Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Gotta Be Toby

When it comes to the Great Rivalry, my DNA goes with Cal (Grandpa Bunger played football there WAY back when; had his knee destroyed on what he always said was a dirty hit by one of Slip Madigan's St. Mary's Gaels).

But I know good when I see it, and I am pulling hard for Stanford's Toby Gerhart to win the Heisman Trophy. Gerhart's performance down the stretch was the stuff of legend. He was the key player in wins over Oregon, USC and Notre Dame. And in that narrow Big Game loss to Cal, Gerhart nearly willed the Cardinal to victory (heck, if he'd had the ball on those final plays, maybe they would have won).

He's also a starting outfielder on the Stanford baseball team, good enough that he could seriously entertain thoughts of playing baseball for a living. He's a good student, has a sense of humor, and his teammates absolutely love him. In short: The All-American Boy.

As I write, I don't know how it'll turn out. I know there's a Heisman bias toward the football-factory programs, and it's even tougher if you're on the West Coast. In fact, the last non-USC player to win the Heisman also strolled the Stanford Quad: Jim Plunkett in 1970.

No slam on the other finalists, but from where I sit, it's easy. Touchdown Toby should cart home the Heisman.

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