Ohio State Football: Why Braxton Miller Should Win Heisman Trophy
No postseason? No problem.
Ohio State's sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller is well on his way to winning the 2012 Heisman Trophy, despite the Buckeyes' ban from bowl-game play this winter.
The main reason behind Miller's increasingly strong case for college football's most coveted trophy is the fact that Ohio State is 10-0 for the first time since 2002. And unless the Buckeyes suffer a very unexpected loss, they'll register the school's first undefeated season since the Jim Tressel era.
If that happens, Miller should be considered a Heisman Trophy favorite.
Regardless of whether or not his team is eligible to compete for a national title, Miller deserves to be a front-runner for the award. At times, he's single-handedly lead Urban Meyer's boys to victory after victory.
Some, such as CBS Sports' Chris Huston, believe that Miller is a long shot to take home the hardware, apparently because his numbers fall short of others in contention:
Miller was always a dark horse in this campaign. However, he's performed quite well and is on the bubble as far as a possible visit to New York goes. It's just he can't win -- not this time, not with his numbers and not in the context of this race. However, he is set up well to be the Heisman front runner in 2013.
Huston's reasoning doesn't quite hold up, though, because his assertion that Miller's numbers aren't as good as his competition is simply false.
Of the players Huston ranked above Miller (Collin Klein, Kenjon Barner and AJ McCarron), Miller's numbers are comparable, if not better.
Through the air, Miller's 1753 passing yards are within 122 yards of both Klein and McCarron, and his 14 passing touchdowns are two better than Klein's total of 12.
Furthermore, Miller's abilities on the ground are simply unrivaled among college football's elite quarterbacks. The sophomore has rushed for 1166 yards, which is under 130 yards less than Barner—who, by the way, is a running back.
His 27 all-purpose touchdowns tower over McCarron's 20, and though his six interceptions don't work in his favor, Miller's dual-threat capabilities cannot be undervalued.
Now that McCarron's Crimson Tide have lost a game, Miller should leapfrog the reigning national champion quarterback in the rankings. And assuming he leads the Buckeyes to wins over Wisconsin and hated rival Michigan, he should be, at the very least, a finalist for the Heisman.
He's been underappreciated all season long, but with Ohio State on the verge of an undefeated season, it's time for Braxton Miller to get his due.
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