The conventional wisdom out there might be that Adrian Peterson’s all-time best showing for a freshman (second) is a harbinger that a first-year player might win the trophy one day soon.
In reality, his second-place showing actually assures for the near future that no freshman will come close.
Peterson has now set the bar so high with his performance, that it would take a season of unbelievable proportions for a freshman to win. Anything less would be met with ‘Well, his season wasn’t as good as Peterson’s. If Peterson didn’t win, this guy shouldn’t.’
It’s much like what happened with Herschel Walker. He placed third as a freshman. But his shadow was so huge, it took until Peterson for any first-year player to top that finish. For a freshman to win now, he would have to be considered better than Adrian Peterson. And since Peterson is on his way to becoming one of the great college backs ever, that is a tall order indeed.