Wait ‘til Next Year
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Braxton Miller is likely going to have his moment in the sun, it’s just going to have to wait.
Photo by Jim Davidson
Ohio State’s sophomore quarterback put together one of the best statistical seasons in school history. He broke the OSU quarterback rushing record and led the Buckeyes to a perfect 12-0 season under first-year head coach Urban Meyer.
None of that was quite enough to earn Miller an invitation to New York this month for the presentation of the 78th Heisman Trophy. Instead, Miller and the Buckeyes will have to watch on Dec. 8 as Heisman voters select a winner from a group of three finalists that includes only Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein, Texas A&M freshman Johnny Manziel and Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o.
The CBS Sports Heisman Pundit blog currently has Manziel out in front of the pack in his quest to become the first freshman to win college football’s most prestigious award. They had Te’o in second with Klein in third and Miller tied with USC wideout Marqise Lee for fourth place.
“I’m not surprised there are just three finalists this year. After these three, there really wasn’t a lot of consensus on who deserved to go to New York,” Chris Huston wrote on his HeismanPundit.com blog.
“There is likely a large gap in the point total between the third finalist and whoever placed fourth, and that’s why we didn’t get a fourth finalist.”
This was a tough year for Heisman voters, as a number of different players jumped out to a lead only to slip back to the pack. Early in the year it looked like West Virginia’s Geno Smith was going to run away with the award, but the Mountaineers lost five games in a row after beating Baylor and Texas in back-to-back weeks.
It was during that stretch where Miller emerged as a serious candidate for the Heisman, and some predictions even had him out in front after the sophomore quarterback rushed for 471 yards over the course of three wins against Michigan State, Nebraska and Indiana.
Miller finished with 2,039 yards through the air and an OSU quarterback record 1,271 yards on the ground. He rushed for 13 touchdowns and passes for 15 more while throwing only six interceptions this season, all of which earned him the Big Ten’s Offensive Player of the Year award.
“I’m achieving my goals,” Miller said after receiving the award. (Tom)
“I still haven’t reached them yet. I still have a lot to work on, but coach Meyer and coach Herman helped me a lot to progress from last year.”
Miller nearly doubled the numbers from his freshman year across the board this season, as the Buckeyes doubled their win total from a year ago. He will undoubtedly be a front-runner for the Heisman Trophy next season, along with Manziel, Marqise Lee, De’Anthony Thomas, A.J. McCarron and T.J. Yeldon.
This year’s ceremony takes place at the Best Buy Theater in New York’s Times Square on Dec. 8.
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