A JERSEY GUY: Heisman Race is Over, But There are Lots of Other Things To Decide

Mark Blaudschun

What is the saying about early predictions about Heisman Trophy front runners: You can't win the Heisman in September (October), but you can lose it.

Well, it's November and while the official vote totals won't be released for another month, we at TMG are making a projection. LSU QB Joe Burrow will win the 2019 Heisman Trophy.

In our opinion (and we are a Heisman voter, although Heisman regulations preclude us from revealing how we will vote) Burrow won it on Saturday night with his 3 TD, 393 yard performance in the Tigers' 46-41 victory over Alabama.

Not only did that win move LSU to No. 1, it probably sealed a Final Four bid for the Tigers, even if they should lose the SEC title game in Atlanta next month.

As for Burrow.

What more can you say?

The Ohio State graduate transfer is having an historic season. All Burrow has done is throw 33 TD passes (against 4 interceptions) for 3,198 yards in leading LSU to a 9-0 record, which includes four wins against Top 10 teams. And he has done it in Prime Time before national television audiences.

While doing that, his main competition, Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa is playing hurt and lost the head to head battle with Burrow on Saturday night, and Oklahoma QB Jalen Hurts has had some missteps and OU is now a fringe player in the Final Four chase.

Ohio State QB Justin Fields is still a contender, but doesn't have the stats that Burrow has had. He could become a factor if Ohio State finishes its season with big wins over Michigan and then in the Big Ten title game and Burrow stumbles, but LSU has remaining regular season games against Ole Miss, Arkansas and Texas A&M, all of which would appear to be defenseless against the Tiger passing attack.

And there are no other contenders who will have the exposure needed to jump into the race.

So barring an injury or some other bizarre event, the Heisman looks like it is headed to Baton Rouge for the first time since LSU running back Billy Cannon won it 60 years ago.

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There are now 3 official openings among Power 5 conference schools, Arkansas and Florida State, both whom made decisions to fire coaches before the end of their second season and Rutgers, which waited until early in season 4 to fire Chris Ash

. Such is the state of CFB these days, although we're not sure that Arkansas's Chad Morris or FSU's Willie Taggart would have been more successful if they were given another year.

But that hasn't slowed down the Silly Season speculation about new coaches and other potential openings which is as much a part of the college football season as Rivalry Week in November.

In addition to Rutgers, FSU and Arkansas, USC, Boston College and Vanderbilt appear to be the most likely to make changes in the next few weeks.

USC coach Clay Helton appears to be the most vulnerable, with former Florida and Ohio State coach Urban Meyer ready to step in.

BC could make a move, especially if the Eagles' lose in two weeks to Notre Dame, which would mean the best they can do in coach Steve Addazio's 7th season is another 6-6 regular season record.

But there are no guarantees, considering how the often mysterious BC administration acts

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One of the consequences of the poor overall season the Atlantic Coast Conference is having this season is that the Orange Bowl, which is committed to inviting an ACC team.

Normally, that wouldn't be a problem. If probable ACC champion Clemson makes the Final Four, the highest ranked team would then host the Orange Bowl.

One problem. The ACC has no ranked teams beyond Clemson, which means that a two, three or four loss team such as Wake Fores, Virginia, Virginia Tech or even Pittsburgh might get an OB bid.

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Lots of Watch Out games this weekend including:

Minnesota at Iowa, Navy at Notre Dame, Georgia at Auburn, USC at Utah, Oklahoma at Baylor (both teams).

And finally this: Ohio State is favored by 52 points over Rutgers.

A Big Ten game with a 52 point underdog?

Come on.

M

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Mark Blaudschun

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