Keenum Making A Move

I believe the player making the biggest move in the Heisman race this week is Houston’s Case Keenum.

His second-straight 500-yard passing game, resulting in a last-second, come-from-behind win over Tulsa, might’ve assured him of a top five finish in the race and, quite possibly, a trip to New York (depending on how the last few weeks shake out).  It’d be a fine honor on the 20th anniversary of Houston’s only Heisman.

While he will not win the Heisman this season, his 2009 performance coupled with his team’s success will set him up nicely for 2010, when names like Tebow and McCoy will be gone and the all-time NCAA passing yardage mark will be within reach.

Powered by

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.

Follow HP

Find us on Twitter, Facebook and Youtube!

40 Responses to Keenum Making A Move

  1. coldphx November 9, 2009 at 6:10 am #

    keenum is far more deserving than tebow, mccoy or ingram.

  2. philnotfil November 9, 2009 at 8:32 am #

    Why doesn’t Keenum get more recognition? Here are the rankings of the pass defenses on his schedule:
    OSU 87
    TTU 77
    UTEP 106
    MSU 40
    Tulane 49
    SMU 61
    USM 93
    Tulsa 110
    UCF 114
    Memphis 91
    Rice 108

  3. ace November 9, 2009 at 8:49 am #

    The best argument for Keenum (or case for Case) may not be the stats. Has anyone been more clutch tha Keenum? Last minute, lengthy drive to beat Texas Tech. Length of the field drive in less than 40 seconds to beat Southern Miss. Last week, gets the ball at his own 39 behind two with twenty seconds to play and pulls out a win. Throwing a great pass in the middle of the second quarter with the team up three scores is one things. Getting it done in the last few seconds of tough,tight games is something else.

  4. John Miller November 9, 2009 at 9:07 am #

    This guy is CLUTCH!

    After annihilating UCF, I bet Colt McCoy wishes he could play C-USA defenses every week too.

  5. Anonymous November 9, 2009 at 9:16 am #


  6. Anonymous November 9, 2009 at 9:28 am #

    There is more than his unbelievable and outstanding stats. He carries the team, they believe in him, both the offence and the defence. His leadership is extra ordinary, and his ability to be cool and calm is his greatest trait, especially since his team is not a Texas or a Florida.

    Lastly his game knowledge is something that all NFL teams will be demanding as they thurst for him to enter the draft ASAP.

  7. Anonymous November 9, 2009 at 9:30 am #

    Interesting stat about Keenum playing ‘weak defenses’, yet if you’d REALLY done your homework, you’d realize that McCoy has played TTECH, OSU, UTEP, and UCF too. Why is McCoy not getting penalized for that?

    What’s even more telling, is that against the common opponenets, (UH has not played UCF yet), Keenun has SCHOOLED McCoy in every statistical category.


  8. Steve November 9, 2009 at 9:44 am #

    Which QB Was Better In Matchups Against The Same Teams? (Winners in bold)

    Keenum vs. Miss State: 435 yards, 4 tds, 2 ints
    Tebow vs. Miss State: 127 yards, 0 tds, 2 ins

    Keenum vs. Texas Tech: 435 yards, 1 td, 1 int, 1 rushing td
    McCoy vs. Texas Tech: 205 yards, 1 td, 1 int

    Keenum vs. Oklahoma State: 366 yards, 3 tds, 1 int
    McCoy vs. Oklahoma State: 171 yards, 1 td, 0 int

    Keenum vs. UTEP: 536 yards, 5 tds, 0 int
    McCoy vs. UTEP: 286 yards, 3 tds, 1 int

    See a pattern here? Keenum is consistently better against the same level of competition.

  9. Anonymous November 9, 2009 at 10:02 am #

    Tebow has one
    Bradford has one
    Colt wins this year by default, regardless of how he or his team plays, played

    if you are to look at stats etc, see that Texas had no score and even trailed in the 2nd Quarter against UCF … whose rankigs as stated above are not worthy of the Teaxs powerhouse.

  10. Anonymous November 9, 2009 at 10:07 am #

    It is up to the “bold” to put the glass slipper on Keenum, admitting that the BEST COLLEGE ATHELETE has more to do with the award, than the athelete at a high ranking and visable school

  11. Andy November 9, 2009 at 10:15 am #

    Houston’s strength of schedule is too low to deserve the heisman. So, he pulled off a come from behind victory with a long sustatained drive, against the mighty powerful defense of…Tulsa???? Anybody remember Hawaii’s QB Colt Brennan. Put up great numbers until he played UGA and then was totally stimied. All the Keenum supporters strangely forget to mention the loss to another football powerhouse UTEP. Before you tout the Miss State victory, keep in mind that Miss State will finish at the bottom of the SEC West with a 2- or 3-5 SEC record. Sorry, putting up a bazillion yards in a pass-happy offense with a lousy schedule isn’t heisman worthy. If it is heisman worthy I hope you were saying the same thing about Colt Brennan and all the Texas Tech QBs of the last few years…my guess is, you weren’t!

  12. Andy November 9, 2009 at 10:16 am #

    PS – what about CJ Spiller’s performance this Saturday. That was amazing!

  13. Anonymous November 9, 2009 at 10:22 am #

    there you go again talking about “strength of schedule” which has nothing to do with the award. It’s not a stats only award, it has many other qualities that signifies BEST ATHLETE .. not BEST STATS

    Case shows he can lead a “non-powerhouse” team to victory. And leading a team through out the SEASON as well. nuff said!

    PS too bad he didn’t play defense ar UTEP

  14. Anonymous November 9, 2009 at 10:33 am #

    There was a Heisman awarded to a player from a loseing team. So, a too low “strength of schedule” certifies the fact that it has nothing to do with the award of the best college athelete.

  15. Prakash November 9, 2009 at 10:36 am #

    Though Case Keenum plays in a mediocre conference and a very young Offense and Defense he makes stuff happen. give him the team of Texas/Florida/Alabama and see how the performance goes up. A lot of good QB’s are complimented by the team but the one making result with a inexperienced and mediocre team is a true Heisman candidate.

    If you still not believe me see the stats for yourself.

    Case really deserves it.

  16. Chad November 9, 2009 at 10:40 am #

    Nonsense. Wether Case gets a little trophy or not, everyone in the country is becoming aware of who the best player in college football really is. All you guys are doing is devaluing the award.

  17. sandymex November 9, 2009 at 10:49 am #

    The Good: The raw numbers, the receiver corps, lots of yards after catch, and good game management when behind.

    The Bad: Played against some very poor defenses. Poor game management when ahead. Lost to UTEP and needed an onside kick to beat Tulsa. Dink passes are his bread and butter.

    The Ugly: Against Tulane he looked obsessed with his own stats. Houston had the game won and Keenum threw 10 4th quarter passes, including a TD on Houston’s final offensive play. This classless performance padded his stats, but said something about Keenum’s character.

  18. thetruth November 9, 2009 at 10:52 am #

    And why wouldn’t UH and Keenum try to score late against Tulane? They beat Tulsa on a last-second field goal and don’t move in the rankings. Obviously, you need to have some style points and they did that.

    As far as UTEP, he had his best game. They lost, but it wasn’t on him. He can’t play defense, too. Just deal with it and give the kid the award.

  19. Anonymous November 9, 2009 at 11:26 am #

    While the team lost in Tulsa, Keenum put up a solid performance:

    51/76 passing
    536 yards through the air
    5 touchdowns
    0 interceptions

    This loss was not on Keenum’s shoulders.

  20. Anonymous November 9, 2009 at 11:26 am #

    El Paso, not Tulsa on that last one, sorry.

  21. Anonymous November 9, 2009 at 12:23 pm #

    SOS SOS SOS… why is Keenum the only candidate penalized for SOS when McCoy is playing half the schedule UH is, and then gets to play against mighty Baylor, A&M, Iowa State, Colorado… Woooooooo some real powerhouses there.

    Please, the SOS angle is weak and indicative of a weak mind that needs someone else (ESPN) to tell them how to think who should get a Heisman.


  22. Steve November 9, 2009 at 12:40 pm #

    Keenum has been the best player in college football this year, period. While his detractors try to explain away his superiority over candidates from more traditional powers (like Florida, Alabama, Texas), the fact that Houston sits at #12 and 8-1, the fact that Keenum has doubled or tripled the statistics of Tebow and McCoy, and has about 50% more touchdowns and yards than Clausen really begins to make the point that the award almost has to go to Keenum. This year alone, Keenum has led Houston to 3 (count them) game winning drives in the final minute of the game and another 4th quarter comeback. What more do you want? A clutch player, who is NOT just racking up stats against bad teams (look at his yardage against Big 12 and SEC teams, 412 yards/game, 3 touchdowns/game). He is the heart and soul of Houston. Houston also averages running the ball 33 times per game for about 145 yards per game, and it is not a “pass-only” system. Bradford won the Heisman under the exact same coach and system at Oklahoma. Do not punish Keenum for being TOO GOOD, AND THINK THAT HIS NUMBERS HAVE TO BE INFLATED SOMEHOW. LOOK GAME BY GAME. PICK OUT THE TOUGHEST OPPONENTS AND SEE HOW HE DID AGAINST THEM. Dude is pure nails, and delivers in the clutch, all the while giving praise to God for his ability. He is not just the kind of player a coach dreams of, but also the kind of person a coach dreams of having.

  23. sandymex November 9, 2009 at 12:44 pm #

    thelie –

    You want Houston to move up from 15th because they squeaked by 4-5 Tulsa? Tulsa is 94th in the nation and Keenum needed an onside kick to beat them.

  24. Anonymous November 9, 2009 at 12:55 pm #

    Sandy, Houston won it’s game. Hello.

    LSU lost and they moved up so why is it unreasonable to expect a team to move up when it wins?

  25. sandymex November 9, 2009 at 1:40 pm #

    Florida, Alabama, Texas, TCU, Boise St, and Cincinnati are just a few of the teams that have DROPPED in the polls after a win. You think Houston should be treated differently just because they play a very weak schedule and almost lost to lousy Tulsa? BTW, Sagarin ranks Houston 31st, so you could argue that the AP has been too kind to them.

  26. Steve November 9, 2009 at 3:20 pm #

    No one is arguing that Houston is the best team in the country, and their current AP ranking at 13 is about right, for now. If they win the remaining 3 regular season games, perhaps they move up a spot or two to about #10. But clearly their defense precludes them being any higher than that.

    But they are a damn good team with THE NATION’S BEST PLAYER. And that player is the main reason why they are a damn good team. Is this as true for any other player besides maybe Ingram?

  27. Anonymous November 9, 2009 at 3:41 pm #

    News in Houston is that the Heisman Trust has officially requested bio data on Keenum from the University of Houston.

    Despite the naysayers on ESPN and elsewhere, the people that give the award have definitely noticed Keenum.

  28. don November 9, 2009 at 5:48 pm #

    Case Keenum has definitely been noticed by many across the nation. His chances may be slim this year for the Heisman award, but I would hope that the voters are not shallow minded and look only at the schools with the big tradition programs. Texas, Alabama and Florida will always get the spotlight because they are College football. What’s amazing about Keenum is his total athletic ability to get the job done in spite of not having an all conference offensive line. or nationally ranked defense. He gets in done and wins because He is a very good quarterback who reads defenses, passes accurately to his open receivers and truely deserves to be recognized this year as the 2009 Heisman award winner.

  29. Sam R. November 9, 2009 at 6:31 pm #

    Sandy, Keenum needed an onside kick to beat them? I didn’t know keenum played football games by himself? UH needed Keenum to make 2 amazing drives to win the game and he did that. I would like to see anyone in the heisman race be put in that same spot the last 2 min of that game and i guarantee NO qb would have lead there team to a win against Tulsa. I would also like to see if any QB could make a 90+ yard drive to win the game against TT. Also we played 4 of the same opponents Texas has and the remainder of our schedule compared to Texas might be a bit weaker but not by much.

  30. Sam R. November 9, 2009 at 6:34 pm #

    Also Keenum does the most with the least. UH does have alot of talent on offense but not as much as Texas or Florida or Alabama. Keenum makes everyone around him better, he is a leader and everyone on that team believes in him.

  31. cougardue November 9, 2009 at 8:26 pm #

    The “Truth” lies, UH closed out Tulane in the victory formation. Don’t call yourself the truth call yourself the troll.

  32. Thomas November 9, 2009 at 9:42 pm #

    Let’s work on getting UH into the Big 12 instead of Baylor. UH is set to be a Tier 1 university, might as well be top tier football-wise too. …if they build that new stadium they’ve been talking about. It’s amazing what a winning season will do for a school.

  33. Thomas November 9, 2009 at 10:06 pm #

    You know, maybe the teams UH plays have such lousy pass rated defenses BECAUSE they played Keenum. How do they rate when you take out Keenum’s statistics? Of course no team is going to be high ranked defensively when a quarterback puts up 500+ yards on them. Why don’t we hear “McCoy ONLY put up 171 yards against the 87th rated pass rated defense OSU” instead of “sure Keenum put up 366 yards vs. then #5 OSU in Stillwater, but they’re only the 87th best pass defense in the country.”

    Sex sells folks. UH just isn’t sexy. If Keenum played for UT, Florida, or any other well endowed conference in the country with a TV contract the Heisman race would have been decided long ago. And don’t think Keenum’s numbers would be less impressive if he was in one of the top six conferences–if he were in any of those top conferences he would have even better support surrounding him.

    Keenum has taken an average team and made a top ten worthy squad out of them. Keenum isn’t the sexy story the media would have you believe a Colt McCoy or a Tim Tebow is, but when you look at the stats, the head-to-head comparisons, what they have done with what they were given, and the clutch performances Keenum has provided a far better argument and story than any of the other contenders.

    So long as we’re talking sex appeal:
    Tebow’s just a fish.
    McCoy is just a grazer.

    …of course FOX, CBS, ESPN, and ABC won’t tell you that… they don’t broadcast UH games.

    Sex sells and money speaks.

  34. Thomas November 9, 2009 at 10:49 pm #

    UT gains nearly the same number of rushing yards per game as UH (UT gains two whole more yards on the ground), but yet for UH it’s just the “System” that creates those enormous stats Keenum puts up. Same rushing attack for UH and UT, but Keenum’s 160 yards passing per game more than Colt McCoy, let’s just write that off to the “system” or the S.O.S. or the conference UH plays in or the hype Mack Brown makes for Colt or just that awesome name, “Colt” that’s a football name, “Case”, ehh… So that makes the Longhorn better. Any excuse for a player in a BCS conference to win.

    It’s funny, I didn’t hear anyone say anything about the “system” the Colts ran in their game this past weeked which Manning worked to the tune of 242 yards passing in the first half.

    Sometimes it’s not the system that makes the quarterback, it’s the quarterback that makes the system.

  35. Thomas November 9, 2009 at 10:57 pm #

    Two reasons Case Keenum may not win the Heisman Trophy this year.

    #1–He flops the rest of the way to close out the season. Not likely for Mr. Clutch Keenum.

    #2–Mack Brown. Dear God Almighty if Colt McCoy put in the performances Case Keenum puts up week in and week out Mack would be able to spend a lot more time talking up BCS instead of Heisman.

  36. Thomas November 9, 2009 at 11:03 pm #

    Keenum has EARNED the Heisman this year. If he isn’t given the award it is all because of Heismandment #6.

    “The sixth Heismandment states that a player cannot be an obvious product of his team’s system. Also called the “Andre Ware” rule.

    Note the word “obvious.” This means that it has to do entirely with perception. If a player is perceived as being just another product of his system, even if he is not, he will suffer in the voting. Conversely, a player can be a product of his school’s system but the perception may not be there, for various reasons.”

    On the other hand, perhaps another “Heismandment” will require adjustment after this year’s vote…

  37. willhclark November 9, 2009 at 11:33 pm #

    Put Case Keenum on Florida, Texas, Alabama, USC and they dominate much more so than they do now and he win’s the Heisman. Case has the stats but he has so much more. Case is just a winner with all intangibles you look for in a great quarterback.

    The only reason Case won’t win is because there is no money behind him. ESPN, SI and the BCS need the money that comes from hyping BIG schools like Florida, Texas, and Notre Dame that bring in advertising dollars. The Heisman has become allot more about money than great football. It’s a shame!

  38. willhclark November 9, 2009 at 11:43 pm #

    It’s all about the money influencing the media coverage to shape public perception and voters. Hence the strength of schedule arguments and other nonsense against Case. Look at the stats for mutual opponents for Case, Tebow and Colt. Case dominates and with far inferior talent to work with.

    CBS has contract with the SEC
    NBC has a contract with Notre Dame
    ESPN, SI, and the BCS are all College Football stakeholders interested in bringing in the most dollars for their product and they know can get make allot more by promoting and awarding the Universities with biggest fan following. Case Keenum simply does not add enough to the financial bottom line to win the Heisman.

  39. Stewy November 10, 2009 at 12:34 am #

    Unfortunately Case is plagued by “defense optional” C-USA. He is the clear Heisman winner this year. Houston has a crappy defense that requires the offense to tread water all game, especially at the end. Case is the reason Houston has won all these games at the last minute. If you put him with a defense like Texas, he blows Colt out of the water. Tebow can’t pass like Case and Colt can’t run like Case. He has it all.

    Andy, to say that the loss to UTEP and barely squeaking by Tulsa is an argument AGAINST Case is weak. You can’t deny that with a decent defense, they would have run the board on them.