Or Why June Jones Should STFU
First, off, I want to say that Colt Brennan is a ridiculous quarterback. He is. His numbers are amazing, and he deserves the passing records he has set over the last few years. His skills will likely translate well to the pro level, and I will bet he has a good NFL career ahead of him. That said, I am sick of hearing people say that he is the best player in college football, and should win the Heisman.
Last week, Hawaii coach June Jones called out Tim Tebow, saying that he was “just a system quarterback” and that Tebow is the one who runs a “college system” while Brennan runs an”NFL style offense”. While it may be true that Hawaii’s offense does resemble more of an NFL style (passing) offense, and Florida’s spread is not something that would be run at the pro level, the question remains a big So What? The facts are June – this is, in fact, college. And I don’t think the ‘NFL system’ includes almost NEVER running the ball, either.
On the season, Hawaii’s top 2 rushers combined have a total of 94 carries. To compare that with some NFL teams, let’s look at a few examples. The New England Patriots, who are also currently undefeated, have also played 12 games. Through those 12 games, their top two rushers have combined for 203 carries. And New England is a pass-first offense. If we look at a more “traditional” NFL offense – the Pittsburgh Steelers – we see that the top two rushers combined for a total of 349 carries. So I don’t think we can call Hawaii’s offense an “NFL system”.
Oh, and just so everyone is clear on this – EVERY college quarterback is in a system. So can we please stop using that as an excuse for anything? Tim Tebow could not run Hawaii’s style of offense, and Colt Brennan sure as hell couldn’t run Florida’s. That is the reason coaches recruit players suited for their style of play.
So why shouldn’t Brennan win the Heisman? Because his opposition was weaker than hell. People say Tebow shouldn’t win because Florida has 3 losses – but let’s see how those losses look when compared to Hawaii’s schedule. Let us look at the numbers, shall we?
Hawaii’s strength of schedule ranked 117th out of 119 Div I-A schools this season. So the fact that they are the only remaining unbeaten in the country really isn’t saying much (they needed 2 OT games to keep the record alive, each against sub-.500 teams). They played 2 I-AA schools this season. The cumulative record of their opposition is 53 – 92, or 0.576. The average defenses Brennan faced: Pass – 78, Rush – 75, Total – 82, Scoring – 85. He faced 2 pass defenses ranked above 50 the entire season – None above 20. Only one team (Boise St.) had a total defense ranking higher than 60, standing at 21.
Florida’s strength of schedule ranked 8th out of 119 Div I-A schools. They played no I-AA schools (Western Kentucky just switched from AA to A, so you can count them if you want – either way 1 < 2). The cumulative record of their opponents is 88 – 58, or 1.517. The average defenses Florida faced: Pass – 35, Rush – 61, Total – 47, Scoring – 47. Tebow faced 7 pass defenses ranked above 50, 4 in the top 11. He also faced 5 rush defenses ranked in the top 50, 1 in the top 20. Tebow faced 5 total defenses ranked in the top 50, 3 in the top 20.
Hawaii’s average margin of victory was 22 points. Florida-s (including the three losses) was 19 points. Brennan accounted for 4239 of his teams 6351 yards this season, or 66.7%. Tebow accounted for 3970 of Florida-s 5544, or 71.6%. Brennan accounted for 46 of Hawaii-s 66 touchdowns – 69.6%. Tebow had 51 of 66 for 77.3%.
So tell me, June, how does this make Brennan a better player than Tebow? I guess putting up record-setting numbers against a schedule full of quality opponents is less of a feat than when against punching bags? Maybe you just haven’t seen him play enough.
Oh well, you will certainly get a good chance to see how well Tebow fits in his “system” come next year, when you have to try and stop Superman.