I completely missed the Heisman Trophy ceremony this past weekend. I knew it was coming, and entirely forgot to tune in. Maybe that’s why the committee decided to rig the votes and award the trophy to Kyler Murray rather than Tua Tagovailoa – so that perhaps a few of us will remember there was controversy this year and bother to tune in in 2019.
Anyway, I forgot to tune in because 1) I was actually attending a social gathering, and 2) nobody from Notre Dame was even remotely involved. And if you think about that, isn’t that sort of funny? Who would have ever guessed that a Notre Dame squad could go undefeated in the regular season with an incredibly good starting quarterback, and that QB wouldn’t even get invited to NYC? Every Saturday this fall I would regularly marvel at Book’s abilities, whether he was destroying defenses with his lethal efficiency or putting the game on his back and forcing good things to happen to keep ND’s playoff hopes alive. And yet he didn’t get invited to NYC.
Book, while a major injection of offensive output for ND, was simply not on the same tier as either Kyler Murray or Tua Tagovailoa, but even I was sort of stunned by the difference when I really looked at the stats.
Among the 4 QBs in this year’s playoffs, Tua and Murray are simply other-dimensional. Both managed QBRs of over 200 while maintaining YPAs over 11. Absurd. Where Book was an engineer of excellent scoring drives, Tua and Murray were destroyers of worlds. Both had at least 18 more TDs than Book’s 19 on the season. Meanwhile, Book’s season compares quite well with 2 of ND’s best QBs of the recent era, Brady Quinn and Jimmy Clausen. Ian managed to have a better completion % and QBR than either Brady or Jimmy in their best seasons. Further, Ian managed to best at least one of the duo in 4 of the 8 categories examined above. Pretty damned good. Ian’s only problem is that he’s had this wonderful season while the college football world was having its collective mind blown by Tua and Murray. Not unlike opening a wonderful movie at the same time as Star Wars: A New Hope.