There will be a change in Ty Detmer's normal game-day routine this Saturday.
The BYU quarterback hopes it's a welcome change.Sometime after 1:30 p.m. Hawaii time that day, Detmer will learn whether the 900-plus Heisman Trophy electors have voted him college football's most outstanding player for 1990. For the past few weeks, the consensus has been that the Heisman race has narrowed to two candidates: Detmer and Notre Dame's receiver-running back-kick returner, Raghib "Rocket" Ismail.
Ismail will be at the Downtown Athletic Club in New York for the announcement of the winner, while CBS will have Detmer on camera, via satellite, from a meeting room of the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani Hotel here.
Immediately afterward, Detmer is scheduled to talk to the CBS announcers. ESPN then gets to interview him, and then he will have to face the media assembled here. And if that isn't enough, Sports Illustrated sent a photographer to Provo this week to get apicture of Detmer for a cover story - if he wins.
And that's the catch with all this attention. If he wins, it will have been great fun. If he loses, it will just accentuate the disappointment.
Even the knowledge that he could come back and win it next year wouldn't console him, he said.
"I'll be disappointed, because you never know what will happen next year," said Detmer. "But I won't sit around and pout about it."
He wouldn't have much time to pout, even if he was so inclined, because a few hours after the announcement he has to suit up and play Hawaii. But if he doesn't win, there's at least one group of people that can be expected to react strongly - his teammates.
"If he doesn't get it, our team would be shocked and ticked off," said linebacker Rocky Biegel. "As a team, we know that Ty deserves it."
Biegel scoffed at Ismail's candidacy. "It's a farce to even mention Rocket Ismail's name in the same sentence with Ty," he said. "If Ismail was getting 350 yards a game I could see it, but he's injured part of the time and not doing anything."
"Ty means much more to our team than those other guys mean to their teams," said wide receiver Andy Boyce. "Just answer this: If we didn't have Ty, would we be as successful as we are now?"
Center Bob Stephens, one of the five men entrusted with protecting Detmer this season, said the team has put up with all the Heisman hoopla because it views the trophy as a prize for the entire squad.
"There's no question he wouldn't have it without us, and he's been great about recognizing that," Stephens said. "I think the whole team wins something if he wins it."
Detmer knows that the Heisman means a lot to more people than just him.
"Everywhere you go, people wish you luck," he said. "People just want it so bad here. I just want it for the whole program. There have been a lot of great quarterbacks here in the past. It would be great to finally get one."
Detmer said that the attention and high expectations have put a lot of pressure on him. Known for his poise on the field, he has admitted that the suspense has cost him sleep recently.
"It has been a lot of pressure lately," he said. "And this week's been especially rough. I'm just ready for it to be over with."