At the opening of last night's 6PM SportsCenter, Archie Griffin announced the finalists for the Heisman Trophy: quarterbacks Sam Bradford, Colt McCoy and Tim Tebow. Noticeably absent from that list: Graham Harrell, the Texas Tech quarterback who put up video-game like numbers in games this season.
A quick look at the stats:
Harrell - 4747 yards, 41 TD (6 rush TD)
Bradford - 4464 yards, 48 TD (5 rush TD)
McCoy - 3445 yards, 32 TD (10 rush TD)
A glance at those rather basic numbers, and you're probably asking yourself, "How was Harrell at least not invited?" (You also might be wondering, "Teams in the Big 12 are allowed to play defense, right?") If you think Harrell's omission is a glaring one, get in line - right behind his coach, Mike Leach.
“If Graham is not invited to the Heisman, they ought to quit giving out the award,” Leach said. “It is a shameless example of politics ruling over performance. The other guys are deserving, but he has earned a place alongside them.”I'll assume the "Arrrr's!" were edited out of that quote.
It's tough to argue with Leach. The idea that Harrell is just a "system quarterback" is a bit silly - if you don't think that all three of the other guys benefited from their respective systems, you're crazy. Maybe Harrell's Christmas sweater did more damage than we originally thought.