ACC Football 2012 Heisman Watch: Week 12

UNC Running Back Giovani Bernard Continues Putting Up Impressive Numbers While Few Take Notice

The ACC no longer has a viable national title contender, thus we have no Heisman candidate to speak of, either (not fair, but unfortunately true). So as promised, for the remainder of this season, we’ll now be compiling a watch list for the fictional Chris Weinke Award, to honor the best player in the ACC. These posts will remain under “Heisman Watch” for the purposes of consistency and SEO, however. Have other nominees? Submit your ballots below.

1. Tajh Boyd, QB/Clemson (3,227 total yards, 33 total TD, 9 INT, 68 percent completion) (LW: 1)

I hate to devalue the Clemson offense and/or Tajh Boyd’s efforts this season, but both have become almost workman-like here as we enter the last few weeks of the season. There’s no surprise in the Tigers scoring 45 points per game, nor shock in Boyd throwing a casual three or four touchdowns, while managing a completion percentage around 70 percent. This is a strange series of events, however. While we may be used to this sort of feeling when it comes to teams and quarterbacks in lesser conferences piling up monstrous stats, it’s baffling to see Clemson and Boyd get little-to-no respect whatsoever.

2. Giovani Bernard, RB/North Carolina (1,670 all-purpose yards, 17 TD) (LW: 2)

And strangely enough, Bernard seems to suffer from the same issue Boyd does. We’re too used to him putting up staggering numbers. So when he falls a bit short of 200 all-purpose yards for the first time in over a month, we’re unimpressed — despite the two scores and (again) 172 yards. In fact, when you look at the box score of UNC’s 68-50 loss to Georgia Tech last Saturday, your first thought is probably “why didn’t Gio have even more impressive stats?!” And that’s the tragedy (I guess) of competing at the elite level the Heels sophomore does each week.

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