We are a third of the way through the season, and Tyree Jackson is third in the nation in touchdown passes. If Mr. Jackson was at a bigger school, those kind of numbers would automatically put him in the conversation for the Heisman. Since Mr. Jackson is at a “lesser” school, most of those that make the Heisman favorite lists will not include him. Of course they don’t include him because he has virtually no chance to win it. If they are cornered, they wont say his exclusion is because he is at a G5 school, they will say something about level of play. This is where the argument becomes ridiculous.
At this stage of the season, Buffalo has played a schedule similar to all of the other front runners. Obviously the candidates in the SEC and possibly the Big Ten will play tougher teams from here on out, but that does not negate the stats at this point. In fact, I would argue that Mr. Jackson has less talent around him. Of course Anthony Johnson is likely a starter on every team in the nation, but the rest of the team isn’t quite on par with what the Alabamas and Ohio States have. His numbers are valid.
None of that should matter. What should matter is how good the individual player is. The eye test should be the rule. For example Barry Sanders played at Oklahoma State, and it was obvious that even though he was at a second rate power conference school, there was no doubt he was the best player in the land. Equally, when Randy Moss was at Marshall, there was no doubt he was the best player in the country. None. One of those two cats won the Heisman.
So using my eye as the gauge, I have Tyree Jackson at number 2 in my Heisman rankings. (surprisingly I don’t get a vote, though I did wear a Heisman ring once. My aunt’s father won it in the 50s) I personally have Dwayne Haskins number 1, but not because he has one more touchdown pass. He just has been a little cleaner, at least in the games I have seen. As the season progresses, I will take into account that Haskins will be facing some tougher teams, but also has some better talent around him.
Some of you will wonder about Tua Tagovailoa at Alabama. The truth is, he isn’t on my list because I have yet to watch him this season, outside of highlights. Why? Because no sports “expert” watches every game. I’ll watch him in some bigger games down the line and make a judgement then. Will Grier out of WVU looked pretty good last season, but again, I haven’t watched much of him this season.
So my list is incomplete, because the season is incomplete. So, too, is my knowledge of every football player. However, the fact that Jackson isn’t on more lists is a travesty, because I have watched a ton of college football in my life and there is no doubt in my mind that he is a great player. Best in the country? IDK. Great enough to be watched by experts who make those kind of decisions? Certainly.