During his freshman season, Alex Collins was a beast for the Arkansas Razorbacks. He showed outstanding running ability on a team that, frankly, was not very good. Collins has the talent to win the Heisman Trophy, but can he do it?
Collins burst onto the scene as a true freshman last season, rushing for 1,026 yards and four touchdowns on a team that was just 3-9. Those are impressive totals, especially in the tough Southeastern Conference.
Big things are expected from Collins this season, but his chances of winning the Heisman Trophy are virtually zero. First, as he did last season, Collins will split time at running back with Jonathan Williams, who rushed for 900 yards in 2013. And while head coach Bret Bielema is definitely going to have the Hogs running the ball, there don’t figure to be enough carries for either Collins or Williams to put up Heisman-type numbers.
Secondly, opponents will be able to key in on the running game this season, now that Bielema’s offense has had a year in the SEC. The defenses in the conference don’t figure to allow those types of rushing yards again in 2014. Also, the Hogs don’t have a great passing game, which will allow those defenses to focus on the run. Unless quarterback Brandon Allen has vastly improved, that will be the case in 2014.
Finally, Arkansas won’t have the kind of team success that Collins would need to compete for a Heisman. In addition to the SEC West opponents that the Hogs will face, they play the Missouri Tigers, the Georgia Bulldogs and the Texas Tech Red Raiders. That schedule will be hard for Arkansas, as the Hogs could face a second straight losing season.
Collins definitely has the type of talent to compete for a Heisman Trophy, but there are too many factors stacked against him this season.
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.