As I noted earlier, three of the candidates in the Heismanpundit Top 10 will have a game against Oklahoma as their “prove it” opportunity.
And it happens in a four week span in mid-to-late October.
Cedric Benson gets the first crack. He’s in a good position for a few reasons:
1. If he goes off against the Sooners, he gets to be known as the first back to succeed against OU this year. And assuming the Longhorns win, he’d be seen as the hero who finally beat the Sooners.
2. If he does well, his feat may look even better if Oklahoma shuts down Sproles and Morency in the weeks following.
3. If he gets stuffed (while Texas still wins), he may get a pass if OU shuts down Sproles and Morency later.
4. If all three go off on the Sooners, it will be Benson’s game that will get the most attention and he’ll get the most credit for demoralizing OU.
Of course, if OU shuts down all three backs, all three will likely see their Heisman hopes fade.
Sproles’ big advantage is that if he puts up a great game in a KSU win, he’ll get extra credit for having beaten OU last year, too. He’d be the “Sooner Killer.” And since he’s so electric, he’d probably do it in highlight-film fashion.
Morency’s burden is actually a lot lighter than that of the other two. Hardly anyone expects Oklahoma State to give OU a game (though, that didn’t stop OSU in 2001 or 2002). No one will blame Morency if the Cowboys lose. Since Morency’s only chance to win the Heisman is to put up a 2,000-yard-plus season, he’ll get a pass if he has a good game, say of 150 yards or so. The outcome will be that he gained legitimacy in the Heisman voters’ eyes and he will come out of the game looking good.
The flipside to all this is that all three games give Jason White a chance to prove Heismandment No. 9 wrong.