If you haven’t seen by now, OSU wide receiver James Washington was NOT named a finalist for the 2016 Biletnikoff award.
November 21, 2016
My initial reaction was outrage! How could Washington, who has been one of the top receivers in the country, and had some of the BEST long-touchdown runs of the season, NOT be included?!
Then I started comparing the stats of James Washington with the three finalists:
Comparing those four players, Washington has the fewest receptions, yards, yards per game, and number of games with 100 or more yards.
Here’s what I think hurt Washington the most; the Kansas game. He had one reception for 9-yards. None of the three finalists had any games even close to as poor as that. The TCU game wasn’t much better for Washington; four receptions for 27 yards. Opposing teams know quarterbacks are going to target the top receiver, and OSU couldn’t find a way to get Washington open in those two games. If he had hit closer to his average in either one, we might be having a different conversation.
To be honest, I can’t say the decision to omit Washington from the final three was the wrong one. I’m not happy about it (orange glasses on), but I don’t see the stats to back up the claim that Washington should have made the list (orange glasses off). I think he is as talented and athletic as Carr, Westbrook, and Jones, but just doesn’t have the stats this year.
One note I will make: All three finalists are seniors. If Washington comes back next year, I think he is easily the preseason favorite for the award.
If you’re wanting my opinion (which I know you are) I’d put my money on Westbrook winning this. Some are considering him a finalist for the Heisman...
Jones’ yards and average per game are impressive, but he’s getting them on the smallest ‘per catch’ average. Carr doesn’t have nearly the per catch or per game average of Westbrook either. Thus... I think Westbrook is the Biletnikoff winner this year.
But enough about that guy. Let me know what you think about Washington’s omission in the comments section.