A GRIP ON SPORTS
I'm sure glad I don't have a Heisman vote. I'm not sure I saw enough games from around the nation to make an informed choice on who is the most outstanding college football player in the nation. And I watched a lot of football this fall. Read on.
• Which is sort of my point. Did you watch Manti Te'o (pictured) play every game this season? I didn't. How about Johnny Manziel or Collin Klein? I'm sure you didn't. Heck, I'm not sure I knew who Johnny Manziel was until the Alabama game. Of course, I sort of remembered he was the guy who stiffed Oregon, but that's about it. I just figured he knew he couldn't beat out any of the Duck quarterbacks – those already there, or the one, Marcus Mariota, slated to enter in his class – and decided he wanted to play. I guess if I had a Heisman vote, I would have spent more time each Saturday and Sunday perusing games with contenders, so my vote would have a semblance of authority. I wouldn't want anyone to think I was basing my vote on publicity or hype or anything like that. (As an aside, in the 40s, 50s and such, who watched more than a dozen games before voting? Before the advent of TV, what was a vote based upon?) And, being you have a linebacker lumped in with a couple of quarterbacks (or, when the season began, players at all positions) you can't compare stats or performances against like opponents or anything like that. So the vote should be based on viewing multiple games by multiple great players, with an eye on who is the most valuable for their team. Wait, valuable is not what the award is based on. So you have to watch a bunch of games and decide who is the best. And best is in the eye of the beholder I guess. For me, the best player I saw this year was …
• Washington State: The Cougars don't return to the football field until next season and to the basketball court until Sunday, so Christian Caple doesn't have a lot to pass along. He does, however, have this blog post from yesterday with notes on freshman Junior Longrus and this post from the morning with links to other Pac-12 schools. … It's Saturday, so I can pass along Ted Miller's Pac-12 mailbag on ESPN.com. … The Huskies face Boise State in their bowl game so it's interesting to see how Boise looks at them.
• Gonzaga: The 10th-ranked Zags played their first road game this week. Today they play their first ranked opponent, when No. 13 Illinois comes a calling. Jim Meehan has an advance of tonight's game in today's S-R. … Both teams are 9-0 as this CBSSports.com piece points out. … The GU women had little trouble at Portland State last night. … Portland is at Kentucky today and USD hosts Tulane tonight.
• EWU: Today's another big day in Cheney, with the Eagles hosting Illinois State with a chance to host the semifinal next week on the line. The Redbirds have a veteran senior quarterback, which will make the Eagles job that much tougher, according to Jim Allen's advance. Jim also has some more Big Sky links, including one to Montana State's loss last night.
• Idaho: Nothing from Moscow, but the Utah State basketball player who collapsed at practice will be released from the hospital today.
• Whitworth: The Pirates won their NWC opener, rallying to defeat PLU. Steve Christilaw has the story.
• Chiefs: What's the big deal about this eastern swing? The Chiefs don't seem to have much of a problem, having won their first five games. … A day after losing at home to woeful Seattle, Tri-City drives down to Portland and wins 3-2 against the WHL team with the best record.
• Seahawks: There is a lot of opportunity for Seattle in the final four games of the regular season including a chance at an NFC West title. But they have to take care of business by winning. Being healthy would help. … A proposal to end kickoffs in the NFL is being met with skepticism.
• Sounders: The changes we said were coming are beginning, with Seattle trading popular defender Jeff Parke to Philadelphia. … What if they held a draft and no one came? It almost happened yesterday. … The Sounders handed out their awards yesterday.
•••• That's it for now. We'll be back tomorrow morning. A Sunday morning, with all that entails. As for today, the best player I saw this year was Kenjon Barner, but I guess he wasn't good enough. Until Sunday …