STILLWATER — The quarterback cuts an imposing and impressive figure. It's not just that he stands 6-foot-4 and talks like a pro instead of a college kid. It's also that he makes every throw, completes 71 percent of his passes and leads one of the best teams in the country.
Yes and yes.
That description holds for both the Oklahoma State and Stanford quarterbacks, right down to the height and the completion rate. Weeden and Luck mirror each other in so many ways.
But then there's the Heisman Trophy thing.
Listen to the pundits, and the little bronze statue is Luck's to lose. Weeden? He may struggle just to score a plane ticket to New York for the ceremony.
On a day OSU faces a Kansas State defense that surrendered 520 yards passing and five touchdowns receptions a week ago, this might be the game that vaults Weeden into the Heisman conversation.
But really, he should be there already.
He has thrown for 2,710 yards and 22 touchdowns — Luck has thrown for 2,218 and 23 just for comparison's sake — but really, his biggest stat is his winning percentage.
This season: 1.000.
No one is more vital to that undefeated record than Weeden. Take him off this team — Clint Chelf or J.W. Walsh would be his replacement — and there's no way the Cowboys would be in the national title hunt.
“The stats are what they are,” Cowboy running back Joe Randle said, “but honestly, when you've got a quarterback that you can look to be your leader ... I've seen him under a lot of pressure before, and he never gets rattled.”
Weeden's confidence has infused these Cowboys with belief. Belief they can beat anyone. Belief they belong.
Yes, Justin Blackmon and Randle are special talents. Sure, the Cowboy defense comes up with big plays. But try to imagine this season without Weeden.
A look at the stats of five quarterbacks in Heisman Trophy contention:
Andrew Luck, Stanford (8-0)
174 of 242, 2,218 yards, 23 TD, 4 INT
Kellen Moore, Boise State (7-0)
174 of 228, 2,010 yards, 24 TD, 5 INT
Case Keenum, Houston (8-0)
218 of 303, 3,219 yards, 32 TD, 3 INT
Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State (8-0)
246 of 345, 2,710 yards, 22 TD, 7 INT
Landry Jones, Oklahoma (7-1)
236 of 355, 3,094 yards, 26 TD, 9 INT