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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Poll Results: What has to happen for Heaps-hype to match or exceed Jimmer-mania?

This poll was different from every other on Blue Cougar Football because multiple answers could be selected. The results will add up to more than 100%, but don't let that confuse you. Just as there is no one act that Jimmer Fredette has done to set Cougar Nation in a frenzy, Jake Heaps will have to accomplish more than one great feat to excite the masses to an equal or greater level of euphoria. The results were as follows:
32% Win the Heisman Trophy
56% Take BYU to a BCS bowl
10% Win the National Championship
20% Lead the nation in passing yards
10% Break Ty Detmer's School Records
24% All of the Above
My take on this poll question centers around the to match or exceed qualifier. Logically, Heaps' accomplishments will need to match or exceed Jimmer's accomplishments. Jimmer is at worst a finalist for the most prestigious player of the year awards, and appears to have a good shot at winning them. For Heaps that translates into being a Heisman Trophy finalist at a minimum. A BCS bowl in college football is the equivalent of making the final four in basketball, and winning the national championship means the same thing in basketball as it does in football. Jimmer will probably end the season as the nation's leading scorer, which would be the equivalent of leading the nation in passing yards for a quarterback. Jimmer is flirting with breaking Danny Ainge's record for most points scored in a career along with other BYU basketball records. Heaps will probably need to do the same. The key records that Detmer holds that Heaps would have to break or come close to breaking are: most passing yards in a season (5,188), most passing yards in a career (15,031), and most touchdown passes in a career (121).

One effect that Jimmer has had that was not one of the poll responses is catch the fancy of the national media. For approximately one month, Jimmer has repeatedly made national headlines. That can be a little more difficult for Heaps to do. Jimmer has had four years to build his legacy and following in a sport that sees its best and brightest leave for the NBA after one year. College football's elite must play three seasons before they can leave for the professional ranks. That allows several players to build a devoted following, who all want the media to recognize their guy. Heaps will need a gimmick, just like Jimmer and Tim Tebow, if he is to garner the media spotlight the way Jimmer has. Will BYU going independent be enough of a gimmick, or will Heaps have to come up with something else?

The last ingredient to consider is that football is bigger than basketball, especially when the quarterback is the one in question. If I am trying to make a prediction, then it is possible that Heaps only has to win the Heisman or take BYU to a BCS bowl for his popularity and control of the fan base to be equal to that of Jimmer Fredette.

Thank you to everyone who voted. Don't forget to vote in this week's question: "What validated the BYU QB Factory the most?"

The Editor appreciates all feedback. He can be reached via email at bluecougarfootball@gmail.com

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