Those two magical words. The lifelong fraternity you will be in, and rare air you will breathe if you win the most coveted trophy in all of sports. The Heisman Trophy. "Wow" is what comes to mind. This year's five finalists all deserve to win the Heisman Trophy, won last season by Auburn QB Cam Newton. The finalists are Baylor QB Robert Griffin III, LSU Safety Tyrann Mathieu aka The Honey Badger, Alabama RB Trent Richardson, Stanford QB Andrew Luck (a 2010 Heisman finalist), and Wisconsin RB Montee Ball.
As we celebrate these finalists, let's not forget the players who were snubbed by the committee and who should be in New York Saturday night as a new member joins the Heisman Trophy club.
2011 Top Heisman Snubs
Oklahoma State QB Brandon Weeden
Weeden has had a spectacular season for the #3 Oklahoma State Cowboys completing 72.6% of his passes for 4,328 yards and 34 TD passes (only 12 interceptions). The Cowboys have been fun to watch all season and due to one blemish against Iowa State (37-31 OT loss), Weeden has to watch the Heisman Trophy presentation from home. The 28-year old senior has been on target all year, with 200+ passing yards in every game this season. The Weeden to WR Justin Blackmon duo has been an air show all season and it's tough to believe that neither player got a call as a finalist.
Best game: Oct. 8 vs. Kansas - 24/28, 288 yards, 5 TD in a 70-28 Cowboys win.
Houston QB Case Keenum
To call the year Keenum had "historic" doesn't even really say enough. 45 TD passes and only five interceptions is jaw dropping. Let's not forget the 5,099 passing yards and 12-1 record this season. The loss to Southern Miss. hurt his chances dearly, but let's be honest, Keenum should be a finalist! I know the Heisman Trophy is for best college football player this season, and Keenum's numbers and importance to his team are evidence of that. He had a TD pass in every game this season and passed for over 300 yards in every game as well. He may not have won the Heisman had he got the invite, but Keenum should be in New York, that's all I can say.
Best game: Oct. 27 vs. Rice - 24/37, 534 yards, 9 TD in a 73-34 Cougars win.
Wisconsin QB Russell Wilson
The NC State transfer got better in 2011 and that's an understatement. The Wilson and Ball combo at Wisconsin sent them back to the Rose Bowl as they look for the win this year (lost to TCU in 2010 Rose Bowl). Wilson has had a sensational year with 31 TD passes to only three interceptions for the Big Ten Champion Badgers. The dual threat QB also rushed the rock for 320 yards (five rushing touchdowns) to go with his 2,879 passing yards. As important as Ball was to this team, Wilson was equally if not more important. Wilson could have played pro baseball, but he chose football and I think he's done alright.
Best game: Nov. 12 at Minnesota - 16/17, 178 yards, 4 TD in a 42-13 Badgers win.
Boise State QB Kellen Moore
I know the Heisman Trophy is not a cumulative award over a player's career, but look what Moore has done at Boise State from 2008-2011 as a four-year starting QB. Moore has compiled 14,374 passing yards and 140 TD passes to only 26 interceptions. This season Moore has 41 TD passes to only seven picks. How does a player get some respect in Boise, Idaho? Moore doesn't seem to get any love playing on the blue turf and the Heisman voters don't favor a player with a weak schedule. A Heisman finalist a season ago with only 35 TD passes, Moore will watch this year's presentation back home as a botched kick yet again (this year vs. TCU, last season vs. Nevada) costs Boise State a shot at a BCS game as they head to the MAACO Las Vegas Bowl.
Best game: Sept. 16 at Toledo - 32/42, 455 yards, 5 TD in a 40-15 Broncos win.
Heisman Trophy Prediction:
My vote goes to Robert Griffin III. RGIII has logged in over 4,600 total yards and 45 total touchdowns for the resurgent Bears. Also wins vs. Top 25 teams TCU, Oklahoma, and Texas look pretty good on his resume.