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Stop the Nonsense, Chuba Hubbard Should be Considered Heisman Favorite

Hubbard’s 223-yard day warrants a massive bump in his Heisman odds.



Drop the excuses. Stop with the caveats, the conditions, the silly stipulations.

He doesn’t play quarterback.

His team is av-rug.

He doesn’t play for Alabama or Clemzzzon.

It doesn’t matter that the Heisman Trophy is an award typically given to the quarterback of a title-contending team. Nor does it matter that Oklahoma State is 6-3, off the national radar and not, by any measure, not Alabama or Clemzzzon.

Your eyes can tell you what you really need to know to buck that nonsense, and it’s this:

Chuba Hubbard is the best player in college football.

Say it with me now: Chuba Hubbard is the best player in college football.

The latest pile of evidence to add to a mounting and convincing case came Saturday, when, without the services of injured Biletnikoff contender Tylan Wallace, Hubbard beat out stacked Horned Frogs defensive boxes and crushed the league’s best run defense with 223 yards and two scores … on a measly 20 carries. It’s the first time a Gary Patterson-coached defense has given up a 200-yard rusher, and in a game in which Hubbard getting at least 20 carries was a mortal lock in OSU’s game plan.

“He’s really good,” said Mike Gundy after the game, stating the obvious. “He always has been and particularly against the rush,” he continued. “I just looked, Chuba had 223. I don’t know if anybody has ever rushed for 200 yards on Gary. I was going to say, in his career I doubt anybody has every rushed 200 yards on him. He has been pretty good against the run for 20 years or however long he has been a head coach and probably as a coordinator. He ran his plays. He has done the same thing he has always done for the most part. The difference being that when Chuba gets through there, nobody can catch him. That makes him different from other players.”

I get the arguments against Chuba. I really do. Ideally, the Heisman winner hails from a blueblood, or from a contender, or in a TV executive’s dream world, both. But what are we doing here, boxing in the winner of the most important award in the sport to a subsection of the landscape? Isn’t the Heisman Trophy about the best player in college football, and not the best player in college football … who must play at Alabama or Clemson or runs quarterback of the best team in the sport? Those, my friends, are ridiculous stipulations. It’s garbage. And the people who buy into that are garbage, too. They’re the few keeping Hubbard from being talked about in the rarefied, Heisman-esque air his tremendous season so deserves.

Just take it from the Heisman Memorial Trophy’s own website. Tell me where, in the paragraph explanation of its mission and awarding criteria, it stipulates that a player must hail from a blueblood. Or play quarterback. Or, y’know, play on a contender. 

It doesn’t.

Of course, you know that. I’m preaching to the choir — and to the media at-large. And as a media member myself, I can assure you it’s a narrative that makes sense on its face, but remains absurd in practice. Here’s that criteria I mentioned:

“The Heisman Memorial Trophy annually recognizes the outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity,” its website says. “The winners of the trophy epitomize great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work. The Heisman Trophy Trust’s mission is to ensure the continuation and integrity of this award.”

Notice how the prevailing narrative poo pooing Hubbard’s Heisman campaign is curiously left out? That’s from the Heisman Trust itself. That’s because the poo pooers are just habitual poo-slingers.

Perhaps evidence will help you be swayed. So here’s evidence: Hubbard, for the fourth time this season on Saturday, rushed for 200-plus yards. This season, only two players have done that more than twice. Hubbard’s achieved remarkable production and meshed it with otherworldly consistency.

I submit evidence piece No. 1 from Saturday: a ho-hum 92-YARD SCORE. Nobody touched him.

Here’s another of the homerun variety, this one from 62 yards.

More Gundy on the obvious: “Chuba was fantastic.”


Chuba was phenomenal. He was preternatural. He’s been so good, in fact, we’ve somehow come to think that a 223-yard, two score stat line is just something that happens with 20 carries.

It doesn’t.

It does, however, happen when you’ve got a player worthy of Heisman contention. And in the case of Chuba Hubbard, the on-field results suggest he’s worthy of much more than finalist consideration.

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