With the race for the Heisman Trophy in complete disarray, the odds of a player from a non-automatic qualifying team go up dramatically.
And there isn’t a guy better poised to do it than Houston’s Case Keenum. His team is currently ranked eighth in the country and 12-0 after soundly beating Tulsa 48-16 for a spot in the Conference USA Championship game.
Here are five reasons why the quarterback will win the prestigious award.
Today’s win against Tulsa is far and away the team’s best win on the season—the Cougars hadn’t played a team with eight or more wins until today—but Houston is still undefeated. LSU is the only other team in the country that can say that this year and it still has a game against Georgia assuming Arkansas doesn’t pull the upset.
In recent years, the Heisman has gone to the best player on the best team and while Houston won’t play for the national championship, it is right up there with the best of them.
While players all across the country are faltering under the spotlight, Keenum has continued to impress throughout the year. He had a whopping 457 yards passing with five touchdowns today and is the sole reason why this team is undefeated and ranked in the Top 10.
Andrew Luck has failed to impress in his biggest games, Trent Richardson has faltered as of late, Kellen Moore’s team lost to TCU and Brandon Weeden just lost to Iowa State.
The only guy who has stepped up has been Robert Griffin but he is on Baylor.
On the season, Keenum is averaging 355 yards passing and over three touchdowns per game with a 186.9 passing efficiency which ranks third in the country. Houston ranks first in passing offense and total offense.
Only Robert Griffin has more offense per game and as previously mentioned, his Bears are 7-3 and only ranked 18th. Based on history, it seems as though Keenum has the advantage because should the Cougars go undefeated, they’ll end up in a BCS bowl.
The last opportunity for anyone to make a Heisman statement is December 3rd and with a win over Tulsa, Houston will be playing Southern Miss on that day.
Unless Oregon loses to Oregon State or LSU loses to Arkansas, none of the major contenders will be playing on that day. Should Keenum have a big game against the Golden Eagles, it could be enough of a last-minute push to get him the trophy.
Have I mentioned that nobody seems to want the Heisman? Top teams have lost left and right in recent weeks and LSU’s Tyrann Mathieu won’t win the award because of his suspension over synthetic marijuana.
Unless someone can outdo a 457-yard, five-touchdown performance this weekend or next, Case Keenum will win the Heisman Trophy.