The Non-QB SEC Heisman Candidate Nobody Is Talking About (Yet)
As a Georgia fan, I am fully on board with Todd Gurley for Heisman. Hell, the watering hole closest to my humble domicile has sold over 1000 of these stylish things:
Having said that, I don’t think Gurley’s Heisman campaign is a realistic one. Although Georgia will lean heavily on TG3 in close games (such as South Carolina), he is simply not going to get the carries to win the bronze statue.
Meanwhile, there is a guy in Tuscaloosa whose campaign has yet to start. I guess I’ll start it.
Amari Cooper has been the best player in the country thus far, and it isn’t even close.
Through four games, Cooper has amassed a ridiculous 43 catches for 655 yards and 5 TD’s. The rest of Alabama’s team has 688 yards on 49 catches (including one for four yards by Georgia blast from the past Ty Flournoy-Smith). Some might say that these numbers are due to taper off with more attention paid to Cooper, but I disagree. With Alabama’s offensive identity in the running game, throwing to number 9 against 7, 8, and 9 man fronts should continue to be easy.
Some might say that Alabama will find more balance in the passing game. Again, I disagree. Stud TE O.J. Howard has two catches through 4 games, much to the chagrin of most of my Alabama friends. DeAndrew White and Christion Jones are weapons, but Lane Kiffin tends to get the ball into the hands of his best playmaker at the expense of others (seems like a Kiffin thing to do).
TIMESTAMP: 4:40 PM, September 17. O.J. Howard’s first catch OF THE SEASON. Told @WatkinsEvan that Lane has no love for the TE
— Chad Floyd (@Chad_Floyd) September 20, 2014
Let’s play the extrapolation game that Andrew Hall plays so well on this site.
Since Y2K, only three top-five finishers in Heisman voting have been receivers: Justin Blackmon, Michael Crabtree, and Larry Fitzgerald.All of those numbers will be nearly impossible to continue to put up, but JESUS CHRIST LOOK AT THOSE NUMBERS! Given Kiffin’s history, they’re likely not susceptible to a major downward trend. In 2011, Robert Woods hauled in 111 passes for 1292 yards for Kiffin’s USC Trojans. The next year, he took a backseat to Marquise Lee, who amassed 1721 on 118 catches. Last year provided more balance between Woods and Nelson Agholor (56 and 57 catches, respectively), but recall that Kiffin was fired in the middle of the season.
Those numbers are all ridiculous, but Cooper’s current YPC exceeds all of them.
And let’s not act like program visibility won’t be a factor. No offense to Oklahoma State (10-2), Texas Tech (8-4), and Pitt (8-4), but they don’t have the visibility that Alabama does, and will likely continue to, enjoy. As Heisman voters have rebelled against ‘system’ quarterbacks who put up video game numbers, they may give credence to a WR putting up video game numbers in a pro-style system.
With all of that being said, let me be the first to introduce you to the SEC’s most viable Heisman candidate for 2014, Amari Cooper.