Trevor Freeman
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November 14 - Is Matt Leinart Suffering From Duncanitis?

Let me throw some numbers at you:

Quarterback A:  66.4% completion percentage on 318 attempts, 3,017
yards, 23 touchdowns, 7 interceptions, 5 rushing touchdowns, 32 straight
victories.  Best wins were at the #6 ranked team in the country and at the
#10 ranked team in the country.

Quarterback B:  63.5% completion percentage on 244 attempts, 2,414
yards, 22 touchdowns, 8 interceptions, 8 rushing touchdowns, 16 straight
victories.  Best wins were at the #9 ranked team in the country and at
home against the #21 ranked team in the country.

On the surface, this is a no-brainer.  Quarterback A has the better passer numbers against tougher
competition.  He has also been present and accounted for during 32 straight victories by his team.  
So what if I told you Quarterback B is considered the favorite for the Heisman Trophy.  You would
probably be wearing the same look that Jason from Laguna Beach had when he realized Lauren saw
him cheating on her.  Well, that’s what happening to Matt Leinart right now at USC and I think it is
pretty ridiculous that the voters are handing Vince Young the Heisman over him.  

Right now, the reasons for not awarding Matt Leinart the Heisman Trophy fall under a category I like to
call “Tim Duncanitis”.  It is fitting that Leinart would suffer from this since he was the most high-profile
athlete to stay in school since Duncan opted to return for his senior year at Wake Forest.  The
definition of “Tim Duncanitis” is when the media and followers of a sport make arguments that other
players are best, because they just don’t want to state the obvious.  In Tim Duncan’s case, pundits
love to predict LeBron James or Dwyane Wade to be the MVP/Best Player in basketball even though it’
s painfully clear to every rational human being watching hoops that the best player is indeed Duncan.  
This is why Tim Duncan has only won two MVP’s.

In Leinart’s case, it is unbelievable how he is being held to a higher standard.  Would you believe me
if I told you Leinart is having a better year statistically than he did in last season’s Heisman
campaign?  In every category, Leinart has been superior when comparing this year to last year.  Not
only that, it has been against better competition.  Oregon at Autzen and Notre Dame in South Bend
were both bigger land mines than he faced during the regular season of 2004.

So why all the support for Vince Young?  What gives?  I think the love for Vince
Young is the same love given to LeBron James in hoops.  Out with the old and in
with the new.  The American sports media has always rushed to crown new
heroes and that is the reason for Vince Young’s surge in the Heisman balloting.  
Why do I say that?  Because it has to be.  Vince Young’s numbers and the quality
of his opposition do not stack up.

The two toughest games Vince Young has played this year were against The Ohio
State University and Texas Tech (a team widely considered to be overrated with
possibly the worst defense west of the Mississippi River).  In those two games,
Vince Young put up the following numbers:

At Ohio State: 18-29, 270 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs, 76 rushing yards
Texas Tech: 12-22, 239 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs, 45 rushing yards

So in essence, Vince Young in the ONLY two games he has played in against ranked opponents was
mediocre at best.  And yet, Vince Young is the Heisman frontrunner and Matt Leinart is the
afterthought.  Vince Young is God’s gift to quarterbacking and Matt Leinart is but a mere shell of
himself from last year.  In case you don’t know, fraud is spelled F-R-A-U-D…………

USC closes out the season with Fresno State and UCLA.  Two big-time teams, both ranked in the top
20.  Texas finishes off with two more weak sisters out of the “Small 12”.  Remember those Vince
Young stats I posted above, and watch the way Leinart plays in these final two games.  If Leinart
performs substantially better……….which he will….ask yourself why his quest for a Heisman repeat
has been downgraded.    

The Heisman Trophy isn’t decided in this fashion, but I think the following would be a great way to
make a decision.  If you were down to your last five dollars and you needed a quarterback to get you
down the field in the final two minutes of a game, who would it be?  Give me the guy who called that
audible against Notre Dame any day of the week and twice on Sunday.