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Dear Athletic Directors: Your Heisman Campaign Is a Waste of Money

When I read today that Florida State was starting a Heisman campaign for quarterback Christian Ponder, my first thought was, "Well that's a waste of money." Not that Ponder isn't talented enough to win a Heisman – he tore up UNC's secondary last fall, after all. It's that spending money to make sportswriters "aware" of Christian Ponder is ridiculous. If he's going to win the Heisman, it'll require FSU to being in strong contention for the national championship come December. And if they're that good, everyone will know who their quarterback is.

You may not think the performance of last year's abysmal Seminole defense would be particularly relevant to Ponder's chances for an individual award, but you'd be mistaken. The last Heisman winner to play for a team ranked lower than 15th was Ty Detmer in 1990; since then there have been only two winners whose team had more than two losses were Ricky Williams in 1998 and Tim Tebow in 2007. The ACC still doesn't present the level of competition where you can win the Heisman while dropping that many games. So save the postcards. If Ponder is going to reach that level, the sportswriters will figure it out.

(For the matter, the whole concept of a campaign for an award before the season starts is rather silly. In this day and age of constant ESPN coverage, no player of that caliber will get by unheralded. And any voter who may be swayed by a media packet in July needs to turn their vote over to someone who pays attention.)