Friday, December 12, 2008

The Heisman Snub

Maybe I missed something.

But why wasn't Texas Tech's Graham Harrell invited to attend the Heisman Trophy ceremony in New York this weekend?

Three quarterbacks were invited — Florida's Tim Tebow, who won the Heisman last year; Oklahoma's Sam Bradford, who seems likely to win it this year, and Texas' Colt McCoy.

Statistically, it shouldn't even be an issue. Harrell had more passing yardage than any of the other three quarterbacks who will be in New York Saturday night.

He was second in the nation in passing yardage, as a matter of fact — behind Houston's quarterback (who plays in the defensively challenged Conference USA — to give you an idea of just how challenged it is, UH's QB passed for five TDs and nearly 500 yards in the season finale against Rice, and the Cougars still lost the game by two touchdowns).

For that matter, in the Big 12, Missouri's Chase Daniel and Kansas' Todd Reesing threw for more yardage than McCoy. And Tebow didn't even finish in the Top 20 nationally in that category.

Harrell threw more TD passes than Tebow or McCoy. And he only threw seven interceptions in 568 pass attempts (by comparison, Bradford was intercepted six times in 442 attempts and McCoy was picked off seven times in 375 attempts). To be fair, Tebow was only picked off twice (in fact, he's only been intercepted nine times in more than 650 career pass attempts).

Those three quarterbacks who will attend the Heisman ceremony did rate higher than Harrell in passing efficiency — but they all (including Harrell) finished in the top 10 nationally in that category.

I see no justification for omitting Harrell — and I can understand why Tech's partisans are feeling dissed.

The Raider Buzz blog says it is one more example of how Tech is "overlooked by the rest of the nation" and sees a pattern: "Tech is in a BCS conference and has one loss. It lost to the team that will play for a national title. So why is Tech ranked lower than one-loss USC, which lost to Oregon State … a team that lost four games? So why is Tech ranked lower (in the AP and USA Today polls) than one-loss Penn State … which lost to Iowa … another team that lost four games?"

I understand that Harrell isn't going to win the Heisman. I knew that when Tech got buried late in the season by Oklahoma.

But, for the season he's had, he deserves a trip to New York.

Being denied that national recognition is nothing more or less than a snub.

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