Braxton Miller: Ohio State QB Still a Huge Factor in the Heisman Race

Mike ShiekmanFeatured ColumnistOctober 21, 2012

COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 20:  Braxton Miller #5 of the Ohio State Buckeyes runs past Landon Feichter #44 of the Purdue Boilermakers during the first quarter on October 20, 2012 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

Braxton Miller didn’t have the day he had planned against Purdue. Luckily, his opponents for the Heisman didn’t either.

He had 160 yards of the Buckeyes' total offense when he got slammed awkwardly to the ground and had to be carted off the field. Both Miller and his team lucked out, though; the Buckeyes won and their star quarterback left the hospital unscathed.

In his own words:

All good 🙏

— Braxton Miller™ (@BraxtonMiller5) October 21, 2012

According to CBS Sports Heisman poll, Miller has been lurking by the Heisman lead and now may be even closer. Miller can thank Geno Smith, who was the de facto Heisman leader before bombing in two straight games against Texas Tech and Kansas State.

No one has truly wrested the Heisman lead, with Smith, Miller and Kansas State’s Collin Klein all in the top three. Klein may have the lead after this point, but if Miller and Ohio State can continue their success in the weak Big Ten, he has as a good a chance as any.

The Buckeye QB merely runs the Ohio State offense in all phases, throwing for 1,384 yards and 11 touchdowns so far this season.

What about on the ground? Urban Meyer’s quarterbacks have to run and Miller may be the coach’s best ever. He merely leads his the team in all major rushing categories, 959 yards on 141 carries with 10 touchdowns.

Wow, do those numbers look Heisman-esque.

Even though Ohio State isn’t bowl eligible, Miller isn’t sneaking up on anybody. ESPN’s Colin Cowherd interpreted a previous tweet, speaking to how essential Miller is to the Buckeyes' success:

Best Wishes to BMiller (OSU) my tweet was not a shot but paying him a compliment as the only skilled offensive player currently in program.

— Colin Cowherd (@ESPN_Colin) October 20, 2012

Along with a strong statistic output, an Ohio State perfect season, or close, would do Miller’s Heisman candidacy some good.

To win the Leaders division alone, all Miller’s team needs to do is beat Penn State and Wisconsin. Both of those teams are in the middle of down years. Then a rivalry clash with Michigan awaits, which could attract a large national audience.

All of the right factors are coming together for a Miller Heisman bid. If he can stay healthy, Ohio State’s sparkplug is a strong Heisman bet.

Mike Shiekman is a Breaking News Writer at Bleacher Report. Follow his thoughts on sports and the universe on Twitter @TheRealShiek