Were Bridgewater and Strong robbed by the All American Conference?

Streeter Lecka

UCF quarterback Blake Bortles won the AAC Player of the Year award and George O’leary won the AAC Coach of the Year award over Teddy Bridgewater and Charlie Strong. What’s done is done, but was it right?

I don't think anyone, except Louisville fans, can argue with O'Leary winning his award. After all, he took his UCF team to the best sports city in America and beat the" best team in America" (Strong's words even after the loss, not mine) at Papa John's Stadium. Louisville was supposed to vie for a national championship or at least win the AAC. They did neither. Also, UCF finished the conference schedule at 8-0 while UL finished at 7-1.

Teddy Bridgewater and Blake Bortles may be another matter altogether. Bridgewater's stats were better. Teddy Bridgewater threw for 3,523 yards with a 70% completion rate and threw for 28 touchdowns with only 4 interceptions. Bortles threw for 3,280 yards with a 68% completion rate and threw for 22 touchdowns with 7 interceptions. At the beginning of the season, Bridgewater was supposed to be in the running for the Heisman Trophy. That didn't happen, but I don't see that as his fault as much as it was Louisville's very weak schedule.

I'm not sure of the voters (AAC coaches) reasoning on the POY since Bridgewater had the better numbers. Was he, too, penalized for UL's loss at home to UCF? Here's the Orlando Sentinel's take, and I'll give you Mike Rutherford's take over at Card Chronicle. I think it is reasonable for Louisville fans to be upset. I know UK fans would be if a similar situation arose.

I am not here to defend UL fans or Charlie Strong, but I do wonder about the Bortles/Bridgewater vote, considering the head to head competition:

PASSING

Cmp-Att-Int

Yds

TD

Long

Sack

BORTLES, Blake

21-32-1

250

2

32

0

TEAM

0-1-0

0

0

0

0

Totals...

21-33-1

250

2

32

0

PASSING

Cmp-Att-Int

Yds

TD

Long

Sack

BRIDGEWATER, T.

29-38-0

341

2

34

2

Totals...

29-38-0

341

2

34

2






Is Bridgewater to be blamed for the two sacks? It seems to me that maybe there were some missed blocking assignments...or maybe the UCF defense was really good on those plays.

If you take a gander at the game stats between the two teams, there is nothing to indicate that Bortles did anything better than Bridgewater. In fact, I would argue that Louisville’s three point loss had more to do with their defense in the 4th quarter and had nothing to do with Teddy Bridgewater’s performance.

Maybe something else was going on. This is nothing more than speculation on my part, but you have to wonder. Here are some questions that have popped in my mind:

1.       Could Louisville's upcoming departure to the ACC have anything to do with the voting?

2.       Could the retention of Clint Hurtt have had an effect on the voting?

3.       Could Louisville's fanbase have been a contributing factor in the voting?

4.       Could the other games each played have had an effect?

Louisville played Ohio, EKU (FBS), Cincinnati and Kentucky while UCF played Akron, Penn St, South Carolina and SMU.

Against common opponents:

UCF beat Florida International 38-0 in Miami while Louisville beat FIU 72-0 at Popa John's.  Bortles went 12-19-0 for 214 yards and one touchdown. Bridgewater went 17-22-0 for 212 and 4 touchdowns.

UCF beat Temple 39-36 in Philadelphia while UL beat Temple in Philadelphia 30-7. Bortles went 27-38-0 for 404 yards and 4 touchdowns while Bridgewater went 25-35-0 for 348 yards and 2 touchdowns.

UCF beat Rutgers 41-7 in Orlando while Louisville beat Rutgers 24-10 at Popa John's. Bortles went 21-30-0 for 335 yards and 1 touchdown while Bridgewater 21-31-1 for 310 yards and 2 touchdowns.

UCF beat South Florida 23-20 in Orlando while Louisville beat USF in Tampa 34-3. Bortles went 17-26-2 for 219 yards and 2 touchdowns while Bridgewater went 25-29-0 for 344 yards and 3 touchdowns. USF and UCF are rivals and the rivalry is similar to the UL-UK rivalry.

UCF beat Connecticut 61-17 in Orlando while Louisville beat Connecticut 31-10 in East Hartford. Bortles passed for 20-24-0 for 286 yards and 4 touchdowns while Bridgewater passed for 21-37-1 for 288 yards and 1 touchdown.

UCF beat Houston 19-14 in Orlando while Louisville beat Houston 20-13 at Papa John's. Bortles passed for 17-24-1 for 210 yards and no touchdowns while Bridgewater passed for 19-29-0 for 203 yards and no touchdowns.

UCF beat Memphis 24-17 in Memphis while Louisville beat Memphis 24-17 at Papa John's. Bortles passed for 17-36-0 for 160 yards and no touchdowns while Bridgewater passed for 26-36-0 for 220 yards and 1 touchdown.

I didn't do each player's rushing yards because they were not significant.

I don't know if he's leaving UL for the NFL Draft or not. Most say yes, even those who live in Louisville. Here's the CBS Sports mock draft as of three days ago. Bridgewater is projected as the top pick and Bortles comes in at #7.

My conclusion is that Teddy Bridgewater was robbed. Agree or disagree?

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