Robert Griffin for Heisman
by Matt Hundley | University of Missouri
The college football regular season has come to close, and bowl game preparations have begun. And with the end of the season comes the annual Heisman race. This year, top contenders include Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, Alabama running back Trent Richardson, LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu, Wisconsin running back Montee Ball, and the man who should take home the trophy, Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III.
First and foremost, Griffin has the numbers that a Heisman trophy winner should. He is a dual-threat quarterback that can kill a defense through the air or on the ground, and his stats prove it. Griffin has thrown for 3,678 yards this season and 34 touchdowns, while rushing for 612 more yards and another seven touchdowns. Opposing defenses simply don’t know where to start in trying to stop Griffin. If he can’t pass, he will run, and vice versa.
While Griffin’s stats prove his Heisman case, his impact to his team puts him several notches above the other candidates. No NCAA team would be in a worse situation if it lost its star player than Baylor would be if it lost Griffin. We’re talking Manning and the Colts level impact here. During one three-game stretch in the regular season, Griffin threw for 430, 425, and 406 yards against Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, and Missouri respectively. The quarterback has led the Bears to heights they have never reached before. Baylor is 8-3 on the season, good for fourth in the Big 12, which is a major improvement for a team that finishes near the bottom of its conference every year.
Three wins in particular have shown the impact Griffin has had on the Baylor program. In the first game of the season Baylor took on its rivals at TCU and took out the Horned Frogs for a 50-48 victory. Griffin had a quiet game (by his usual standards), throwing for only 359 yards, but five of his passes were for touchdowns. Later in the season Baylor took on mighty Oklahoma and Griffin led the Bears to an upset victory, the first time in school history that Baylor have beaten the Sooners. Credit for this monumental accomplishment in the history of Baylor football belongs entirely to Griffin. The quarterback threw for 479 yards and four touchdowns en route to the biggest win in school history. If those two games weren’t enough, Griffin made another statement two weekends ago in his last game of the regular season against Texas. Griffin did it all, scoring twice through the air and twice on the ground in a 48-24 blowout victory. With Houston’s loss to Southern Mississippi last weekend, the victory secured the Bears as the top team in the state of Texas, a place they have never been before. Griffin has had a monster season, and his play this past weekend should book him a trip to New York for a Heisman acceptance speech.Matt Hundley is a NGJ Sports Correspondent and a student at the University of Missouri. He is interested in pursuing a sports journalism career.