Posted 12/14/2010 at 01:07 PM
Cameron Newton was an overwhelming winner in the Heisman Trophy voting and most certainly deserving. The intention is for the voters to vote for the best player on the field and moral objections and assumptions should not play a role. Newton is not the first Heisman winner to have some controversy linked to him and he certainly won’t be the last. Incredibly very few of the preseason contenders for the award even showed up in the voting. Kellen Moore was really the only player to start the year on the national radar but he was certainly a player that few gave a realistic shot. Even if Boise State finished undefeated Moore likely would not have finished any higher than fourth, where he ended up. Andrew Luck and LaMichael James were fringe candidates for some early in the year but the fifth and sixth place finishers Justin Blackmon and Denard Robinson were nowhere to be found, right along with Newton. Heisman winners in recent years have not always fared well in championship bowl games until Mark Ingram broke the streak last year. Sam Bradford, Troy Smith, Reggie Bush all went on to lose in the championship game and Heisman winners are 2-6 in BCS championship games.
While the Fiesta Bowl is taking one for the team with the clunker match-up of Oklahoma and Connecticut with a line currently around 17, the other four BCS bowl match-ups are all at or within a 3-point spread at the moment. If the line holds this will be the lowest spread since the separate BCS Championship Game was introduced and the lowest title game spread since the 2004 game between USC and Oklahoma. Hopefully a repeat of that game is not in the works as USC won 55-19 in a blowout as just a one-point favorite in the Orange Bowl. Of course unless USC wins its appeal, that game never happened. Hopefully the Newton saga does not end up leaving this year’s game in that situation as well. The favorite has won and covered in the championship the last three years but the underdog won and covered in four of the five previous title games. Surprisingly this is the first time the SEC and the Pac-10 will face off in any BCS bowl game, let alone the championship.
The SEC track record in BCS games in remarkable with a 14-5 record but the Pac-10 is second best with an 8-5 record. At the bottom is the ACC, incredibly at 2-10. The Big East for all the criticism it takes is actually 6-6, though three of those wins came from Miami who is now in the ACC. The SEC is also 6-0 in the BCS national championship game although this will be just the second time that the Pac-10 will get a shot.
In the NFL New England becomes the first team to officially clinch a playoff berth and the Patriots have a ton of momentum off back-to-back blowout wins over contending teams. The Patriots have beaten four teams that could win divisions this season; the most possible unless a team does not win its own. There are huge match-ups on the schedule this week that will likely decide divisions and playoff berths in a critical week 15. On to this week’s slate…