The dual-threat quarterback has always been about more than stats.
Sure, he’s having a solid season, amassing more than 1,400 yards and scoring 13 touchdowns, but more important than that, his team keeps winning because of him. He has steadied it during tough times. He has carried it during desperate days.
He is the leader of a contender and the face of a program.
Yep, Zac Robinson is having a heck of a year.
The Oklahoma State quarterback probably won’t be confused with Florida quarterback Tim Tebow in this year’s Heisman Trophy debate.
But maybe he should be.
In a season that started with three can’t-miss candidates, the race for college football’s most prestigious individual award is wide open at the midway point. Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford is injured, and Texas quarterback Colt McCoy is average. Without those two returning finalists struggling, Tebow is the favorite by default.
He has yet to distinguish himself with a great game. He has yet to have that Heisman highlight.
Then again, neither has any other candidate.
"This is as wide open as any race I’ve seen,” said Chris Huston, who oversees the Web site HeismanPundit.com. "It seems like none of the top candidates can build any sort of momentum and, as a result, voters are starting to shop around.”
Look no farther than the straw poll of Heisman voters on Huston’s Web site. Alabama running back Mark Ingram took the top spot week, bumping Tebow from the lead for the first time this season.
The little bronze statue is up for grabs.
It is anyone’s Heisman.
Anyone starring on offense on one of the nation’s best teams, anyway. That has become the recipe for Heisman success. A player has to be pretty darn good, but so does his team.
No wonder that Tebow and Ingram have emerged as the frontrunners. Their teams are No. 1 and No. 2 in the rankings, and they are the offensive stars.
But it is hardly a two-horse race.
Ask SportsIllustrated.com writer Stewart Mandel who he would pick to win right now, and he would go with Ingram.
"But last week I might have said Tony Pike,” he said of the Cincinnati quarterback who was injured last weekend. "Next week, I might say Jimmy Clausen.”
The Notre Dame quarterback is in the mix. So is Houston quarterback Case Keenum, Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, Notre Dame wide receiver Golden Tate, Oregon State running back Jaquizz Rodgers and Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore.
Who’d have thought that would be the case when the season started and Bradford, McCoy and Tebow were expected to rule the Heisman heap?
"Injuries and unimpressive performances have turned what looked like a closed party into an all-comers bash,” ESPN.
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