Excuse me, would any of you Heisman voters like your ballot back?
Let me put that another way: If the Heisman voting were held today, Eddie George would not have to worry about his trophy getting its finger clipped off by the baggage X-ray machine at LaGuardia Airport.
Not unless he was checking it through to Tommie Frazier's house in Nebraska.
(And down goes Frazier! Downgoes Frazier!Uh, not against Florida. Right, Stevie?Do you think any more Gators could possibly have had a shot at tackling him? Could you maybe bring in some guys from the band?)
Tommie Frazier would win the Heisman now, and he should've won the Heisman last month. He is the best college football player in the land, and one of the best bowl-game players ever.
Frazier has been in three national-championship games, and he has been the best player on the field in all three. As an unheralded sophomore, in the Orange Bowl against Florida State, Frazier outshone all the stars, including Heisman winner Charlie Ward. As a junior in last year's Orange Bowl, Frazier led Nebraska past a gasping, favored Miami. And on Tuesday night Frazier had the most rushing yards of his career, directing Nebraska's rout against befuddled Florida. The bigger the setting, the better Tommie Frazier plays. You could look it up.
The true explanation why Frazier didn't win the Heisman this season is because of a recent aversion toward quarterbacks by the voters, who are embarrassed by such people as Andre Ware and Gino Torretta winning, then being no-hopers in the pros; it's easier to give the trophy to a running back. But the award is for the best college player, not the player with the most NFL potential. (Since Frazier won't even get a look as an NFL quarterback, today's politically incorrect question is: Which team is going to draft him as a DB?)
Maybe after two straight championships and a 36-1 record over three seasons, the Nebraska Kornheisers, er, Cornhuskers, will finally be recognized as a true power--not the paper tiger they appeared to be when they lost all those New Year's Day bowls in the '80s.
People don't appreciate the geographic disadvantage Nebraska labors under. It's playing in a conference where you can't commit to a pro-style passing attack, because the climate is inhospitable to everything but running (the wind comes sweeping down the plain, you know). So Big Eight teams loaded up on power and were unsophisticated when it came to passing and defending the pass. When they got to the Orange Bowl, against home teams such as Miami and Florida State, it was like they were playing an alien game. For Nebraska to go to warm weather, and play on grass, and beat a passing team is an enormous accomplishment, and signifies the sea change the Big Eight has undergone.
The better Big Eight teams have brought in speed in the offensive and defensive backfields by recruiting players from such states as California and Florida; Nebraska's roster is studded with them.
As a result Big Eight teams have prospered. The final AP poll ranks four Big Eight teams in the top 10--Nebraska (1), Colorado (5), Kansas State (7), Kansas (9). They should be ranked 1-2-3-4. Their losses were all intramural. Colorado lost to Kansas and Nebraska; Kansas lost to K-State and Nebraska; K-State lost to Colorado and Nebraska. Colorado, K-State and Kansas all crushed their bowl opponents, and all of them would have smooshed Florida. And Florida beat Tennessee and Florida State. If Northwestern played in the Big Eight it would have been lucky to get invited to the CarQuest Bowl or the Door Jamb Bowl or the Bail Bonds Bowl, or whatever lame-o bowl is out there. Rose Bowl? How about Hose Bowl?
You know what I liked best about the Fiesta Bowl? Those shots of Steve Spurrier pulling at his face. He'd start with his hand on his forehead, then slowly work his way down so his hand covered his eyes, and he'd wind up rubbing the tip of his nose. It looked like he was hoping when he opened his eyes--the game would go away! Like that Bobby Ewing in the shower deal 10 years ago.
Except every time Spurrier opened his eyes, his quarterback was getting knocked into next Tuesday. Danny Wuerffel had so much grass on his helmet, he belonged in the Poulan Weed Eater Bowl!
Here's what I don't understand: If your entire offense is predicated on passing--and your quarterback is getting rushed like the buffet line at a sports writers' convention--how come you wouldn't pull back one of those five wideouts to try blocking somebody in red? Nebraska's blitzers came through untouched. It's hard to throw downfield when you're lying on your back. I realize Florida isn't the bastion of higher learning Northwestern is, but couldn't any of the Gators coaches count?
Oops, gotta go.
Nebraska just scored again.