- David Ubben, College Football
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So, how do you want to do this? We can crack it any which way.
Most valuable player?
Best overall player?
Through the first half of the season, Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III has been all of the above.
Baylor's suffered two losses this season, which, fair or not (we can discuss this later), hurts Griffin's Heisman chances. Everything else, though?
Try to find one negative from Griffin's first half. You'll be looking awhile.
Passer rating? Griffin's mark of 205.13 is still on track for an NCAA record, behind only Wisconsin's Russell Wilson. The nearest Big 12 competitor?
His 22 touchdown passes are the most of any quarterback in the nation, one more than Boise State's Kellen Moore. Griffin has completed over 78 percent of his passes, two percent more than anyone else in the nation and more than five percent higher than any quarterback in the Big 12.
As noted by Pre-Snap Read this week, former Oklahoma star and Heisman winner Sam Bradford threw 88 touchdown passes in 893 attempts, scoring on 9.9 percent of his attempts.
This year, Griffin has his 22 touchdowns on just 183 pass attempts, which means he scores on just over 12 percent of his throws. In the FBS, 56 quarterbacks have more attempts. No one has more touchdowns.
Don't want to talk numbers? Let's talk intangibles.
I watch a lot of Big 12 and college football. Certainly no one in the Big 12 throws a better deep ball, and Griffin has a case as the best in the nation.
Assessing who is most valuable to his team is a difficult exercise, but I know what I saw. And I know Baylor doesn't earn its signature win of 2011, the season opener against TCU, without Griffin.
A close road loss to Kansas State would have been a beatdown. A second-half runaway win by Texas A&M would have been a laugher.
Griffin makes Baylor a scary, scary team for anyone to play, and there's no doubt: Through the first half of 2011, he's been better than anyone in the league by a sizeable margin.
4dDavid M. Hale