News came out that Toledo quarterback Logan Woodside was named a Heisman Contender by the Heisman Trophy Trust. That’s a great honor for the senior, but, really, can anyone expect Woodside to make the trip to New York City or even win the award?
It’s nothing against Woodside, who is putting together a historic career. But two things out of his control stand out — a player from the Mid-American Conference has never won the Heisman, and the last time a player from outside the Power Five conferences won the award was BYU’s Ty Detmer in 1990.
Since Detmer’s win, it’s been a list of Oklahoma and Ohio State and Florida and Alabama and USC. And it’s all about exposure; it’s much easier for voters to see 1995 Heisman winner Eddie George’s nationally televised games than a MAC player’s regional broadcasts. Woodside, just by not benefiting from being as visible as Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield or Penn State’s Saquon Barkley, is working from way behind.
By the numbers, Woodside is more than deserving to be among the finalists. He’s passed for 2,919 yards and 20 touchdowns while completing 64.8 percent of his passes, leading the MAC in passing yards and efficiency (167.9). He also checks off the “winner” box, leading the Rockets to an 8-2 mark.
But look at last year, when Woodside led the nation with 45 touchdown passes and was second in efficiency (183.3), and became the first Rockets QB to ever break the 4,000-yard mark, totaling 4,129 yards. He was named a Heisman Contender that season, too, and didn’t make the cut for NYC.
This isn’t to say the Heisman voters always get it right — see 2003, when Jason White beat out Larry Fitzgerald and Eli Manning for the award, or 2000 when Chris Weinke led the list, ahead of Drew Brees and LaDanian Tomlinson. That’s the thing, though, a win in the Heisman voting doesn’t get anywhere close to guaranteeing a successful pro career. And that’s where Woodside could show everyone what type of player he is.
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