Now on to the regularly scheduled Heisman Weekend Wrap Up.
The one take away from this weekend is that the Heisman race is wide open.
Barkley’s loss was the final straw that did it. Before him, Montee Ball looked unimpressive in a win against Northern Iowa and then was completely stymied against Oregon State. Boom, Heisman chances done. Denard Robinson took a nose dive in week one against Alabama throwing two interceptions and losing the game badly. Robinson can still work his way back into the race but his designation as a favorite is long gone.
So where does that leave us? Somewhere between Geno Smith as an untested favorite (otherworldly numbers against an FCS team and Marshall) and Braxton Miller, a physical freak who needs to avoid injury to make a true Heisman run.
Throw in the likes of Jonathan Franklin, Aaron Murray, Collin Klein, EJ Manuel, De’Anthony Thomas, and Tajh Boyd who all have legitimate Heisman resumes thus far and you can see that this race is just beginning.
Take a look back at the list of eight players I just named. With the exception of Manuel and Murray, most of these guy can afford to lose a game or two and keep their Heisman hopes alive. For Manuel and Murray, their narrative is similar to Barkley’s in that they have to lead their team to undefeated seasons while putting up respectable numbers to be considered Heisman hopefuls. The rest of the group just needs to play their asses off.
Smith is really in the drivers seat. No one (outside of Morgantown) expects West Virginia to go undefeated in its first year in the Big 12 (though they might be talented enough to). No one is going to say that the Mountaineers season is lost if they falter against a good Oklahoma or Texas (or both). Smith just needs to follow the Robert Griffin III model, win impressively, and always be the best player on the field. a 10-2 season with over 4,000 yards and a glut of touchdowns could be more than enough for Smith to book his room at the Times Square Marriott.
For Miller the road is a little bit tougher but anything he does this year is just gravy for his junior season. Miller doesn’t have to win the Heisman this year, but he could, and that right now is enough for everyone in Columbus. Only two foreseeable drawbacks arise. First is the over-saturation that comes from being in the Heisman spotlight for such a long amount of time. Ask Colt McCoy how that worked out. Second, Miller will most likely be the Heisman favorite going into 2013 and we’ve seen how the favorite has fared recently. Ask Andrew Luck how that worked out.
–This is always my favorite stat of the early season. Geno Smith has as many touchdowns as incompletions (talk about following the RG3 narrative).
–HP’s pet stat this season has been De’Anthony Thomas’s touches-to-touchdown ratio. It currently stands at 31-7 or a TD every 4.42 touches.
–Jonathan Franklin leads the nation in rushing through three games but hasn’t scored a touchdown on the ground in his last two games.
–Mississippi State wide receiver Chad Bumphis caught six balls on Saturday, three went for touchdowns (72yds, 58yds, and 25yds) on his way to 180 receiving yards.
–Via @MattRHinton Through three weeks, Texas is averaging 49 points on 514 yards per game and neither number ranks in the top half of the Big 12.
–I can’t wait for the Clemson-Florida State game.