There is a ton of arguing and bickering about who is the best player in college football, without such arguments, sports would be, well, less interesting. See that's the thing, numbers never add up. We can compare numbers with Matt Ryan, Andre Woodson, Brian Brohm, etc., all day long and usually, there is no right answer.
First things first, I understand the Heisman to be awarded to the most outstanding player in college football. The award isn't intended to go to the best player on the best team, but just the most outstanding player. So now we can limit the argument to just the best players, not the best players on the best teams. It makes the award more inclusive, although the award has typically gone to the best team with the best player. That won't happen this year because of all of the parity and I think that's great. Voters are actually going to have to think about their vote.
Anyway, in most seasons one can debate about the statistical significance or importance of Player A to Player B. For instance, is the better player Matt Ryan or Andre Woodson. For my money, a pretty good argument could be made either way. Both are talented, both are leading their clubs to wins, both have statistically incredible seasons, but there's one slight problem.
It's Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree.
I say that they are a problem collectively because they are symbiotic. You can't have one with out the other and statistically speaking, Harrell and Crabtree have no real competitors. In fact their statistics are so much better than the competition that it's no longer even a question. Now we are at the point that opponents of this Texas Tech duo must resort to disparaging comments about things other than what they've done on the field.
Perhaps Graham's closest competitor is Brian Brohm, but he only has 23 touchdowns compared to Harrell's 34. I know, Louisville's been decimated by injuries, but that's certainly not Harrell's fault. Harrell's completion percentage, touchdown to interception ratio, attempt to touchdown ratio, and total yards are incredible.
Crabtree on the other hand is so far ahead of his closest competitor it's not even funny. He's a full 360 yards (Donnie Avery at Houston) and 6 touchdowns (Chris Williams at New Mexico State) ahead of his closest competition. There's not much to say other than he is lapping the field.
The next argument that you'll throw out at me is that Texas Tech's competition has been less than impressive. I agree. It has sucked for the most part. That being said, I won't blame Harrell and Crabtree for their opponents any more than I will blame Louisville for playing Middle Tennessee State, or Kentucky for playing Eastern Kentucky. The other part of this is that people will try to discredit Harrell's and Crabtree's statistics because the competition has been inferior, but what are they supposed to do? Not perform? The reason that argument is even typically brought up in the first place is because a person usually needs something to hang their hat on when arguing with a Texas Tech fan and they cannot find any solace in another candidate's statistics. Fine. It's an easy argument and if that's all you've got, then you player isn't going to win the Heisman anyway.
Here's the unfortunate part, at least for the Heisman hopefuls who also cheer for Texas Tech, we have to win on Saturday. Let me be the first to say that it's not fair that Texas Tech has to win, but to ensure that Harrell and Crabtree remain viable contenders, but it's true.
This is where it has to start, this is where it begins. Right after the Texas A&M win, I thought to myself that this Texas Tech football season should be dubbed the, "Why Not Now Season". I had this great post written in my head, but I paused. I paused because I remembered that Saturday the Red Raiders would face the Missouri Tigers, and in order for the "Why Not Now Season" to really mean something the Red Raiders have to win in Columbia.
So how does all of this relate to Harrell and Crabtree being frontrunners for the Heisman? For whatever reason, there is a stigma associated with Texas Tech, and some of this preconceived notion I can understand, but the bottom line is that these guys just need to win.
I have long suffered like much of you when it comes to recognition of the Texas Tech program and the outstanding seasons of Kliff Kingsbury, B.J. Symons to name a few, but I think now it's up to the Harrell, Crabtree and the other 20 players on the field at any given time who wear the Double T on their helmets. Wins will not only breed future success, but wins will mean Harrell and Crabtree will have a legitimate shot at winning the Heisman.
We all want the same thing, now let's go out there and do it.