OUR MAGNIFICENT 5 BLACK QUARTERBACKS

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Updated: October 4, 2004

OUR MAGNIFICENT 5 BLACK QUARTERBACKS

2 SOAR 2 FALL AND ONE HOLDS HIS OWN

VIRGINIA TECH’S BRYAN RANDALL SATURDAY WAS RASHEED MARSHALL’S NEMESIS

First the Bad News.

A crushing defeat for Rasheed Marshall and West Virginia ended their national championship hopes ( most likely ) and provided vindication for Virginia Tech whose own # 1 plans West Virginia ended last season. It was Virginia Tech 13 West Virginia 9.

Likewise LSU who shared that # 1 dream found only misery Saturday under the command of QB Marcus Randall, LSU swamped by Georgia 45-16 As both West Virginia and LSU took a hit in Sunday’s new AP poll following their losses. To their Heisman hopes as well.

If misery loves company they have each other. If they can find solace in each others defeat. And wish each other well next week.

And if Mashall and Randall can appreciate the even Bigger Picture they can take some serious pride in the fact both were beaten by other Black Quarterbacks. In part anyway by Georgia’s D.J. Shockley who will become Georgia’s starting QB in 2005, and fully by Virginia Tech’s current starting QB Bryan Randall. Yes another Randall.

Getting the bad news out first now lets us concentrate on the three who saw their prospects jump with Saturday victories. Jason Campbell, Chris Leak and Brad Smith all took a Leap forward. Especially Campbell and Leak.

First and foremost Jason Campbell with 252 yards and 2 touchdowns as Auburn devastated Tennessee 34-10 sending the Tigers soaring and the Engineers crashing through the new AP poll out Sunday. Auburn is now ‘officially’ certified in contention for the National Title.

While it is far too early for anyone to jump up and down on that Count were it to happen meaning Auburn going 11-0 for starters then Jason Campbell would have to come into New York in December the Heisman Finalist to Beat.

Thought right behind him ( or ahead of him by then depending ) may well be Chris Leak and Florida. Oh if only the officials had not handed that game two weeks ago to Tennessee what might have been right now.

Those fairness challenged officials gave special meaning to home field advantage. At least the aforementioned Chad Campbell and Auburn taught hapless Tennessee a lesson they will never forget for stealing that game from Florida. Bye bye Tennessee. Auburn in now 5-0 going into week 6 of the college season

But that’s history be it bad history for Florida. More to the point of this story Saturday Florida trounced Arkansas 45-30 but the bigger news was Sophomore QB Chris Leak’s Heisman like performance. Are you ready.

His 322 yards passing, going 23 for 39 and 3 touchdowns.

Sorry almost forgot he ran for 68 yards. That’s right Chris came within 10 yards or one short pass of a 400 yard game. How do you spell Heisman ? You will not find better stats last Saturday anywhere in NCAA’s Division I. Florida’s record improved to 3-1.

And then there is Missouri and Brad Smith the pre and early season Heisman buzz knocked down a notch by one disastrous upset loss earlier this season but rebounding ever since and still trying to fight their way back onto the AP poll’s Top 25 a Heisman requirement.

Now they may be only one week away from the Top 25 list after Saturday’s must win over Colorado 17-9. Smith’s number could have been better but if they don’t help a lot they won’t hurt either depending on upcoming game totals. Saturday Smith was 16 for 25 for 189 yards and 1 touchdown. More importantly he led his team to Victory in a tough game.

So all are still Alive for the Heisman Brawl, 2 most of all Campbell and Leak, but don’t discount the others Smith and Marshall more than Randall. Viewed from the vantage point of the new AP Poll here is how life looks for all of them.

Auburn confidently jumps from # 8 last week to # 6 now with their 5-0 record.. Florida still recovering from that stinking loss to Tennessee earlier, with the Gators latest win move up from # 16 to # 12 with their 3-1 record and eyeing getting to the Top 10 next week.

West Virginia tumbles all the way from # 6 to # 16 now 4-1 and with a relatively weak schedule ahead it will be a fight back up and for Rasheed Marshall the need to pile up some very big numbers.

While poor LSU tumbles all the way down to # 24 from # 13 with a 3-2 record and Marcus Randall must be perfect from here on in. Missouri led by Brad Smith as noted and now 4-1 is looking for the Top 25 with a win next week. Smith’s fate is in his hands.

So all 5 are still alive in the Box for sure. We won’t stop Dreaming. We never said it would be easy. It would be more than unprecedented for 5 Black Quarterbacks to be Heisman Finalists. Most of all we’re making a point about the future of Black Quarterbacks. And right now Chad Campbell and Chris Leak for looking very good. The others less so.

But who knows

What next Saturday might hold.

Not you. Nor us.

GEORGIA’S D.J. SHOCKLEY ONE OF TWO GEORGIA BULLDOG QBS WHO FOILED LSU WILL START FOR GEORGIA NEXT SEASON