Going into Saturday night, the 2013 Heisman Trophy race had been a fun and, for lack of a better word, interesting one. With everything that has gone on with a couple of the candidates this year, they were still on the stage in the end and ready to have the chance to hold that trophy.
Johnny Manziel started the season with a half-game suspension and couldn’t control his attitude for a while. Jameis Winston was involved in a sexual assault investigation in which he ultimately was not charged. On the other hand, A.J. McCarron set the school record for most career touchdown passes. Jordan Lynch represented a smaller school in Northern Illinois and looked to prove he could bring home the hardware.
As for the other two, running backs Tre Mason and Andre Williams combined to run for over 3,700 yards and 39 touchdowns in 2013. One plays for a National Championship contender. The other, well, at least has the opportunity to play in a bowl game.
At the end of the night, Winston took home the award. While he had an incredibly impressive season and ended the year with the best passer rating in the nation, this award isn’t necessarily for the nation’s best quarterback. We’re talking about the best overall player — period. In this case, there is a legitimate argument that Lynch should have come away with the honors.
Lynch not only had an absolutely historical 2013 season, but a phenomenal career as a whole. Specifically in 2013, though, he did some things that screamed ‘Heisman.’ In his final season alone, Lynch set four NCAA records as a senior. First, and most impressive, Lynch set the record for most rushing yards in a single game by a quarterback with 321 yards on November 26th against Western Michigan.
Secondly, Lynch ended 2013 with 1,881 yards on the ground, the most rushing yards by a quarterback in the history of college football. The craziest part of these records is the fact that Lynch previously owned them prior to breaking them this season. To go along with the incredible season he had on the ground, Lynch also set the record for most rushing yards per game by a quarterback at 144.7.
Lynch was the first player in history to rush for 1,500 yards and throw for 20 or more touchdowns in the same season. Beyond the fact that Lynch was a freak on the ground, he got it done through the air as well. Lynch threw for 2,676 yard and tossed 23 touchdowns this season, versus just seven interceptions. His most unbelievable stat when it came to the passing game? Lynch was only sacked nine times all year long. He ended 2013 with a rating of 140.8.
Lynch made Northern Illinois undoubtedly one of the must-watch teams this season. Have the Huskies ever been able to say that? Did anyone ever think they would be able to say that?
The guy is a touchdown machine in both phases of the offense. His passing was highly underrated and he delivered the ball with one of the quicker releases in college football. It goes without saying that he was a player you couldn’t ignore when the ball was in his hands. With everything known about Lynch, he most certainly should have walked off that stage holding the 2013 Heisman Trophy.