Adding a Heisman Winner to Vandy

This week saw the release of NCAA Football 2013, the much anticipated annual update to EA Sports college football video game franchise. As always the game features significant technical, graphical, and gameplay updates, and this year one of the most talked about features is the Heisman Challenge mode.

In this mode players can add one of ten selected former Heisman Trophy winners to any 2012 squad and use their digital likeness to tear a path of destruction through this season's schedule.

So, with that in mind it is time to decide which of the ten legends of the game would be the best fit for the 2012 Vanderbilt Commodores.

The first thing to note when assessing the potential additions to the Vandy roster is that EA have chosen to go with modern era players when selecting the available legends. Though the Heisman itself dates back to 1935, Marcus Allen (USC 1981) is the furthest back the company decided to go. Also of note is that the options are only offensive skill position players (sorry Charles Woodson) with five quarterbacks, four running backs, and a single wide receiver.

When looking at a player to add to the offense there is no point in adding a piece which wouldn't fit the scheme or which would add to an already stocked position over one of need. Taking this into account eliminates Desmond Howard (WR), Andre Ware (a good run and shoot QB), and Charlie Ward (FSU QB).

With the way college football has evolved into such a pass heavy version of the game it would seem imperative to choose a Heisman Trophy winning quarterback. With backs such as Barry Sanders and Herschel Walker available this is a difficult decision to make, but when you take into account the strength of Vanderbilt's wide receiver corps, getting a guy with the ability to put the ball in their hands is the way to go.

After eliminating Ward and Ware there are three signal callers left: Doug Flutie, Carson Palmer, and Robert Griffin III. Seeing a perennial overachiever like Flutie running the Vandy offense would be entertaining and make every game a must watch. Palmer is by far the least mobile of the three passers, but during his Heisman winning campaign at USC he proved he could make all the throws, and he was a better mover before a serious knee injury. Griffin III is by far the most fresh in the memory QB on the list, and has the ability to pass or run the ball effectively (albeit in a subpar defensive conference).

The main question when picking the player who would best fit the 2012 Commodore offense is do you believe Griffin III would be able to run the ball as effectively in the SEC. Sure, Tim Tebow was all world at Florida, but his running style was totally different and he had an ability to always avoid the big hitters in the toughest defensive conference in the country. I think that Griffin III would struggle, and therefore my pick (in something of an upset) would be Carson Palmer.

Palmer has the ability to make everyone on the offense better in an instant. He is not the most glamorous Heisman winning name in history (Elway would have won this vote in a landslide if he was included) but he is a franchise type QB who would make the Commodores more of a threat in the SEC.