Denard Robinson’s Knee Injury Won’t Prevent His Heisman Run, His Team Will


September 25, 2010

Denard Robinson's run to the 2010 Heisman Trophy was put on hold Saturday by a knee injury incurred against Bowling Green.

Hype and cool photos aside, it really never got started.

Sure, Robinson compiled huge offensive games against Connecticut, Notre Dame and UMass — 671 yards through the air and 559 on the ground in total — but he was playing two average teams (that's what Notre Dame is) and one FCS team.

Still, it seems unlikely that such would hold up once the Wolverines get into conference schedule. The Big Ten may not be great, but it features tough defenses, and the games have a way of being low scoring. Basically, it's the AFC North of college. It's too cold for big numbers.

More importantly, Michigan isn't going to go through their conference play without losing three or more games, and the record is clear — nobody wins the Heisman if their team isn't at least in contention for the national title.

The last winner whose team wasn't really in the picture was Wisconsin's Ron Dayne in 1999 — quite a while ago — and those Badgers were way better than these Wolverines.

Robinson is simply the next incarnation of another Rich Rodriguez quarterback, Pat White, and even though his WVU teams were actually elite, he never really was a major Heisman contender.

So, if Robinson isn't the guy, who is?

It will probably be a quarterback, but there a hand full of guys who have Robinson beat.

Right now, the best quarterback in the country is Stanford's Andrew Luck. Many scouts have now vaulted him above Washington's Jake Locker atop 2011 draft boards, and he's throwing for a 192 QB rating with 10 touchdowns and no interceptions thus far in 2010.

Ryan Mallet, this year's perfectly prototypical pocket passer, has also put up massive numbers for a suddenly-elite Arkansas team. The 6-foot-6 signal caller already has over 1,000 yards passing and a QB rating over 180.

Speaking of big numbers, look out for Oklahoma's Landry Jones and his 139 rating. Texas may get the hype, but Oklahoma has been just as impressive in 2010.

Then, there's Alabama's Greg McElroy. Last year, the Tide were all about Mark Ingram. It's a different team in 2010. McElroy is their leader, and the offense has taken a more vertical approach. If they're undefeated come the holiday season, McElroy will be a likely choice for the Heisman.

And who can forget "the rich man's Denard Robinson," Terrelle Pryor. His team actually put him in contention for the award.

The Robinson injury doesn't appear to be more than a twist, and hopefully it won't keep him out for significant time, but hurt knees aside, he never really had a chance for the Heisman.

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