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Cam Newton Wins Heisman and More Spectacular News from the Weekend

The regular season is officially over as Navy beat Army for the ninth straight time over the weekend.

After a hot start, Army struggled down the stretch and finished 6-6 on the season. That's a decent record for Army, but they lost three of four to close out the season.

Meanwhile, Navy just cruises to another nine-win season, pretty ho hum stuff for the Middies at this point.

Remember, there were some dicussions that Navy might go undefeated this year and since they beat Notre Dame it could have happened. But, they lost heartbreakers to Maryland, Air Force and Duke.

Such is life.

Now to the weekend's news.

Cam Newton Wins the Heisman

There was a tiny little chance that the Heisman voters would snub Cam Newton and hand the prestigious award to one of the other finalists, but of course it didn’t happen.

I guess this is the way it had to be.

There’s no doubt that Newton was the best player in the country this year, and it wasn’t even close. In fact, he probably had one of the best seasons we’ve ever seen from an individual in history.

For fun, let’s do a little comparison to Vince Young, who many (including those loveable Barking Carnival die-hards) believe had the best season in history in 2005.

Newton has one more game to play, but Young threw about 80 more balls in 2005, finished the season with almost 500 more yards passing and a full yard higher average when putting the ball on the ground.

Right now, Newton has better accuracy, two more touchdown passes, four fewer interceptions, almost 400 more yards rushing, and 8 more rushing touchdowns.

Obviously, Newton was used more as a workhorse on the ground (nearly 100 more attempts), but he also has a passer rating 25 points higher than Young in 2005! Newton’s 188.16 rating this year is the highest in the history of college football!

The one thing that Young might always have over Newton is the game of a lifetime against a loaded USC team in the national championship game, but also keep in mind that Texas was in only three close games the entire season, while Auburn had six close victories and was 6-0 against top 30 teams to end the 2010 regular season.

In other words, Cam Newton is historically good.

Now, even though Newton is really head and shoulders above the rest of his competition, his season still leaves a bad taste in my mouth and for the first time in a long time, I didn’t watch the Heisman ceremony.

It just takes too many leaps of faith to think that Newton didn’t break the rules, didn’t get paid, or should have been eligible down the stretch after all of these allegations came out.

I don’t know Cam personally and for all I know he could be a wonderful kid, but it sure seems like he and his family are pretty slimy. His speech after winning the award certainly didn't endear himself to me at all, as he continues to seem like the type of kid who would have accepted money and thought nothing of it.

"My parents do a lot of things behind the scenes that goes unnoticed," he said.

No kidding?

And things might be different and a lot of people might be willing to give Newton the benefit of the doubt if he didn’t go to a school that has been punished SIX times by the NCAA and has a good case for being the dirtiest program in college football history, within the dirtiest conference in college football history.

So, congratulations to Cam Newton for being the best player, but this great season of his doesn’t have as much meaning as it should. And that is sad.

The other thing I wanted to bring up is CBS’ coverage of the SEC championship game and their constant praise for Auburn and their mental toughness in overcoming all of these rumors and allegations.

Gary Danielson seemed ready to run out onto the field and block for Auburn and Cam Newton and Verne Lundquist just added more fuel to the fire (Interestingly, the duo seemed bored to death at the Army-Navy game). It just seemed so ridiculous to me, all of this "oh, Auburn has overcome so many of these tough games, how do they ever stay focused?"

You know how they did it?

They had Cam Newton on their team!!

The entire time CBS was acting like Newton wasn’t playing or something. Sure, keep Newton on the sidelines and then I’ll be more than happy to praise your team for overcoming the odds and staying undefeated.

But I’m not about to bow down to Auburn for being so mentally tough when the main reason they’re winning all of these games is because of their quarterback, who is bringing all of the controversy to the team in the first place.

Let’s see them try to praise Auburn next year when Newton and OC Guz Malzahn are gone and the Tigers finish 8-4.

Meyer Out at Florida, Muschamp In

I don’t even know what to think about Urban Meyer anymore.

Reports are coming out now that he left Florida because of his health problems (no big surprise there), but to be honest I just don’t care anymore.

If he wants to be with his family or try to get this mysterious illness under control, that’s fine by me. I just hope that he disappears for a while and doesn’t pop his head up in a couple months looking for a new job somewhere.

He’s certainly a great coach, but I don’t want this guy anywhere near South Bend.

As for Will Muschamp leaving Texas and taking over Florida…that’s a great hire by the Gators.

It certainly leaves Texas in a bind without both of their coordinators, but if there is a program that can rebound from those losses it is Texas.

There are some that are worried that Muschamp is a risky hire because he doesn’t have any head coach experience, but he seems like someone who is going to be extremely successful as the main man at a program and he was just biding his time in order to take over a great situation somewhere.

And boy is Florida one of those situations.

I was hoping that Florida would bumble through this process and hire someone who would automatically take them a step back within a matter of days, but Muschamp is going to be a winner.

He might not win at Urban Meyer’s level (who does?) but you can bet that Florida is going to continue recruiting at a high level and bringing a tough defense each and every year. The Gators are still going to be a top 10 team and one of the best in the SEC for years to come.

Miami Hires Temple’s Al Golden

For a while it was looking like the Miami job wasn’t as coveted as it used to be, but the Hurricanes acted quickly and recently hired Al Golden from Temple.

In a way, he’s probably a stronger hire than Muschamp at Florida because Golden has head coaching experience and did a miraculous job turning around Temple, a program that was among the worst in college football history.

There will be a lot of questions whether Golden can coach at a higher level, but I don’t think the ACC is that much of a murderer’s row where he won’t be successful.

And after going 8-4 at Temple this year and not being invited to a bowl game, Golden probably couldn’t wait to get out of town.

I just hope he continues wearing a shirt and tie on the sidelines…such a sharp look that I think head coaches should go back to.

Pittsburgh’s Wish List: Holgorsen & Norvell

It appears Oklahoma State Offensive Coordinator Dana Holgorsen is Pittsburgh’s No. 1 choice to replace Dave Wannstedt.

This is a curious choice since Pittsburgh has been running a run-heavy pro-style attack and with Holgorsen the team would be switching to a pass-heavy air raid offense.

Holgorsen just destroyed offensive records during his only season in Oklahoma State in 2010 and before that was the OC at Houston and on the staff at Texas Tech for many years.

It would be very crazy to see Pitt switch to such a pass-heavy offense when the strength of their team is their two running backs. But to be fair, Holgorsen did oversee quite the dynamic running game this past year at Oklahoma State as well, so it’s not as much of a square peg in a round hole as some believe.

Other rumors say that Oklahoma's OC Jay Norvell is the programs second choice…let's wait and see what the powers that be in Steeltown decide to do.

Ruffer Doesn’t Pick Up Groza Award

Notre Dame kicker David Ruffer, who has still not missed a field goal attempt in his Irish career, was a finalist for the Lou Groza Award, but did not come home with the hardware.

Oklahoma State’s Dan Bailey took home the award after nailing 24 of 28 attempts this season.

I think that a lot of people thought Ruffer would win the award since he went 15 for 15 this year, and it sure would have been one heck of a story had he actually done it. Yet, I think Bailey putting home almost one more field goal per game might have been the difference.

It probably doesn’t matter to Ruffer anyway, and it will be awesome to see how long he keeps this streak of perfection going. Could you imagine if he leaves after next season without ever having missed a kick?

Here’s the list of other awards for the 2010 season-

Maxwell, O’Brien & Walter Camp: Cam Newton (Auburn)

Coach of the Year: Gene Chizik (Auburn)

Doak Walker: LaMichael James (Oregon)

Johnny Unitas: Scott Tolzien (Wisconsin)

Fred Biletnikff: Justin Blackmon (Oklahoma State)

John Mackey: D.J. Williams (Arkansas)

Outland: GabeCarimi (Wisconsin)

Vince Lombardi: Nick Fairley (Auburn)

Rimington: Jake Kirkpatrick (TCU)

Bednarik & Thorpe: Patrick Peterson (LSU)

Bronco Nagurski & Ted Hendricks: Da’Quan Bowers (Clemson)

Dick Butkus: Von Miller (Texas A&M)

Ray Guy: Chas Henry (Florida)

Campbell: Sam Acho (Texas)

Hawaii to the MWC

After finishing the regular season ranked in the polls, Hawaii decided to make a move and leave the WAC conference for the Mountain West in football in 2012. The Warriors other sporting teams will join the Big West conference.

The Mountain West has lost TCU to the Big East and Utah to the Pac-12, but the conference is staying alive by adding Hawaii as well as Boise State, Fresno State and Nevada.

The WAC on the other hand, has basically turned into a division I-AA conference for football and will be adding Texas State, Texas-San Antonio and Denver in the near future.


Randy Shannon as Texas’ DC?

Shannon probably didn’t make a great head coach at Miami, but he’s a proven defensive coordinator and someone with a keen defensive mind.

I’d argue he’s probably as good if not better than Muschamp as a DC and Shannon should be an excellent hire if Texas picks him up. I’m having a hard time thinking of someone with a better resume than Shannon, and the Longhorns could certainly do a lot worse.

Big Ten Divisions are Set

The Big Ten conference has officially announced its two divisions for football play next year and you’ve got to love the names they chose:

Legends Division



Michigan State




Leaders Division



Ohio State

Penn State



The division names and new logo are already being laughed at and derided by just about everyone…surely the Big Ten could have done better than this, right?

Commissioner Jim Delany also commented on Notre Dame and said that the Irish’s destiny was rooted in its independence and that it was something that he didn’t understand in the past, but now he does.

Glad to see he’s come around on that topic.

You’ll also notice that Michigan and Ohio State were not put in the same division but will continue to play each other every year I am sure. I can’t wait to see how they manage that aspect of the scheduling process.

Do the divisions look even to you?

I’ve been trying to see if either side has a major weakness or strength, but I can’t do it.

I think because of Ohio State’s dominance and Wisconsin’s relative strength in recent times, the Leaders division looks to be a little stronger heading into 2011. Yet, the Leaders are stuck with Illinois and Indiana, both basement dwellers on the national stage, as well as Purdue, who only competes for a Big Ten title about once every ten years.

The Legends division is hurting from the fact that Michigan isn’t Michigan right now, but overall I think the depth in this division is stronger.

Is it not bold enough to think that Ohio State and Nebraska will meet in the first ever Big Ten championship game next season?