When it comes to the tradition-rich
football program at Michigan, there’s just some things
we’ll never see.
Well, on Monday, I learned of another thing that will likely
never happen: A Heisman Trophy campaign for a Michigan
Receiver Braylon Edwards is finally getting national
recognition, but if he’s going to win the trophy, he’ll
have to do it without the help of a website or highlight-filled
DVD. Lloyd Carr made it clear that, if Michigan has a Heisman
candidate, it should be Edwards. But that was as far as he would
Now, if Edwards is going to be sworn into football lore on Dec.
14, he’ll have to get the job done in the same swing state
that decided that other election on Tuesday: Ohio.
After 11 catches and three touchdowns against Michigan State,
Edwards, who already had strong support from Midwest voters (voters
are split into six regions), now appears to have the northeast
constituency energized (the schools in that area are so bad that
nearly all of Michigan’s games have been aired in New York,
so Edwards has definitely gotten enough exposure in the area).
Capturing the vote in the four other regions —
Mid-Atlantic, South, Southwest and Far West — will be much
tougher. So, to the remaining voters who aren’t convinced by
Edwards’ 69 catches, 995 yards and 11 touchdowns, who
haven’t seen how he’s made the freshmen
backfield’s transition to college football immensely easier,
you leave me no choice. Let the bashing begin.
First of all, in Southern Cal. and Oklahoma, we’ve got two
parties that need to give away a nomination once and for all. Since
they won’t, let’s do it for them.
As you have to be 35-years old to be president, Heisman winners
must be juniors or seniors as well. That would eliminate sophomore
Reggie Bush and freshman Adrian Peterson, the running backs for the
Trojans and Sooners, respectively.
And then there’s quarterback Jason White, Peterson’s
running mate. Like the man who won Tuesday, White is looking for
re-election, even though many believe he shouldn’t have won
in the first place.
Last year, just one week before his inauguration, White turned
in an awful performance in the Big 12 Championship game. But enough
voters had sent in their absentee ballots before the last debate to
ensure White the hardware.
With Bush out of the picture, that leaves Trojans quarterback
Matt Leinart joins Cal quarterback Aaron Rodgers as the top
candidates. When the two went head-to-head earlier this year, both
played great, but Southern Cal. won, so Leinart gets the edge. But
some may still vote for Bush, taking away from Leinart’s
All the remaining candidates have even bigger flaws. Utah
quarterback Alex Smith, BCS bid or not, has been playing bad teams
all year, and Auburn quarterback Jason Campbell has benefited from
playing with the team’s real star, who boasts a sweet
nickname, running back Carnell “Cadillac” Williams.
Now back to Edwards. Right now, Ohioans probably don’t
think too much of Edwards. They may even think that their own
receiver, Santonio Holmes, is just as qualified. So the campaign
trail will have to hit the state hard on Nov. 20.
But even if he has a great game, Edwards will have trouble
convincing some voters simply because of the position he plays. But
remember, of the three Wolverines who won the Heisman, one —
Desmond Howard — was actually a receiver. And Pitt receiver
Larry Fitzgerald finished second last year.
Well, if they’re not convinced by now, these old
fashioned, conservative folk must have forgotten that people were
predicting the Alamo Bowl for this team three weeks into the
season. Now, the same people are hoping for a Rose Bowl.
If that’s not enough, Edwards will be the first person to
sign up for the draft. The NFL Draft, that is.
Sharad Mattu approves this message, and can be reached at