Game Week: Your Annual ’05 Vince Young Alert

Already the third week into the College Football season, and the chips have begun to fall into place as conference play nears. Among those chips, Michigan State, is the team to look out for for the remainder of the season.

Avenging of a loss a season ago in Eugene, Sparty took advantage of home field and the arm of their leader, Connor Cook in a 31-28 victory in East Lansing. The first five minutes of the game is all you really needed to see out of MSU, after Oregon went on a 13-play, 75 yard drive in 3 minutes and 50 seconds, Michigan State responded in a very Oregon-like fashion, 3 plays, 75 yards, just a minute and eight seconds.

The impressive performance overall, landed State two (deserved) number one votes in the newest poll, as they get their next three upcoming games at home. I still stand by my words, they will beat Ohio State November 21st in Columbus.

Notre Dame won a thriller, and lost Malik Zaire for the season with a broken ankle, he was certainly in contention for the ’05 Vince Young award.

Which by the way, I should probably tell you what the hell this piece is even about.

2005 Vince Young was everything to me, a young college football find trying to find a team or player or just something to root for.

And somehow, the dude didn’t win the freaking Heisman, which went to Reggie Bush, kinda.

In the social media where everything is taken account for and overhyped, ’05 Vince Young would have set Twitter ablaze every Saturday. Here is his 2005 season in a snapshot:

  • 3,036 yards passing, 26 TDs, 65% completion rate
  • 1,050 yards rushing, 12 TDs, 6.8 yards per carry (includes a mind blowing 267-yard game @ Oklahoma State)
  • One of four players to ever throw for 3,00o and rush for 1,000 in a season (Kaepernick, LeFevour, Manziel)
  • Awards won: Davey O’Brien, Manning Award, Maxwell Award, All-American, Big 12 Player of the Year, and everything but the Heisman.

In my mind, he might have had one of the greatest seasons by a player that didn’t win the Heisman. He was superman before we started calling everybody superman.

And of course, #neverforget.

267 through the air, 200 on the ground, in the BCS title game, in USC’s backyard, against one of the great college teams ever that’s about to have a 30-for-30 on them, and he somehow pulled it off. My childhood would never be the same, ten years later I still wear the man’s burnt orange #10 jersey and people can’t get enough of it.

This is why this award is a thing, because players like Vince, or are having ’05 Vince seasons should be recognized. This is not like the Heisman, we award excitement, improvisation and dominance. Here are your five ’05 Vince Young candidates to watch for the rest of the season.

Note: Georgia Tech’s QB Justin Thomas just missed out on making the list, but I have a hunch after they beat ND this weekend he will be the front-runner. 

Leonard Fournette


He’s probably up in the top tier thus far for the Heisman after his first performance against Mississippi Sate where he walked all over their defense for 159 yards and three scores. What makes it more entertaining is that LSU really doesn’t have any other option on offense.

A sophomore quarterback in Brandon Harris was thrown right into SEC play without playing in a cakewalk against McNeese State (which got cancelled due to weather) to go along with an inexperienced receiving core, which means going through the gauntlet of the SEC West and coming out on top rests on Fournette’s shoulders, rather his legs.

He’s drawn many comparisons to Adrain Peterson, and has been heavily followed since he was a high school junior, he has a chance to show the world what he’s all about Saturday against Auburn, although I’m sure the world has already been watching.

Tanner Mangum

What a ride it has already been for BYU. Lost fan favorite QB Taysom Hill for the season in the very first game against Nebraska (on the road) and to the rescue comes Tanner Mangum with his arsenal of Hail Mary’s.

The one against Nebraska looked like a feel good upset for a program that had just lost their starting QB for the season, but the following one ended up being an absolute dart for a big time win against Boise State, a sexy preseason pick to be a party crasher come playoff time.

In two short weeks, a kid who wasn’t playing football three months ago due to his Mormon mission in Chile, has brought a somewhat stagnant program back to the grips of relevance. Since 2011, BYU has been an Independent, although new (and exuberant) head coach Bronco Mendenhall has called for the school to join a Power 5 conference within the next three seasons, regardless BYU has been swept away from any sort of playoff talk and has remained outside the national spotlight for quite awhile.

Nothing is more powerful in the world of sports than “mojo” and BYU has it all right now, and they’re going to need it with UCLA and Michigan looming in the coming weeks. If you’re looking for one of the most out-of-the-nowhere Heisman hopefuls right now, Mangum already is leading in “Heisman moments.”

Chad Kelly

Tuscaloosa is going to be a fireworks show on Saturday, for which team, has yet to be decided. Nephew of Hall of Fame quarterback (and cancer survivor) Jim Kelly, (Chad) Kelly has the Rebels offensive runnin’ and gunnin’ on all cylinders right now, as he has personally piled up 557 yards (completing 73% of his passes) and 6 touchdowns in two games where they have put up 70 plus.


Much like Johnny Manziel in 2012, Chad Kelly (whose journey has its own fair share of regretful decisions that he has since bounced back from) has a chance to show the nation that he and Ole Miss are as good as advertise. Nothing says that more than going into Nick Saban’s home and running all over the Crimson Tide.

Last season saw one of the upsets of the season when the Rebels knocked off Alabama in Oxford, this time the Tide will be far more prepared for Hugh Freeze ariel attack that will fall on the right arm of Chad Kelly and his gifted pass catchers. It’s tough to beat ‘Bama in back-to-back seasons, but as Herbstreit says, “Hey, it’s College Football.”

Game Week Watch ’em & Pick ’em:

#15 Ole Miss 27 #2 Alabama 21

#14 Georgia Tech 31 #8 Notre Dame 21

#13 LSU 28 #18 Auburn 24

#6 USC 28 Stanford 17

#10 UCLA 31 #19 BYU 28 (Rooting for BYU)


#9 Florida State @ Boston College (Friday night 7:00 p.m. CT) ESPN




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