MVP is an abbreviation for Most Valuable Player and is defined as an award given to a player in sports who is judged most important to the sport, team, or game. However, judging is subjective. How do you decide who is the most valuable throughout the season? Is it the person with the best stats? If so, how do you decide if a quarterbacks stats are better than a wide receivers stats? Is it the person who preforms with the most consistency? Is it the person who made a game winning play? Someone who is always clutch?
Everyone has their own way of judging who they feel is the MVP of the season. Despite your criteria to determine the MVP, there are a few likely candidates.
Let’s take a look at the potential candidates for 2020 MVP.
If you look at the 2020 Heisman Trophy odds, you will notice that three Cardinals are on the top 35 list. Two Cards are listed in the top 22. So I think that’s a great place to start when predicting a MVP.
The junior wide receiver is expected to play a big role in sustaining and even progressing this new dynamic offense that ranked 2nd in the ACC last season with 33.1 points per game. Tutu led the ACC in receiving yards (1,276) and touchdowns (12). Those 12 touchdowns tied a school record. He finished tops in the league with an average of 98.2 yards per game and set the school record with those 1,276 yards. Tutu is ranked at No. 8 on the list of Top 10 returning wide receivers for the 2020 college football season by ESPN. He also ranks No. 2 by Fox
After getting exactly two carries in 2018 as a freshman, Hawkins was expected by many to get a decent amount of carries in 2019. However, I don’t think anyone expected 264 carries for 1,525 yards (which ranked 7th in the nation). In 2019, as a redshirt freshman, he also broke the school record for rushing yards by a running back as well as setting a new Louisville record for the most rushing yards in a season by a freshman. He finished the season with the third-most yards by a freshman in ACC history.
With Satterfield’s commitment to the run, I see very similar, if not better, numbers for Hawkins in his sophomore season. Definitely a MVP candidate and a top 5 running back in the country.
The quarterback position seems the most likely position to earn a MVP; mainly because they touch the ball on almost every play. Fair or not, QB’s get all the praise when things are going good, but get all the blame when things get bad. A quarterback influences a game more than any other player on the field. In fact, 15 of the last 18 Heisman winners have played the quarterback position. Micale is currently in the top 35 for winning the Heisman in 2020, but I don’t expect to see him in New York when the trophy is presented. That, however, doesn’t mean he won’t have a fantastic season.
In 2019, he set the school record for passing efficiency with a mark of 194.45 and if he had only a couple more pass attempts he would have qualified and finished 2nd behind Joe Burrow nationally. The redshirt junior passed for a career high 2,065 yards and 22 touchdowns while rushing for 482 yards with 6 more touchdowns.
Micale ended his season as the Most Valuable Player in the Music City Bowl and I think it’s only going to get better from there as QB coach Frank Ponce coaches him up.
Dez Fitzpatrick and Marshon Ford
While both of theses guys have good stats… stats are not what makes them special or a MVP candidate. It’s the little things that most people don’t notice. Yes, I’m talking about blocking. If you closely watch on a majority of Louisville touchdowns, you’ll notice one, if not both, of theses guys throwing a crucial block. While their blocking is exceptional, they are no stranger to the end zone themselves. Dez has 18 career touchdowns as he enters his redshirt senior year and Marshon led ACC tight ends with seven receiving touchdowns in his redshirt freshman year. Both are MVP material.
You could also argue that all the guys listed above wouldn’t have as much success without the line doing a great job. They say the game is won or lost in the trenches. While that is not entirely true, it does hold some merit. However, I prefer the saying “it starts up front.” The offensive line dictates how well a QB can play on every single down. Without confidence in the offensive line, quarterbacks tend to make quicker decisions and force throws or prematurely scramble due to lack of comfort in the pocket. The importance of that protection and allowance of time is worthy of MVP discussion – especially when you have such athletic and talented guys behind you that can break one at any given moment.
For this season, defense is what could take this team from 7 wins to 9 wins. I’m not opposed to making a whole side of the ball the MVP. In fact, if the defense continues to improve like I expect, it would mean great things for Cardinal fans. Louisville finished the 2019 season ranked 102nd in total defense. If they can improve to the top 50, they could easily be MVP.
As Always, GO CARDS!