Is the 2014 college football Heisman race even a question? There should only be one clear-cut favorite, right? It should be Marcus Mariota’s to lose, right?
While the Ducks have been ranked second in the college football playoff standings the last two weeks Mariota, Oregon’s superstar quarterback, has been at the top of the Heisman list nearly all season. If you put things in perspective, this could possibly be the best season in Oregon football history. Not only will the new playoff format give the Ducks an opportunity to play for the national championship, but Oregon has already punched their ticket to the Pac-12 Championship game as well. And, if Mariota continues to display excellence, he will be the first Heisman winner in Oregon football history.
One of the most disappointing things about sports is that we tend to ignore the greatness of a player. We don’t normally realize what we once had until our favorite player retires or moves on. This Saturday will most likely mark the last game that Mariota will ever play at Autzen Stadium. Whether it’s been his touchdown passes, his friendly personality, or his work ethic, every single Duck fan has something that they appreciate about Mariota. Not only has the Duck’s quarterback had a great season, but he’s also had a great career.
The Ducks have won nearly 89% of their games since Mariota became their starting quarterback in 2012 (32-4), and Oregon has never had a two game losing streak during that time either. MariGOATA, as some people like to call him, is the country’s most efficient passer (184.56) and he also leads the nation in pass yards per attempt (10.0) and yards per play (9.0). Furthermore, Mariota is the only quarterback in Oregon history to amass 9,000 passing yards, and he’s only nine rushing yards shy of becoming just the fifth FBS player to produce over 9,000 passing yards and 2,000 rushing yards.
The numbers speak for themselves; Mariota should be the unanimous choice to win the Heisman if the Ducks keep winning. The season is far from over, however, so anything can happen; but one thing is certain: expect Mariota to continue leading the Ducks.
Imagine a National Championship; imagine a Heisman winner; imagine you witnessing the most historic season in Oregon’s football history.
Imagine that Duck fans!
Top Photo by Kevin Cline