Luke Waltons Forehead presented by the Sports Dude.

Monday, November 15, 2004 at 4:44 PM

Tail of Two Tailbacks.

Let me start this argument by pointing you to this ESPN article about the weekend in college sports, which talks about tailbacks. Missing from this article is both backs that I would like to talk about - Oklahoma's Adrian Peterson and U of M's Michael Hart.

Next, I would like to point you in the direction of another ESPN article, the famed Heisman Trophy Watchlist. Missing from this list is, yet again, Michael Hart and even Braylon Edwards for that matter, but we are not here to talk about Braylon. We are here to talk about the disrespect shown to Mr. Hart.

Now, I am lazy, so again I am going to point you in the direction of ESPN for Adrian Peterson's season stats, as well as those of Michael Hart. Please take a moment to look them over, study them, and then proceed to the remainder of this post. Go on, it is okay, it will only take a minute. Okay, ready to go on now? Alrighty then, let the argument begin!

First, let us take a closer look at Mr. Peterson, shall we. We have 1431 yards rushing with 9 TD's and a nice, large receiving stat line 6 yards and no TD's. Plus, by doing the game by game breakdown, you can conclude that he has been the feature back in all 10 of Oklahoma's games. Also, I would like to point out that the guy handing the ball to Adrian is last years Heisman Trophy winner Jason White, who is having another stellar year and in Heisman contention again. Now, don't you think that helps a little.

Second, we shall look at Michael Hart. He has 1311 yards rushing with 8 TD's to go along with 194 receiving yards and 1 TD. Plus, being a U of M fan, I can tell you that Mr. Hart was NOT the featured back in U of M's first two games. In fact, Mr. Hart didn't get significant playing time until the third game and he wasn't even the starter then! He didn't get his first official start until game four of the season, the Big 10 opener against Iowa. I would like to point out here that Mr. Hart has another true freshman handing him the ball, Mr. Chad Henne, not an experienced QB to help take some of the offensive load off of him. But, to be fair for arguments sake, he does have Braylon Edwards out there to help give the defenses something else to think about.

Peterson has 120 more yards rushing, while Hart has 188 more yards receiving. They both have totaled nine TD's all together, with Peterson having all nine on the ground while Hart has 8 on the ground plus one receiving. If you take into consideration that Peterson had a head start on Hart, basically two games, and consider that if Hart would have started both those games and even just averaged 100 yards in each ( which is low for him ), Mr. Hart would have an extra 163 yards for a grand total, to date, of 1474. That would put him past Peterson by 43 yards. Throw in the fact that Hart has the edge in receiving yards as well, coupled by the fact that he is also a decent receiving threat out of the backfield, and the edge goes to Mr. Hart. Not to mention ( again ) he is doing this all while being paired with another true freshman in the back field, not the reigning Heisman Trophy winner.

Now, to be honest, I am glad that Michael Hart is not being mentioned as the "front runner" like Adrian Peterson, believe it or not. But could someone, somewhere, at least give the kid a mention? His dues? How about even an invite to the damn thing? Oh well, that I guess is just life in the Big 10. I wonder if the roles were reversed and Michael Hart was on OSU and U of M had Adrian Peterson, who would be getting all the mention then? I guarantee it would be Hart, not Peterson, that everyone is talking about. But, and I love the bad puns here at LWF, you gotta have "Hart" and I wouldn't trade him for all the Peterson's in the world, I guarantee that as well!

Well, that is all for Monday, check back tomorrow as I am sure we will talk again. Until then be safe, be smart and have fun - the sports dude.

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