Saturday, December 1, 2012

Manti T'eo Facts

Apparently I misspelled his name in my previous posts - my apologies.

I've been reading all of this stuff about T'eo and I wanted to dive into his season deeper.

The three things that I consistantly hear T'eo campaigners tout are
  • Interceptions
  • Total tackles
  • Leader of a great defense
He has 7 interceptions and 2 fumble recoveries.  That's nice but....
  • Only one (1) of those nine (9) turnovers resulted in a TD on the ensuing drive. 
Honestly, that shocked me.

He has 103 tackles on the season.
  • He had a no more than 5 tackles in each of his last 3 games "down the stretch"
  • 1.5 sacks on the season
  • 5.5 tackles for a loss
  • 27 of those tackles were on plays that resulted in 1st downs for the opponent
  • 37 of those tackles were on plays of 6 yards or longer.

Notre Dame's defense is excellent and they are ranked #2 in scoring defense and #6 in total defense.
  • They are excellent, but they are not THE BEST defense in the country as I keep getting told

Here are their opponent's national rankings in scoring offense and total offense.
    Navy  69/82
  Purdue  62/57
 Mich St  90/107
Michigan  80/56
   Miami  37/43
Stanford  83/68
     BYU  57/63
Oklahoma   9/7
    Pitt  60/73
    B.C.  97/109
    W.F. 117/114
     USC  30/37
  • They have only played one (1) of the Top 25 offenses in the country
  • Only three of the Top 50
In the three games against the best offenses they faced....
  • T'eo played well against OU (10 tackles, only 1 was for a 1st down, and only 3 went for 6 yards or longer)
  • He did not play well against Miami (10 tackles, 4 were for a 1st down, and 6 were for 6 yards or more....his average tackle was 8.9 yards down field)
  • He did not play well against USC (5 tackles, 2 went for 1st downs, and 2 were for 6 yards or longer).
THE 4th Down Stand vs. USC
On the final goal line stand against USC he had one tackle.  It was a 6 yard gain.

This is not the award for the best player on one of the best teams.  It is not an award for best leader.  It is not the award for biggest heart.  It is not a team award, nor is it a lifetime achievement award.

I have no problem with a defensive player winning the Heisman.  I don't even mind if he doesn't play special teams.  If that player is THE most outstanding player in college football he should win the award.  Frankly, I thought Suh deserved it in '09 and I think Honey Badger should have given RGIII more run for his money last year.  I just don't think T'eo has been THE most outstanding defensive player in college football, let alone the most outstanding overall player. 

If the Heisman is to go to a defensive player this is not the year to make the definitive stand to break that trend.

It should be interesting to see this play out.   There is no doubt he is a great kid, who has overcome a tremendous amount of tragedy.  I truly wish him a tremendous amount of success at whatever he does in his life.  He is a shining example of all that is right with college sports.

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