The Case For Keenum

Here is the latest in our series of Heisman candidate testimonials, courtesy of Houston Sports Information:

* Currently is #1 in the Football Bowl Subdivision in total offense (399.71 ypg.) and passing yardage per game (390.57 ypg.), outdistancing himself from the runner up by 62 yards (total offense) and 36 yards (passing), respectively.

* Has posted the top single-game numbers in 2009 in total offense (544 yards), total plays (79), passing yards (536), pass completions (51), and pass attempts (76).

* Tied an NCAA record for most pass attempts in a game (76) without an interception (vs. UTEP on Oct. 3.)

* Has led team to wins over three BCS AQ schools in three attempts (Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Mississippi State), the only non-AQ quarterback to achieve this in 2009 and only the fourth non-AQ quarterback to accomplish
this since the BCS was created.

* Led the Cougars to a road upset over #5 Oklahoma State, the first Houston win over a Top 5 team since a 29-15 win over #3 Texas in Austin in 1984.

* Led the Cougars to two fourth-quarter wins over both Texas Tech at home and Mississippi State on the road.

* Triggers the nation’s top offense (536.6 ypg.) yet team has only eight turnovers in seven games.

* Is the current FBS Active Career Passing Yards Per Game (303.4 ypg.) and Career Total Yards Per Game Leader (324.5 ypg.)

* Has a 5-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio this season and over a 3-to-1 career ratio.

* Has a career average of 2.36 touchdown passes per game, topped only by Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford (2.84.)

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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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5 Responses to The Case For Keenum

  1. Ed Newman October 30, 2009 at 6:14 am #

    Keenum suffers from two handicaps. The first is that he plays in the wrong conference so his SOS is looked upon with skepticism. Not really all that different from Clausen in that regard. Like Clausen, I think he could overcome this handicap if the “big guns” continue to falter. The second handicap is he plays at a school known for producing SYSTEM QBS (Texas Tech is similar). I don’t think he can overcome that problem, especially on top of the competition problem. I hope he gets to NYC though. He deserves it.

  2. F October 30, 2009 at 7:43 am #

    According to Sagarin…
    Houston plays the 97th ranked schedule.
    Notre Dame plays the 17th.

    Quite a handicap indeed.

  3. Johnny October 30, 2009 at 7:44 am #

    The problem Keenum has is “Ware Fatigue”. High-profile wins against TTech and OKSt helped his cause but the system label will stick.

    As for Clausen, he suffers from not being in a conference? I would argue playing for ND has is a major advantage, even moreso than playing in the SEC.

  4. Ed Newman October 30, 2009 at 10:41 am #

    My Clausen comment relates to all the experts out there who are harping that ND hasn’t actually beaten any good teams. The only true top twenty caliber team they faced was USC and they lost. They lost to a slightly better than average MSU team and beat Michigan and Purdue and Washington, all teams with issues. It has nothing to do with Conference affiliation, it’s about actual opponents.

    ND’s overall schedule to date is fine since they don’t overload the front end with cupcakes like most BCS conference schools, but it lacks any top end competition except USC.

  5. starkweather November 1, 2009 at 5:44 pm #

    On the other side of things from Saturday, it looks like Keenum might be able to overcome his handicaps. He should definitely be in New York and it’s looking like, more and more, we’ll see another overload of QB’s at the ceremony. Unfortunate, really, because their are some amazing off-the-radar performances coming from smaller program RB’s this year. My new favorite candidate with absolutely no shot is Bernard Pierce (RB, Temple, true freshman). But I’ve got Keenum sitting right there at 1 or 2. Anyone who knocks this kid as a system QB needs to watch him play. He’s got a really good feel for the game and, as I’ve noted on my own blog, Houston doesn’t play a run and shoot anymore. The system they play is the one that put Kevin Kolb in the NFL as one of the league’s (currently) top backups/QBs-of-the-future and I doubt that’s escaped pro scouts whether or not Heisman voters realize it yet.