The curse of the Heisman front runner continues.
For the eighth-straight season, the player tabbed as the preseason Heisman favorite has fallen by the wayside in the race for the sports most prestigious award.
This time, it’s Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller who has fallen victim.
Miller won’t play against the Cal Bears on Saturday, which means he has now missed all but a few plays of the last two games. While past Heisman winners like Charles White and Charlie Ward have been able to capture the trophy despite missing one game, no player in modern times has missed two games and still come back to win.
Stats have become central to the Heisman since Tim Tebow amassed 55 total touchdowns in 2007. The quarterbacks who have won the Heisman since that season (including Tebow) have all played in some kind of spread scheme and have averaged 4,700 yards and 47 touchdowns. Miller looked to have the ability to be the next in that line, but even if he comes back healthy next week, he has a ton of catchup to do with regards to his numbers. While Ohio State could very well end up undefeated, the fact that it could still do so without the full services of Miller the whole way through illustrates that, while he’s a great player, he may not be that vital to his team after all.
Of course Miller, a junior, will still have a chance to come back next season and vie for the trophy. But he’s going to have to show that he can stay healthy for an entire season.
Or even an entire game.
So who’s the front runner now? Look west. Oregon’s Marcus Mariota just threw for 456 yards and four touchdowns against Tennessee.
The Heisman could be a Duck’s to lose.