STILLWATER — The slogan pumped out by the Oklahoma State sports information department all season has been Weeden2Blackmon, drawing attention to the dynamic Cowboy pass-catch combo of Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon.
But with Weeden's recent rise in the Heisman race, will we see the Weeden2Blackmon campaign replaced with Weeden4Heisman for the final three weeks of the season?
Yes and no.
In the public, Weeden2Blackmon will still be at the forefront, OSU football sports information director Gavin Lang said. That campaign, which includes a Twitter and Facebook page, has turned into a fun catchphrase for fans rather than a way to market the duo to Heisman voters.
But behind closed doors, OSU media relations has amped up its push for Weeden by connecting with national media outlets and others who have a say in who takes home the Heisman, Lang said.
That marketing will be crucial for Weeden to win the award, said Chris Huston, who runs Heismanpundit.com and specializes in analyzing the trends of Heisman voters. He said the biggest strike against Weeden's chances to win the award so far is that he is a less recognizable name than some of the other candidates like Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore and Alabama running back Trent Richardson.
“At this point, Oklahoma State really should make a pitch on his behalf,” Huston said. “You're in a situation where you have two games left. You've got Iowa State, which should be a cakewalk, and then it's Oklahoma for all the marbles.
“If I'm Oklahoma State sports information, the way I frame it is, ‘Hey, this one's for the national championship and the Heisman,' and you just lay your money down and go all in and make the case that if Oklahoma State beats Oklahoma and Weeden has a great game, that he should win the Heisman.”
While OSU coach Mike Gundy said he will leave the promotion of players for postseason awards to the media relations department, he did offer a plug for Weeden on Sunday.
“I've watched everybody in the country play who so-called had what some people thought is a big-time quarterback,” Gundy said. “I've seen some good players out there, but I would not trade Brandon Weeden for anybody out there. No way.”