Tre Mason put on quite a show at the Southeastern Conference Championship Game on Saturday night. The Auburn Tigers‘ running back rushed for an SEC Championship Game record 304 yards on 46 carries to lead Auburn past the Missouri Tigers 59-42.
Over the last 10-14 days, Mason’s name has popped into the Heisman Trophy conversation. However, the guess here is that, despite his outstanding performances the past two weeks, Mason will not be the winner.
That’s the bad news for Mason. The good news is, if he returns for his senior season in 2014, he will be one of the top candidates for college football’s most prestigious honor. He will likely have to compete with this season’s projected winner, Jameis Winston of the Florida State Seminoles. However, we saw once again this year how hard it is to repeat as a Heisman winner, as Johnny Manziel of the Texas A&M Aggies is not expected to come close to winning the award again.
Back to Mason – his last two games have been the stuff of legend. Against the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide, which boasts one of the nation’s best defenses, Mason rushed 29 times for 164 yards and a touchdown as Auburn stunned the Tide.
His SEC Championship Game performance was epic. To put it in perspective, check out this statistic. Entering Saturday’s game, Missouri’s rushing defense was second in the SEC, giving up just 119.1 yards per game. After being torched by Mason and his Tiger teammates, Missouri was ninth in the conference in rushing defense, with the average pushed to 151.8 yards per game.
If Mason decides to return to Auburn for next season, he should have a chance at the Heisman.
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.