America’s Greatest Football Conference needs to go up-tempo if it wants to present out-going CBS announcer Verne Lundquist with one last going-away Heisman.
The venerable Verne, we hear, is tired of receiving trinkets at every stop this season. His home in Steamboat Springs (Co.) is already stuffed with commemorative jerseys and he’s telling friends if he gets one more he’s going to jump a chair lift and scream “Ingemar Stenmark!” on his way to the craggy bottom.
Sources close to Gary Danielson say Verne is becoming so cranky at production meetings he is thinking of dropping the “goodness” from his “goodness gracious” call.
Let’s face it: Verne is spoiled. The SEC has won Heisman hardware five times since 2006 in an unprecedented run starting with Tim Tebow in 2007.
Alabama, which had never won a Heisman before 2008, claimed its first in 2009 with tailback Mark Ingram and its second last year in tailback Derrick Henry.
The SEC also won in 2010, with Auburn’s Cam Newton, and in 2012 Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel.
Most years, Verne and Gary get to choose their front runner.
Last year, they went into the Alabama-LSU game touting Leonard Fournette as the obvious choice until he was shut down by the Crimson Tide defense. Instantly, Verne and Gary switched huddles and threw their weight behind Alabama’s Henry.
It was a brilliant pivot.
Things this year, though, are looking very, very dodgy.
Worse than that, there is an ugly scenario developing in which Tennessee’s quarterback could defeat Alabama but go on to lose the Heisman to a defensive back from Michigan. The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.