Let me just say this, I fully intend to bask in this bowl-eligible-with-two-games-left thing for as long as she’s got legs. I’ve even begun to talk like an SEC elitist, you know, the way UT, UGA, and LSU fans do when they’re no longer in BCS contention: “Well at least we managed to beat Vandy, sheesh. I’ve about had it with these 4 loss seasons. Lord help us if we actually play to our potential every now and again.” It’s fun, mainly because it’s virgin and fleeting. Anyway, back to my conceit. SI OnCampus (funny, I’ve never seen them there) named Andre’ Woodson the national player of the week after his annihilation of the Vanderbilt defense last weekend. Hey, even though more people probably read this blog than SI OnCampus, any national exposure suffices. It’s funny; Woodson’s All-American type numbers have relatively gone unnoticed around the nation, and even at home in the SEC. Before his gaudy stat-line last week, I don’t even think he was getting near the recognition he deserved right here in Kentucky. It’s almost like we’re all waiting for that one Scott Mitchell type of blowup we grew so accustomed to seeing last year, and each week, Woody has proven us wrong, and is the singular reason Kentucky sits at, ahem, second place in the SEC East.
While I’m hesitant to put Woody over Ainge and Russell just yet, think about all that he’s accomplished, and what he’s done it with: a porous O-Line, a banged up Little, and virtually zero help from the defense. While he does have the luxury of throwing to the best wide-receiver in the SEC (yeah, I said it), Woody gets far less assistance from his crew than the other two, yet he’s been equally sublime.
The emergence of Woodson into national prominence has recently sparked a debate among UK fans about where he stands in comparison to the last great gun-slinger to grace Commonwealth, Tim Couch (J-Lo was excellent, and lovable, but I don’t think he was quite on this level). While Woodson has been spectacular, he is no Tim Couch; at least not yet. In my brief 22 years of existence, I have seen only one other QB come through the SEC more of a juggernaut than Couch, and he’s currently rewriting NFL record books and pitching every product with a patent (HeadOn, apply directly to the forehead, HeadOn, apply directly to the forehead. “Hi, I’m Peyton Manning, and let me tell you, when your forehead is as massive as mine, nothing soothes the aches from a Sunday in the NFL quite like HeadOn…”).
It’s been said that the Colts use Peyton’s dome to watch game film…that’s why he’s so prepared
Say all you want about the Deuce being a recipient of an offense that could’ve made a Heisman contender out of Rick Allen, Couch did things on the field that I had, and maybe never will, see again. His instincts, improvisation, and athletic ability would’ve made Couch a star in any system, on any team. True, Woodson’s comparable numbers stem from an imposing vertical attack, compared to Couch’s high percentage play-ground theatrics, but Couch could throw a deep ball with the best of em. Not to sound like a Bill Brasky eulogy, but at Hal Mumme’s football camp one summer, Couch would kneel on one knee at midfield and hurl the ball through the goalposts with ease. How’s that for a Howitzer?
Don’t get me wrong, I think you can make a strong case for Woodson, especially since he still has another season to prove his mettle. However, he still has a ways to go before we start crowning him the next Tim Couch.