Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Heisman Factors Part II: the arguments against Andre

This is the second in a series of posts on Andre Williams and the 2013 Heisman. This deals with the arguments other fans and media will make against his candidacy. I don't share these views and think there are counterarguments to each point, but this is what you're going to hear and read over the next two weeks. Obviously this is all contingent on BC beating Syracuse and Andre having a big day.

1. He's on an 8-4 team.
This is a very hollow argument but it is going to be used by Alabama fans. There is no mandate that the Heisman must come from a Top 5 team. It just happens that in the current football climate, the tops teams are most discussed and hence their players are better known. Recent examples of players who weren't on great teams include Tim Tebow (Florida was 9-4 in his Heisman year) and Robert Griffin III (Baylor was 10-3 in his Heisman year). I also hope voters consider BC's losses are to Florida State, Clemson, USC, and UNC. Those four teams are a combined 36-9. There is no WTF among them. If BC beats Syracuse and wins our bowl we will be 9-4 and ranked. Assuming we beat Syracuse, our record should not be an issue.

2. BC hasn't played anyone.
Three weeks ago Jameis Winston was the presumptive favorite having played an ACC schedule. No one brought up a weak conference or Florida State "not playing anyone." So how can this now be an issue for BC and Andre Williams? This is an example of BC not being among the traditional powers, therefore our teams and players have to jump through extra hoops to receive any credit among the wider college football establishment. We saw the same thing when BC made its run in 2007.

3. Williams piled up his stats against weak opponents.
Williams has been pretty consistent. You can't get to 2,000 yards on just a few games. He only has two games under 100 yards and the only one under 50 yards was USC. To outsiders it might seem like he didn't show up for big games. However, anyone who actually watched the games knows that Williams was facing nine and at times 10 men in the box. Both Clemson and USC went all out to stop our run and did have success. Considering BC is still facing those sorts of defensive fronts, Williams recent games are that much more impressive. Everyone knows he's getting the ball and yet BC keeps running it until Williams breaks off a big run.

4. He's only piled up stats because BC keeps giving him the ball.
Williams has a ton of carries. He's 51% of our offense. The critics argument is that any back would get these sorts of stats in Addazio's offense. It is the same logic voters used against Mike Leach's QBs as Heisman contenders despite record breaking stats. I might buy this if Day/Addazio had a history of running backs reaching 2,000 yards. Plus Williams yards per carry and explosive plays show that he's more than just three yards and a cloud of dust. Williams is getting the ball this much not in an effort to pile up stats. He's getting it because it is BC's best chance to win. He kept us in the NM State game and was the key to sparking the Maryland comeback. The stats all came within the course of BC winning.


Jeff said...

I think point #1 is going to be the hardest arguement to overcome. There's no consensus today about whether the Heisman is for "the best player in football" or "the best player on the best team". There are enough voters with the latter mindset that we might have trouble getting Williams picked.

Tim said...

These are the final AP ranks of the Heisman winners' teams for the last ten years or so: #5, #13, #1, #1, #5, #13, #2, #2, #1, #3, #4.

Legal Eagle said...


He is gaining serious traction. 2 weeks ago he wasnt even mentioned and last week he received 2 votes. Before reading this I would have been thrilled if he just got the invite, but now it appears he actually has a shot at this thing.

mod34b said...

The Heisman is more a popularity contest/marketing event than a true award for merit -- although the RGIII deviation from that script is interesting.

Last year - and I was surprised I forgot this absurdity - Manti Te'o was second in Heisman voting (his fake dead girlfriend must have derailed his chances). Te'o had no business being even considered, but ND is ND and hype is hype.

Much like 'Bama's Mark Ingram, who was on the #1 team and won Heisman in 2009, even though far from the best back in the NCAA, I'd expect (like everyone else) AJ McCarron to win it. As USAToday put it: "In many ways, winning the Heisman would be like a lifetime achievement award for McCarron, who ranks sixth in the SEC in passing yards (218.1 per game), third in efficiency and third in passing touchdowns (23)."

Big Jack Krack said...

1. He's on an 8-4 team.

As Lee Corso would say - "Not so fast, my friend".

As much as I admire Andre Williams, and as happy as I am that he is getting the attention he deserves, let's not forget his own goal - to win games!

He's a winner, and hopefully will be all his life. A great representative of BC.

But we have one game left - and it's a huge game IMHO.

As much as I wanted to beat Maryland, I want to beat Syracuse more. They are up and down, but quite capable of keeping this game close and maybe stealing it.

Once again, let's not lose focus.

Go BC - beat Syracuse!

Big Jack Krack said...

Andre has no chance if we fall to 7 and 5.

BCMcG said...

The biggest problem is that not enough people have watched him play. Outside of the BC diehards and our opponents' fans, most college football fans aren't casually tuning in to BC games this season. Additionally, AW has only gained attention in the last week or two. Even if you want to tune in on Saturday to see what all the hype is about, the BC-Syracuse game is a tough one to find.

JBQ said...

The best player in the country is Winston. However, he is now "damaged goods" and a legal liability. With one final good game against Syracuse in the Carrier Dome, AW would deserve consideration. A.J. McCarron is driving a "Rolls Royce" and it is hard to tell just how good he is. Hogan and Manziel played themselves out of contention. The Baylor qb just did likewise. The only possibility left would be the Mizzou qb if they could upset 'Bama. It is down to McCarron, Williams, and Winston. What a mess! You can't pick Winston so it will probably be a safe pick in McCarron. If Auburn could upset the Tide, then Marshall could jump in even though he was kicked out of Georgia for burglary. Again, what a mess. If BC could have beaten one of their big name foes, then it definitely would have been AW.

mod34b said...

The Clemson and USC performances by AW will hurt his chances

Against USC, he had only 40 yards. In comparision, Carey from AZ had 138 and Gaffney from Stanford had 158 vs USC. Both Gaffney and Carey avg'd 6.6 yards vs USC defense and AW only avg'd 2.2

Against Clemson, AW had only 70 yards. But other backs did much better against Clemson. UGA's Gurley had 154 and GT's back had 126.

BUT i think AW has the highest yards against the #2 team in the nation, FSU.

Mixed bag.

Jeff said...

We played FSU closer than anyone has played them all year. We scored 34 points on them when no one else has scored more than 17. Williams ran for 149 yards in that game. If only we had actually won that game, the national voters would take us seriously!

BarraCuda said...

The amazing thing about the season that Andre is having is that if he has a very mediocre (for him, anyway) 113 rushing yards on Saturday he moves into 4th in single-season rushing yards in NCAA Division 1A history. 4th all time, with a bowl game yet to play. Unbelievable.

G.A. said...

This season has been a delightful surprise. Chris Snee must be smiling to see BC's line overpowering teams instead of finesse or zone blocking. I love the season Andre is having, don't think he'll win the Heisman, but would find it awesome, totally awesome to see him invited to the ceremony. Huge pub. for BC. And first invite to New York since Flutie? I think Foley finished 5th or 6th but didn't get invite. Did they even bring finalists to NYC back in 1984? So maybe first invite ever? Any clarification would help.

Joseph said...

I agree with most of the comments about the factors that are wighed by the Trustees, but their mission statement neglects to mention team records as a crterion.

"Heisman Trust Mission Statement

The Heisman Memorial Trophy annually recognizes the outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity. Winners epitomize great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work. The Heisman Trophy Trust ensures the continuation and integrity of this award. The Trust, furthermore, has a charitable mission to support amateur athletics and to provide greater opportunities to the youth of our country. Our goal through these charitable endeavors is for the Heisman Trophy to symbolize the fostering of a sense of community responsibility and service to our youth, especially those disadvantaged or afflicted. All assets of the Trust beyond the expense of maintaining the annual presentation of the Heisman Memorial Trophy are reserved for such charitable causes. The Trustees, who all serve pro bono, are guided by a devotion to college football and are committed to community service and the valued tradition which the Trophy represents."

But, we all have our biases.

Bravesbill said...

JBQ--Missouri's starting QB was injured for about a month (and his backup won every game except the USC game) so he has zero chance of getting the Heisman. Like I said in the other thread, I wouldn't be surprised to see Braxton Miller get serious attention if OSU beats Michigan and Michigan State (even though he missed two games). Not only are his stats good this year, but he hasn't lost a game in two years. McCarron is the Alex Smith of college football and shouldn't be seriously considered (his numbers are very pedestrian).

Legal Eagle said...


Great publicity for both BC and Andre. Its great to have someone like Andre as the face of the program as opposed to what FSU is facing with Winston or anything Johnny Football does.

Big Jack Krack said...

Although Syracuse has been blown out 4 times this season, their games against NC State, Maryland, Pitt and WF show that they can play our style tough.

They are bragging about their 10 and 3 record against BC in the Dome – and of course the 2004 game.

• This game will be heavily impacted by how well the Orange defense can control Boston College’s Andre Williams, the naï°€on’s leading rusher.

• SU is one of three FBS teams (Ohio State and Wisconsin are the others) not to allow a 100-yard rusher this season.

• SU ranks fourth in the ACC against the run (133.5 ypg) and has allowed 1,468 yards on the ground in 2013.

Let’s go O-Line – push these guys around and break some holes for Andre.

Big Jack Krack said...

LegalEagle - thanks for bringing that great article to our attention. And the comment about the face of the BC Program.

And Joseph, thanks for spelling out the Heisman Mission Statement.

JBQ said...

My goodness, or as @Joseph would say, "Good 'L'ord", I agree with Bravesbill. I am thinking about jumping off a bridge after I clear it with BJK and he looks into his "half full" glass. I really like "G.A."s comment about blocking schemes. Zone blocking was stupid. As Dazzio appears to do, you just take your "big uns" and knock down their "big uns". The close game against FSU with the lousy first half ending is still hard to stomach. You have to learn from your mistakes and go on. The problem will be "hot stove league" talk about who will replace AW and Chase. I like Willis as a fast back but he couldn't overpower a taco with Hurricane Hugo right behind him. I hope that Spiffy recovers and that 6 ft 5 Mehdi is back to normal. The o-line was really improved with the player that came in from Florida for a 5th year and did a Masters program in underwater basket weaving similar to Matt Leinert taking six hours of Ball Room dancing on a national championship squad. BC should obviously look for as many fifth year "dancers" as they can find.

Knucklehead said...

The comments were good until the one before this.

Rumor is according to the Boston Globe that Bovada.com has Andre Williams as the third place candidate right now.

That infers that he is a finalist for the award.

That would be an unbelievable accomplishment.

Boston College ought to send the entire offensive line along with Andre down there.

Joe Tessitore just said on the ESPN Northern Illinois broadcast that breakdown right now is:
1) Winston - losing ground
2) Andre - gaining ground exponentially
4)Jordan Lynch