Commentary

Ricky Stanzi may trump Cam Newton

Three-loss Hawkeyes QB is ahead of Heisman front-runner in many respects

Originally Published: November 17, 2010
By KC Joyner | ESPN Insider
Getty ImagesRicky Stanzi had a rough game against Northwestern but is one of the best QBs in the Big Ten.

One of the big differences between the NFL and college football is that those who cover the NFL are much more forgiving of team performance when judging players for postseason awards.

For example, in last week's edition of the Mike Sando MVP Watch (a weekly must-read), Philip Rivers ranked second despite playing on a team with a 4-5 record. Many NFL pundits are in concurrence with Sando on Rivers being possibly the best player in the league, so it a true measurement of the media pulse in this matter.

Contrast that to the case of Iowa Hawkeyes quarterback Ricky Stanzi. The Heisman Predictor, an excellent tool created by Ryan McCrystal of ESPN's Stats and Information department, uses historical statistics and voting trends to determine how likely a player is to receive Heisman Trophy consideration.

Going into last week's contest against the Northwestern Wildcats, Stanzi was rated fourth in the Predictor. After the Wildcats upset the Hawkeyes, thus giving Iowa its third loss of the season and all but assuring it cannot win the Big Ten, Stanzi dropped out of the Predictor's top 10.

That really is a shame, because after breaking down game tapes and reviewing Stanzi's metrics, it is clear he can make a strong case as being the best passer in college football.