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With Two Weeks Left, the Chuba Heisman Buzz is Starting to Crystalize

No. 30 won’t win it, but getting to NYC would be a feat.

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Remember when Robert Griffin the third and Brandon Weeden squared off in Stillwater in the middle of the 2011 season, and if you had to bet your life on one of them winning the Heisman after that game, you would have lost your life?

I member.

The point is not that Weeden should have won the Heisman (although I would not have been disappointed, and we were a Quinn Sharp field goal from it being in play). The point is that we far too often think awards and award races are settled when the reality is that awards and award races are settled not.

Chuba Hubbard is not going to win the 2019 Heisman Trophy. Not for any reason other than it is impossible for a running back in 2019 to win the Heisman Trophy on a 7-3 team, even if that team ends up 10-3 and a conference champion. Maybe not impossible, but barring a real run at — incidentally! — Barry Sanders’ all-time rushing record, it’s just not a thing that is going to happen for anyone, much less someone from OSU.

However, Hubbard has set himself up perfectly for a two-game close that results in at least an invite to New York to watch a quarterback win the trophy.

On Saturday, Hubbard put up 122 more to get to fifth all-time on OSU’s single-season rushing yards list. He will almost certainly pass everyone but Barry over the last two games, and now he’s starting to pop a little in the race.

With another 164 yards and two touchdowns for Hubbard in an easy win over Kansas, what looked like an all-QB affair at the Heisman ceremony seems increasingly likely to include the Cowboys’ tailback. [ESPN]

Those are all-purpose yards.

Here are the four things that need to happen for Chuba to go to New York with — presumably — Joe Burrow, Jalen Hurts and Justin Fields.

1. OSU needs to beat WVU and Chuba needs to have 100 or more yards
2. OSU needs to play a classic with OU in the national spotlight
3. Chuba needs to hit 2K before the regular season is over, preferably vs. OU
4. Wisconsin needs to lose again

I don’t think OSU needs to beat OU for Chuba to go to NYC. If he hits on just the 32nd 2,000-yard season in college football history, and he does it in a game in which he and Hurts are trading heavyweight haymakers (on FOX at 7 p.m.!), then regardless of whether OSU wins that game, he’ll probably be in New York.

Like, if OU beats OSU 44-37 but Chuba puts 215 on them to get to 2,050 overall for the year and hits Ronnie Perkins with a jab step into the ether before doing the track star goal line finish on a big one in the fourth, then the outcome of that game is meaningless. He needs a moment in that game, regardless of whether OSU wins.

The other thing here is — and not to be the guy who brings this up but … — with Tua out until the NFL Draft and Chase Young on the Dez plan, the door has opened for Chuba to join Burrow (a lock to be there), Fields (ditto if tOSU goes undefeated) and maybe one more between Hurts and a host of others.

In The Athletic’s straw poll this week, Chuba checked in at sixth behind Burrow, Fields, Hurts, Young (won’t last) and … Jonathan Taylor?

Their stats aren’t close (see below) but #narrative gonna #narrative, and Minnesota beating Wisconsin in the final week would be nice insurance for No. 30.

Chuba Taylor
Carries 259 233
Yards 1726 1463
YPC 6.7 6.3
TD 20 17
YPG 173 146

There’s still a ton of time left for this to go in different directions — Chuba could lay an egg in Morgantown or he could gallop for 274 there and have 2K wrapped by then — but the groundwork has been laid.

OSU gets its biggest game and the biggest spotlight of the year on the one in which Chuba most needs to deliver his best performance. It won’t win him the Heisman, but it might be as close as an OSU player has come to touching that hardware since a different tailback lit up the CFB world 31 years ago.

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