Oh thank god, college football is back. This is great news for all of us who turn into utter lunatics on Saturdays from noon ET (or 11 a.m., depending on how much the Big Ten hates you on a given week) (the Big Ten always hates you) until like 2 a.m., when the Pac-12 wraps up its weekly exercise in making point totals irrelevant.
It’s also great news for those of us who still love the Heisman Trophy. For whatever reason, there’s something about this specific award that makes it so special — it possesses a gravity that no other MVP award boasts. There’s something about watching all the previous winners of the trophy welcome some starry-eyed 20something into their exclusive club that is really cool. There’s probably something to this that can be tied into how college football embraces its past more than any other American sport, but to alter the immortal words of Cardale Jones, I ain’t come to analyze the history of the sport.
Instead, we’re here to do a weekly look at how the Heisman Trophy race is shaping up. I am not a Heisman voter or anything like that, I am just some doofus who watches college football and is generally able to discern when someone is good at the sport, so each week, you’ll get my hypothetical Heisman ballot as it stands on that given week.
Before we dive into the first Heisman Watch of the year, an important disclaimer: Nothing on earth is dumber than listing how the Heisman race is shaping out for the first, like, month and a half of the season. Last year, by the end of September, Saquon Barkley had the Heisman wrapped up. He might have even had it through midseason. Ultimately, though, Barkley didn’t even get an invite to New York, and Baker Mayfield lifted the trophy.
There are plenty of examples of the curse of The September Heisman™ — peace and blessings to former Texas A&M legend Kenny Hill — so take all of this with a gigantic grain of salt up until, like, mid-October. Unless, of course, this is exactly how the Heisman race shakes out. Which won’t happen. I think.
With all that said, let’s dive into our first Heisman Watch of the 2018 college football season.