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Gerod Holliman Should Be Invited To New York

Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports


We knew 2014 would offer feelings and experiences never before envisioned by Louisville and its faithful. Through 2013, a 6-3 Cardinal record entering November would have spelled the end of football season, declining interest, and a fan base focused entirely on basketball. The ACC has delivered on marquee matchups, and competing in pivotal conference games week in and week out has been a blast. The Cardinals arrived in Chestnut Hill facing a must win situation to close out their first season in the ACC, and Louisville delivered an exceptional total team victory.

Before addressing the game I wanted to give Mr. Gerod Holliman his due, and lay out the case for why he should be invited to New York City for the Heisman ceremonies.

Charles Woodson is the last defensive player to win the Heisman Trophy. Woodson is also the only player to win the award since 1997 who wasn't a quarterback or running back. In 1997, Woodson won the Heisman because he was Mr. Everything for Michigan. Woodson was a shutdown cornerback, exhilarating punt returner, solid wide receiver, and was benefitted by playing for an undefeated Big 10 team back when the Big 10 was relevant in college football. For the 1997 season, Woodson's statistics were as follows: 44 tackles, nine pass break-ups, eight interceptions, one punt return for a touchdown, 12 receptions, and two receiving touchdowns. None of those statistics by themselves are Heisman worthy, but the total package coupled with Michigan's 11-0 season allowed Woodson to defeat Peyton Manning for the Heisman.

Gerod Holliman will not, and should not, win the Heisman, but his record breaking year is one for the history books and deserves significant recognition. If Louisville sported an SEC logo across their jersey, or the Cardinals had defeated Clemson and Virginia, I would be willing to wager that Holliman would be in the top three in Heisman voting. His statistics equal or exceed Woodson's in almost every defensive category. Holliman has totaled 31 tackles, 13 interceptions (two short from breaking the 46 year old Division I record), 19 passes defended/broken up, a forced fumble, and one interception returned for a touchdown. He should win the national awards for defensive player of the year, and Holliman should be a consensus first team All-American.

Another reason why Holliman deserves to be in New York, 2014 has been rather underwhelming when searching for individual accomplishments. Holliman is one of the few players putting together a record-breaking season, and only two teams from power five conferences remain undefeated. No quarterback or running back is dominating the competition, undefeated, and dropping jaws each and every Saturday. Holliman's season as an individual is equal to, or better than Mariota, Prescott, Boykin, and Gordon. Louisville is not a traditional power, the 7-3 record doesn't help, but Gerod Holliman has earned Heisman recognition for his astounding season. Do the right thing voters, send him to New York.

As for the game, the Cardinals played a sensational three quarters to close out their first ACC season in winning fashion. Every player who took the field Saturday night contributed in positive fashion, and individuals stepped up big when their number was called. The defense and special teams made enormous plays to swing momentum, and DeVante Parker continued to showcase why he is the best offensive player in college football. Each running back had moments of speed and toughness, and Reggie Bonnafon showed flashes of what is to come over the course of his career. The Cardinals displayed impressive resilience in battling back after a less than encouraging first quarter.

It was a total team victory and Louisville should feel proud after finishing their first ACC season 5-3. We can all sit around and play woulda-shoulda-coulda over this 2014 campaign, but if Louisville finishes the season 9-3 it will be a major accomplishment. This week off will allow key contributors to rest and reclaim their health, and gives master planner Petrino an extra week to prepare for Notre Dame.

I know basketball season begins this week, but my excitement and interest in Cardinal football continues to swell. This team has overcome significant hurdles and has improved each week. The leadership from the coaches and players has been nothing short of impressive, and the final two games offer the Cardinals a chance to put their stamp on an excellent roller coaster ride. Cardinal red needs to invade South Bend on November 22nd, and even touchdown Jesus won't be able to save Everett Golson from Gerod Holliman. Rest up Louisville, Notre Dame is next.

All Hail UofL !!