I don’t think there’s any doubt that Braxton Miller will come away with a Heisman before his career at Ohio State is over. The most dynamic player Ohio State has seen since Troy Smith, Miller has been compared by his own head coach to a certain fellow named Tim Tebow among Smith and others. MIller’s incredible ability to make guys miss has made him one of the most effective running quarterbacks in the country and with some extra work this summer and into next year, Miller can definitely turn into an elite passer.
Braxton Miller won’t win the Heisman Trophy this season. It’s a fact. He didn’t do enough against Wisconsin and or Michigan. Against Wisky, Miller struggled mightily. He accounted for 145 total yards, posting his only scoreless game of the season. Braxton was very efficient against That Team Up North, having a 184.3 rating, but only scored one touchdown and letting the offense run through Carlos Hyde. Between those two games, and Purdue, Braxton took himself out of the running to actually win the Heisman. However, Brax lead his team to victory 12 out of 12 times. You can’t say that about any other QB in the Heisman race.
Braxton has a good case of at least getting to NYC, at least compared to Sir Collin Klein of Kansas State. Johnny Manziel blows Braxton and Collin out of the water in terms of statistics. True, Texas A&M lost twice, and Manziel was horrid in both efforts, but you must take two things into account. First and foremost, Manziel is a freshman. Second, Manziel dominated in wins and walked into Tuscaloosa, Alabama and won. As a freshman. Manziel, at least in terms of QBs, is the clear Heisman winner. Between Klein and Miller, however, the situation is much closer than it may appear.
Klein lead his Wildcats to a 10-1 record, even leading them to the #1 ranking in the Nation at one point, but played horribly in a loss to Baylor that removed him from Heisman winning consideration. Klein’s numbers are as follows: 66.7% completion percentage, 2,306 yards, 14 touchdowns, 6 interceptions, and a 155 QB Rating. In terms of rushing: 171 attempts, 787 yards, 4.6 average, 20 touchdowns. Overall a very solid year from the QB, but is he that much better off than Braxton Miller. No.
Braxton stats look very similar. 58.3% completion percentage, 2,039 yards, 15 touchdowns, 6 interceptions, and a 140.5 QB Rating. He had 227 attempts, 1,271 yards, 5.6 average, and 13 touchdowns.
While Klein scored more total touchdowns, Braxton had more total yards and a better average in terms of rushing the football. Klein was a more efficient passer, but also played against less stout Big 12 defenses. That fact, is why Braxton Miller had a better year than Collin Klein. That and a 12-0 record as compared to KSU’s 10-1 mark. It’s true the Buckeyes may have had an “easier” schedule than Kansas State, but KSU played defenses WAY worse than the Buckeyes even sniffed this season. Kansas State was beaten, and beaten badly, by the same Baylor Bears defense that allowed Geno Smith to have a record breaking day in Morgantown. The Big Ten, while an atrocious and quite honestly embarrassing conference to play football in, had much better defenses than the Big 12, defenses that Braxton Miller had to go against week in and week out. Nebraska, for example, is a top 3 passing defense in the country. Michigan was also in the tops of the NCAA in terms of passing defense. It was understandable to see how Braxton Miller’s aerial attack wasn’t all that favorable. Klein on the other hand, is baffling. Week after week, Kansas State would take on powderpuff secondaries and week after week, Klein failed to put up Geno Smith type numbers through the air. On the ground, Klein got through to the end zone, but it wasn’t nearly what Braxton was able to do.
Up until Baylor, Klein would definitely be the Heisman winner. Number one team in the nation, 3 total interceptions, an undefeated record, there is no reason that Klein shouldn’t have lead the Heisman race at that point. Baylor, however, ruined everything for Mr. Klein.
Brax on the other hand, always lingered. He never had a “Heisman moment” or never completely fell from grace. He lead his team to a 12-0 season and in quite a few games was the only form of offense against some of the best rush defenses in the conference. He was always electric but never “legendary”. We have to remember that he’s only a Sophomore, so, hopefully, the best is yet to come.
I think Braxton and Collin Klein should both be invited to NYC in addition to Johnny Manziel and Manti Te’o. Marquise Lee, while putting up extraordinary numbers, simply didn’t play on a good enough team in a good enough conference to be considered for the award. With so much talent up for consideration, Lee should be left home, though commended for his efforts with the Biletnikoff award.
A final argument is this: Ohio State has often been overlooked due to their lack of eligibility for postseason play. If Ohio State is in the National Championship, Braxton could be contending with Johnny Manziel simply due to his leadership during the 12-0 season. He would also have another game against Nebraska, a great pass defense, to prove himself worthy of this award. Unfortunately, this is not the case and Brax’s chances to impress the Heisman voters are through.
Again, I don’t think Braxton deserves to win the Heisman. Manziel and Te’o should be the only true contenders. However, Braxton deserves to be in NYC and get a little taste of what’s to come. If Klein gets invited, there is no reason why Braxton shouldn’t be invited. I don’t see why both can’t be there along with Johnny and Manti. Don’t worry if Brax doesn’t go to NYC though. He’ll be there quite soon enough.