Robert Griffin III

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

Redshirt junior Bryce Petty didn’t have the easiest shoes to fill. He watched Robert Griffin III walk across the Heisman stage. Then he watched as Nick Florence broke Griffin’s single-season Baylor record for passing yards.

“Those guys have put a lot of standards up there that are going to be tough to beat,” head coach Art Briles said on Petty following Griffin and Florence before the season. “But Petty has been around everything. He understands he’s got the physical presence and ability to do it. What we gotta do is just let him get in situations and let him create his own identity.”

Coming into the season under-the-radar, he didn’t feel much pressure. It was the sophomore running back—Lache Seastrunk—who everyone thought of as a Heisman Trophy candidate. He averaged nearly eight yards per carry the year before and looked poised to carry the Bears offense.

Despite Seastrunk’s solid season, it is actually Petty who has carried Baylor and thrown his name into the Heisman discussion.

“I think he’s been phenomenal and the thing that impresses me is, first of all, his leadership because you never really know about someone until you go through the fire with them — go through some kind of adversity with them,” Briles said. “Fortunately, we haven’t had a lot of adversity but when we have, he’s been really strong and really solid.”

Petty is currently eighth in the country in passing yards, leading the highest scoring offense in the nation. All he can do now is reflect on his past years on the bench and marvel in the current year leading a Top 10 team.

“I think God has a very funny way of writing out and planning our story
better than we could,” Petty said. “If I had it my own way I would’ve been playing since I was a freshman and all that stuff. But to have the team that we have now, I couldn’t have wrote it better myself.”

Texas realizes what they are up against — a Baylor team that isn’t the highest scoring team in the nation for no reason. When watching film, Texas’ defensive coordinator Greg Robinson can only admire the offense he prepares to solve.

“I take pictures on my screen so I can print them just so I can save some of these,” Robinson said. “I want to show them to my grandkids so I can say, ‘This is how you use a field,’”

Everything begins with Petty.

“He’s a good quarterback,” Robinson said. “He has good weapons around him. He knows how to get the ball to those guys.”

But what scares the Texas defense is his ability to make plays on the ground. He has twice as many rushing touchdowns as Oklahoma State quarterback Clint Chelf, who torched the Longhorns on the ground with 95 yards and two touchdowns.

“I hope he’s not as good,” Robinson said. “Quite frankly, I think we helped Chelf a little bit. I’m not taking anything away from him, I think he did a nice job, but this guy has run for yardage just like Chelf has and a couple others too.”

With all the success he has had so far, Petty knows more lies ahead, and is excited for the final game of this season with possible BCS
implications.

“There are a lot of memories, a lot of high points with this season and the best part is it’s not over,” Petty said. “We got two more games. One more game that will sum up everything and I am very blessed, very humbled to be a part of it.”

And Petty isn’t leaving Waco anytime soon. The NFL will have to wait.

“I definitely will be back next year,” he said.

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones watched his team fall to Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins twice last season, but never before had Jones been a part of a three-game losing streak to the Cowboys’ NFC East rival.

Jones’ Cowboys avoided that on his 71st birthday Sunday night, defeating the Redskins 31-16 at AT&T Stadium.

After quarterback Tony Romo threw for a whopping 506 yards in a heartbreaking 51-48 loss to the Denver Broncos last week, Romo had just 170 yards through the air against the Redskins. Moreover, running back DeMarco Murray left the game with a sprained left knee, and to make matters worse, defensive end DeMarcus Ware exited early with a right quad injury.

Wait a minute.

The Cowboys won with Romo throwing for just 170 yards and with no Ware or Murray? How did that happen?

Cue Dwayne Harris, who may get a slice of his owner’s birthday cake.

Harris had 222 total return yards, including an 86-yard punt return for a touchdown and a 90-yard kickoff return that set up a Terrance Williams touchdown reception.

Give credit to the Cowboys’ defense as well, something that couldn’t have been done the first five weeks of the season. Although the defense gave up 433 yards to the Redskins, they only gave up one touchdown. Cornerback Brandon Carr was everywhere in the secondary, and defensive end Kyle Wilber came up with a huge play by forcing and recovering a fumble on an RGIII sack, which ultimately led to a game-clinching score for the Cowboys.

With Murray out, rookie running back Joseph Randle saw the majority of the snaps, gaining 17 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries. If Murray is out for an extended period of time, it will be interesting to see what the Cowboys can get out of Randle.

Despite losing two key players, the Cowboys picked up a much-needed win Sunday night to improve to 3-3 and stay tied with the Eagles for first place in the NFC East. Dallas did what it was supposed to do by defeating a struggling Redskins team at home, so fans should be content.

After all, normally when the Cowboys are supposed to do something, they find a way to screw it up.

Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett, otherwise known as the red-headed robot, is notorious for preaching the need for his football team to play well in all three phases of the game. Dallas accomplished this against Washington.

Dallas will need that consistent play to continue this Sunday when they take on Philadelphia in a battle for first place.
 

Photo Credit: Elisabeth Dillon | Daily Texan Staff

I remember the last few days of high school pretty well. Although I didn’t much care for those four years of my life, there was a distinct sadness in leaving, because it was the first time I had ever had to leave anything: home, my friends, my dog, my comfort zone. I did not want to start something new. If only I
had known …

… I’d make surprisingly good grades, I’d make horrendously bad grades, I’d join the school newspaper, I’d write things that made people think, I’d figure out what I wanted to do with my life, I’d spend hours debating if that was the right decision, I’d get in trouble with my friends, I’d truly figure out why people hated the 11 a.m. kick at the Texas-OU game, I’d make mistakes, I’d learn from them, I’d disappoint myself, I’d do myself proud.

I’d hug my parents goodbye and take a 6 a.m. flight to New York City on the biggest adventure of my life, I’d spend a summer in the basement of my girlfriend’s parents’ house in Denver. I’d watch Mike Trout and Bryce Harper in their rookie year, I’d get cussed out by Albert Pujols, I’d hit on 16 in Las Vegas with my best friends, I’d drive 14 hours to Omaha to cover the College World Series. 

I’d interview Darrell Royal, Kevin Durant, Vince Young and Ricky Williams. I’d be there when Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III were drafted and shake Lawrence Taylor’s hand on Fifth Avenue. I’d witness the dawn of Linsanity and watch Derek Jeter hit an inside-out single to right field. I’d play basketball at Rucker Park and ski the Rocky Mountains. I’d catch John Legend at Austin City Limits and then see him three years later in the bathroom of a Manhattan bar and tell him how good he was. 

I’d walk past my grandfather’s open casket and wonder what the point was, if we’d just end up buried in dirt at the end of it. I’d watch my father give the eulogy and I’d hold my sister’s trembling hand, and then I’d realize that this is actually pretty beautiful. I’d learn what it was like to be broke and I’d see how nice it was to make gobs of money, and then I’d realize I was stupid to spend all of it on Sixth Street. I’d play 2K late into the night with Eddie and finish second to Kristen every single time in Mario Kart — she’s Yoshi, I’m Koopa Troopa. I’d dance to Jay-Z with Hank, from the nosebleeds, and I’d drive to San Antonio with Kyle and Todd (and technically with Hank, too) for Mama Margie’s at 4 a.m. I’d watch Nick chunk apples into building walls and plop them into hot tubs. I’d drive to San Antonio with Kristen to watch the Spurs play the Heat on a pretty penny, and pull into the parking lot and learn LeBron and D-Wade weren’t playing. I’d watch David Ash thread the needle from the stands in Stillwater, Okla. 

I’d broaden my horizons and learn that everything I was taught was not necessarily right. I’d make friends with people from all walks of life. I’d stop judging them the way I did in high school. 

I’d cover the Texas football, basketball and baseball teams, and learn that press box food was not good for your figure. I’d be pumped up by awards and then humbled by typos and inaccuracies. I’d stand on a bench and defend myself in front of protesters. I’d protest, too, but mostly about the Longhorn Network. I’d gulp down Shiner pitchers purchased by Doug at Hole in the Wall and I’d sneak Christian into bars in Dallas. I’d figure out I was no good at basketball, but thanks to everybody at Gregory who put up with me, anyway. 

I’d spend a day with Julius Whittier, the first African-American football player in school history, and we’d go to football practice together. I’d get pizza with Garrett Gilbert, and ask him about his failures as a quarterback (cue the high school version of me, punching a hole through the wall). I’d spend weekends at Disch Falk-Field, listening to Augie Garrido talk about the human spirit. I’d play intramural softball, and stand in the outfield as our former sports editor (requisite Dan Hurwitz shout-out) gave up 22 runs in one inning. I’d see pitching nearly as bad covering the Colorado Rockies a year later. I’d go to Big 12 Media Days with Nick and Sameer, and we’d ask Robert Griffin III about his chances of winning the Heisman that fall, and then we’d watch him win the Heisman. 

I’d get a new dog, and a cat. 

I’d grow up, become independent and assume I knew everything. I’d fall down and have to ask
for help. 

I’d turn 21 and then I’d turn 22 and then oh man, I’m getting old. 

There was nothing to worry about. It’s been a wonderful ride, even if it did go way too fast. Texas forever. 

-30-

Trey Scott started working at The Daily Texan in fall 2010 as a sports staff writer. He has been sports editor, associate managing editor and is now the managing editor. He encourages all of you to keep searching for the perfect lede. 

NFL superfans declare their man: RG3

Talking about top jersey sales in an NFL Blog is like discussing the weather in a Michigan elevator: You do it because you can’t talk about Louisville.

Little intrigue surrounds the purchases that allows superfans to dress up as their gridiron hero, vicariously achieving the in-game experience. Yes few things can be said of the mustard-stained apparel that was meant for grass, but in a sport constantly critiqued and rewarded by “qualified” opinions, here the superfan gets their say.

Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III beat out Peyton Manning in the total number of jerseys sold in a recent NFLSHOP.com press release.

Why does this matter?

Well, not only will there be more gimp-knee impressions than stiff-necks, the superfans have apparently declared RGIII their MPP, or most popular player.

Although the title was manufactured in the creation of this article, it has been held by a group of revered names over the past few years. Despite being slightly less prestigious than NFL MVP (and only slightly), the NFL MPP has been reflective of the best performance on the field, or just those who were the most flashy in doing so.

Here we add the rookie sensation out of Baylor to the list:

NFL MPP WINNERS (past five years)

2008​ - Tony Romo, Dallas​​​ (3,448 yards, 26 TD, 14 INT in 2008)

2009​ - Brett Favre, Minnesota​​ (4,202 yds, 33 TD, 7 INT in 2009)

2010​ - Troy Polamalu, Pittsburgh (63 tackles, 7 INT, 1 TD in 2010)

2011​ - Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay​ (4,643 yds, 45 TD, 6 INT in 2011)

2012​ - Robert Griffin III, Washington​ (3,200 yds, 20 TD, 5 INT in 2012)

RGIII may hold his Rookie of the Year Award in higher regard, but as ROY he is alongside Cam Newton, Sam Bradford, Percy Harvin, and Matt Ryan. MPP correlates with the 2011 MVP and 2010 defensive player of the year, and each player produced similar or better results in the following season.

Maybe the superfans should get an AP vote.

Trent Richardson’s strong play this season should continue into this week. He is among a group of rookies that are making big contributions to their teams this season, and could be gold mines for fantasy owners.

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

Fall is upon us, and so are the early rounds of bye weeks for players. Shuffling a roster to adjust for a key fantasy player’s off week is always difficult, so here are a few suggestions for players who are sure to be taking the field this weekend:

Start:

1) Robert Griffin III, QB, Washington Redskins
RG3! RG3! In case you haven’t heard, this Griffin guy is pretty good. Despite being a rookie, he has put up the most fantasy points of any quarterback through four games this season. The key to his success is versatility in the running and passing game. Coincidentally, this week Griffin will face the Falcons, a team that had a ton of problems containing dual-threat quarterback Cam Newton. Expect RG3 to continue playing at a high level.

2) Trent Richardson, RB, Cleveland Browns
The rookie trend continues with Richardson looking like a strong starting option this week against the Giants. Despite playing alongside rookie QB Brandon Weeden, who has struggled mightily, Richardson has managed to score in the Browns’ last three contests. Whether or not the Browns have a good day in the Meadowlands Sunday, Richardson should produce.

3) Darren Sproles, RB, New Orleans Saints
Holy cow, no one saw the Saints stumbling out of the gate to a 0-4 start. Despite his team’s struggles, Sproles remains a consistent fantasy threat. Thanks to his ability to run the ball and catch passes out of the backfield in the Saints’ creative screen game, Sproles is a versatile weapon for QB Drew Brees. With the Saints in desperation mode and his former team, the San Diego Chargers, coming into town for a Sunday Night Football showdown, Sproles should be in store for a big game.

Sit:

1) Michael Bush, RB, Chicago Bears
With starting running back Matt Forte out with an ankle injury for the past several weeks, Bush became a fantasy starter. However, with Forte healthy and back in the starting lineup, Bush’s workload is sure to decrease this week against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Although he remains a viable threat in deep fantasy leagues because of his potential for goal-line touches, avoid Bush if you can.

2) Brandon Bolden, RB, New England Patriots
Bolden exploded onto the scene in week four against the Buffalo Bills, racking up 137 rushing yards and a touchdown. However, New England players are always risky fantasy starts due to the Patriots’ propensity to spread the ball around. Considering he is behind RB Stevan Ridley on the depth chart and the Patriots are facing the Denver Broncos’ top 10 rushing defense, don’t expect Bolden to have a similar outing this week.

3) Matt Cassel, QB, Kansas City Chiefs
You know a quarterback is struggling when fans are already calling for him to be replaced by the fifth game. You really know he’s struggling when his backup and sudden fan-favorite is Brady Quinn, who has not started an NFL game since 2009. With the Ravens coming to town and the pressure mounting, Cassel could be in store for more boos from his home crowd.

Printed on Friday, October 5, 2012 as: Richardson among rookie fantasy locks

DALLAS (AP) — A former Baylor basketball player pleaded guilty Thursday to trying to extort $1 million from Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III by threatening to expose damaging information, prosecutors said.

Richard Khamir Hurd, 26, pleaded guilty to one count of interstate communication of a threat related to extortion. He faces two to three years in prison when he’s sentenced Nov. 21.

The U.S. attorney’s office said Hurd, a former walk-on basketball player at the school where Griffin won the Heisman Trophy, contacted one of Griffin’s agents in June with a demand of $1 million in order not to release information that would damage the quarterback’s reputation.

According to an FBI affidavit, Hurd first gave the agent a deadline of June 18 but extended it to give the agent time to discuss the offer with others.

Griffin’s agent contacted authorities. Under the FBI’s direction, the agent reached an agreement to pay Hurd $120,000 for the information and his signature on a non-disclosure agreement. Hurd arrived June 22 at a law office to sign the paperwork and collect the check. FBI agents arrested him afterward.

Hurd’s attorney didn’t immediately return a phone message.

Leaving court Thursday, Hurd responded to a request for comment with, “Sic ‘em, Bears,” the Waco Tribune-Herald reported.

Griffin was drafted No. 2 by the Redskins this year and signed a four-year deal for more than $21 million. He has thrown for 747 yards and four touchdowns in three games. The Redskins are 1-2.
A team spokesman declined to comment.

Baylor head coach Art Briles addresses media members at Big 12 Media Days in Dallas. Briles and the Bears are looking to improve on a 10-3 record from a year ago.

Photo Credit: Pu Ying Huang | Daily Texan Staff

The Baylor Bears may have lost their top three offensive threats from a year ago to the NFL Draft, but head coach Art Briles doesn’t see that being an issue as his team prepares for the start of a new season.

“We’ve got some holes to fill. We understand that,” Briles said. “In general I think our brand is probably as good as it’s ever been on a national level. What we have to do now is maintain it, and that’s where my inspiration, passion and drive is going to come from.”

The Bears are coming out of their best season in more than 30 years after a 10-3 finish in 2011, which included the team’s first bowl victory since 1992. But the loss of Heisman-winning quarterback Robert Griffin III as well as leading wide receiver Kendall Wright and running back Terrance Ganaway have many wondering if the Bears can duplicate their success from a season ago.

“We have to fill in the gaps because Robert created a lot of gaps,” Briles said. “We have to fill that in with a variety of different methods, schematically and personnel-wise, that will give us an opportunity to stay at the level we finished at last year.”

One of the players who will attempt to fill the massive hole left by Griffin III and others is senior quarterback Nick Florence. Florence would have two remaining years of eligibility, but he was forced to relinquish his redshirt late last season after Griffin III suffered a concussion against Texas Tech. In that game, Florence threw for 151 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for another score, eventually leading the Bears to a 66-42 win over the Red Raiders.

It was then that Briles knew Florence would do anything to see the Bears win.

“That’s where his drive is — being a good football player that contributes to Baylor being successful,” Briles said. “I have a tremendous amount of confidence in the passion, energy and fearlessness he’s going to bring to the table.”

Briles isn’t the only one confident in Florence’s ability to lead the Bears. Senior center Ivory Wade feels the Bears are right where they left off at the end of last season.

“We’re going to be the same offense we were last year,” Wade said. “Very explosive and hopefully rack up a lot of yards.”

Those yards will have to come from somewhere, and that’s precisely where fifth-year senior wide receiver Terrance Williams comes in.

Williams played in all 13 games last season, including 11 at receiver on his way to 957 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns. His receiving totals were second on the team, trailing only Wright, who is now a Tennessee Titan. At 6-foot-2, Williams provides a big target for Florence and should emerge as this year’s most reliable downfield threat.

“He’s going to blow up this year,” Wade said.

The Bears also return Tevin Reese, Lanear Sampson and Levi Norwood at receiver in addition to recent Michigan transfer Darryl Stonum. The loss of Wright hurts, but there are several players who are capable of working as a unit in order to replicate Wright’s receiving totals from last year.

With all the attention paid to Griffin III and Wright a year ago, it’s easy to forget that the Bears also had a 1,500 yard rusher, Ganaway, who is now a member of the New York Jets.

Ganaway found the endzone 21 times on the ground in 2011, and his production will be greatly missed as well.

At the moment, senior Jarred Salubi is listed as the Bears’ No. 1 running back. He’s played in 38 career games, tied for the most on the team.

“Jarred is an outstanding back. He’s able to make guys miss in space and he’s big and strong enough to be powerful inside,” Briles said.

Someone will have to step up in order to replace Ganaway, and that someone could be Lache Seastrunk. A graduate of nearby Temple High School and former Oregon Duck, Seastrunk joined the Bears in 2011 but was forced to sit out the entire season per NCAA transfer regulations.

“Lache is a very dynamic player that has three years left and we’re anxious to see what he can do when there’s people in the stands hollering, because he’s got ability and that’s something that’s hard to hide,” Briles said. “We’re going to have him open up the jacket and let it show.”

It won’t be an easy task replacing the drafted players on the offensive side of the ball, but the pieces are there.

“Perceptions change and there’s still people who are going to write us off, and that’s the way it’s always going to be,” Florence said. “We want to earn some respect. We’ve won a bowl game and got to 10 wins, so now we want to win a Big 12 Championship.”

 The Baylor Bears may have lost their top three offensive threats from a year ago to the NFL Draft, but head coach Art Briles doesn’t see that being an issue as his team prepares for the start of a new season.

“We’ve got some holes to fill. We understand that,” Briles said. “In general I think our brand is probably as good as it’s ever been on a national level. What we have to do now is maintain it, and that’s where my inspiration, passion and drive is going to come from.”

The Bears are coming out of their best season in more than 30 years after a 10-3 finish in 2011, which included the team’s first bowl victory since 1992. But the loss of Heisman-winning quarterback Robert Griffin III as well as leading wide receiver Kendall Wright and running back Terrance Ganaway have many wondering if the Bears can duplicate their success from a season ago.

“We have to fill in the gaps because Robert created a lot of gaps,” Briles said. “We have to fill that in with a variety of different methods, schematically and personnel-wise, that will give us an opportunity to stay at the level we finished at last year.”

One of the players who will attempt to fill the massive hole left by Griffin III and others is senior quarterback Nick Florence. Florence would have two remaining years of eligibility, but he was forced to relinquish his redshirt late last season after Griffin III suffered a concussion against Texas Tech. In that game, Florence threw for 151 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for another score, eventually leading the Bears to a 66-42 win over the Red Raiders.

It was then that Briles knew Florence would do anything to see the Bears win.

“That’s where his drive is — being a good football player that contributes to Baylor being successful,” Briles said. “I have a tremendous amount of confidence in the passion, energy and fearlessness he’s going to bring to the table.”

Briles isn’t the only one confident in Florence’s ability to lead the Bears. Senior center Ivory Wade feels the Bears are right where they left off at the end of last season.

“We’re going to be the same offense we were last year,” Wade said. “Very explosive and hopefully rack up a lot of yards.”

Those yards will have to come from somewhere, and that’s precisely where fifth-year senior wide receiver Terrance Williams comes in.

Williams played in all 13 games last season, including 11 at receiver on his way to 957 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns. His receiving totals were second on the team, trailing only Wright, who is now a Tennessee Titan. At 6-foot-2, Williams provides a big target for Florence and should emerge as this year’s most reliable downfield threat.

“He’s going to blow up this year,” Wade said.

The Bears also return Tevin Reese, Lanear Sampson and Levi Norwood at receiver in addition to recent Michigan transfer Darryl Stonum. The loss of Wright hurts, but there are several players who are capable of working as a unit in order to replicate Wright’s receiving totals from last year.

With all the attention paid to Griffin III and Wright a year ago, it’s easy to forget that the Bears also had a 1,500 yard rusher, Ganaway, who is now a member of the New York Jets.

Ganaway found the endzone 21 times on the ground in 2011, and his production will be greatly missed as well.

At the moment, senior Jarred Salubi is listed as the Bears’ No. 1 running back. He’s played in 38 career games, tied for the most on the team.

“Jarred is an outstanding back. He’s able to make guys miss in space and he’s big and strong enough to be powerful inside,” Briles said.

Someone will have to step up in order to replace Ganaway, and that someone could be Lache Seastrunk. A graduate of nearby Temple High School and former Oregon Duck, Seastrunk joined the Bears in 2011 but was forced to sit out the entire season per NCAA transfer regulations.

“Lache is a very dynamic player that has three years left and we’re anxious to see what he can do when there’s people in the stands hollering, because he’s got ability and that’s something that’s hard to hide,” Briles said. “We’re going to have him open up the jacket and let it show.”

It won’t be an easy task replacing the drafted players on the offensive side of the ball, but the pieces are there.

“Perceptions change and there’s still people who are going to write us off, and that’s the way it’s always going to be,” Florence said. “We want to earn some respect. We’ve won a bowl game and got to 10 wins, so now we want to win a Big 12 Championship.”

Andrew Luck to Indianapolis Colts

According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, The Indianapolis Colts have informed Stanford QB Andrew Luck that they will be selecting him with the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft. This ends a few months of speculation that the Colts might go in another direction with the pick, in drafting Baylor QB Robert Griffin III as their future successor.

Another report by Schefter indicates that the Washington Redskins will be taking Griffin with the No. 2 overall pick, now that the Colts have made their decision.

Now that the first two picks have been decided, the main points of emphasis for the draft will now be what happen with the picks after those. With Texas A&M QB Ryan Tannehill climbing up the draft boards as of late, other teams may want to trade up to select him.

Other plots include will the Philadelphia Eagles really trade for the No. 4 overall pick and what will the St. Louis Rams do with the No. 6 pick they received from the Redskins in their trade for the No. 2 pick? This year’s draft could be one of the most captivating ones in a while.

Griffin's top stats puts him in strong running for the Heisman

Baylor's Robert Griffin III deserved the Heisman this year, and few can dispute it.

First and foremost, his numbers were gaudy this season. Griffin completed more than 70 percent of his pass attempts when opponents blitzed him with 11 touchdowns and no interceptions. He completed 50 percent of passes more than 25-yards . . . for touchdowns. . . 20 of them to be exact.  

For the Texas fan that needs reminding, you may recall the second play from scrimmage when the Longhorns rolled into Waco this season. Griffin threw a 59-yard bomb to Kendall Wright that was so perfectly placed, even the Baylor fans seemed to yawn.  

Second, people will say that winning matters, and that Trent Richardson, Alabama's bruising back, had both the wins and the stats to earn himself the trophy.  But the award is meant to go to the best player in the nation, the player the best lifts the talent around him. All season, Griffin gift-wrapped highlights for his wide receivers, Kendall Wright and Terrance Williams. He shelled out touchdown after touchdown, and rarely ever turned the ball over, all things that make his team look good.  

But I'd say the biggest reason he won the Heisman is because of  the grand trajectory of his college career and how he transformed the Baylor program.

"This is unbelievably believable," Griffin said during his acceptance speech. "It's unbelievable because in the moment we're all amazed when great things happen. But it's believable because great things don't happen without hard work."

Griffin shared the stage with four incredible collegiate football players. But for someone who took a program as obscure and unimpressive as Baylor's and turned it into one of the country's strongest, even if just for a few years, the decision to honor him as the nation's best seemed like a no-brainer. The program only has a few memorable season's to its name, and even less memorable players. The Bears are 540-539-44 since 1846, their first year to field a team. They haven't finished a season ranked since 1986, and the last time they won a conference championship was in 1994 with a sad 7-5 record in the old Southwest Conference.

This year the team is ranked 12th, its got a 9-3 record and it beat Oklahoma for the first time in school history.

"Everybody associated with Baylor has a reason to celebrate tonight," he said.

He's right. Every Baylor Bear should celebrate. Griffin has done more for the program than any athlete at that school has since former Bear quarterback and current NFL assistant coach Mike Singletary did in the late 1970's and then some. And while they party out there in Waco-town, they'll likely beg the junior to come back for one more season. Don't count on it happening Baylor-nation.

Stat Guy: Comparing Vince Young with Robert Griffin III

Vince Young, former UT quarterback 2003-2005 (January 4, 2005 file photo).
Vince Young, former UT quarterback 2003-2005 (January 4, 2005 file photo).

One of the biggest stories of this college football season has been the emergence of Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III onto the national scene. Griffin, a 6-foot-2 junior, had made a name for himself his past two seasons in Waco, but he’s elevated his play even higher in 2010, establishing himself as a top Heisman Trophy contender and taking the Bears to No. 18 in the BCS polls. All the hype surrounding Griffin reminds many fans of a former quarterback who once dominated the Big 12: Texas’ own Vince Young.

Let’s take a look at how Young’s 2005 season — his best season — compares to Griffin’s.

To start, Young was known more for his running ability and his knack for continuing the play outside the pocket. Griffin has tremendous speed and can escape pass rushes as well, but he is a much more capable thrower than Young ever was.

On the year, the junior has thrown for 3,678 yards and 34 touchdowns in 11 games. He still has one more regular-season game left, Saturday against the Longhorns, and then a bowl game. Young, on the other hand, threw for 3,036 yards and 26 touchdowns in 13 games. Despite playing two more games than Griffin, it would take Young nearly three more games to match Griffin’s yardage output and four more games to match his touchdown number. So not only has Griffin been a more prolific passer, but he’s been more efficient, too. Compare their passer ratings: Griffin has a 191.1 quarterback rating thus far, Young had one of 163.9.

When it comes to rushing however, Young was the real deal. He rushed for 1,050 yards and 12 touchdowns in one year and sealed the 2005 national championship with his legs. Griffin won’t have the opportunity to play for a title, but he has rushed for a very respectable 612 yards and seven touchdowns. To match Young’s rushing total, Griffin would need to rush for 220 yards in each of his two final games. As was the case with the passing comparisons, this one isn’t close though. Young got his yards with 155 attempts. Griffin, though it’s clear he’s made more of an effort to be a pocket-passer this year, has rushed 149 times. So Young was almost doubly more effective.

With Young running so well, no single Texas receiver had a career year in 2005. Statistically, Young’s top receiving target was Billy Pittman, who had 750 yards and five touchdowns. Griffin has utilized top target Kendall Wright a tad bit more, throwing to him for 1,406 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Like Young, Griffin III sits picked to finish second to Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck in the Scripps Heisman Poll, which was released Wednesday. Young finished second in the voting to Southern California running back Reggie Bush.

There is no doubt that Young and Griffin are two of the greatest athletes to ever play college football, but it’s almost impossible to determine who’s better.

Printed on Thursday, December 1, 2011 as: Shades of Vince