Is Braxton overhyped, or Rodney Dangerfield?

AndyVance's picture
October 23, 2012 at 11:53a
So says The Most Interesting Man on Facebook...

Braxton Miller is an exciting, electrifying quarterback. While Kenny Guiton was obviously the toast of olde Columbus town Saturday night, it is pretty clear that Miller is still the big man on campus.

That said, I'm trying to decide if the young stud is a victim of his own hype, or if he doesn't get enough respect... Let me explain.

On the one hand, commenters at Doug Lesmerises' QB comparison piece last week point out that Miller, unlike his play making predecessor, seems to have inspired those around him, perhaps accounting for that certain something - the intangibles, if you will - that this team seems to have in spades. In the same thread, however, fans pick apart the perceived weakness of Ohio State's strength of schedule, posing the argument that since the Buckeyes have beat up on a bunch of cupcakes and struggled against two teams from Indiana, Miller's stats don't mean a whole lot.

Then again, I say, just look at the stats... especially when compared to those of the current Heisman darling Colin Klein:

Klein (7 games): 551 rushing yards, 1,397 passing yards, 24 total touchdowns, 278.3 total yards per game

Miller (8 games): 959 rushing yards, 1,354 passing yards, 21 total touchdowns, 292.9 total yards per game

As ESPN's Brian Bennet notes, however, the big difference is that Klein's K-State has beaten more "quality" opponents. Nebraska and Michigan State don't cut the mustard as quality wins this year, with the heapings of B1G hate going around. Even so, sift the numbers a bit.

When it comes to rushing, Miller has the clear edge at 199.9 119.9 (#chubbyfingers) yards per game - Klein's feet have accounted for only 78.7. On passing, on the other hand, Klein gets the brass ring with 199.6 ypg to Miller's 169.25. Touchdowns are more of a draw, with 3.4/game for the K-State signal caller and 2.6/game for the young Buck. In terms of total offense, Miller has a 14.6 yard lead.

Clearly there is a lot of season to play yet, and Heisman predictions this far out are just another way to kill the clock on a Tuesday morning. From what I've seen, though, Braxton is making a solid case for a ticket to New York in a season where the only clear front-runner imploded in back-to-back Big 12 showdowns.

The cynic in me, of course, presumes that the deck is stacked against a sophomore who plays for a team relegated to post-season irrelevance this season. I guess we'll know a lot more after the Ineligi-bowl this weekend... and after the Red Raiders storm Manhattan (Kansas).

Comments Show All Comments

btalbert25's picture

I don't really think anyone is selling Braxton short.  I mean coming into Saturday he was in the top 3 of everyone's Heisman projections and stuff like that.

AndyVance's picture

Perhaps my question is this: If he were playing anywhere else in the country, would he be a bottom-rung finalist, or would he be seriously mentioned as a top-tier candidate? Looking back to the nearly-Sainted RGIII, Griffin racked up 330 ypg passing - pretty amazing - but only 54 yards on average rushing. His total offense accounted for 380 yards per game over the 13-game season, which ain't too shabby, but his TDs/game averaged 3.6 - a full score per game better than our young gun.
And still, RGIII's Baylor Bears dropped three conference games. Okay, all three teams in the mix here are totally different, as are all three QBs... My question is just what kind of hype would the media machine be putting out if Braxton Miller was playing somewhere other than Ohio State?

btalbert25's picture

I guess, I never saw him as a bottom rung finalist when people had him going into this weekend as number 2 behind Geno Smith.  Geno's candidacy is evaporating quickly, but going into last weekend, He was 2 or 3.  If Braxton would of had a great game, he could be number 1 on a lot of lists today.  
Klein's schedule and the fact that he's on a top 4 BCS team is definitely helping him a lot.  One thing people overlook though about RGIII is he had 47 total TDS.  That's a huge number and most years, when a guy gets that kind of TD total he's going to be a lock for Heisman or at least in the top 2 or 3 as a finalist.  The fact that Braxton won't have that kind of total or close to it, but is still considered a candidate to be a finalist is pretty impressive really.  

btalbert25's picture

Just to belabor my TD point a little more, we mentioned RGIII had 47 total, Cam Newton had 50 total TD's, Sam Bradford had 55 total TDs, Tebow had 55.  So the last 4 QB's to win a Heisman have all had 47 or more total TD's.  Klein won't get there, he has a shot to hit 40, but if his team stays unbeaten it will be enough for him to win a Heisman.  So I think, despite relatively low passing yards, and a low number of total TD's compared to other recent Heisman finalists, the fact the team can't be the National Champion this year, the fact he can't get the 13th game which often is a statement game for a candidate, and the weakness of the schedule, it's pretty remarkable that Braxton was 2 or 3 in most Heisman projections.
Sad thing is, if K-State loses, and Geno fails to get back on track, and Braxton doesn't have a very good finish.  AJ McCaron may get it.  It wouldn't be that much of a surprise, the year Troy Smith won the Heisman he only had 31 total TDs but he played on the consensus number 1 team during the regular season. Or we could see the first defensive player since 97 walk away with the award. 

buck-I.8's picture

Braxton saw me take a picture of him through the window of the union, does that make us friends?

Buckeyejason's picture

Kleins a baller, I think that kid deserves the heisman. 


Alhan's picture

Hah, I saw this under "Recent Comments" and thought you meant Storm!  This course of events led me to check out this blog post which I thoroughly enjoyed.
To answer Andy's question, yes I think he would be getting much more attention at a different school this year.  I think he'll receive plenty of much-deserved attention here next year when we are "relevant" again. 

"Nom nom nom" - Brady Hoke

dancorona5's picture

braxton's rushing average is only 119 a game (almost 120) not 199.

AndyVance's picture

You're right - I have chubby fingers.

dancorona5's picture

haha, it happens. when I saw that stat at first I was like DAMN haha

Squirrel Master's picture

I think Braxton is underhyped. All your points are valid, and a good write up Andy! But I think aside from stats and quality opponents, the biggest factor is help from the defense. K-state has a very strong defense doing well for them and K-state has been looking very good because of that. Klein even looks better because his defense puts him in more favorable situations. With OSU constantly having to fight to win games, only Nebraska was a formidable lead, Braxton has been having to battle his way down the field more.
I just wonder how much better Braxton would be if OSU had a bigger lead more often. I know the offense hasn't been crisp but when this team has had a double digit lead, Braxton has been more aggressive and has opened up the assortment of weapons he can take advantage of. When its a must score to keep the lead situation, Braxton performs miracles, it just doesn't look very consistent.
Braxton definitely deserves to go to NY this year. What happens for the rest of the season will determine if he wins. Geno has already proven he is falable. Klein has taken advantage of his situation but for how long can he look better than he probably really is? Can Braxton stay on the field long enough to continue his amazing ways? These all will take in effect the outcome.

I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

AndyVance's picture

I hear you loud and clear - health will obviously be a big factor, which we'll learn more about in Happy Valley; Voters seem to respond to players when their teams are commanding the situation rather than responding to it... which we've not done consistently enough this season, for sure.

Doc's picture

I've said it once, but it needs repeating.  Just keep winning.  It will sort itself out in the end.  We lose to State Penn this weekend and his Heisman journey ends.

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

Earle's picture

Stay healthy, my friend.

Have you tried Not Your Father's Root Beer?  It tastes just like the real thing, but it packs a punch (5.9%ABV).  It's a little sweet for me though.  Two is my limit.

btalbert25's picture

I would say he's neither and possibly both.  I mean if you look at his numbers compared to the 2 guys who were said to be ahead of him, they compare favorably but up until Saturday you really couldn't make much of a case against Geno.  Now, it's hard to make a case against Klein too.  So, I think 2nd or 3rd is about right.
Where I do think he is "under rated" or would be rated higher if he were on a different team is if he were on K-State or Bama who are legit title contenders.  Just by being the QB of a title contender who is putting up big numbers he'll be a favorite.  So Braxton, with his numbers on Bama, yes he'd be  number 1 right now.  But Bama's own QB isn't really on the radar other than some murmurs. 
There's another side to this coin though.  What if you put Braxton on undefeated U of L????  Would he garner Heisman attention? Teddy Bridgewater isn't, and I really don't think Braxton would either at this point in time.  Put Bridgewater on undefeated Ohio State and he's getting some talk. 
So in conclusion, I think being on Ohio State with all things considered he is rated right about where he should be, but if you put him on a title contender he could be number 1.  If, however, you put him on a very good team that isn't THE Ohio State, he probably isn't a serious contender.  How do you all like that answer for political season????

AndyVance's picture

It's pretty good politics, but that doesn't mean you're wrong, of course :)

btalbert25's picture

One thing I know, Saturday didn't help him much, maybe he gets a pass because he was put out of the game with injury.  If he bounces back and keeps putting up the numbers he has, he'll be in New York, with a shot to win it. 

RBuck's picture

Great post Andy and welcome to 11W.

Long live the southend.

AndyVance's picture

Thanks! I've been enjoying the content long enough I finally decided it was time to get in the ring myself.

sir rickithda3rd's picture

excellent write up and I can see where you are coming from. as of right now colin klein deserves it, i feel like without colin klein ksu is a 4 loss team. also as mentioned above i look for mccarron to start getting some love undefeated, consensus no.1, and he hasnt thrown a pick... i just hope brax is healthy

mark may wins douchebag of the year... again

jthiel09's picture

If there is any player in the country at this moment in time that should be the clear front runner it's Klein. If his teams keeps winning and he keeps putting up decent stats it'll be hard to find a better candidate this season for the Heisman. I think Miller is a year, possibly two, out from puttting up Heisman performances, especially since he is banged up and only 4 (not very easy) games left. 
That being said a lot can happen with a month left and Braxton getting the stage at 'Sconsin and home against you know who. Who knows it's been a crazy season already, especially when you note that Mark May is saying good, well decent, things about the Buckeyes!


AndyVance's picture

I think the remaining schedule is what gives fans hope, if you want to think of it as such, for Miller's Heisman campaign in 2012. With every game other than Illinois poised to be a marquee matchup, top-shelf performance would pay huge dividends in the minds of voters. That said, those three contests are all likely to be very difficult to score a Trophy-worthy performance... Truth be told, if he's going to make a run for it, this may be his "easiest" shot given the muddle of the candidate field this year.

D. Anthony's picture

I love Braxton and he's our best play by a long long way BUT he's been hyped too much. He's still only 1.5 years into his career and is a below average throwing QB who still very much struggles to read defenses and go thru his progressions. All the Heisman hype this early for a running QB still with a whole lot to learn is a bit much.

D. Anthony

AndyVance's picture

Thanks for adding this perspective - this was really the crux of the question I was getting at up front: Is Miller a legit candidate, or is he getting hyped simply because the field is so thin this year.

jestertcf's picture

I cannot think of any other true sophmore I'd rather have under center.
On the other hand, he is no Reggie Bush, Cam Newton, Peyton Manning - i refuse to believe he was second on the ballot- or even close to an RG III
Good news: We still have two years to watch him develop.

~Because we couldn't go for three~

Maestro's picture

A 3 turnover game with 160 total yards and an injury.  He is right where he should be.  A strong finish with games against PSU, Wisky and scUM will give him every opportunity to make his case.

vacuuming sucks

AndyVance's picture

Turnovers/ball security is one of the biggest areas of improvement for the young gun, no doubt about it.

Haybucks's picture

I'll admit there are quality offenses in the Big12, but not quality defenses.  So every year there are multiple Big12 QB's putting up big numbers.  Braxton at Oklahoma or Texas would produce epic stats.

If the world comes to an end, I want to be in Cincinnati. Everything comes there ten years later. -  Mark Twain


BLeezy17's picture

Let Klein win it this year for Kansas State and then it's Braxton's the next 2 years. 

PDoggett73's picture

I think if you look back at rg3 he made some big plays in big games. I would say Braxton is a little over hyped but his big play ability has a lot to do with it.