Here at Heisman Watch we often use the expression “Heisman’s aren’t won in September.” But can a Heisman be lost in September?
Friday night Stanford went into Husky Stadium in Washington and got pummeled, destroyed, annihilated, etc, 44-6. Christian McCaffrey was held in check. (Every team playing Stanford tries to keep him contained, the Huskies just did it better). Only 49 yards on 12 carries, 30 yards on five receptions, McCaffrey racked up a handful of kick return yards (144), but it’s really not a good sign when your team as a whole returns seven kicks in a game. The only real ‘Heisman-like’ play came on a 57-yard kickoff return. Other than that….not much else from #5.
But it’s understandable to think teams, players, coaches, all have bad games from time to time. But at what cost? At one point last season, LSU RB Leonard Fournette was a sure bet to win the Heisman. Fournette was averaging 193 ypg with 15 td’s just seven weeks into the season. Then ‘Bama hit, 31 yards later and Fournette was never able to regain his ground atop the Heisman ladder. He finished 6th in the final Heisman voting.
Viewership plays a big part of the Heisman process as well. How you play in the big games against the best opponents when everyone is watching matters and it should matter a ton. Last season Alabama played seven top-25 games. In those games Heisman winning RB Derrick Henry’s worst game was 127 yards and a touchdown. During those same seven games Henry averaged 180 ypg and almost two touchdowns. Never in those games was Henry a non-factor. He was the factor.
So what now for Christian McCaffrey? There’s still a ton of Stanford football to play, eight more games to be exact. They can still win the Pac-12 and slip into the FBS playoffs. However, as of tonight, 10/1, Stanford doesn’t have another top-25 team on the schedule. Not that they have a cupcake of a schedule by any means, six Pac-12 games and @ Notre Dame in two weeks, but if Friday was McCaffrey’s biggest stage……did he lose the Heisman in September?