Is this the week? Is this the time that all of those withHeisman Trophy votes can put their Andrew Luck selection in ink?
Maybe. Maybe not.
I suppose it depends on yourcriteria, and yes, this is a big stage for Stanford and their quarterback. But I think the very best thing about Luck isthat hes only spectacular when he has to be.And, he hasnt had to be.
True enough, it depends on yourdefinition of spectacular. If itsbloated statistics then Luck would fall into the maybe category. If its how well you play the position andwhat impact do you have on your team its a no-brainer.
The Cardinal play at USC thisSaturday. Not an easy place to play fora visiting team. But one of the things Ireally like about this Stanford team is that they dont seem to care about thevenue. And it starts with thequarterback.
I remember talking to severalmembers of the San Francisco 49ers during the Bill Walsh hey-day and to thenumber they said, When you get in the huddle with Joe Montana you simply knowyoure going to win. Time remaining,score, down and distance, none of that matters. You just know youre going to win. Andrew Luck brings that same kind of assurance to his team.
Stanford will win the game onSaturday. And theyll likely do it inthe same way theyve disassembled everyone else theyve played this year. The first quarter will be close. In the second quarter the difference willbegin to show. In the third quarter theopponent is on the ropes and reeling, and in the final 15 minutes whats leftis a gelatinous mass. The Cardinal beatyou up. They pound on you with anendless array of big bodies, and they take no prisoners. There are no technical knockouts in collegefootball.
Its for that reason that AndrewLuck has not put up numbers that dazzle would be Heisman voters who are quickto judge a players ability on how many touchdown passes he can throw againstPanhandle A&M. The single mostimpressive thing to me about Luck is that he does all he does within thesystem.
With Luck its about nuance --like the difference between a good wine and a great wine. Pocket presence, when to run and when to holdit, check downs, when touch is required and when you really need to spin it,getting in and out of the huddle, knowing where everyone is. And when he really needs to make a play hemakes it.
Enjoy Andrew Luck while youcan. Hes probably not going to be inthe Bay Area after this year. And enjoyhis team. The Cardinal are not perfect. The Shayne Skov loss is a big one, and theywill on occasion give up the big play. USC is capable of the big play.The difference in this game is that they will need a lot of them.
Oregon could be another story but for this week there will still be a national championship to dream of.