Sunday, January 28, 2007

And The 2009 Heisman Trophy Goes To. . .

John Beck didn't get serious consideration for the Heisman Trophy this year, despite having a magnificent year statistically and winning nine straight games (ten, counting the bowl game, which would not have factored into the voting) after starting the season losing two very close contests away from home. One of those went into overtime against another school (Boston College) that was ranked in the Top 20 most of the year. A similar campaign for Jim McMahon, Steve Young, Robbie Bosco, or Ty Detmer would have garnered them ample Heisman attention.

The main difference between those other quarterbacks and John Beck is that BYU had a recent history of winning. Strangely enough, the strength of the football program itself, combined with a good year for the player concerned, seems to be more important than just how great the individual himself played. Robbie Bosco finished in the same spot (third) in the Heisman balloting both years he started, despite the fact that his second year was not nearly as successful as the first. One could also look at the 1992 Heisman going to Gino Torretta of Miami. Marshall Faulk would have beaten Torretta easily instead of finishing second if he had played at USC or Texas rather than San Diego State.

But the combination of Bronco Mendenhall as head coach, and John Beck leading the team to great heights this year, will actually prove beneficial to future BYU quarterbacks when it comes to the Heisman balloting--and a Cougar signal-caller may win the award sooner than many might think.

Max Hall has been leading the scout team for BYU this year, preparing the defense to face the opponent each week. At the end of the season, defensive players said Max was better than any quarterback that they faced during the season. That means he is better than at least thirteen other Division One quarterbacks (fourteen if you count two that played for Oregon), including two for ranked teams.

Max Hall is said to have the intangibles, which are often more important than the physical skills themselves. He will be leading a team with some experienced players, which should allow them to have a decent season in his sophomore campaign next year. By his third year, 2009, he will likely have established himself as one of the premier quarterbacks, if not the very best, in the country. Starting with this just-completed season, BYU should have had four good years when the 2009 season ends. So you heard it here first: The 2009 Heisman Trophy goes to Max Hall, Brigham Young University.


Josh said...

That’s the kind of prediction that I like to hear! I don’t know if I quite believe it, but who knows? One of my oldest friends is a cousin of Hall’s, so I’ve been around their extended family a bit and he comes from quite a football pedigree. He doesn’t have quite the arm strength of John Beck, but he has all the other tools you need to succeed. Aside from individual awards, I fully expect that BYU will be in solid contention for a BCS bowl in ‘09.

A family of four said...

Max Hall is awesome! He threw to 5 WIDE OPEN UTAH DEFENDERS tonight! They were all perfect throws!

Hall for Heisman?!?!

Seriously, don't ever offend Mr. Heisman again like that!

James said...

Glad to see someone is reading this blog--and reading an article nearly two years old, at that.

The great thing about sports is that you can come back from a horrible performance. You will note that I said "2009" Heisman, rather than "2008" Heisman, by the way. I will happily admit the error of my ways next year at this time if Hall isn't in the running for the Heisman NEXT year.

And yes, he was awful yesterday. He single-handedly lost that game with poor decisions. But much of his problems against better defenses stem from the fact that it is, at this point in his development, very easy to have a general idea of where he is going much of the time. He relies far too much on Austin Collie (and, to a lesser extent, Dennis Pitta), and, once he has turned to look at one side of the field, he isn't looking anywhere else. That is something I'm sure the coaching staff will address in the offseason.

By the way, "A family of four", you have me at a disadvantage. You can read my blog, but I can't read yours without invitation.