Big September Heisman Games of 2009

Contary to what many people believe, Heismans can be won or lost very early in the season.  The first few games can definitely go a long way toward eliminating the pretender candidates.  Here’s my list of the September games that could impact the race the most in 2009:

September 5

Georgia at Oklahoma State–The OSU trio of Zac Robinson, Kendall Hunter and Dez Bryant gets a chance at first blood.  If any of the three are to mount a Heisman run, it has to start with a big game here when everyone is watching.

BYU vs. Oklahoma–An interesting matchup.  Max Hall has the type of opportunity Ty Detmer had in 1990 to make a name for himself against a marquee opponent.  Meanwhile, Sam Bradford can show he’s still as effective as ever even with a new offensive line.

Maryland at California–Jahvid Best has a chance to get off to a fast start in the Heisman race with a productive game against a decent team like the Terrapins.  However, if he is bottled up, he’ll have a lot of ground to make up later on.

September 6

Ole Miss at Memphis–Normally not a noteworthy matchup, but this one is on Sunday and will get more attention that usual.  Jevan Snead has a chance to show he is a serious Heisman contender.

September 12

Notre Dame at Michigan–If any team can easily facilitate a darkhorse Heisman campaign, it is Notre Dame.  If Jimmy Clausen is to have a breakout season and enter the Heisman conversation, then it all starts here on the big stage.

USC at Ohio State–Any number of USC offensive weapons could make a splash in this game, but the most likely outcome is that Terrelle Pryor will indicate whether he can be taken seriously as a Heisman candidate or not.

September 19

Tennessee at Florida–This one will get a bunch of attention.  I have a feeling that the Vols won’t mind losing too much as long as they can stop Tim Tebow cold and keep it respectable.  If Tebow has a big game here, though, he’ll be the early front runner.

West Virginia at Auburn–Noel Devine has the flash and name recognition to mount a serious Heisman campaign, but he’ll need to run wild against the Tigers to draw early attention.

September 26

Illinois at Ohio State–This game could serve notice that Juice Williams is a legitimate Heisman candidate.  It could also further cement–or erode–Terrelle Pryor’s  candidacy.

California at Oregon–This game could be LaGarrette Blount’s coming out party.  Or, it could be a track meet featuring the speedy Mr. Best.

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About Heismanpundit

Chris Huston, A.K.A. ‘The Heisman Pundit‘, is a Heisman voter and the creator and publisher of, a site dedicated to analysis of the Heisman Trophy and college football. Dubbed “the foremost authority on the Heisman” by Sports Illustrated, HP is regularly quoted or cited during football season in newspapers across the country. He is also a regular contributor on sports talk radio and television.

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4 Responses to Big September Heisman Games of 2009

  1. Anonymous July 8, 2009 at 6:36 pm #

    BYU vs. Oklahoma–An interesting matchup in Provo??? The game is in Dallas.

  2. Heismanpundit July 8, 2009 at 8:12 pm #

    Good catch. Now fixed. Thanks.

  3. Tyler Griffin July 16, 2009 at 2:03 pm #

    What about the rematch between Texas Tech and Texas in Austin on September 19th?

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