The Johnny Manziel autograph scandal has impacted the 2013 Heisman conversation. Manziel won the trophy last season and was therefore already penciled in as a favorite by default heading into his second season. However, with all of the uncertainty brought on by the NCAA’s investigation into whether or not he was compensated for his autograph, his Heisman stock has fallen.
And when one player’s stock goes down, another player’s rises. And that new rising stock belongs to Ohio State‘s star quarterback Braxton Miller. So, how good of a Heisman case can Miller make?
Miller was very good last season as the starter of the perfect Buckeyes. Despite a bowl ban preventing him and the Ohio State from a 13th and 14th game, he threw and rushed for 3,300 total yards and 28 TDs. Miller scored a touchdown in every game but one, and had a passer rating over 100 in every game but one.
The only aspect of Miller’s game last year that was lacking was his efficiency, considering he only completed under 59 percent of his passes. But the arm is there and so are the legs, so if Miller can add accuracy to his arsenal, he will be the total package.
Now, as a junior, Miller actually has goals to reach with his team like a Big Ten Title and BCS Championship. The fact that Ohio State are big-time favorites to win the Leaders Division and be 11-0 heading into “The Game” with Michigan on the final weekend of the regular season will only increase the attention that Miller can get with another big season.
If Miller can be the dual-threat monster he was last season, he will be in the Heisman conversation; but if he can put up those numbers while Ohio State rides through an undefeated season, he will likely be a favorite.
Heading into the season, Miller has the talent and preseason hype necessary for a Heisman run. Now he just has to produce on the field and help carry the Buckeyes to another big season, and he will have a great shot at the trophy come December.
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