Sunday, December 11, 2005

MSNBC dissents as to the lack of controversy over the Heisman Trophy balloting:

Opposing defenses were unable to do it all season, but Vince Young was finally tackled Saturday - by semantics.

The star junior quarterback for second-ranked Texas, Young placed a distant second in Heisman Trophy balloting to Southern California tailback Reggie Bush, who received a record 87.9 percent of the first-place votes.

The Heisman is presented to “the outstanding player in college football in the United States,” and one would be hard-pressed to find one better than Bush, an extraordinary talent who has prompted comparisons to NFL Hall of Famer Gale Sayers for his speed, quickness and cut-back ability.

But were the Heisman handed to “the most valuable player,” Young almost certainly would receive far more than 79 of the 892 total votes cast.

Although Bush came up with clutch performances when USC was in trouble this season - especially against Notre Dame and Fresno State - he sometimes was overshadowed by 2004 Heisman winner Matt Leinart and fellow tailback LenDale White.

Young, on the other hand, clearly was the focal point of his offense, which led the country in scoring at 50.92 points per game.

He often willed his team to victory, throwing the go-ahead touchdown in the final minute in a 25-22 win at Ohio State on September 10 and leading the Longhorns from a 19-point deficit to a 47-29 triumph at Oklahoma State on October 29, when he became the first player in NCAA history to rush for more than 250 yards and pass for more than 230 in the same contest.
This issue comes up every November, when the MVP award is given out in baseball, and it's rather tiresome. There is, and should be, no distinction between who the "best player" is, and who the MVP is. "Most valuable" means, and should mean, the player who, over the course of the season, has the most value, not the player with the best numbers who happens to play either for a mediocre team or for a team in a tight race. That USC had other formidable weapons, or that Texas played an offensive set that emphasized a single player, is irrelevant in determining who should win the award given out to the best player in college football.


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