Last season, when we were at GeauxTuscaloosa, we did a little feature called the GeauxTuscaloosa SEC Offensive Skill Position Player of the Week. It's a feature that will be migrated to this site.
The award, as its name implies, honors the only people the Heisman Trophy ever honors as the greatest player. It honors someone who is in a position to put up a lot of numbers. I simply cannot sit here at my computer and evaluate the play of a linebacker that I did not watch, but I can read a recap and look at a boxscore with the best of them.
Since last year was my first year of blogging, some things need some tweaking the second time around. Last year, we just picked the gaudiest statline and awarded the player associated with that statline the award. This year, we're going to take quality of competition into account a lot more.
This week, there really aren't a lot of gaudy statlines to choose from. Honestly, this is one of the harder ATVSSECOSPPOW award decisions I've made. The most impressive lines of the week are probably Matthew Stafford's (13 for 21, 275 yards, 2 touchdown passes, 0 interceptions), Casey Dick's (25 for 41, 318 yards, 2 touchdown passes, 1 interception, 2 touchdown rushes), and LSU's Charles Scott's (16 rushes for 160 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 reception for 14 yards). All of those, however, came against FCS competition, and so all get downgraded for that reason. Heck, Casey Dick barely even won.
After much thought and consideration, the ATVSSECOSPPOW for Week #1 of the 2008 season goes to John Parker Butthead. I mean, John Parker Wilson, quarterback for the Alabama Crimson Tide. The statline is not spectacular, but is pretty good. He was 22 of 30, 180 yards, 2 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 4 rushes for 19 yards, 1 rushing touchdown.
The stats are solid, even if they won't generate any Hall of Fame talk. And yes, I have certainly been critical of Wilson in the past (who hasn't been?). On Saturday night, however, he was accurate, efficient, careful, and poised, everything he has at times failed to be in the past. He also did it against the highest level of competition any SEC team faced this week.
It really was a tough call, and I almost went with Chris Nickson of Vanderbilt. His passing numbers were very ho-hum (9 for 16, 91 yards, 1 touchdown, 0 interceptions), but he dominated the game against Miami (Ohio) with his legs (20 carries, 166 yards, 2 touchdowns).
It's easy to forget, but Vandy was actually the underdog in this game, if you believe the Vegas line. Nickson dominated, and Vandy won rather handily, 34-13. Nickson scored all of Vandy's touchdowns either by throwing or running, until the game was safely in hand and Vandy's running back got one into the end zone.
It is safe to say, without Nickson, Vandy probably loses that game. Perhaps this is a return to the 2006 Nickson, who looked dangerous, and on the verge of being an excellent player. The 2007 Nickson was awful, and lost the starting job. Anyway, good show Chris Nickson. I wish I had watched your game instead of that awful South Carolina vs. NC State matchup.