Overrated/Underrated: DQ Osborne and the 2017 Heisman Trophy Race

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Written by Kyle Porter

It’s Tuesday which means it’s time for another edition of overrated/underrated. This week we take a look at a potential future NFL player and a beleaguered conference that’s better than you think.

DQ Osborne

Mike Gundy talked about The Blizzard on Monday at his press conference, and then Baylor coach Matt Rhule did the same on Tuesday at his presser.

Osborne goes unnoticed because he might be a little undersized and had some awful big shoes to fill this year with Vincent Taylor taking his talents to South Beach. But he leads Oklahoma State in sacks with 3 as well as tackles for loss with 6 (nobody else has more than 3). And it’s moves like this that have made him an object of the NFL’s affection to this point in the season.

“We decided to bring him in and since then he has been terrific,” said Gundy on Monday. “He has worked hard, and he has been a really good football player. (NFL people) all ask about him because of his ability to get under blocks, and he’s quick and he can make a play. He plays really hard.”

And yet we still talk about Tre Flowers, Ramon Richards or Calvin Bundage when we discuss the Oklahoma State defense (raises hand) … maybe it’s time No. 91 got a little love.

Verdict: Underrated

Nike CFB

What are you doing, Nike? No really, what are you doing?

It doesn’t have to be like this, you know. You don’t have to put Florida in Phil Mickelson’s shoes. You don’t have to put Oregon against a wall and throw paint at them. The frustrating thing about what Nike is doing is that it feels like it’s looking at what Under Armour and Adidas are doing and is saying, “yeah, that’s the good stuff.” Do less, Nike. For the sake of us all, do less.

Verdict: (whispers so softly so Carson and Southwell can’t hear it) Overrated

 

Big 12 Conference

I actually think this league is pretty good this year. Maybe OU is lousy, but it went on the road and beat the best the Big 10 had to offer then turned around and got a ballgame from the last-place team in the Big 12 and then got beat by a 2-2 Iowa State team.

Again, maybe that means everybody stinks, or maybe it means everybody is actually good. It’s probably too early to tell (aside: “everybody stinks” is another way of saying everybody is flawed … it’s a bit of tongue in cheek — obviously everybody does not stink).

Here are the conference vs. conference records so far this season.

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Nothing too exciting on the Big 12 front, but the Big 12 did lose five of its six games by 10 or fewer points. Moral victories are about as useful as blindfolded kickers, but the Big 12 has certainly improved over last year. The perception, though, has not (I don’t think). Thus I believe the Big 12 is underrated nationally (and please forget I wrote this when it goes 1-6 in bowl season).

Verdict: Underrated

The 2017 Heisman Race

Who’s the leader? Heck, who are even the top five candidates right now? I guess it’s Saquon Barkley — or so ESPN tells me — but did you know he has just two games with more than 100 rushing yards so far this year? (Of course he also has four games in which he’s had 50+ receiving yards).

Baker just got baked by Iowa State. Bryce Love is a thing that may or may not last. Lamar Jackson feels out of it. Sam Darnold has thrown 9 INTs. Alabama’s best player plays defense. Clemson’s Kelly Bryant is hurt. Luke Falk is not going to win the Heisman. Rudolph is sort of lingering. The whole thing is kind of a mess which means it’s going to be a spectacular debate as we come down the home stretch in November and December.

Normally when you have a bunched-up race like this, a clear favorite emerges at the very end. Will it be Barkley? Penn State has to go to Columbus. Will it be Mayfield? I will pay $500 for ESPN to show the Iowa State flag plant at his ceremony if he wins it. Could it be Rudolph? What if OSU runs the table, and Rudolph throws for, like, 3,500 yards and 25 TDs over the next eight games? Not likely, but not out of the realm of possibility.

Verdict: Underrated