Look out, frontrunners: Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III appears to have jumped to the favorite’s position in the race for college football’s most prestigious award.
A national television audience watched the Bears’ junior completely dismantle Texas, 48-24, during both teams’ regular-season finale on Saturday. Griffin, also known as RG3, threw for 320 yards and two touchdowns and also rushed for two more touchdowns to push Baylor to its first nine-win season since 1986.
Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck and Alabama running back Trent Richardson — the other two Heisman Trophy favorites — sat idle last weekend because both of their teams’ regular seasons had ended.
The immediate talk after the Baylor win Saturday, however, was how deserving the electrifying Griffin is for top consideration. For the season he has passed for 3,998 yards and 36 touchdowns with only 6 interceptions, completing 72.4 percent of his passes. He has a passer rating of 192.3.
But even bigger than the numbers, he has been at the center of transforming the lowly Bears into one of the elite teams in the country. Baylor’s 6-3 conference record represented more wins than the school has ever had in Big 12 play and the team has been invited to back-to-back bowl games for the first time since the early 1990s.
“I think he’s done enough this season to win a Heisman,” said Baylor coach Art Briles, whose 22nd-ranked team earned a bid to the Alamo Bowl. “I don’t think it comes down to one day. I think it certainly helped him (Saturday) without a doubt, but when I think you judge somebody, you judge them over the long run, not the short run. His long run has been very impressive this year.”
Griffin also believes the Heisman Trophy is warranted, not just to him but for the entire team that has rallied behind him.
“We could be wrong, but we felt like if we came out and got a victory, then we should win the Heisman,” Griffin said Saturday night. “It’s not just about me, it’s about all of Baylor Nation. I don’t know if you can say we deserve it, but it would definitely be warranted.”
The Heisman Trophy will be presented Saturday, Dec. 10, in New York City.
Contact Terrance Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @Terranceharris.
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