Ohio State Football: Why Braxton Miller Is Not a Heisman Trophy Candidate Yet

Tim BielikSenior Analyst ISeptember 7, 2012

COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 1:  Braxton Miller #5 of the Ohio State Buckeyes is tripped up by Luke Kelly #36 of the Miami Redhawks during the third quarter on September 1, 2012 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State defeated Miami 56-10. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

Braxton Miller's 2012 debut was very exciting in the Buckeyes' 56-10 win over Miami, but any talk of him being a Heisman Trophy candidate right now is premature.

That isn't to say that the sophomore won't be a candidate come season's end, but he still has a long way to go before we can consider him a Heisman candidate.

Remember, people all thought Michigan's Denard Robinson was a shoo-in two years ago when he had a September to remember. Unfortunately, his season fell apart in the second half as the Wolverines collapsed, ending the short tenure of Rich Rodriguez in Ann Arbor.

The thing that Miller had going for him was how well the Ohio State offense played in the second and third quarter, scoring 28 points in less than 15 minutes between the two quarters.

It helps to negate just how bad the first quarter was, when Miller was inaccurate and the offense sputtered.

Pretty much as soon as that quarter ended, Miller and the Buckeye offense found its groove and not only alleviated any anxieties the first quarter created, but also gave some excitement as to what the future will hold.

In total, Braxton Miller's day was a three-TD, 368-yard performance, with a school-record 161 rushing yards from the QB position. His day ended early though, due to leg cramping, so he did not have a chance to add stats during the fourth quarter.

It's way too early to consider anyone in particular as a favorite for the Heisman as is, but Miller does look like a guy who has a chance to enter the discussion.

But right now, he is still lower on the totem pole as compared to guys like Matt Barkley and DeAnthony Thomas—not surprisingly, though.

If he can string together a few great performances against great teams like Michigan State and Nebraska to open the Big Ten season, along with growth throughout September, then you can start to think Miller has a shot at it.

He will need to show on Saturday against Central Florida that not only was that 368-yard, three-touchdown game not a fluke, but that he's only going to get better.

And the reality is the sky looks to be the limit for him.

We all know Urban Meyer's history with sophomore quarterbacks, helping Tim Tebow win the Heisman Trophy in 2007, his first season as a starter.

It's going to take some time for Braxton Miller to establish himself as a legitimate Heisman contender.

To talk about it after one game is jumping the gun because nobody thought Robert Griffin III would win the Heisman following Week 1 a year ago.

After a few more weeks of great performances and lighting up better teams in the Big Ten, then you can start to say that No. 5 is worthy of being in the Heisman discussion, and not a moment sooner.


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