Friday, July 27, 2007

Irrational Exuberance

Who wants the Heisman anyway?

Thank you Alan Greenspan. Much like my portfolio, Mountaineer hopes for a Heisman award winner are at their losest point since January.

Slaton finished fourth last year behind Troy Smith, Darren McFadden and Brady Quinn. With Smith permanently demorialized by Florida and Quinn off to flex biceps for Male Athlete Monthly, it would seem Slaton's only competition for the upcoming year would be Arkansas's best quarterback, Darren McFadden. Additionally, some folks think Arkansas is going to have a tougher time this year and hamper the 26" rimmed Crown Vic.

Vegas seems to share in this analysis. Odds on Slaton are currently 4.5:1, barely trailing future presidential assassin John David Booty (4:1) and Big East rival Brian Brohm (3.5:1). McFadden comes in at 5:1.

We Bastards are obviously big fans of the Mountaineers and thank the good lord above daily for Coach Fridge discarding Slaton in favor of his 6th rack of ribs. But... I don't think he will win the Heisman this year for the following reasons.

First, the Heisman is awarded based upon votes. And unfortunately, WVU doesn't have a lot of those. Booty, on the other hand, goes to USC. And apparently, USC Heisman votes get a little boost "for being on the west coast" just like the PAC-10's strength of schedule ranking.

Second, WVU has no marketing campaign. Does Slaton even have a web page up? Despite my googility, I was unsuccesful in finding anything other than the Heismaneer - which appears to be a fan created site.

Third, Slaton may not be the most valuable player on his own team. In recent years, the Heisman, at least to this casual observer, has transformed from the "Best Player in College Football Award" to an MVP Award given to the most important member from one of the year's best teams. All one must do is look back to the Georgia Tech game or the Louisville game of the year before to see who the most important player on this Mountaineer team is.

And fourth, speaking of Patrick, he's bound to get a few votes, too, consequently taking away several votes in what is anticipated to be a very close vote.

Perhaps its my appalachian upbringing resulting in a subtle "us vs. them" paranoia, but I don't like mainstream sports media. Over the past few years, as WVU grew from a perenial 20-40, but before we fully arrived, I read and heard various media outlets "liking" us. I take this now as the "lovable loser" admiration. "Ah, the little school that couldn't is trying real hard this year. How cute." (See Corso preseason picks '04.)

But now, suddenly, we're legitimate and that makes us a threat. Suddenly, the attention from ESPN has waned. Slaton didn't even get mentioned on the Heisman preview show. And I expect this be-quiet-and-they'll-go-away approach to continue through the year.
Argh... I should probably leave the conspiracy theories to those more qualified. Paging AngryEER.


letsplaytummysticks said...

I wouldn't say that the attention has waned. We have just becomed programmed to need it. Over the last couple of years WVU has been mentioned enough that we expect a story on every Gameday broadcast like Pavlov's dog. And when we don't get it people run screaming about conspiracies and lack of respect. WVU gets plenty of respect for an area with no major media market to cover it regularly.

Slaton's got three showcase games; Rutgers, Louisville, and MD to make a statement. If he dominates and WVU goes undefeated he has a shot; otherwise he probably still gets to go to the ceremony.

Option Spread said...

I hear ya, I hear ya. But I still propose that we're less of a story now. Let's face it, the media in all of its forms or outlets is in business to do one thing: attact an audience. They do so by pumping big or interesting or compelling stories. A team on the national contender scene for the first time in 20 years is a bit more compelling of a story than a team consistently competing for the title. This is, oh, what? Three out of four years we've had a long, but reasonable shot at the title? Its even less compelling of a story if said team is from one of the least populated states in the union.

So yeah, we were conditioned to expect regular coverage. We got it because we were a more compelling story having been out of the spotlight for over a decade. But now that the college football community expects us to be there, there's not nearly as much reward for ESPN or Sportsline to cover us. Media coverage decreases:Slaton coverage decreases:Slaton heisman votes decrease.

letsplaytummysticks said...

Yeah ESPN has no reason to pimp us, other than the 8 games we play on their network this year. Jackass.

Option Spread said...

Ah, that's what I like, just like Arena league. That worked out well. I hope you flip over your handlebars and knock your front two teeth out.

letsplaytummysticks said...

But you have to admit we are covered now WAY more than five years ago. Look at any major magazine this year in a preseason issue and there is a full article on WVU, Slaton, or White. Three years ago WVU was a paragraph. The stories tailed off at the end of last year because we lost 2 games. If we keep winning this year the stories keep coming. It's really that simple. ESPN will shove WVU down people's throats for ratings. There is already another "inside" the program thingy coming and SI had White and Slaton writing for them over the summer. Now get with it you sandbagging son of a bitch.

Option Spread said...

Ok, you win. I suck at life.

letsplaytummysticks said...

And we finally agree.

wolf said...

waaaaa, people dont love us.... fags

wolf said...

That is car is pure shit!! Slaton has to win a principle now!!

Option Spread said...

Is that English?

Brave Sir Robin said...

I enjoy your unbridled debate almost as much as the wolf gibberish. You want lack of coverage- check out the last two years of my WVU undergraduate tour. "Spot the ball" made it hard to find us for a couple seasons.

Three out of three bastards agree that Steve has a legit chance of winning- even w/o a super-cool website because of our extensive coverage this year... and that OS sucks at life.

wolf said...

I wish I could tell you what I was trying to say, but honestly I have no idea...I will just go back to my drinking