Thursday, December 08, 2005

Congratulations, you're not invited | by Pat

Good news, bad news for Brady Quinn this week as he was rewarded for his stellar play at quarterback while at the same time informed that when it comes to the Heisman, stellar play apparently doesn't cut it.

The good news was that Brady Quinn was selected as the reciepent of the Sammy Baugh Trophy, which is awarded annually to the nation's best passer by the Touchdown Club of Columbus. Quinn, who was second in the nation in touchdown passes, finished 4th in passing effficiency and yards per pass, and shattered countless ND single-season and career records, is the second Irish QB to win the award. The other is Terry Hanratty who won in 1967.

This isn't the first time Quinn has had to deal with the Touchdown Club of Columbus. Last year he attended the awards banquet and was presented an Award of Distinction and as a high school senior at nearby Dublin Coffman was invited to the 2002 banquet. That year he was a finalist for the Rhodes Award, given to Ohio's top high school player, and along with Chinedum Nduwke was honored as a "Buckeye Bluechip", given to the state's top players. This year Irish recruits Robby Parris and Kallen Wade are recipients of the Buckeye Bluechip award.

For those who hope that Quinn will be able to build upon the Sammy Baugh award and take home the Davey O'Brien award for nation's best quarterback when it is presented tonight live on espn, history is not in Quinn's favor. Going back 15 years, the winner of the Sammy Baugh award also won the Davey O'Brien award exactly twice (Chris Weinke in 2000, Danny Wuerffel in 1995).

The other bad news for Quinn is that it was recently announced that he will not be invited to the Heisman Trophy Award presentation in New York. The snub is a bit of a surprise as since 1999, either four or five finalists have been invited to the presentation, whereas this year, only three were selected.

According to, Quinn is running a solid 4th place, but really isn't challenging current 3rd place vote getter Matt Leinart. Personally, I'm a bit torn on this. As an Irish fan I'd like to see Quinn get rewarded for a great season and I'm sure Coach Weis wouldn't mind the recruiting and PR boost of getting Quinn to New York in his first year. Then again, it's really been a three person race all year between Leinart, Bush, and Young so I can understand that they want to keep that intact, even if it does just further the idea that Heisman finalist status is largely awarded pre-season by media hype. That and there's the whole "watch all 3 play in the Rose Bowl live on ABC" cross-promotion I'm sure you'll see. The flip side of that of course is they will miss out on hyping runners-up Young and Quinn for next year's Heisman.

But as for whether or not Quinn deserved an invite should go beyond marketing. And unfortunately in this year, even as a 4th place finisher, Quinn is not going to get nearly the same number of votes that 4th place finishers normally get. For that you can thank Reggie Bush and to a lesser extent Vince Young. Looking at the projections on and looking at the records on the website, not only could Bush push O.J. Simpson's record for highest vote total, but Vince Young could also finish in the top 3 for most votes for a runner-up. So as much as I'd like to see Quinn honored with an invitation, it's really a two person race (with Bush clearly ahead) and perhaps the only compelling reason why Leinart is invited is because he won the thing last year.

Seeing as how Notre Dame has practice this Saturday, I don't think Notre Dame fans should be too upset that Quinn will be able to stick around and prepare for Ohio State rather than potentially miss practice in order to fly to New York and be told he didn't even come close to winning the Heisman.