Heisman Watch calls out the weekend’s polarizing performances and how they impact the Heisman Trophy race.
The Heisman Trophy voting window closes Tuesday, December 7th. Today’s Championships offered some of the top Heisman hopefuls one last opportunity to show why they are the most outstanding player in college football. But don’t be confused, this year’s Heisman race isn’t limited to those who played today. You can make a perfectly valid Heisman argument for Dalvin Cook, Baker Mayfield, Ezekiel Elliott or Keenan Reynolds. Let’s hope the Heisman voters keep an open mind. The 81st Heisman Trophy will be will be presented next Saturday, December 12th, at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Spoiler Alert: Be sure to tune-in Tuesday evening when Heisman Watch releases the Heisman Calculator’s final vote count. The Heisman Calculator is a one-of-a-kind regression model that processes simulated 2015 Heisman votes. By using historic player and voter data, as well as current voter survey results, we’ve been able identify the dominate statistical variables that drive Heisman votes.
Top Heisman-like Performances:
- Christian McCaffrey‘s Heisman chances peak with an historic performance en route to Stanford’s PAC-12 Championship victory. Do-it-all McCaffrey set Twitter is on fire as he showcased his versatility and leadership on the national stage. The all-purpose maven compiled 461 yards tonight, enough to push him to 3,496 on the season, surpassing Barry Sanders‘ 27 year old single-season record. The sophomore closed the game with 32 carries for 207 yards and a touchdown, four receptions for 105 yards and a touchdown, an 11-yard touchdown pass, five kickoff returns for 120 yards, two punt returns for 29 yards and, if the voters do their jobs correctly, a plane ticket to New York for the Heisman Trophy ceremony.
- It was just another monster night for the Heisman front-runner. Derrick Henry set a new SEC single season rushing yards record, an SEC Championship MVP, and has his team competing for another National Championship. But if Derrick Henry wins the Heisman Trophy this year, you can point to the month of November as the clincher. During four games last month, Henry led the country in rushing with 753 yards and a stunning 188.25 yards per game average. Tonight Henry stayed true to himself by racking 189 rushing yards (on 44 carries) with 1 TD.
- Deshaun Watson, the ACC’s player of the year, was sensational tonight against #10 North Carolina. His 420 total yards (and 5 TDs) were an ACC championship game record. Clemson is currently the No. 1 team in the nation, and it’s pretty clear to anybody that’s watched the Tigers that, if you removed Watson from the equation, Clemson would still be pretty good, but it wouldn’t be where it is today.