A Harty man-crush

Announcer #1: I love [Mike Hart]! Am I allowed to say that?

Announcer #2: I think you have a man-crush on Mike Hart!

Announcer #1: I am a big Mike Hart fan … The guy plays so hard!

I missed Michigan’s game yesterday against Eastern Michigan –– those Ypsilanti upstarts (ok, not really, but they did put up a good fight) –– but I didn’t miss the lines above that graced ESPN.com’s highlight video.

My boy, Mike Hart, has owned his opponents all year. The game against Eastern Michigan was no exception; in fact it was probably his most exceptional performance all year.

Yesterday’s stat line: 22 carries, 215 yards, three touchdowns and invaluable leadership. Even when the rest of his teammates were underperforming against Appalachian State and Oregon, Hart did everything he could to help them win.

His stat line to date (through six games), including those two nightmarish losses: 179 carries (leads the nation), 976 yards (also best in the nation), 10 touchdowns (tied for second) — invaluable leadership.

I’d say our Announcer #1 is completely OK saying he loves Mike Hart because, really, there’s so much to love.

A man-crush? I’ll leave that for you to decide.

The brass tacks of it are obvious. Mike Hart is more valuable to his team than any other player in Division I-A football.

That’s as simple as it gets. He plays every facet of the running back position as well as anyone in the country, better than most.

In the Appalachian State nightmare, Hart ran for 188 yards and three touchdowns in just over two quarters because he was sidelined with an injury. Against Oregon he didn’t play most of the second half because the game was already out of hand despite his 100-plus yard rushing effort in the first half.

As far as the Heisman process goes, Hart was shot in the foot after the two losses, regardless of the fact that he has been perfect.

It’s a shame. It’s a sham. But it’s not over.

Think about the other Heisman hopefuls…

Darren McFadden? His team has lost twice too.

Andre Woodson? Kentucky just lost and he didn’t exactly play like a Heisman candidate.

Tim Tebow? He was amazing against LSU but his team has losses to their credit.

DeSean Jackson? His numbers are not incredible.

Matt Ryan? His numbers are great but he has yet to prove himself in a big game.

The bottom line is that Mike Hart is in the running and Michigan’s losses should not hurt him (hopefully). His value as a great college player is beyond debate. Hart has heart, leadership, skills and numbers. Hart sure sounds like Heisman to me.

I love Mike Hart. Am I allowed to say that?

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