I wouldn't blame the folks in Lubbock _ or anyone with close ties to Texas Tech _ if they didn't watch the Heisman Trophy presentation tonight.
After all, Tech fans have a legitimate gripe in that their main man, quarterback Garahm Harrell, should have at least been awarded a trip to New York and been one of the Heisman finalist. Only three players were invited to New York as Heisman finalists, and they were all very worthy.
They include Oklahoma's Sam Bradford _, my favorite to win the award _ Florida's Tim Tebow and Texas' Colt McCoy. But Harrell also belongs in that class.
Harrell passed for more yards (4,747) this season than any of the Heisman finalists. And Tebow (48 TD passes) is the only one of the aforementioned trio who threw more TDs than Harrell (41).
Also, Tech, OU, UT and Florida all finished the regular season with identical 11-1 records. And if you're honest with yourself, it was Harrell who enigineered the signature drive and threw the signature pass of this college football season when he rifled a 28-yard TD to Michael Crabtree with one second left as the Raiders upset then No.1-ranked Texas, 39-33.
That critical drive and clutch play alone should have earned Harrell a trip to New York, if not to Disney World. Just think, without Harrell, Texas _ not Oklahoma _ would be playing for the national championship.
Heck, even ESPN, who is televising the Heisman presentation tonight, voted the Harrell-to-Crabtree TD against Texas as the top play in college football this season. Go figure.
As Tech coach Mike Leach said, this is a classic case of college football politics getting out of hand.
Yeah, the Red Raiders don't travel with as many fans on road games as OU, UT and Florida. But why take that out on Harrell, who exemplfies everything a student-athlete should be?
The folks who has something to do with how many players are invited to the Heisman ceremony admitted there's no hard-line rule on how many players they invite, and admits they've invited anywhere between three-to-six players. Well, if there ever was a year that list should have been expanded to more than three, this is that year.
Last year four players were invited for the Heisman ceremonies. And one of those players, Colt Brennan, had absolutely no chance of winning. Yet, the Heisman folks flew him in all the way from Hawaii.
What made Harrell's exclusion so ludicrous is that for nearly two weeks film clips of him and his picture were on commericals helping to promote the Heisman presentation. You think his inclusion in the commericals probably made anyone believe he was going to be one of the finalists?
I don't know how the Heisman finalists are selected, but I do know this. Whoever had something to do with this year's selection process didn't use any common sense.
And I wouldn't blame the folks in Lubbock _ or anyone with close ties to Texas Tech _ if they didn't watch the Heisman Trophy presentation tonight.
_ Dwain Price