The race for the 2013 Heisman Trophy is still wide open, with no particular candidate separating himself from the field. There are a number of players having huge seasons certainly worthy of Heisman contention, but there is one candidate who has not been mentioned and maybe should be: James Franklin, quarterback for the Missouri Tigers.
Sure, Franklin is a long shot. The media continues to talk about players like last year’s winner, Texas A&M Aggies QB Johnny Manziel, along with Louisville Cardinals QB Teddy Bridgewater, Oregon Ducks QB Marcus Mariota and Georgia Bulldogs QB Aaron Murray among others. These players are all having outstanding seasons, but are their numbers any better than Franklin’s at this point?
Franklin is currently 10th in the country in total offense, averaging 337 yards per game. That puts him behind Manziel (360.6 YPG) and just behind Mariota (339.2 YPG). Franklin is actually ahead of Bridgewater and Murray in total offense.
Perhaps more important is the team success that Missouri is having this season. The Tigers are 5-0 and ranked 25th nationally, and Gary Pinkel has done an outstanding job of helping this team rebound from the disappointment of the 2012 season.
For argument’s sake, let’s say that Missouri wins all three of these games. It’s not totally out of the question, especially with Georgia’s injuries, and the fact that the latter two games are at home. If Mizzou moves to 8-0 and Franklin continues to produce big numbers, especially against tough defenses like those that Florida and South Carolina have, the Mizzou star will certainly garner some attention from Heisman voters.
It may be a long shot at this point, but if Franklin and the Tigers continue to play well, who’s to say that this senior might not end up in New York in December?
Tim Letcher is a contributing writer for RantSports.com and a member of the Football Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter @TimLetcher , on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.