mantras about the team, but when the question comes down to it..."DENARD IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THE TEAM. IN FACT HE IS THE ONLY PART."

I don't want him to win it because I don't think he's earned it yet. And no, he's not irreplaceable. Interestingly enough, Michigan football made it - what is it? - 130 years without him. Winningest program in college football. And I bet it will go many more years and wins without him. I have nothing but love for Denard, but I hate the attitude that he is the only thing that keeps our team afloat, and the attitude of "OMG COACHING SWITCH WILL DENARD STAY THAT IS THE ONLY QUESTION."

Seriously, fuck being downvoted. I don't give a damn. Denard hasn't earned the Heisman trophy. He's a valuable asset and a talented kid but he hasn't earned it. And he certainly isn't the only kid in the world good enough to be Michigan's starting quarterback. What an insult to Devin Gardner and Jack Kennedy who practice their hearts out day after day for their team yet still live in Denard's shadow, that you insinuate otherwise.


September 13th, 2011 at 1:34 PM ^

State won't be ranked when we play them and I doubt Ohio will be either. The northwestern night game will be a big opportunity though. Every game 16 plays in is a big deal.


September 13th, 2011 at 2:23 PM ^

Listen, that was a fantastic finish under the lights, but Heisman?  He threw three picks, all pretty ugly, all pretty devastating.  He put together some nice runs, threw a stop fade on the money to Gallon and made a nice throw to Roundtree, but I really think Junior Hemingway looked like a more viable Heisman candidate than Denard on Saturday.

I love me some Denard, but I got a little overloaded on Denardfest last year.  I kind of wish ESPN would let us sit under the radar a little this year.  There truly should be no Heisman talk at this point.


September 13th, 2011 at 2:37 PM ^

Wide receivers don't win the Heisman very often.

It's pretty much either a running back or a quarterback.  Since 1987 (Tim Brown), the only two non-QB and non-RB winners have been Desmond Howard in 1991 and Charles Woodson in 1997.

So...there's that.

If anybody looks like a Heisman candidate at all on this team, it's Denard.  And you know it.


September 13th, 2011 at 3:22 PM ^

that Hemingway will ever sniff a Heisman trophy, I am just saying that Denard has not played like a Heisman contender so far this season.  Denard is Denard, he is very exciting, sporatically awe-inspiring, and very effective at times.  But talking about him in terms of the Heisman trophy is hyperbole right now.

And did I notice his shoes being tied this year?  I thought I saw them laced up and I was devastated.


September 13th, 2011 at 3:58 PM ^

There are good explanations for Denard's performance, and I think there are reasonable expectations for him to improve. But I think ijohnb is right about everything except the Denard overload last year (the dude set a ton of NCAA and Michigan records).

Last night's performance was enough to put him in a Heisman conversation, but definitely not enough to be a front runner.

Also, I want to start a "Tom VH is biasing ESPN to Michigan's side" rumor/meme here.


September 13th, 2011 at 3:36 PM ^

I believe this team is positioned to surprise many.  Some are under estimating the confidence building going on with these guys.  They are still young, and really naive enough to think that they can win every game.  At this point until someone proves them wrong, they may just "go yard".


-The schedule is very favorable.

-They haven't played their best football, "AT ALL".

-Manball is turning out to be a case of "we'll show you the right hand"...but when we get sick of @#$%'in around we're gonna unleash the beast e.g. Delithium.

-This is Hoke's first year in a dream job and the universe is saying he can do no wrong.

I mean, is the writing on the wall or what!  Sometimes, you see that big wave come'in and you say "wave, your big, you can carry me...please take me along for the ride of my life".

Gorgeous Borges peaking in the RR Playbook + Manball = How would you like to die on Saturday?

-Swamy "easy"

P.S. Hell the angry DB-hating-god can't keep Troy off the field!  These are all signs dammit!  Signs!


oriental andrew

September 13th, 2011 at 2:54 PM ^

I'm just glad we didn't end up in the "Kicker Follies" section!  Seriously, though, I totally called Miss Angola as the winner last night.  My wife liked Miss Ukraine (Ukraine is weak!!!), who was the first runner up. 


September 13th, 2011 at 3:17 PM ^

the problem is lets say the next 4 weeks we don't need denard to do his thing, and from the looks of it borges will try to run his offence and limit the abuse denard see's unless its not working and we need denard to be denard.  Lets say denard only has 3 or 4 big 400yrd total offence games this year the rest look like western 200 passing and 50 rush, but say we go a magical 12-0 during that time. would that win denard the hesman?

his season stats woudl be something like 3000 passing 1000 rushing in this senario.


September 13th, 2011 at 3:27 PM ^

Michigan has won the "September Heisman" the last 2 years.
<br>Thank Notre Dame's piss poor D for giving Tater Tot & Robinson the sportscenter highlights.
<br>We all know what will happen when they face above avg defenses in Big Ten & bowl games. OSU, Sparty & Nebraska won't have Gary Gray out there when Denard throws the ball up and yells "$5 Dollars"


September 13th, 2011 at 3:41 PM ^

There's a lot of back and forth about what position deserves the Heisman, whether DR deserves it, etc. etc. and I can see a lot of the points.  My take is that Denard is back on the WATCH list which means . . . watch to see what he does next.  After a lackluster, from a hype perspective, game against Western and first 3 quarters at UTL, he exploded back onto the national stage.  If he can get more passing consistency, improvised runs, and we can KEEP WINNING, he'll stay at the top of the Heisman talk the rest of the season.  It won't matter if he has another crazy statistical year and stays healthy, if the team drops off, so will the hype machine.


September 13th, 2011 at 7:09 PM ^

He may be atop of that predictor but on ESPN's Heisman Watch he's 7th.  Those 3 interceptions really killed him, as well as not having any touchdowns against WMU.

In my personal opinion, it's a 4 man race so far (obviously can change): Andrew Luck, Kellen Moore, Marcus Lattimore, and Landry Jones.  Luck is my favorite, Moore has the numbers as well and the top team.  Lattimore could potentially keep his team a top 10 team if he continues to rush 100 a game.  Landry Jones is overrated in my opinion, but he's on a top team so he is automatically thrown in there.

Justin Blackmon's team is going to lose a couple games by the looks of it in my opinion and it would be hard for him to win to start with.  Robert Griffin III should be a top contender but I don't think Baylor is a high ranking/high profile team.  He's also going to have a couple bad games here and there because he has to carry Baylor.  Case Keenum is a product of beating up on the smaller schools (who I respect, I'm not a mid major hater) but he won't get the respect as his numbers are actually TOO good in my opinion.

Denard had no touchdowns against WMU and 3 picks against Notre Dame.  We're obviously a high profile school but I don't think we're a top 25 team.  Denard would have to have some crazy games with low picks throughout the year and I just don't see it happening because of a new system and him still learning.  Hopefully next year but then the recieving corps might be a slight problem.




September 13th, 2011 at 7:27 PM ^

I don't know if this has been mentioned, but I'm pretty sure Denard set a Michigan Stadium record for total yardage, breaking Juice Williams's old mark of 431.