For the past three years we've debated it, we've imagined it, dreamed it, loathed it, wept over it. And now, at the behest of our leaders at SBNation, we are finally going to simulate it: Cam Newton is a Mississippi State Bulldog. Well, sort of.
SBNation asked us to imagine a Heisman winner from another team on Mississippi State's roster, and it's obviously natural to gravitate towards imaging Cam Newton at State. Cam, of course, was all but officially committed to Dan Mullen and the Bulldogs in the winter of 2009, until a sharp dressed man and his towel boy came scooting along whispering sweet 6-figure (alleged) nothings into Cammy Cam's ear (We're not still bitter at ALL about this, if you can't tell).
Using WhatifSports, a fantastic (if you have free time) site for simulating sports matchups from MLB to college football, we substituted Mr. Newton onto the 2010 MSU football team, simulated the season, and watched what turned up. What did turn up you ask? Well, a pretty good year. (lots, LOTS more after the jump)
We did it. We're not proud of ourselves, but we did. Yes even though we had a pretty good 9-4 season in 2010, we're selfish, and we wanted to see what that season COULD have been like if Mr. Newton would have been at the helm of the Bulldog offense. Here is a simulation of the 2010 season with Cam at QB:
Well, he didn't win us a National Championship, but having Cam on the team did buy (poor choice of wording) us a few more wins in the 2012 season. With Cam on board, State was able to gain victories over Auburn, LSU and Arkansas, while trading in a loss against Florida. It's interesting to look at the simulated stats from the season (seen below): they pretty much are spot on with what I would have expected out of Cam at State. Not HUGE numbers passing wise, but a good solid 150+ passing and 100+ rushing a game. And I think that's feasible: hell, the guy did more damage than that in real life with an Auburn team not much better (outside of him) than State was that year. Finishing at 10-2 and with the momentum State gained starting the year off 6-0, I think it's safe to say we would have made a New Year's Day bowl. Win the SEC West? Probably not, considering LSU and/or Alabama most likely finished that season with one or zero losses in conference.
Yes, with Cam running the show, things could have been great. I remember Kirk Herbstreit saying with Cam, State could have had a shot at a national championship. At first I think that's crazy, but hell Auburn did it that year. And in the SEC, if you can beat Alabama, LSU, Florida and company in one season, you definitely deserve a shot. My prediction: with Cam, I think State does exactly what's listed above, but maybe pulls out that Florida victory to finish 11-1. We go to the SEC Championship game because Alabama still has two losses even with a win over Auburn. We stomp South Carolina and head for the Sugar Bowl bringing about 100,000 maroon-clad fans to New Orleans. That may ruin the SEC's dominant streak of national championships, and it would change the course of history as TCU would have played Oregon in the BCS Title Game. Or there's this possibility: the whole successful season listed above has a huge asterisk next to it, because we were put on probation for paying Cam. Just saying, we're Mississippi State. If anyone is going to get busted for paying a player, it would definitely be us. But, of course, we would have played Ohio State in that Sugar Bowl and they had to forfeit that Sugar Bowl win over Arkansas because of violations so I'm not sure how that would go down in the record books.
As far as Cam winning the Heisman at State? It's possible. In the numbers listed below, you have to consider stats against Alcorn State aren't included, so I think you could safely add another 200+ passing and 100+ rushing yards to those. I still don't think Cam would have won it at State with the above 10-2 record - maybe if we went 11-1, and if we ran the table I think there's no doubt he would have been hard to keep out of the finalist pool. The bottom line though is that the computer tells us we would have been 10-2 with Cam, and at that record I think there's no Heisman. Probably just 1st Team All-SEC and All-American Honors. Maybe a shot at the Davey O'Brien Award. Anywho, here are Cam's stats, game by game, for the 2010 season, as simulated by WhatifSports:
Cam Newton Game by Game Stats:
Memphis (W, 33-9)
Newton: 15 of 21, 220 yds, 2 TDs, 1 INT. 29 rushes, 97 yards
Auburn (W, 46-16)
18 of 25, 363 yards, 2 TDs. 27 rushes, 44 yards
LSU (W, 33-24)
13 of 22, 218 yards, 1 TD. 28 rushes, 126 yards, 1 TD
Georgia (W, 34-27)
13 of 17, 199 yards, 1 TD. 27 rushes, 140 yards, 1 TD
NO SIM (WhatifSports only allows simulated games against FBS opponents)
Houston (W, 24-12)
16 of 23, 169 yards, 1 TD, 3 INTs. 31 rushes, 159 yards, 1 TD
Florida (L, 18-7)
13 of 28, 160 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs. 27 rushes, 77 yards
UAB (W, 41-17)
14 of 18, 213 yards. 26 rushes, 34 yards, 1 TD
Kentucky (W, 32-22)
9 of 13, 112 yards, 1 TD. 25 rushes, 91 yards, 1 TD
Alabama (L, 23-9)
11 of 15, 111 yards, 1 INT. 26 rushes, 111 yards
Arkansas (W, 54-28)
12 of 21, 190 yards, 3 TDs. 23 rushes, 109 yards, 1 TD
Ole Miss (W, 30-16)
16 of 21, 187 yards, 2 TDs. 29 rushes, 69 yards.
2,041 yards passing, 14 TDs. 1,057 yards rushing, 6 TDs.
This post was sponsored by EA Sports NCAA Football 13. Check out the video for the game below.
EA SPORTS NCAA Football 13: "Tiger" (via EASPORTS)