By far the biggest point of debate when college football staffers Stewart Mandel (@slmandel), Andy Staples (@Andy_Staples), Mallory Rubin (@MalloryRubin), George Schroeder (@GeorgeSchroeder) and Holly Anderson (@SIHolly) put together SI.com’s Midseason All-America team was at quarterback. How do you choose between three signal-callers—Stanford’s Andrew Luck, Wisconsin’s Russell Wilson and Baylor’s Robert Griffin III—whose seasons have been so stellar up to this point that they are three of the top four front-runners in Cory McCartney’s (@SI_CoryMC) latest Heisman Watch?
The five-person panel ranked the three signal-callers 1-2-3 in terms of their order of preference to establish which two quarterbacks would be considered for the first and second teams; Luck and Griffin finished in the top two. But don’t fret Wisconsin fans; SI is well aware of how much Russell Wilson has meant to the Badgers this season.
“Wilson didn’t finish higher most because Wisconsin has only played one significant game to date,” Mandel explains. “And the offense he plays in is one that throws significantly fewer passes than Luck or Griffin, so he doesn’t get to put up the same type of production as those other guys.”
That made it a two-horse race between Luck and Griffin. Yes, Luck is the unquestioned leader of an undefeated Stanford team, the Heisman front-runner and the likely No. 1 overall pick in next year’s NFL Draft. So why did Griffin get the first-team nod?
“They’ve both been outstanding, but Griffin has played tougher competition and had less of a supporting cast to work with,” Mandel says. “Through this point he’s the first team guy.”
Click here to see the full list of SI’s 2011 Midseason All-Americas.