2008 Nov. 11 KU football
On the street
I do not believe they will. They’re gonna be losing.
Were members of the Heisman Trophy voting committee in need of some additional information before making their pick for the 2008 winner, they might be wise to seek out members of the Kansas University football team.
In a serendipitous combination of scheduling, timing and luck (good or bad, depending on your viewpoint), the Jayhawks, by the time the regular season ends, will have had an up-close-and-personal look at nearly every player in the country receiving any kind of significant Heisman buzz.
Oklahoma's Sam Bradford? Saw him on Oct. 18 down in Norman, Okla. He somehow proved to be better than advertised, completing 36 of 53 passes for 468 yards and three touchdowns in a 45-31 Sooners victory.
Texas Tech teammates Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree? They stormed through town a few weeks ago, handing Kansas its most lopsided loss of the season as Harrell threw for 386 yards and five touchdowns and Crabtree caught nine passes for a quiet 70 yards and two scores.
Texas' Colt McCoy? He'll be here today, when the Jayhawks entertain the Longhorns at 11:30 a.m. at Memorial Stadium. He has proved to be one of the nation's finest this season, after struggling as a sophomore in 2007.
And finally, two weeks from today, Kansas will see Missouri's combo of quarterback Chase Daniel and receiver Jeremy Maclin, both of whom were at the center of Heisman talk in the weeks leading up to the 2008 season.
"It's kind of like we're seeing everybody," said senior linebacker Joe Mortensen, shaking his head.
By the time the season is through, there is a very, very good chance the Jayhawks will have played against the 2008 Heisman Trophy winner. And a good chance they will have played against the runner-up. And a good chance they will have played against the second-runner up. And the third-runner up. And - who knows? - maybe the fourth runner up.
"Over the years as an assistant coach, I've coached against a lot of Heisman winners and finalists and Outland (Trophy winners) and Lombardi winners and Thorpe and Butkus winners," KU coach Mark Mangino said. "I can't tell you that this is the most (playmakers I've ever coached against in a year), but it's more than I'd like to see, I can assure you that."
It doesn't get any easier today. A year after throwing 18 interceptions, McCoy enters this week's game ranked in the top 10 nationally in completions, passing yards per game, total passing yards and total offense. He is also the team's leading rusher, having scrambled for 449 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground.
Today, he'll look to help keep the Longhorns' national titles hopes alive while simultaneously keeping his recent success going against a Kansas team in desperate need of a victory to stay in the Big 12 North title hunt.
"He's right in their class, there's no question about that," said Mangino, asked how McCoy compares to the other standout quarterbacks his team has faced this season. "He is one of the most improved quarterbacks from last year to this year."
Of course, at this point, the Jayhawks are used to it.
Another day, another Heisman-worthy foe.
"It's going to be a great challenge for our defense," said Mortensen, before stopping to correct himself.
"Another great challenge."