Keith Price for Heisman? Don't call it "preposterous"
Posted by Jerry Brewer
(Click here to read my column on the Huskies' victory over Colorado.)
I can't start this post without giving a shout out to my friend and (in)frequent Brewery contributor, Alex Akita. Alex runs the hilarious SeattleSportsNet.com site, and back on Sept. 18, 2010, he was the first person to think this crazy thought.
Alex wrote it as a joke back when Jake Locker was in the middle of an ill-fated Heisman Trophy campaign. It took him all of 23 words to make his silly statement, and a year later, he's the most unlikely sports prophet since Joe Namath made The Guarantee. Alex has since written a post about the legitimization of his joke.
Oh, but now KP4H is more than a legitimate notion. It's a growing possibility. Let me make myself clear: It's a distant possibility, but it's growing. Even Washington football coach Steve Sarkisian, who is careful not to put too much pressure on his redshirt sophomore quarterback, will tell you that.
"No, I don't think it's preposterous," Sark said of KP4H after Saturday's 52-24 victory over Colorado. "That's a big word, but I don't think it's preposterous."
Sarkisian was referring to "Heisman" as the big word, not preposterous, by the way. But his adjective selection was quite exquisite.
The Huskies would have to win the Pac-12 for Price to receive significant Heisman consideration. Most likely, if he continues this breakout season, Price is setting himself up for an even better run at the trophy next season or in 2013.
But we're midway through this season, and if your goal is to provide an accurate and comprehensive list of college football's best performers so far, Price's name has to be on the list.
Here's the thing, though: His greatness isn't about eye-popping yardage. Price isn't like Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones, who throws the ball 40 times a game. Sarkisian wants balance, and running back Chris Polk is averaging 22.3 carries and 121.3 rushing yards per game. He's the focal point of the offense. The Huskies have run the ball 219 of 392 offensive plays this season, which is 55.9 percent of the time.
Price, who feeds off the run game, utilizes play action very well and punishes opposing defensive backs with his deft accuracy when his receivers have 1-on-1 opportunities, is averaging 28.3 pass attempts and 244.3 yards per game. It's not a pass-happy number, but look at what Price does with his opportunities. Price is completing 69.4 percent of his passes. His quarterback rating is a ridiculous 177.91. And here's the eye-popping stat: Price already has 21 touchdown passes against just four interceptions.
Price is on pace to throw 42 touchdown passes. The Football Bowl Subdivision record for touchdown passes in a season is 58, set by Hawaii's Colt Brennan in 2006. It would be preposterous if Price broke that record, but he's in a nice battle with Baylor's Robert Griffin III to be the nation's 2011 leader in that category. Right now, Griffin has a one-TD lead over Price.
Price is also in the top 10 nationally in passing efficiency (177.91 rating), and he's in the top 20 in completion percentage (69.4). In terms of what he's being asked to do, has any quarterback been more impressive?
There are several who have been as impressive. But no one can claim to be more impressive.
If the Huskies (5-1, 3-0 in the Pac-12) finish the season at 10-2 and Price continues his stellar play, Price would have to receive some major Heisman love. In the second half of the season, with high-profile games against Stanford, Oregon and USC left on the schedule, we're about to find out just how good Price and the Huskies are.
Not that Price cares about how he's perceived. A reporter asked him about the Heisman, and Price brushed it off. He's just trying to get the ball to the Huskies' playmakers, a group that seemingly grows by the week. He's playing so well because he's concerned only with making the right play, and when you put Price's talent with his focus, that's an impressive package.
KP4H is gaining legitimacy, but the important thing to know is that Keith Price is legit.
He doesn't need a trophy to prove that.
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Jan 25 - 4:31 PM Jerry Brewer hits the red carpet at Sports Star of the Year