The Heisman race is the tightest it’s been in many years.
We have seen the likes of Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston, Johnny Manziel, Robert Griffin III and Cam Newton demolish the field of competition over the past few years. All of them were undisputed champs for the Heisman race before the award was announced.
This year is different as three players, Derrick Henry, Christian McCaffrey, and Deshuan Watson, have a legitimate chance of obtaining the Heisman trophy.
Most large media outlets had all but handed Alabama running back Derrick Henry the trophy, after his huge game against Auburn. The competition is a lot closer than they are making it out to be. Each of the three players has a case to be named the winner.
The Heisman Trophy will be awarded Saturday Dec. 12.
The Heisman finalists were decided last night and only three out of seven candidates will be visiting New York City. This year there are a lot of players who deserve to be in the conversation with the likes of Leonard Fournette, Ezekiel Elliot, Baker Mayfield, and Dalvin Cook.
The Heisman committee made a big mistake only voting three players into the Heisman race this year. The amount of players that head to New York should be expanded to five.
Out of the four players left out, one running back has a strong case for not only being in the race, but actually winning the trophy.
Let’s talk about the sophomore everybody forgot:
Dalvin Cook, Sophomore, Florida State:
211 carries, 1,658 rushing yards, 7.9 yards per carry, 18 rushing touchdowns, 22 receptions, 218 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown.
Everybody seemed to forget about Florida State once Winston left. The Seminoles are sneakily ranked 9th in the country this year. Cook has singlehandedly kept the Florida State Seminoles in the top ten while his team has had inconsistent quarterback and offensive line play all year. Unfortunately, the Seminoles did not make the ACC conference championship and will end their season with a bowl game.
Cook has the highest yards per carry average for any player with 200 rushes or more. He is currently No. 6 in rushing yards while missing an entire game and a half against Syracuse and Wake Forest. Cook has shown consistency throughout the season as he’s rushed for over 100 yards in 8 games while dealing with an ankle and hamstring injury. The sophomore has also rushed for 200 yards and scored at least two touchdowns in seven games.
One statistic that should have climbed Cook up the Heisman ladder is his play against strong run defenses. Cook rushed for 183 yards on 26 carries and two touchdowns against the Florida Gators who have the No. 7 run defense in the country, Cook ran for 163 yards on 22 carries and two touchdowns against Louisville who has the No. 17 rush defense. The young sophomore also faced the No. 24 rush defense, Clemson, and piled up 194 yards on 21 carries with a touchdown.
Unfortunately, Cook did not perform too well against Boston College, who has the No. 2 rush defense. He piled up 54 yards on only 15 carries with zero touchdowns.
Overall, Cook has been electric against four of the top-25 run defenses by rushing for 594 yards on 84 carries and five touchdowns. That leads to a 7.1 yards per carry average, which is more than any of other Heisman candidate.
What hinders Cook is that he played two games less than Henry and other Heisman candidates due to missing the Syracuse game and the Seminoles not making the ACC championship.
While Cook has been tearing up the field, college football experts have been leaving him in the dust.
Making the Case:
Last Friday night, Dalvin Cook won the Jim Brown award, honoring the country’s top running back. He is averaging 194 yards per game against FBS teams that have a winning record. That is 40 yards per game better than the next highest running back, Derrick Henry. Cook has also averaged five less carries per game than Henry but averaged more yards per game. Cook is also tied at No. 4 for rushing touchdowns.
It took Henry 44 carries to gain 189 yards on the same Florida defense that Dalvin cook gushed for 183 yards on 26 caries. Dalvin Cook rushed for three more yards per carry than Henry (7.0 to 4.0) against the nation’s No. 7 rush defense. Dalvin Cook scored two touchdowns while Henry only had one.
Henry has 300 more yards this season than Dalvin Cook in two more games and 128 more carries than. With Cook’s 7.9 yards per carry that would accumulate to 1,000 more yards. The fact of the matter is Cook has been the best running back when the ball is in his hands. Other players like Henry and McCaffrey have more yards because they see a much greater volume of touches than Cook but average two yards less per carry.
Without receiving national attention, the kid has been an absolute beast. He is No. 5 in rushing yards, No. 5 in rushing touchdowns, and No. 1 in yards per carry for players with over 200 rushes. Make a case for why he doesn’t deserve the Heisman trophy. I’ll wait.