There Are Two Heisman Candidates Walking Around Tuscaloosa
After the offensive exploitation of the reigning national champions this weekend, I wondered, "Will there be two Alabama players getting invitations to the Heisman ceremony in 2020?"
Early in the season, it looked like the senior ballcarrier Najee Harris would be an absolute lock for the award ceremony. The veteran was only three games into the all-SEC 2020 schedule before he had notched his sixth rushing score on the year. After nine weeks, however, he still looks poised to finish top-10 in votes for the 2020 Heisman Award.
But, it's the play from his teammates DeVonta Smith and Mac Jones that have had college football fans (and announcers) with their jaws on the floor, week in and week out.
DeVonta Smith currently leads the SEC in receiving yards (1,305) and touchdowns (15), even though he has six fewer receptions than the conference's leader, Elijah Moore of Ole Miss (86 receptions). In 2020, playing only SEC teams due to the COVID-19 pandemic rescheduling, "Smitty" has still managed to break and set new records, including career receiving touchdowns with 38 and counting (new Alabama and SEC record).
His Heisman-hopeful counterpart, Mac Jones, hasn't had a season to shrug off either as he's managed to lead the SEC in QBR and completion percentage while only coming in second to Florida's Kyle Trask for total passing yards and touchdowns. The caveat? Alabama's Mac Jones has 67 fewer passing attempts than the SEC's leader in yards and scoring. Yes, the Crimson Tide's offensive efficiency might actually hurt their gunslinger's ability to take home the prize for the best player in college football.
Heisman odds, as of Sunday, December 6 (Courtesy of Vegas Insider):
- Mac Jones (Alabama): -135
- Kyle Trask (Florida): +110
- Justin Fields (Ohio State): +2000
- Trevor Lawrence (Clemson): +2000
- DeVonta Smith (Alabama): +3000
Only four schools in the history of the Heisman trophy have had two players make it to as finalists (top three voted athletes) in the same season: 1944 - HB Glenn Davis (2nd) and FB Doc Blanchard (3rd) from Army; 1945 - FB Doc Blanchard (1st) and HB Glen Davis (2nd) from Army; 2004 - RB Adrian Peterson (2nd) and QB Jason White (3rd) from Oklahoma; and 2005 - RB Reggie Bush (1st) and QB Matt Leinart (3rd) from USC.
The Heisman voting deadline is scheduled for December 21, two days after the 2020 SEC Championship game in Atlanta, GA featuring the Alabama Crimson Tide's Mac Jones and Florida's Kyle Trask. A virtual ceremony will be held on January 5, 2021, to award the Heisman Trophy winner.
Career Statistical Leaders: The Alabama Football Record Book