Wednesday

Heisman Vote & DFTU

Hello again everybody...

Well the news finally came down today. An all-staff meeting's been scheduled for Friday morning at 9:30 at the big 'CCO. Somewhere God is smiling ("let's see... Dan's not a morning person... he has Friday off.... yup, mandatory meeting time!").

Am I whining? Perhaps a touch. But it's out of my system now and I'm feeling better about it, so thanks for helping with my self-therapy.

Today it's time to talk Heisman Trophy. Unfortunately, The Sports Take has yet to earn me an actual ballot for the award, but that won't stop me from sharing my thoughts with you, my loyal readers. Then it's time for everybody's favorite segment. A little thing we like to call the DFTU. So off we go!

"History will be kind to me for I intend to write it."
- Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965), British Prime Minister


No real connection to anything I'm writing today, but it made me chuckle, so there you go.

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First up today it's the official Sports Take Heisman Ballot. Okay, it's not official in the eyes of the folks who actually vote for the award, but it's my official thoughts on the matter. And that's official enough for us!

Without further ado...

3. Tim Tebow, QB, University of Florida
(28 TD passing, 12 TD rushing, 2 INT, 64% completion %, 176.74 passer rating)

Yes, I said on Monday that Tebow might be the best college football player I've ever seen. Yes, that would seem to indicate that he should be my Heisman pick.

But the Heisman is given on a single season's worth of work. And my label of "best I've ever seen" is about Tebow's entire body of work.

The fact that Tebow will likely be a finalist for the second time while only being a Junior is pretty impressive in and of itself. But his statistics last year were so insanely good that the odds of him being able to match those were very small. And if he wasn't able to match those stats, or at least come close, then the odds of him winning a second straight Heisman had to equally decrease.

In the end, I'm voting Tebow third not because he wasn't as good as he was last year, but rather because there were two other players that had such fantastic years, that they simply deserve to be ranked ahead of him.

2. Colt McCoy, QB, University of Texas
(32 TD passing, 10 TD rushing, 7 INT, 77% completion %, 179.20 passer rating)

If I had to place a wager on who's going to win, I'd bet on McCoy. His statistics are excellent, he had the least help of the other candidates and don't discount the sympathy vote given the fact that Texas got "tie-breakered" (yes, I made that word up) out of a shot at the National Title.

So why am I not voting him as my number one choice?

To explain that, I give you...

1. Sam Bradford, QB, University of Oklahoma
(48 TD passing, 5 TD rushing, 6 INT, 68% completion %, 186.29 passer rating)

I really struggled in deciding between Bradford and McCoy. There's no question that McCoy's season was damned impressive. And there's also no question that Bradford had more help around him than McCoy had.

But ultimately, I couldn't ignore the fact that in nearly every respect, Bradford had a better statistical year than McCoy had.

No, the award isn't only about statistics, but considering that both men led their teams to identical 11-1 records, and neither was required to deal with significantly more adversity than the other, which guy had the better stats becomes a reasonable tiebreaker.

So I'm casting my vote for Sam Bradford. I don't think he'll win (and in fact, I think there's a reasonable chance he'll finish third), but I'm interested to see how it all shakes out. It should be some of the closest voting we've seen in quite some time.

The finalists for the Heisman will be announced tonight. The award itself will be presented Saturday night.

Next up it's time for everybody's favorite segment: Dan's Favorite Teams Update!

Minnesota Wild: The Wild are 15-10-1, which translates to 31 points, which is good for 3rd place in the Northwest Division, 4 points behind the Vancouver Canucks.

The Wild have played 3 games since we last DTFU'd. A 4-0 win over the St. Louis Blues last Wednesday started things off nicely. Minnesota was looking to avenge an earlier poor effort against the Blues and managed to do just that.

Unfortunately, that solid effort was followed by two lackluster ones. In their second consecutive Friday/Saturday back-to-back set of games, the Wild dropped two straight. They lost 2-1 at home versus Vancouver (again!) and 1-0 on the road at Nashville.

Both losses were tough to take. The Vancouver game sucked because the Canucks were down to their 3rd-string goaltender, yet the Wild could only scratch out one marker. Add to that the fact that Vancouver is a division opponent whom the Wild has yet to beat this year and that loss becomes even more worrisome.

The Nashville game sucked because exactly a week prior, the Wild handled the Predators easily, winning 6-2. So to get shut out by a team you scored 6 on a week ago clearly highlights a bad run offensively.

But yesterday came news that may help alleviate some of the Wild's scoring woes. For the first time in over a month, winger Marian Gaborik practiced with the team, including skating with the second power-play unit.

There's no guarantee that he'll play Thursday night in Phoenix, but I'd be surprised if he didn't make an appearance sometime on this road trip.

No, Gaborik isn't the end-all be-all of the Wild's offense. But there's no question that he frees up space on the ice for his teammates when he's out there. And that can't do anything but help.

And of course, the other advantage to Gaborik playing is that it showcases him for a potential trade. I think at this point most Wild fans have resigned themselves to the fact that Marian isn't going to be here next year. And if that's going to be the case, then here's to hoping that GM Doug Risebrough can craft a quality return for trading the Wild's biggest star.

As mentioned, the Wild are on the road for the next 3 games. They travel to Phoenix (where I can tell you from personal experience that even though Phoenix is a warm-weather city, it's STILL not a good idea to wear shorts to the arena) to take on the Coyotes Thursday night. Then on Saturday they head to L.A. to clash with the Kings. Then Sunday they head down the road to Anaheim to go Duck hunting.

Wisconsin Badgers (basketball): The Badgers are 7-2 (0-0 in the Big Ten).

I have to admit. Even with college football's regular season being done, it's still really hard for me to get excited about college basketball. Maybe my tastes are changing. Maybe it's just not the right time of year.

Either way, I've only caught bits and pieces of a few Badger games this year, so it's difficult for me to speak intelligently about them (insert punch-line here).

Here's what I can tell you. The Badgers are good, but not great. They had a lead late in the game versus Marquette, but couldn't hang on down the stretch against the Warriors on the road.

They then returned home and squeaked out a 2-point win against that perennial basketball powerhouse known as Idaho State. Idaho freaking State. Are you kidding me? I can only imagine the Bo Ryan tongue-lashing that followed that effort.

Bucky faces in-state rival UW-Green Bay Saturday night before taking a week off for finals.

That's all for today folks. No picks tomorrow as Bowl season doesn't kick off til the 20th, so I'll be back on Friday with the final regular season ST Top 10 Poll and some week ending goodness. And hopefully I'll be able to report that the purge is done after the big meeting! Until then, thanks for reading!

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