…and this is a big one.
As everyone knows by now, Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford suffered a shoulder injury in Oklahoma’s loss to BYU on Saturday.
Not only did Bradford get hurt, but the Sooners lost the game and now the trajectory of this year’s Heisman race has been altered.
For those of you who read this site regularly, you already know that Bradford was not included on my preseason Heisman Watch list. The Heisman Watch is my personal gauge of who has the best shot of actually winning the Heisman. Based on the circumstances, I found Bradford’s chances to be very slim and so he was not included.
He is the latest victim of Heismandment No. 9, which states that there will never be another two-time winner. Whether that prophecy holds true this year or not in regards to Tebow, there is little doubt that the following applies in Bradford’s case:
…it is also hard for a player to have Heisman-worthy seasons two years in a row. Both of those seasons must be arguably better than each of the other candidates in the running. So there are a lot of factors working against a would-be repeat winner.
Besides all that, there is also that mysterious Heisman karma that seems to take hold of a race every year. In the end, everything has to fall perfectly in place for someone to win the Heisman just once. So in order to win it again, things have to fall perfectly in place twice.
Can it happen? Sure.
Is it likely? No.
Having everything fall perfectly into place also requires staying healthy while playing a violent sport. Unfortunately for Bradford, his injury will sink his Heisman hopes. The 9th Heismandment wasted little time in getting to work in 2009.
Bradford’s official exit also affects the rest of the Heisman field, not to mention the national title race. One would assume that Texas now has an easier path to the Big 12 title. That means Colt McCoy’s chances at the Heisman have increased, as an undefeated Longhorns season now seems to be a stronger possibility. Also, McCoy no longer has to share the Big 12 spotlight with Bradford and much of the support in that region will move his way. One less big-time passing quarterback in the race also increases the odds of a running back or mult-purpose athlete gaining some traction.
Condolences to Bradford and Sooner fans. A great player has been sidelined. On a positive note, maybe this makes him come back in 2010 for another shot at it.