Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press
Braxton Miller has been a Heisman Trophy candidate almost from the moment he took his first snap in an Ohio State uniform. There have been a few speed bumps along the road, but after a solid, if underwhelming, 2013 campaign that included a divisional title, Miller will likely start 2014 in that now-familiar spot as a Heisman hopeful.
As a passer, Miller's numbers leave a little something to be desired. His 174.5 passing yards per game last season was good enough for ninth in the Big Ten. But when you factor in his ground attack, suddenly you have a guy who's putting together over 263 yards of offensive output on any given Saturday.
Add 36 combined passing and rushing touchdowns to the mix, and you now have one of the nation's top dual-threat scorers.
To put that in perspective, 263 yards per game and 36 total touchdowns isn't just the difference between winning and losing; it's the difference between a berth in the College Football Playoff and making a trip to the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl for the Big Ten or the Duck Commander Independence Bowl for the SEC—which is to say, where the 6-6 teams end up most seasons.
We often see the Heisman Trophy as an individual award, but that's overlooking the value voters have placed on overall team success these days. Give Miller an SEC team with the support of an SEC defense while adding in some cupcake games against the likes of Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi State, and Miller goes from Heisman hopeful to Heisman lock.
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