The Hec watch list

Here's the deal. There are four weeks left until Vanier Cup week, so just for fun, let's do it Survivor-style.

Here are eight Hec Crighton candidates. We'll pare it down by two after this week, and cut one more after each week to get down to three finalists by Vanier week.

8. Mike Faulds, Western QB
Led OUA with 63.5% completion percentage and 2,596 passing yards for a 7-1 team
Why him? Bottom line, he's had a good final season and merits some consideration.
Why not: One could say the exact same things about two other OUA passers -- Laurier's Luke Thompson and Queen's Dan Brannagan.

7. Liam Mahoney, Concordia QB
1443 passing yards (8.5 per pass) and 6 TD against 8 INT; 427 rushing yards (6.2 avg.) and 6 TD
Why him? There should be three players from Quebec on an eight-man list. It was a toss-up between Mahoney or Montreal defensive back-kick returner Hamid Mahmoudi, the national leader in interceptions, although a DB winning is far-fetched. McGill's Matt Connell is also a longlister, even with his team's two winless season.
Why not: Mahoney is not the best QB in his conference -- yet.

6. Kelly Hughes/Gary Ross, Mount Allison QB and wideout
Hughes leads the AUS with 1,706 passing yards and is the country's leading quarterback rusher with 524 yards (6.4 avg.).

Ross, an all-purpose flanker in the mould of one-time Heisman Trophy winners such as Tim Brown or Desmond Howard, depending on which side you take in the Notre Dame-Michigan rivalry), leads the AUS with 675 receiving yards. He also has another 900 through returns and rushing.
Why them? Because Mount A doesn't win a game without them, and it's cute to have a joint nomination.
Why not: Again, there is the whole aspect of being a low-profile team with a losing record. One of them should be the AUS nominee. Can someone make a pick?

5. Matt Walter, Calgary RB
Numbers: Canada West's leading rusher with 829 yards (6.2 average)
Why him: He is the safer nominee for Canada West, since the Dinos will likely finish 6-2 and he's been healthy all season, putting up sizable raw numbers. A deep playoff run by the Dinos would help raise his profile.
Why not him: Calgary just doesn't seem like a sexy anything, rightly or wrongly.

4. Laurence Nixon, U of S QB
Numbers: Has only played five of the Huskies' seven games, throwing for 1,295 yards (9.25 per pass) with 7 TD against 8 interceptions; his team also averages 27 points per game in a conference where only one other team is averaging 20.
Why him: He is clearly Can West's best pivot this season.
Why not him: Injuries have hurt his counting stats.

3. Mike Giffin, Queen's RB
1,061 rushing yards (first OUA, second CIS, on 7.2 per carry), leads country with 14 touchdowns on the highest-scoring team in Canada. Has led country in touchdowns and gained 1,000 yards in two straight seasons.
Why him: Giffin has built up a good body of work over two seasons.
Why not him: There is a back in a more balanced conference who's gained more yards, arguably against better competition.

2. Benoît Groulx, Laval QB
Quebec-leading 2,148 yards passing (9.5 per pass, best for a non-Ontario QB) on record-pace 74.55% completion percentage, with the country's best TD-to-INT radio (11-2).
Why him: Not to get repetitive, but it is high time the Hec Crighton Trophy selection acknowledged how Laval has been a leader in changing the football landscape in Canada, even if it has not adapted to them. Groulx has the good.
Why not him: The big out clauses are the "game manager" and "system QB" stigmas. Laval is more likely to have another 70% passer before Bishop's has another Hec candidate (only one Quebec school player, McGill's Dave Fleiszer in 1969, has ever won).

1. Jamall Lee, Bishop's RB
Nation's leading rusher with 1,106 yards (6.8 per carry) and has 10 touchdowns, the only player outside the OUA in double-digits and four more than other Quebec player.
Why him: Lee would still be leading the Q in rushing even if you set aside that 391-yard chunk of yardage he bit off against McGill, , the 26th-ranked team in Duane Rollins' new top 27. It's hard to think of any offensive player west of the Maritimes who matters more to
Why not him: It is tough to win the Hec on a non-playoff team. Bishop's (3-4), must overcome a stout Montreal run defence this Saturday just to nab the final Q playoff berth and then would be looking at trip to face the barbarians at PEPS in a first-round playoff game. That limits his exposure.

New: Walter, Mahoney
Dropping out: Luke Derkson of Regina and James Green of St. FX, who have the best numbers in their conferences but have injury concerns; Ottawa QB Josh Sacobie and UBC defensive end Scott McCuaig.
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1 comment:

  1. If this counts for something in voters minds, Jamall Lee is in his final season and damn well should have won the Hec last season (his 2007 rushing yards were the fourth-highest in CIS history, I believe).