I'm waiting to hear one good reason why Colorado State QB Bradlee Van Pelt is not a very serious candidate for the Heisman Trophy.
Yes, I'm serious. The Heisman is awarded every year to the nation's "Most Outstanding' College Football Player." Who is more outstanding than Van Pelt?
Okay, he had two or three off games early in the season. He didn't do much against Weber State, got out played by Ben Rothen...Rothless...the guy from Little Miami, and was not very good against Utah. Seeing how that is just short of half of his team's games thus far, that pretty much eliminates him on most everyone's Heisman ballot...
See, when I cast my Heisman vote in about a month, barring another Little-Miami-like debacle between now and then, I will have Van Pelt's name on there somewhere. Don't know where just yet, but it will be in the top three. And It will be ahead of Oklahoma's Jason White.
"Most Outstanding Player" in the nation? White's not the best player on his own team! He's simply ridden the success of his team to the top of most Heisman polls. Anyone who saw White play in Boulder the other night (and remember the kind of game Van Pelt had against the same CU team?) knows that not only is White not the best player on his own team (not even close), he was not the best QB in that game! Have CU's Joel Klatt and White trade uniforms, and Klatt would be the one getting the Heisman play. Klatt faced a much much better defense, did not have near the pure offensive talent surrounding him, and still looked better than White.
Take it a step further. Put Van Pelt at the control of Oklahoma's offense (although his skills are really better suited to run Nebraska's option attack. Wow, would that be a sight!) and his stats and Heisman profile are off the charts. Simply put, Bradlee Van Pelt is a far more "Outstanding" football player than Jason White will ever be.
There are literally dozens and dozens of college quarterbacks out there right now who could duplicate or even surpass what White has done if they were given the keys to OU's juggernaut. Think players like NC State's Phillip Rivers, Ole' Miss QB Eli Manning, Bowling Green's Josh Harris and Washington State's Matt Kegel (and we can't forget Ben Rothen...Rothless...that guy from Little Miami) would light up the stat sheet if they were wearing OU colors? Heck, there's actually a legitimate chance that White could win the Heisman, and be second or third team All-Big 12, behind players like Texas Tech's B.J. Symons (who has even better stats), OSU's Josh Fields, and Missouri's sensational sophomore, Brad Smith.
Which brings us back to Van Pelt. Who has been more vital to his team's success than Van Pelt? He has posted great passing numbers in the last three (key) games, while also being his team's top running threat. He epitomizes what a Heisman winner should be - the single biggest reason his team wins football games. (Ironically, if White does win it, I guess you could call it payback for former OU QB Josh Heuppel getting ripped off in the balloting three years ago, when he was the biggest single reason the Sooners won the National Championship...)
Bradlee had shown up a few ballots earlier in the season, but the three game 'slump' really ended his chances. It's too bad, because when the grass settles in late November, his season-long performance will look as good as anyone elses...providing the viewer (or voter) does more than look at the stat sheet.
In actuality, when I cast my ballot, the name I'm most likely to have at the top figures to be Smith. Like Van Pelt, he is a multiple threat signal caller, who has lifted his team to far greater heights than they could ever dream of having without him. The fact that he's a sophomore, and like Van Pelt, started slowly (even while his team was winning) will cost him, too. But that doesn't mean that he's not one of, if not the, Most Outstanding Player in college football this season.
And if he stumbles down the stretch, Bradlee might get the nod.