Posts Tagged ‘Heisman Trophy’

2009 Big Orange Roundtable: Week 4

This Week’s Roundtable is hosted by:

Vol Junkies

This week’s Big Orange Roundtable is hosted by Vol Junkies, who has served up another installment of questions burning in the minds of the citizens of Orange Nation.

Thus, here are our thoughts for the week:

Week 4

1) What is your thought on Eric Berry’s Heisman chances?  Should he play on offense in-order to increase his chances?  Is Kiffin being to selfish saying Berry will not practice offense?

bullet HSH: I’m not exactly how real Berry’s chances of actually winning the Trophy—which I deemed meaningless after the Manning debacle.  Not only does he have the obstacle of being a defensive player, he has to basically beat Colt McCoy from Texas, Sam Bradford from Oklahoma and some guy named Tebow.  I don’t think Lane Kiffin should play Berry on offense just to help his Heisman chances.  If our offense is seriously sucking, then sure, desperate times call for desperate measures.

That said, I have absolutely no problem with the University doing the whole campaign thing.  Berry is obviously a special, once-in-a-while player with a great attitude.  Seeing him in person on and off the field the past two years has been something I’m glad to have been a part of—now if only he might consider staying for his senior year…

bullet Lawvol: I have very mixed (albeit not necessarily negative) feelings on this.

First of all, I personally believe that Eric Berry is more than deserving of a shot at the Heisman Trophy.  In two short years he has pretty much become the man-beast of SEC defenses and is, hands down, the best defensive player in the toughest conference in the country.  I personally believe that he is the best defensive player in any conference, anywhere.  That, however, is just my opinion and I will be the first to admit that I am biased.  Still, there is no arguing with the fact that Eric Berry has earned the right to be considered among the top players in the country this season and to be considered for the Heisman.  I am unequivocally behind the Tennessee’s campaign to promote Berry’s Heisman candidacy.

That said, I am less that optimistic about his chances…

I say that because, since only one truly defensive player has previously won the Heisman—which I am sure every Tennessee fan remembers all too well—the precedent is somewhat weak.  Furthermore, given the national media’s love affair with Tim Tebow, I expect that every possible machination that can occur to ensure Tebow winning the trophy for the second time will be brought to bear, if at all possible.

There is also the fact that exaggerated hype often leads to less-than-stellar performances since, with everyone talking about how great a particular player is, the target on their back gets even bigger when facing opponents.  That is not to say that I doubt Berry’s ability to produce in the same way he has in the past, but recognizes that opposing teams will be gunning for him … and staying away from him.

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2009 Big Orange Roundtable: Week 2

This Week’s Roundtable is hosted by: 3rd Saturday in Blogtober

This week marks the second edition of the 2009 version of the Big Orange Roundtable and is hosted by the guys over at 3SIB..

Week 2

1)  We will start with an easy one.  Last week, our beloved Rock was relocated across the street to make room for a new building on campus.  What are your thoughts on the Rock’s relocation?

bullet HSH: Being a student, I actually have the slight advantage of seeing the change.  I drove by as the crane was lifting the behemoth out of the ground, and I’ve only seen it once since it’s been moved.  I have to say it’s going be to a little odd driving through the stoplight next to Stokely Athletic Center and the Thornton Athletic Student Center (where all the UT athletes get their school on), looking to my left and not seeing the Rock.  It might take a little bit of time to get used the change come the fall.

For me, it’s just another aspect of a common theme of my years here as a student.  Here’s what’s changed or been built since I came to Knoxville in the fall of 2006: all the recent renovations to Neyland Stadium, the makeover of Thompson-Boling Arena, Pratt Pavilion, a new soccer stadium, a new softball stadium, the brand new aquatic center.

And that’s just the changes on the athletics side of campus.  There’s also been the total change in the old Glocker Building, which has now become Haslam Business Building where all the business majors do their thing.  The Baker Policy Center was risen up on the corner of Cumberland Avenue and 17th Street, replacing the parking lot where my family parked for every game I came to up until I graduated from high school.  Those are two major projects, that I’ve seen started and completed in my days as a student.

Back to the Rock, my only contact with actually came before I was officially enrolled.  I had two of the more enthusiastic Orientation leaders, and late one night during the two-day event we got together and painted the thing.  I would have visual evidence to prove it, but my computer erased my hard drive awhile, thus I have nothing…

The Rock in its new Home

The Rock in its new Home

bullet Lawvol: First of all, I am glad that the Rock did not unceremoniously disappear from campus as a result of the new Student Health Center that is being constructed.  The worst thing imaginable would have been for the university to simply blow the thing up or what have you and cart it off.  I realize the process of relocating the Rock was both onerous and expensive, but I have to give a little credit to university administration (a/k/a “The Big Orange Screw”) for making the right call and preserving this tradition for future generations.

All that said, the last time I painted the Rock was 1997.  I say “painted”—my involvement actually centered more on leaning up against the Rock in a near catatonic state as drool fell from my gaping mouth and I uttered various slurred obscenities at my cohorts.  You see, I was completely pissed drunk overcome by a multitude of circumstances at the time and my recollection of that particular evening of frivolity is fuzzy to say the least.  Still, the Rock does have a special place in my mind due to its tradition of announcing great events, lurid innuendo, and Gameday proclamations.  Considering it is directly across the street from where it used to be located, I doubt there will really be all that much difference.

Of course, I do wonder whether some students may be confused by the relocation—in particular, those suffering from the same … mental confusion … that afflicted me the last time I painted the Rock.  If so, the university may be faced with a long road of maintenance as the drunken masses repeatedly paint the front of the new Student Health Center.

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Sports Blog Heisman Trophy Ballot

Well, Shotgun over at The Blue Workhorse has decided that the world of sports bloggers should have a voice in the Heisman Trophy selection process. Given the fact that the Heisman committee apparently doesn’t agree, Blue Workhorse has asked members of the sports blogosphere to weigh in with their own ballots for the Heisman Trophy. Given the fact that I am all about using the great ideas of others to obscure the fact that I often lack the ability for intelligent thought, here’s my ballot on behalf of the Gate:

1) Eric Berry, Safety, Tennessee:

I know this will be labeled a “homer” vote, but—as Will at SESB pointed out—I am not the only one who feels this way.  I really cannot possibly describe why my vote would be for Berry better than it was described in the above article which wrote:

The Vols’ athletic outlier plays the game like it’s on a sheet of ice and he’s the only one that brought skates. … Berry is the flower that’s sprouted in a compost heap of a year.

Berry has posted gaudy numbers this year with 7 interceptions for the season (12 all-time) and now holds the record for all-time SEC interception return yards.  Furthermore, he just won the SEC Defensive Player of the Year Award, as well as being a finalist for the Lott Trophy, despite the fact that the Tennessee Volunteers were far-from-impressive as a team.  Oh, and did I mention he’s only a sophomore?

His stats (I believe) through the end of the season are as follows:

2007 14 57 29 86 - 2 1 2 4
2008 12 44 28 72 1.5 7 - - 6
Totals 26 101 57 158 1.5 9 1 2 1

Int. Returns

KO Returns

Year G No Yds TD No Yds TD
2007 14 5 222 1 - - -
2008 12 7 265 2 2 32 0
Totals 26 12 487 3 2 32 0



Year G Att Yds Avg TD No Yds Avg TD
2007 14 - - - - - - - -
2008 12 7 37 5.3 0 1 3 3.0 0
Totals 26 7 37 5.3 0 1 3 3.0 0

Despite being a Tennessee fan at heart, I simply think that Eric Berry is the most deserving (and outstanding) player in the country this year.

2) Graham Harrell, QB, Texas Tech:

Before the season, no one in the country expected the Texas Tech Red Raiders to give Texas a loss, garner a top-3 ranking, and to be in the mix for a Big 12 title.  Some people crossed Harrell off their list after the Oklahoma loss, but I have been thoroughly impressed with both his numbers on the season, and his ability to lead his team in tough situations.  What’s more, he did it at Texas Tech—I think that is significant.

3) Tim Tebow, QB, Florida:

I have to hand it to Tebow, he has put together another great season and will lead the Florida Gators into the BCS Championship Game.  His stats are not as impressive as last year, but that doesn’t bother me all that much considering that the Gators were so one-dimensional last season.  There are two reasons why he is not at the top of my list.  First, he seemed to play a little too “laid back” prior to the Ole Miss loss.  To his credit, however, he picked it up thereafter.  Second, I think his passing accuracy simply isn’t as good from all locations on the field as demonstrated by Graham Harrell.

I am sure that I will be called a homer for this ballot, but the fact is that I do feel that Berry is most deserving.  Of course, I am a moron…

At any rate, the results of the Sports Blog Heisman Trophy balloting will be posted over at The Blue Workhorse Thursday-ish.  I’ll try to remember to post a link once everything is up.

– Go Figure …Email lawvol

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