There’s a lot to be said of the mediocrity of this year’s crop of Heisman candidates. It seems like no one really wants to assert themselves. Save one.
Mark Ingram continued a dominating season on Saturday, rushing for 149 yards and two touchdowns. He even was helped off the field after suffering a pretty painful looking gash on his forehead on his first TD run, sat out just the remainder of the quarter, and got back into the action without missing a beat starting in the third quarter. Do you know anyone capable of that?
There is little doubt now who the Heisman frontrunner is, and Ingram’s 70 yard dash midway through the fourth quarter is the stuff of Heisman highlight reels, it’s his trophy to lose.
True, his statistics continued to shine at the helm of one of the nation’s most pass happy offenses, but Houston’s devastating loss to Central Florida will likely hurt Case Keenum’s Heisman hopes. Rare in recent Heisman history have non-BCS school candidates made the trip to NYC, but in nearly every case, those participants were part of highly ranked, BCS buster-type squads, making noise on the national stage. Now that the Cougars are no longer in that category, Keenum might find it more difficult to see NYC in his future.
Keenum did perform well on Saturday, but was unable to bring his team back from a third straight second half deficit, his 377 yards and three touchdowns were simply not enough to overcome a UCF offense that caught fire after a scoreless first period.
It’s strange that Colt McCoy leads one of the nation’s most prolific offenses, but continues to struggle to put up the big numbers that we saw all of last year from the senior quarterback’s arm. On Saturday, his Longhorns plastered the Baylor defense for 47 points, but McCoy was only responsible for two first half touchdown passes, and passed for less than 200 yards for the second time in three games. McCoy is still among the Heisman favorites in this weak field, but even his big name might not be enough if he continues to fill scorecards with mediocre numbers.
Tebow and his Gators made some history on Saturday against South Carolina, but the senior quarterback did nothing truly great to boost his Heisman candidacy. Tebow tied the career touchdown record in SEC history, accounting for two on the day – one through the air and one on the ground. This year’s edition of the Gators is also the first squad to finish the SEC regular season undefeated since 1996.
That’s all well and grand for the Gator’s national title hopes and record books, but for Tebow, he continues to see his second Heisman trophy slip away. Tebow continues to put in games that lack the statement quality of his games in year’s past. But as we have discussed many times before, no one is truly out of this year’s race until it’s over – Tebow has hope yet.
Preseason Heisman hopeful CJ Spiller has had a string of strong performances lately and has slowly but surely crept up watch lists all around the nation to become a real player in the trophy late in the season. His performance Saturday only vindicated what many had said about the Clemson running back before season’s start, that the senior is the nation’s best running back.
And on Saturday, Spiller set out to prove that he is also the nation’s most versatile running back. Accounting for three Clemson touchdowns, Spiller scored in three different ways – passing for one, rushing for one and catching one in the end zone for a big statement game against NC State.
Important too was the fact that the Tigers are now in control of their own destiny for a BCS bowl bid, if they can beat Virginia and then Georgia Tech, they will make their way to the Orange Bowl, important for Spiller’s Heisman hopes.