Teddy Bridgewater a Heisman Trophy candidate?
Never mind that the Heisman chatter is more than a little premature, with two weeks before the University of Louisville competes in a conference football game. The possibility comes up frequently in network broadcasts of UofL games, conference blogs and in discussions on local message boards and talk shows.
Bridgewater’s numbers are impressive. He has made good on 91 of 124 passing attempts for 1,049 yards and seven touchdowns while rushing for 72 yards and another touchdown. His team has won eight of its last nine regular season games and is 4-0 this season.
Nice for a U of L player to be included among the candidates again. Chris Redman was considered a possible by many during his senior season in 1999 and Brian Brohm was among the hopefuls in 2006 as a junior. Bridgewater is only a sophomore.
As Florida State Coach Jimbo Fisher said recently, however, the Heisman Trophy is a popularity contest for “show dogs” with the winner now usually the best player on which team voters feel is the best. “It’s the best player on the best team, ok, that’s great,” he told the Associated Press Monday. “If you want to be the best team, you have to play well.”
If we’re honest with ourselves, the Heisman talk is a little silly. While Bridgewater may have impressed, his team hasn’t been very persuasive in winning its first four games. The national sports media, with ESPN as its titular head, will not be taking notes if UofL goes unscathed in conference play.
Winning a BCS bowl game might turn some heads, but it would be too late this season. The Heisman Trophy presentation ceremonies are scheduled Dec. 8, three weeks the major bowl games are even played.
Then there are other predictable barriers, including overcoming the decades-long sports media love affair with the traditional football powers, which doesn’t include the University of Louisville. Similar barriers have thus far prevented UofL from joining the old boy network of conferences.
This season provides only an opportunity to lay some groundwork for next year.