Hypothetical voting time!
The margin between Heisman Trophy candidates is normally so razor thin that one loss can sink a certain player’s chance of claiming one of the most coveted individual awards in all of sports. Lamar Jackson, however, has thus far proven contrary to that notion. Even after the loss on the road to No. 5 Clemson, which we should obviously note is a team effort, Jackson remains the odds on favorite to win the Heisman.
Part of this has to do with Jackson being by far the best player in football in 2016; the other part has to do with how well he played even in thrilling defeat. Jackson was marvelous against the Tigers — completing 61.4 percent of his passes for 295 yards. He also proved to once again be a magician running the ball. Clemson features one of the best run defenses in all college football, but Jackson managed 162 yards on the ground, including two touchdowns. According to Football Study Hall, Jackson averaged 7.42 Highlight Yards per opportunity, which demonstrates how elusive he was in the open field.
Jackson’s national ranks are still amazing as well: 688 rushing yards (No. 3 in the FBS) and 14 passing touchdown (tied for No. 6 in FBS); he also has 14 rushing touchdowns — by far the most in America. The touchdown is the single best outcome an offense could hope for on any play or possession, and so far Jackson has been much better at doing this than anyone else.