Whispers of a Heisman Trophy for University of Louisville Cardinal quarterback Teddy Bridgewater began during the first game of the season when the efficient signal caller sliced up the University of Kentucky defense. The first half of the North Carolina game made the national media take notice of the sophomore phenom. Beginning in the second half of the UNC game, things have gotten tougher, but he’s on the national stage now with his team ranked 16th in the nation according to the USA Today College Coaches Poll.
Now, in the October 15th edition of ESPN the Magazine, the whispers get louder. Sort of.
Writers Travis Haney and KC Joyner looked at the potential fortunes of 4 players. Along with Bridgewater, they examined Morgan Breslin of USC, Stephon Jefferson from Nevada and Baylor’s Terrance Williams. Bridgewater was the only QB in the group.
In the “Bona Fide” column, they wrote:
Just a sophomore, the Miami native can pick you apart with time (1,049 yards, 7 TDs through Week 4), and he led the Cards to their first 4-0 start since 2006.
Being on a magazine deadline, you can forgive them for not saying UofL’s start is at 5-0. But then the ESPN bias against the Big East shows up in the “Disqualified” column where they said:
Put simply: The Big East is too weak to produce a hopeful. Heck, it hasn’t had a Heisman winner since Miami was a member (QB Gino Torretta in 1992).
You knew a qualifier was coming. As ESPN continues to downplay Big East teams, Bridgewater gets his conference held against him. Remember the last time this happened? The year was 1999.
That year, Louisville had both Chris Redman and Michael Bush in the Heisman discussion. Cardinal sports historians know what happened next. Michael Bush broke his leg in that year's Kentucky game and ended up being done for the season and his college career.
For Chris Redman, he ended his career as the first Division 1-A quarterback to complete 1,000 passes and passed for over 3,000 yards 3 times. Redman didn’t get a sniff at the trophy. He ended up being a victim of his conference as well. If you think ESPN hates the Big East, imagine how it felt about Conference USA.
So seeing things realistically, it’s nice to have Teddy Bridgewater’s name in the Heisman hopper, but he should continue to concentrate on winning football games. That invitation to New York City at the end of the season won’t be coming anytime soon.
Photo: Louisville.com/Tim Girton