Heisman mail never fails

Craig James

Nothing makes the mailbag overflow like a fierce Heisman debate. Selecting Darren Sproles (and not Chris Perry) in my "Heisman pros and cons" article got your attention. And plenty of Sooner fans backed up Jason White's selection as the Heisman winner.

Want to be a part of future mailbag columns? Send me your feedback. Here are a few guidelines, as established by my Yahoo! Sports colleague, Dan Wetzel.

• Keep it short, to the point and with a point.
• Please include your full name and hometown.
• And remember, I get way too much mail to write back directly.

With that, off we go.

My comments will be in italics.

Maybe if Sproles had played against a tougher schedule (not counting Oklahoma), I would be impressed with his extra 400 yards.

Wolverine fan

I have nothing against Perry, he's a good runner. Sproles led the nation in rushing and he, too, plays in a major conference. I've pointed out that Sproles would have easily gone for more than 2,000 yards if he would have played more against Troy State and McNeese State. In the end, Sproles rocked against an OU defense that is incredibly talented. And it was on big-time national TV.

One reason Sproles outrushed Perry was the two more games he played.


Chris Perry continues to receive little respect from the pundits. This is not too surprising because of the one-dimensional mentality that judges him based only on rushing yards. Other attributes, not the least of which are blocking, receiving, and leadership abilities, sadly are ignored.


Sproles had a great season and no one would deny him that. But keep in mind the following:

  • Sproles played in two more games than Perry
  • Perry had more receptions and receiving yards
  • Perry scored more TDs
  • Perry had no preseason ink and has little midseason ink after Michigan lost games at Oregon and at Iowa.

Emmet Ong

More of a comment about Sproles being a candidate. He gained a lot of yards, but never had to play a game as a Heisman Trophy candidate. Once a player is labeled that way, the opposing teams get more 'up' to stop the candidate. In my opinion, he shouldn't be voted anywhere near the top because no one was shooting for him game after game, whereas the others (especially White) had to face that each game they played the second half of the season.

Brent Robbins

My dear friend Brent, are you kidding me? Ask any defensive coordinator that played against Sproles, and he'll tell you all of his players were aware of how good Sproles was. Heisman tag or not!

Another Michigan hater, huh? You barely even mention Chris Perry in your article. He is the best player in college football and should be the Heisman winner, but that's OK because look at most of the winners, they end up washed out of the NFL in a couple years anyway. So keep up with your SOONER reports and GO BLUE.

Todd S.

Just sending a note of appreciation for mentioning Darren Sproles in your article "Heisman pros and cons." It completely boggles my mind how he is not being acknowledged as the best running back this year in college football. I can't argue with Jason White as a Heisman winner, but the Doak Walker results and leaving Sproles out of an invitation to New York are both terrible injustices given the season he has had.

Brad Dyer

The fact that Darren Sproles was not in the Heisman top three shows what a farce the "Hypeman" really is.

Can you believe he did not win the Doak Walker? NOBODY comes close to competing with his stats. Next year look for Bill Snyder to let him run wild against the early foes, and he'll have over 2,200 yards...EASILY.

Mike Riedesel

What are the chances of Sproles winning the Heisman next year if he puts up the same type of numbers he had this year? Do you feel that being from the Midwest will again hurt his chances next year?

James Hulbert

Being from the Midwest has nothing to do with Sproles' chances of winning the Heisman. He now has the nation's attention and will be a targeted man, even more next year. I like his chances. ! But there will be loads of candidates next year. Matt Leinart, Chris Leak, Vincent Young, Cedric Benson, Larry Fitzgerald, not to mention ... Jason White!

Even though I admire you, it's too bad you put so much emphasis on one game of a 13-game season. Even with that Big 12 Championship loss, Jason White's stats were far better than anyone who has won top QB awards in quite a few years

Dan Bronson

I may not have voted Jason No. 1 with my ballot, but believe me, the amount of pub I gave him on ABC's college studio show and here at Yahoo! Sports far outweighs what my ballot said. I fully appreciated all of the success Jason had on the field and hope to see him doing it again next year.

How does OU losing to K-State hurt Jason White's chances? Michigan lost twice, Pitt had four losses and Mississippi did not even play in its conference championship game. Is just because he plays for OU he has to be perfect and the others don't?

Brian Rice

Why should one game determine someone's chances of earning a flawed award? To ask these young men to be perfect in every outing is ludicrous at best and mean-spirited at worst. I believe it's most unfair to penalize Jason White for playing an extra game when Larry Fitzgerald, Chris Perry and Matt Leinart participate in a conferences that have no such entities.

Annice Burdeos

Thank God Jason White won the award. I didn't want to see a quality WR like Fitzgerald, or a class-act QB like Manning win the award. At least they won't go down in history as their best moment being on Dec. 13, 2003. White's career is over, and I'm glad I won't ever hear of him again – except this time each year to acknowledge that he won it in 2003 en route to losing the national championship to LSU.

Tim Noonan

Thank you for not saying "because Fitzgerald is a sophomore, he's not deserving yet." This argument makes no sense at all. Also, we should view this as his senior year because if he's smart, it will be.


You say that Eli Manning is one of the best QBs in college football and is a good candidate for the Heisman, but I have a hard time seeing how. Several QBs have played better this season.

Ben Roethlisberger has thrown for more yards, more touchdowns, fewer interceptions, a better completion percentage and a better passer rating. Do you think Miami of Ohio would be No. 14 in the nation if it weren't for him? They'd be just another average small-school team.

It's time the Heisman started looking at the best player in college football instead of the most hyped player.


I announced one of Roethlisberger's games and am fully aware of his talents. But big Ben didn't have to play an SEC schedule. Manning led the Rebels to a 9-3 record, and there's absolutely no way Ole Miss would have come close to that if not for Manning. As for the hype, don't you recall the Manning family asked that the school not "hype" Eli?

Why is Philip Rivers not given more Heisman consideration? He could arguably be the best QB in the land.


Yo Glenn, Rivers is awesome. But the dude's team lost too many games. If NC State had held on for the win in Columbus, maybe things would have turned out a little differently. The Florida State game was another platform he could have used. Sorry.

Aloha from Hawaii, Mr. James.

As far as I'm concerned, the Heisman Trophy should go to the best player on the best team – not the best offensive player.

And if I had to vote for who should get the Heisman Trophy, it should go to LSU defensive tackle Chad Lavalais, the anchor of the best defensive line that led the Tigers to a 12-1 record.

Ronn Miyashiro

If Michael Clayton and Matt Mauch come back for their senior seasons, do you think that they will both be considered for next year's Heisman?


Why wouldn't they come back? Both need more reps and might be helping their teammates defend the national championship trophy.

Can the Heisman voting be moved till after the bowl games? What would prevent that from happening?

Allan Zuhars

Allan, the voters need to get their ballots in before the bowl games are over so the Heisman can have its place to shine in the sun without having to compete with the NFL or live action. Early December is perfect for the Heisman show because it's a lull in the action before the bowls start.

I would say that voters need to wait until at least all the regular season games are over before sending in their vote.

Send Yahoo! Sports analyst Craig James a question or comment for potential use in a future column.