Published: Mon, November 28, 2016
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Louisville Defeat on Saturday could Lose Lamar Jackson the Heisman Trophy

Louisville Defeat on Saturday could Lose Lamar Jackson the Heisman Trophy

Michigan, Wisconsin, Virginia Tech and Colorado took center stage in this Win-and-Advance Week in college football. When you look at any US Site with updated Super Bowl odds, you will find that Washington and Washington State share some of that attention.

Louisville probably deserves some of the spotlight, though, primarily because of Lamar Jackson. People have been talking about Lamar winning the Heisman Trophy since the season began. Louisville’s performance against Houston was terrible, and yet it doesn’t look like Lamar has lost his shine.

However, his chances of taking the Trophy are no longer as absolute, and if the Cardinals take a beating at the hands of Kentucky, the Trophy is going to slide even further out of Lamar’s reach.

The Heisman Trophy is an individual award; however, the team matters just as much. There is a reason why winners of the Trophy often come from highly ranked teams. The best players are usually on the best teams, with exceptions only emerging when the Trophy is treated as a lifetime achievement award.

If you want to have any chance of fighting for the Heisman Trophy, you need to find a position on a relevant team playing football on a National Level. Some people might deny that suggestion, but you only need to look at the previous winners of the Trophy to realize the truth. 

The majority of Trophy winners in the last 25 years have come from the Number 1 teams in the rankings (heading into the Bowls); few players on teams outside the Top 5 have been even mentioned in conversations about the Heisman Trophy. 

Some people might point out Ricky Williams who took the Trophy with a team ranked 20 in 1998. Johnny Manziel’s team was 10th in the rankings when he took the Trophy in 2012. But those are anomalies, exceptions rather than the rule.

Louisville is 11th in the rankings; that isn’t an optimistic position for them to occupy if Lamar wants to take the Trophy home. And no one is denying the fact that Lamar would deserve the Trophy if he actually got it, not with his 3,109 yards and 31 touchdowns. 

And the Cardinals could still find their way back into the Top 10. They just have to find a way to secure a victory on Saturday. If Lamar doesn’t get the Trophy, then who could they look to next?

Jabrill Peppers (Michigan) is a decent consideration, this along with Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma). And then there is Jonathan Allen from Alabama. It is still Lamar’s award to lose, but he probably realizes that there are other considerations that could steal the Trophy.

There were three teams with a 5-7 record last season that made it into bowl games. That happened because there were not enough eligible programs in place. The Academic Progress Rate Score was a notable factor here

This could soon become a trend in college football. There is a decent chance of another group of 5-7 teams extending their seasons. This weekend will allow the Super Bowl picks to take a clearer shape. Sufficing to say, as with last season, some surprises are bound to emerge this time round. 

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