Friday, August 24, 2007

Heisman Watch: Colt Brennan

Every now and then, we will have a post on a player who may be in the Heisman discussion this year, with a bit of analysis and how they are doing so far this season. We begin with an unlikely candidate in school recognition, but an excellent shot to hit the record books once again.

Why he can win: The sheer numbers he will put up in the Hawaii offense. He was 6th in the Heisman voting last year, so I don’t think he will be as far off everyone’s radar as east coast writers may like to think. If this was his breakout year, that might have been the case, but he has already thrown the most touchdown passes in a single season (58), shattering the previous record of 54.

For those voters looking for a great show he will be there to provide one. This offense looks like Arena Football in overdrive, and will provide a stat line too impressive for voters to completely ignore. He brings back his leading receiver in Davone Bess and has an excellent complement of other wideouts primed to have breakout seasons in Jason Rivers and Ryan Grice-Mullen. C.J. Hawthorne, a JUCO who made a recent move from the secondary will provide yet another jolt of deep speed to this talented corps. The stars have aligned for Brennan to have another explosive year that may eclipse last year’s record marks, despite an offensive line that has been suspect at times.

Why he can’t win: The WAC. Since 1991, the Heisman trophy has been awarded to players from USC, Michigan, Florida State, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Miami, Florida, Nebraska, Colorado, Texas, and Wisconsin. These aren’t your father’s Heisman voters who actually looked at an Andre Ware from Houston. In fact, a quick glance at Heisman winners will find a dearth of any schools without mass name recognition.

Not that Hawaii has helped their quarterback much with a big name schedule this year. The Warriors will play Northern Colorado and Louisiana Tech to open the season, and do not play a perennial contender until late November when they host Boise State. In fact, only one school they play is from a major conference- Washington, on December 1st. It will be difficult, if not impossible, to race to the front of the Heisman talk and change voters’ minds that late in the season.

Who he reminds me of: Ty Detmer, the BYU quarterback who set all sorts of records in college at a mid-major school and who, perhaps because of his system, never quite made it on the pro level. However, remember that the Heisman trophy is not for the best pro prospect; it is awarded to the best college player, period.

How he’s doing so far: He is playing a 1-AA team on September 1st (the one infamous for having the most violent punters in the country) in Northern Colorado, which went 1-10 last year and is entering only it’s second season out of Division II. He could throw 12 touchdown passes in that game and get little more than a shrug from voters. Not a great opponent to make a first impression with, but he should bury them.

Verdict: This Colt may wind up being more talented than the one out in Texas, but his odd offensive system at Hawaii, the lack of school name recognition, very weak schedule, and location of his university will keep him from being considered legitimately the best college player in the nation. For reasons outside his control, I don’t see Brennan winning the Heisman.

No comments: