Should a player on a team that he led to a #1 ranking in the NC&QB, a #2 BCS ranking and an 8-1 record lose an almost certain Heisman Trophy because of a late season injury?
Oregon's Denis Dixon has been the motor behind the nation's most explosive and exciting offense. His running, passing and unshakable leadership pushed Oregon into position for a BCS title game birth and a #1 ranking in the most accurate poll.
Should Dixon now lose his Heisman because of a poor decision by his coach to start him when an dinged knee was not at full strength?
Dixon has distanced himself from the other players in the Heisman race. The closest competition was Florida's Tim Tebow. Tebow is having a solid season doing a first rate impression of a Negro QB, but Tebow isn't winning. Winning isn't the ultimate criterion for the Heisman, but certainly, when you factor in the awe inviting ability and performance of Dixon with his leading the team to #1; you have no choice but to at least consider it.
And, as we queried, should Dixon's performance thus far simply be pushed aside because he won't be able to finish out the last few games?
The answer is a resounding no.
Dixon has played enough this season to establish himself as the premier player in the college game. To allow his Heisman campaign to be the casualty of an ill advised move by his coach would not be an example of the good sportsmanship that the Downtown Athletic Club generally encourages.
Dixon and his team have certainly suffered the ultimate disappointment because of the decision. By starting Dixon, and effectively condoning his injury, white coach Mike Bellotti unwittingly destroyed his team's moral. After Dixon went out, the team was in a state of shock. Back up QB Brady Leaf, ill prepared to lead the team -had Belloti not started Dixon it's possible that the Leaf would have gotten the reps over the past two weeks to be ready and possible that the team would have been prepared to deal with his shakey presence on the field - conjured memories of a mix of his name sake's (Brady Quinn) performance in big games and his brother's (Ryan Leaf) NFL skills.
Oregon's right to what was a certain BCS title game birth has now blown up.
Let us not deny Negro QB Dennis Dixon his right to a Heisman Trophy.
We trust that Heisman voters around the country will not use this as an opportunity to further hold back the day by day advancement of the Negro QB.
Do the right thing, voters. Do the right thing.