Logan Woodside is a Heisman candidate. He is on the watch list of other prestigious awards. Anyone with half a brain knows that he isn’t going to win the Heisman. Just being mentioned in the conversation is nice.
But that shouldn’t be enough, and I’ll explain.
These awards are for the very best in college football. Mr. Woodside doesn’t have a chance because he plays in a lesser conference. The national media will disregard any stats that he has, and vote on the guy that is doing less against better competition. That’s the reality, and that’s wrong.
I generally don’t like using a pro career to define a college legacy. They are two separate games, and just because someone is great in one doesn’t equal great in the other. However, it’s important here.
We know the MAC isn’t as deep as the other conferences, and thus their stars don’t reach the same level of recognition. For example Corey Davis has more receiving yards than anyone. He doesn’t have a Biletnikoff award to show for it. On the one hand, it makes sense. The level of competition he faced isn’t the same as the “big school” receivers. And here is where that line of thinking is wrong.
I am headed to Canton for the MAC Media Day. There are plenty of Pro Football Hall of Fame members that played their college ball in the MAC. We’ll take Jason Taylor as the example. He was a good college player, and was drafted in the third round. A three year starter in the MAC, he made some noise. He made even more noise as a pro.
He didn’t completely change his stripes once he got to the NFL. He was one of the best defensive players in the country in college, and even though he was only a third round pick, he proved it in the pros.
Let’s look at Ben Roethlisberger. He was a stud at Miami. I distinctly remember him playing against Iowa, a “big” school”, and having a bad game. That dropped him from a top 5 pick to the 20s in the first round. Why? Because he could only perform against smaller schools and lesser competition or that was the reasoning.
That reasoning was blown out of the water because he is a first ballot hall of famer in the NFL. His receivers and lineman and coaches weren’t as proficient as his competition, either.
I am not some talent guru that can tell what is going to happen when Logan Woodside goes to the NFL, or really even if he will. What I can say is, neither can anyone else. It’s a pretty big crap shoot. More importantly, I can’t tell what he would do with “big school” talent, playing against other “big schools”, and neither can you.
As all the former MAC players in the Hall of Fame can attest, excelling in the MAC should hold weight for national awards. I get the depth isn’t there, but there have been plenty of all time greats that have come from the top of the MAC that they should get consideration for the top college awards. In reality, we are punishing them for not being a great high school player. Or even more specifically, we are punishing them for not being a great high school prospect. That’s dumb.
Accept that Logan Woodside had a great season last year. Accept that if he does even better, he might be the best player in college football. He could be, just like Jason Taylor was the best defensive end when he was at Akron, Ben Roethlisberger was the best qb while he was at Miami, and Jack Lambert was the best linebacker while he was at Kent State.