Monday, November 27|
Oklahoma must take care of K-State
By Mel Kiper Jr.
After a tremendously exciting college football regular season, it all boils down to the Big 12 Championship Game on Saturday between Oklahoma and Kansas State to determine who will be playing for all the marbles at the Orange Bowl.
If the Sooners win to go 12-0 on the season, they'll square off against Florida State for the national title. If Kansas State pulls the upset at Arrowhead Stadium, this would set up a rematch between the Seminoles and the Miami Hurricanes. Either way, as college football fans, we can't lose.
An OU-Florida State matchup would allow senior gunslingers Chris Weinke and Josh Heupel to duel for 60 minutes. What could be better than the top two Heisman Trophy candidates looking to best the other with the intense pressure of the national championship on the line?
We would also see the superior, highly skilled FSU defense looking to contain Heupel and his talented array of young wide receivers.
If it ends up being FSU against Miami, college football fans would be treated to a rematch of two outstanding football programs with a storied history. Past games have been memorable -- regarded as some of the greatest college football games ever played. With this matchup, you would have Chris Weinke attempting to outduel sophomore standout Ken Dorsey for the Hurricanes.
While Weinke and Heupel have received just about all of the Heisman attention, and rightfully so, I would place Dorsey fourth overall on my unofficial Heisman ballot (I don't have a vote).
All the young sophomore has done is position the Hurricanes for a possible shot at the national title while in the process leading them to a dramatic victory over the Seminoles on Oct. 7. Who could forget the poise and confidence Dorsey showed on the final game-winning drive to pull out the hard-fought victory?
This past week, after Boston College took an early 6-0 lead, Dorsey was at the controls of a Hurricane attack that put 52 points on the board. In the process, Dorsey completed passes to seven different receivers, going 17-of-26 for 252 yards and five touchdowns. Those TD strikes went to Santana Moss (two), Reggie Wayne, tight end Jeremy Shockey and running back James Jackson.
For the year, Dorsey completed 58.4 percent of his aerials, throwing for 2,737 yards. His 25 TD passes tied him for third overall with Bernie Kosar (1984) on the Hurricanes' all-time list for a single season. What more could Butch Davis have asked from his young signal caller? Dorsey delivered big time and is certainly deserving of Heisman consideration.
Third on my list for the Heisman Trophy, behind Heupel and Weinke and just ahead of Dorsey, would be Georgia Tech quarterback George Godsey. What jumps out to me with Godsey is not only the efficient manner in which he directed the Yellow Jackets' offense, but how he elevated the team in a season that was initially considered more of a transitional, rebuilding campaign.
|QB Chris Weinke and Florida State are simply waiting to see who they'll face for the national title.|
Instead, with Godsey leading the way, Georgia Tech closed out the regular season with an impressive 9-2 record, ending the campaign with a seven-game winning streak that featured road victories over Clemson and Georgia.
Keep in mind, Tech's only setbacks were close calls to Florida State (26-21) and N.C. State (30-23 in overtime) that could have gone either way.
In 1999, the final year of the exceptional Joe Hamilton era, Georgia Tech finished the regular season at 8-3, then lost to Miami in the Gator Bowl to end up with an 8-4 campaign. Godsey has the Rambling Wreck poised for a potential 10-win season if they come out with a victory against either South Carolina or Tennessee in the Peach Bowl.
For the year, Godsey completed an impressive 63.6 percent of his passes, but even more noteworthy was his 74-percent mark during the critical fourth quarter. That's when George O'Leary and highly regarded offensive coordinator Ralph Friedgen needed Godsey to be on top of his game and he certainly didn't disappoint.
Overall, Godsey threw for nearly 3,000 yards (2,906 to be exact), tossing 23 TD passes with only six interceptions. He also spread the wealth, distributing passes to wide-outs Kelly Campbell, Kerry Watkins, Will Glover and freshman standout Nate Curry as well as tight end Russell Matvay and running back Joe Burns.
In Friedgen's sophisticated attack, seven skill-position players finished with 20 or more receptions on the season.
||Godsey elevated the Yellow Jackets in what was supposed to be a transitional, rebuilding campaign. ”