On occasion we get the opportunity to write a sponsored post. SB Nation does a great job of negotiating partnerships and promotions with various companies which then lead to fun posts that we get to write. This time we get to work with EA Sports once again (we had a series of sponsored posts in 2010 with EA Sports as well) and we have a couple posts ready to go related to the Heisman. The intent is to highlight EA's new Heisman feature which allows you to put past Heisman winners on any team.
So the topic of today's post is which Heisman Trophy winner, from any team, would you want to put on any particular Gopher team. And after a little bit of thinking I believe this one to be an easy choice. To start with I took a look at which Gopher team I most wanted to give a major talent boost. Clearly the 2003 team which put together a 10-3 record and very nearly earned Minnesota's first trip to the Rose Bowl in decades. But we all know what happened that season. Ultimately it came down to the Michigan debacle where the Gophers blew a 28-7 lead going into the 4th quarter before eventually losing 38-35.
That team was not lacking offensively. They had an very good offensive line and a running game that was one of the best in Big Ten history. The 2003 Gophers lead the Big Ten in offense, both scoring and total yards. What that team needed was more help defensively. Looking back on the list of Heisman Trophy winners there are only a few defensive players to win the award.
I decided to pluck Charles Woodson, CB from Michigan and 1997 Heisman Trophy winner to don the maroon and gold for the 2003 Gophers.
Woodson would likely have been the answer and at the very least JUST enough to help the Gophers hold on for a huge win over Michigan leading to what would have been a Rose Bowl season. That damn Michigan game saw John Navarre throw for 353 yards and two 4th quarter touchdowns. Most of those passing yards went to Chris Perry (122) and someone called Braylon Edwards (93). Adding Charles Woodson slows down one of those guys and also gives the Gopher secondary more depth. Now freshmen defensive backs Trumaine Banks, Terrance Campbell and John Pawielski do not have to play as much while Ukee Dozier, Eli Ward and Justin Isom can focus more attention on the guy Woodson is not defending.
We all know how significant of a loss that particular game was to the Gophers. One game, with a 330 rushing yardage advantage and a 21-point 4th quarter lead meant the difference between a Rose Bowl and the Sun Bowl. Of course the Gophers went on to lose to Michigan State the following week (38-44) and then Iowa in week 12 (22-40). Both of those games also may have turned into wins with the help of Charles Woodson. Maybe the Gophers add to the confusing 2003-04 BCS picture where Oklahoma, LSU and USC all finished with one loss.
That particular season is already full of many what-ifs and shoulda-coulda-wouldas. This scenario is clearly only available in the fantasy world that is EA's NCAA-13. But imagine a truly great defensive back on a team that had an historically great rushing attack with Marion Barber III and Laurence Maroney.
Am I wrong in picking this team and this particular Heisman winner? I debated picking a truly great QB to put on that offense, but AAK was well suited for that offense and we didn't need someone to throw the ball around. We certainly didn't need another running back to add to that mix. What do you guys think?
This post was sponsored by EA Sports NCAA Football 13. Check out the video for the game below.
EA SPORTS NCAA Football 13 TV: "Son" (via EASPORTS)