There may not have been a less fortuitous night for Houston’s Case Keenum to have thrown nine touchdown passes and break the all-time NCAA mark for that category than last night.
As it turns out, one of the best game in World Series history helped bury Keenum’s big game in the media. In case you haven’t heard, he threw for 534 yards and the nine scores in a 73-34 win over Rice. I saw the results on the ticker, but I had to wait a long time to catch the highlights on ESPN afterward. This morning, both ESPN’s and SI.com’s college football front page consigned his story to the ‘Top Stories’ sidebar. No special commentary was forthcoming.
It illustrates the uphill climb a great player like Keenum faces playing in a non-BCS conference, which naturally results in matchups with non-marquee schools like Rice. And that tends to understate the impressiveness of performances like this one. (Yeah, but it’s Rice, you’ll hear people say, as if everyone else threw 9 TDs against Rice this year, too.)
I don’t think Keenum is going to win the Heisman, but I do think he’s got a chance to make it to New York as a finalist, especially when one considers where his numbers are headed. Can voters ignore someone who has thrown for 5,200 yards, with 52 touchdown passes and just 5 picks, as he is on pace to do?
I think this could be a dilemma for some voters, as many will acknowledge that while Keenum’s level of competition is lower than the other candidates and even though he plays in a system that gives him a unique opportunity to pile up these stats, he’s also broken almost every conceivable NCAA passing mark while leading his team to (potentially) an undefeated season.
What else can the guy do?