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HOW TO PICK A PRESEASON HEISMAN

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The BCS meetings in Arizona have us thinking in the key of totally-shitbrain-absurd so we've decided to turn our attention to another bit of offseason nonsense: picking Heisman frontrunners. Don't get the idea that just because something is absurd that it's also unscientific. Far from it: this whole business of picking Heisman favorites is a methodical process with definite, long-established rules. As a budding pundit, we think we should show you, the reader, exactly how the pros pick the leading candidates for the award months before a single fan dons facepaint.
RULE ONE: PICK YOUR CANDIDATES FROM MAJOR PROGRAMS-UNLESS THEY HAPPEN TO BE THE SECOND COMING OF FOOTBALL JESUS. To play like the big boys, you first need to pick a quality player from a major program, preferably one that finsihed with one or two losses the year prior to candidacy. No one likes a loser, even if they play their ass off with superb individual results. Just remember, underdogs are not within the purview of the Heisman. This is Goliath's award, as Gino Toretta, Jason White, Archie Griffin show: the bigger the program, the better, even if your performance is a result of the stellar cast around you. As with any system, there are exceptions to the rule: Barry Sanders at Oklahoma State, Steve McNair from Alcorn State, Marshall Faulk at San Diego State. This occasional fluky pick constitutes the subclause to our first rule: you may pick a small or mid-range size program's player, but only if they are OBVIOUSLY the second coming of football Jesus. We mean it. They better be knocking helmets off defenseless qbs after defeating triple teams, catching passes one-handed in double coverage, returning punts eighty yeards with twelve men on the field for the opposition, and throwing sidearm passes forty yards downfield into a mailbox for a td while dragging a lineman and an inquisitive Jack Arute along for the ride. If they come slightly short of this, you will look like a pretentious asswipe, and people will start talking about how you're dumber than Trev Alberts. No one wants that to happen to you.

Football Jesus: Judging from this, he's an option qb. The kid tackling him? Go to hell, go directly to hell. Do not pass Go and fuck the 200 dollars.
2. CHOOSE AN OFFENSIVE PLAYER-EITHER A WR, QB, OR RB. Charles Woodson. There, we said it before you did. Any others? After integration? We didn't think so. Even with Woodson on the list as a CB, he only cemented his position as the Heisman leader when writers realized he returned kicks, too. Despite being one of the three parts of the game, defense gets screwed every year when the Heisman comes around. We could weep on and on about how unjust this is to great players in college (Roy Williams at Oklahoma a few years ago was as big a nightmare as one could imagine on the field,) but tears don't get us closer to a candidate, do they? Just pick someone on the offensive side of the ball, and don't make it a lineman or a tight end. It's cute to throw out an Orlando Pace or Kellen Winslow, Jr. every now and then, but only do that to look like a free thinker. We all know it will go to one of those three positions.
3.REWARD NUMBERS AND NATIONALLY TELEVISED VICTORIES. Simple enough. Most sportswriters would love to tell you how they TiVo every game and have seen every candidate play at least three games of some meaning. If you hear this it is, for the most part, utter and total horseshit. Most cover a single team in a single region of the country, so there's very little time on the peripheries to expand the scope a bit and assess other candidates from outside their daily bubbles. Which brings us to the next rule...
4. DON'T PICK ONE FROM THE WEST COAST, UNLESS THEY WENT TO USC. EVEN THEN, GOOD LUCK! Three winners since 1980 from the West Coast, unless you count Colorado and Rashaan Salaam, which we don't (as it is pretty close to the geographic center of the country). And they were all from USC. Which would bode well for Matt Leinart if we didn't include...
5. REPEAT WINNERS ARE NOT LIKELY, WHICH MEANS NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE. We're not sure if it's victory fatigue or what, but the writers simply don't like awarding repeats. Ever. They did it once with Archie Griffin's back-to-back awards, but since then it has not happened. Check Jason White's 2003 Heisman line: 265-of-414 for 3,738 yards, 40 TDs, 8 INTs. White followed this up with 255-of-390 for 3205, 35 TDs, 9 INTs in 2004. Those yards and TDs went to Adrian Peterson, who gave Oklahoma something they hadn't had in years, a run game. And though he was sitting in candidates' row on award day, no one seriously considered him for the award. This most likely means Leinart, going into a transitional year at USC, is out of the running.
6. PICK A CANDIDATE FROM A LARGELY ONE-DIMENSIONAL TEAM. Balance, in the eyes of Heisman voters, is not sexy. Be from a team that relies on you to do all of the heavy lifting for your team. This eliminates Vince Young, who while being one-dimensional himself, does not come from a one dimensional team.
(Editor's note: College Football Resource wrote in and asked us why we thought this. As editor, we honestly responded that we were horribly, horribly wrong. Thanks for correcting us, CFR. In response, let me paraphrase Oscar Wilde: "By giving us the opinions of the uneducated, [blogging] keeps us in touch with the ignorance of the community." We couldn't agree more. See comments below for our mea culpa.)
The most likely picks on the one-dimensional side are Chris Leak of Florida, since the option run game at Florida will take a while to get going, and Adrian Peterson at OU, because the pass-happy Sooners will be breaking in a new qb and leaning on Peterson. This is all impossible without the most important component of all, rule number 7.
7. BE SURE TO PICK A CANDIDATE ON PRESEASON HEISMAN LISTS. This is the area where the Oscars and the Heisman race most resemble each other. Just as Oscar buzz starts in the screening room, Heisman buzz starts the minute the Senior Bowl ends and pundits huddle over their keyboards wondering what the hell they're going to write about for the next seven months. You need to be in the spotlight to star in the show, which usually requires at least a year of success to gain. As in movies, indie picks are cute, but don't stand a chance. So apologies to Omar Jacobs and DeAngelo Williams-you will be this year's Lost in Translation or Pulp Fiction to the winner's Beautiful Mind or Forrest Gump.
So this realistically leaves you with Adrian Peterson, Chris Leak, and Reggie Bush. Reggie Bush is the least likely, especially given the fact that USC players have won it two times in the last four years. Even if he does have the best season of any player in the nation, he won't get it because there's an East Coast bias in the award. Plus he spends a lot of time doing that kooky "catching-passes-out-of-the-backfield" thing and splits time with LenDale White, two things Heisman voters seem to frown on. Leak has the edge of experience, but Peterson has the hype and program profile advantage. So this year's winner, determined today on this very website, is Adrian Peterson. Glad we could make that so easy for you.

What does Bill Murray have in common with Omar Jacobs? More than you think...