Tuesday, July 22, 2008

P.J.'s Heisman chances

Reading the preseason magazines, I see P.J. Hill mentioned as a darkhorse contender for the Heisman Trophy. The obvious contenders: Tim Tebow, Knowshon Moreno, Percy Harvin, Chris Wells, Chase Daniel, Matthew Stafford.

Where exactly do P.J.'s chances stand in comparison to the others? I found some Heisman Trophy odds on the Bodog Sportsbook that rate his odds at 22-to-1 (UPDATE: Now at 25-to-1), which puts him right in the middle of the pack.

In addition to the players mentioned above, others given more of a shot at winning the Heisman than P.J. include Sam Bradford, Graham Harrell, Michael Crabtree, DeMarco Murray, and Pat White.

In my opinion, 22-to-1 is pretty high for P.J., and it has nothing to do with his talent or durability. It has to do with the well-documented depth in the Badger backfield. Lance Smith is faster, Zach Brown is tough and put up 250 yards (albeit against Minnesota), and John Clay may end up being the best player of the group. Given P.J.'s history of injuries, it would make sense to rest him more and give carries to the backups, limiting his carries to 20-25 per game.

As stated here before, I still think P.J. is clearly the best back on the UW roster, and we'll need him in big games. But in order for him to be at his best in those games, it makes sense to play him less against the Minnesotas of the world, and that hurts any shot he might have at the Heisman.
For the record, my money's on Wells, followed by Daniel, Moreno, Tebow and Harvin, who will split the Florida vote.


Edward said...

Every year since Ron Dayne left, a returning UW runnning back has gotten mild to medium preseason Heisman hype. I think Anthony Davis was on the darkhorse list all 8 years he played. But they never win, and it'll take another career acheivment senior season like Dayne had or a monster, MONSTER single season (2000 yards, 20 tds, Conf title) to get over the hump. Hill won't start reaching career milestones until next year, and you're right... he's not going to get over 1400 yards rushing with the loaded backfield. So why even give him a chance when we all know that he doesn't have a shot this year.

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