Where we take Heisman logic and speculate on who should win the Heisman trophy! Yes, the time of year is finally here! What is the Heisman trophy? Only possibly the most prestigious award in all of sports. The Heisman could be the most respected award an athlete can receive; it has a strong tradition and recognizes college football's best player for a season. It has also historically factored in the team record of that player as well as individual statistics. But what separates this award from many is that it really focuses in on the character and integrity of the player it is voting for as well. How is all of this factored into one award? Here is how: This award that has been around since 1935 has a very unique voting process: the votes are made up by ESPN fan voting (1), unbiased sports journalists/media from each region (870) and finally, previous Heisman winners (57). Although the vast majority of the votes come from the media, a good number of them come from previous winners, who theoretically would like to keep this fraternity elite.
What compelled me to write this entry is all of what I mentioned above; this award should go to a person taking all of this above into consideration. We all hear about Jameis Winston, Johnny Manziel, Marcus Mariota, AJ McCarron, but if you discuss the Heisman Race you MUST mention another name: JORDAN LYNCH. The fact that this kid is not being mentioned with the Heisman elite is HEISMAN CRIMINOLOGY! Jordan Lynch is the 2-year starting quarterback for Northern Illinois. Lynch finished 7th in last year’s Heisman voting and himself along with his team are having a better season currently. Now while usually it would be understandable for a player from a lesser known school not to get the attention of the masses, it baffles me how this kid hasn't, considering: 1. They only had 1 loss last year (Big 10 Iowa) before losing to a very good FSU squad in the ORANGE BOWL, 2. They are undefeated and ranked 14th this season, 3. NIU is going on their 4th game this season this week on national primetime ESPN as the only CFB game on tv at that time. I will focus in on Jordan further as we break down the key factors in Heisman voting:
1. TEAM SUCCESS: Yes NIU is not a big BCS conf school (MAC conference), but they DID play in the BCS Orange Bowl last year and are undefeated this season. Other key wins under Lynch: beat Big10's Iowa (8-4) along with Purdue by 30 and have swept through their schedule. He has only lost 2 games as a full time season starter (FSU).
2. INDIVIDUAL SUCCESS: This is where Jordan Lynch could win the Heisman Trophy. His stats career wise for a full-time 2 year starter are mind boggling, but let's for the purposes of the Heisman obviously focus on this season: 2457 passing, 22 td, 5 int, 1755 rushing (rushed for 1800 his junior season), 20 td. Some previous dual-threat QBs who won the Heisman? Tim Tebow (3286 passing, 32 td, 6 int, 895 rushing, 23 td), Cam Newton (2854 passing, 30 td, 7 int, 1473 rushing, 20 td), RG3 (4293, 37 td, 6 int, 699 yds, 10 td), Johnny Manziel (3706, 26 td, 9 int, 1410 yds, 21 td). All of these guys except for RG3 are part of the prestigious 20 and 20 club (td/rtd), and all won Heismans.
So as you can see, his numbers rival if not surpass those of previous Heisman winners WITH TWO GAMES LEFT. He could end up eclipsing 2000 yds for the season. He has TWICE broken the NCAA record for QB rushing yards in a game, most recently with 321 yds. He is only the fifth NCAA player ever to pass for 5,000 yards and run for 4,000 yards in a career.
3. CHARACTER/INTEGRITY: The final piece of the puzzle, as the trophy ‘‘recognizes the outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence and integrity." This matters more than what you would think in terms of this award. I do not know any voters personally, but the only one I have seen on ESPN (Robert Smith) said he would not vote for anyone who would compromise the integrity of the award. These voters would like to keep this award as prestigious as possible in all aspects. So if we look at the candidates, 2 very strong ones may be eliminated because of this: Johnny Manziel and Jameis Winston. Manziel was under scrutiny the entire offseason for allegedly taking money for autographs as well as for being an all around attention seeking trouble starter. Winston is dealing with sexual assault charges as we speak that have not been resolved and may not be before the ceremony. Although Manziel's case to win the Heisman is not very strong with his on the field play, this may eliminate possibly the best candidate, Winston. Worst case would be the charges are not cleared and Winston wins the Heisman, later to be found guilty of sexual assault. Trust, the voters WILL NOT LET THIS HAPPEN. This leaves 2 squeaky clean program leaders and generals: AJ McCarron and Jordan Lynch. Flip a coin on this one; both of these exhibit the level of integrity Heisman voters look for. (EDGE: LYNCH/MCCARRON).
IF you eliminate Winston from the running for off the field troubles, Jordan Lynch stands just as good a shot as anyone to win this award (if all charges are dropped then yes Winston should win it). Yes McCarron does have a strong case, but this kid is surrounded with NFL starters, has 1 loss (although vs. a very tougher strength of schedule yes) and is not in the hemisphere individual stat wise. Yes, it is very possible that NIU's strength of schedule could keep him out of it, but when they are playing and beating Big10 teams, we cannot act like they are playing Sisters of the Poor out there. Let's keep in mind they beat Iowa, Iowa lost to Ohio State by only 10, beat Michigan, Nebraska and Northwestern. They did belong on the field with FSU, and will probably be in another BCS bowl this year. The race is wide open this season anybody can win it, but the next time you have a discussion about who should win the Heisman Trophy, Jordan Lynch DESERVES to be included and he definitely deserves to be in attendance at the Heisman ceremony.