ESPN college football writer Mark Schlabach offered up his overreactions to Saturday’s action. Along with hot takes on Alabama’s playoff chances and Scott Frost’s job security, the ESPN article highlighted an overreaction to the 2021 Heisman hopefuls.
After a disappointing loss for Alabama’s Bryce Young, could the quarterbacks lose their grip on the Heisman trophy? Shlabach’s overreaction article suggests the answer could be yes.
“A quarterback won’t win the Heisman Trophy,” Schlabach writes. “The signal-callers who came into the season as favorites are falling over the Heisman cliff.”
First off the cliff was Heisman-favorite Spencer Rattler, who has since fallen into a quarterback controversy which is dominating headlines at Oklahoma. With freshman Caleb Williams on his heels, Rattler has more problems than answers midway through the season.
ACC quarterbacks D.J. Uiagalelei, Sam Howell and D’Eriq King were all hot names entering the season. With all three teams struggling, and King set for season-ending surgery, those players are more concerned with getting back on track.
JT Daniels might be the quarterback of college football’s best team but missing three games with injury over six weeks hurts his case. The play of Stetson Bennett across the three games diminishes Daniels’ chance.
The candidates still in contention
With a laundry list of quarterbacks who fell off the cliff early, the door is open for a pair of running backs to claim the Heisman Trophy. Texas star Bijan Robinson and Michigan State breakout Kenneth Walker III have established themselves as real threats.
The two running backs come from opposite starts. Robinson entered the season as college football’s top backfield threat, while Walker joined Michigan State to split time after transferring from Wake Forest.
Bryce Young, Matt Corral, C.J. Stroud and Desmond Ridder also remain in contention, representing the last hope for the quarterback position. And despite his Heisman overreaction, Schlabach believes the smart money is on one of those four.
“While two running backs – Michigan State’s Kenneth Walker III and Texas’ Bijan Robinson – looked like the sport’s most valuable players in the first half of the season, the odds are still pretty good that a quarterback will take home the stiff-arm trophy again,” writes Schlabach.
Also throwing his hat into the ring is Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett, who has the Panthers in good position to battle for an ACC title midway through the season. Although, the early loss against Western Michigan hurts the chance at the College Football Playoff.