Heisman will come down to Marcus Mariota, Melvin Gordon

Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon scored four TDs while setting a FBS record with 408 yards rushing. (Getty)

Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon scored four TDs while setting a FBS record with 408 yards rushing. (Getty)

Quarterbacks have won 12 of the past 14 Heisman Trophies.

So it’s remarkable that Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon actually has a chance to take home the little bronze man this year.

Marcus Mariota likely will win the Heisman, extending the QB dominance, but Gordon has proven he’s the best running back in the country — now that Todd Gurley’s season is done — and will attract a lot of first-place votes.

We’ve all seen highlights of how Gordon devastated Nebraska on Saturday. If you’ve already forgotten or only watch SEC teams, Gordon set an NCAA record with 408 yards rushing.

Think about that: 408 yards.

In only three quarters.

On only 25 carries.

Against a legitimate FBS program (Nebraska).

He — and Wisconsin’s offensive line — was that dominant.

Let’s take a look at the Heisman contenders and their numbers:

Gordon: 1,909 yards rushing, 23 TDs, 190.9 yards a game, 8.6 yards a carry

Mariota: 2,780 yards passing, 29 TDs, two INTs, 524 yards rushing, eight TDs

Trevone Boykin, QB, TCU: 3,021 yards passing, 24 TDs, five INTs, 548 yards rushing, seven TDs

Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama: 87 catches, 1,303 yards, 11 TDs, 130.3 yards a game, 15 yards a catch

J.T. Barrett, QB, Ohio State: 2,356 yards passing, 29 TDs, eight INTs, 771 yards rushing, nine TDs

Some folks still include Mississippi State QB Dak Prescott on their lists, but he threw three interceptions in the loss to Alabama on Saturday and has been picked off eight times since Oct. 11. I don’t see much hope for either Baylor’s Bryce Petty or reigning Heisman holder Jameis Winston.

And if you’re stunned by Barrett’s numbers, watch him play. Buckeyes fans might not want Braxton Miller to come back next season.


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