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Why in the world are people not talking about Dwayne Haskins’ Heisman chances?

Also, today’s a nice day for a pay day to Ryan Day.

NCAA Football: Ohio State at Texas Christian Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

I admit that I am not a very smart man. I don’t always understand all of the advanced analytics and “Moneyball” philosophies that have become so engrained in our sports discussion over the past decade or so. However, seeing regular posts from national media organizations— like the one above— touting Heisman Trophy contenders, but not including Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins is utterly baffling to me. Perhaps there is some sort of data set that my tiny mind just can’t grasp.

Now, I don’t subscribe to the conspiracy theories that ESPN and other sports networks and outlets hate Ohio State. One, because they all employ at least two or three former Buckeyes as on-air talent, and two, at their core, they are businesses, and as evidenced by the fact that the OSU vs. TCU game from this past weekend was the most watched broadcast of the season, it would be bad business to go out of their way to turn off Buckeye fans.

So, if we assume that there is no grand anti-Buckeye conspiracy run amok in the halls of The Worldwide Leader™, I honestly have no explanation for how players like Will Grier, Kyler Murray, and Tua Tagovailoa can regularly be exulted as the Heisman frontrunners, and Haskins ignored.

In almost all cases, Haskins has better numbers than the other three, while being the only one to defeat a team ranked better than 40th in the current S&P+ rankings. Now, I am not questioning the fact that any of these other three QBs belong in this discussion, they absolutely do; but so does Haskins.

Everybody’s darling, Tagovailoa, comes off of a thrilling National Championship half of football last January, so it’s no surprise that he was everyone’s preseason pick. When you combine that with the fact that he plays for Alabama Crimson Tide, the default national title favorite, it makes sense. But, judging just by the early season stats, there’s no reason for Las Vegas and all of the analysts across the country to have him as such a hands down frontrunner, especially when Haskins’ odds continue to drop every week, despite looking like a future NFL first-round pick.

Heisman QB Comparison

Player Team Atts Comps Comp% Yards TD INT Rush Atts Rush Yrds Rush TDs Opponents and S&P+ Rankings
Player Team Atts Comps Comp% Yards TD INT Rush Atts Rush Yrds Rush TDs Opponents and S&P+ Rankings
Will Grier West Virginia 46 60 76.7 761 9 1 5 -3 0 No. 40 Tennessee, FCS Youngstown State
Dwayne Haskins Ohio State 66 91 72.5 890 11 1 7 23 1 No. 93 Oregon State, No. 114 Rutgers, No. 25 TCU
Kyler Murray Oklahoma 49 73 67.1 863 8 1 29 169 2 No. 69 Florida Atlantic, No. 85 UCLA, No. 59 Iowa State
Tua Tagovailoa Alabama 36 50 72 646 8 0 14 93 1 No. 76 Louisville, No. 91 Arkansas State, No. 50 Ole Miss

Now, certainly, if Haskins comes out on Sept. 29 and has an impressive game in Happy Valley against S&P+’s No. 8 ranked team, the Penn State Nittany Lions, you would hope that someone... anyone... would take notice.

In my obviously biased opinion, Haskins has proven that he is not a flash in the pan. He’s destroyed lesser competition, and exited around halftime in two games, and, while he looked a little overwhelmed in the early goings of the game against TCU, he quickly righted the ship and led his team to a monster victory on the road.

I know it’s only three games into the season, so this is less about whether or not Haskins will actually be a Heisman contender in late November, and more about why in the heck everyone else is getting the publicity that he absolutely deserves.

I firmly believe that when Ryan Day officially abdicated his position as Ohio State’s interim head coach, he turned the program back over to Urban Meyer full-time in better shape than when he was handed it. Now, obviously, he took over the program in fairly dire times, with one of the greatest coaches in a generation being suspended just as the team began fall camp. But, despite all of the good that he’s done in the past month and a half, that’s still quite the lump-sum payment made to someone for taking on a bit of extra work for six weeks.

However, as Meyer said in his press conference on Monday, Day is an elite coach. When he was initially hired by the Buckeyes, many around the program and the fandom assumed that he was brought in as a possible future successor to Meyer, whenever the head man decided to hang it up.

I have no interest in speculating when Meyer might decide to retire (if he ever does), but he did say in his presser earlier this week, “This, to me, has never been a job. I grew up here and I love this school. My love is unwavering to Ohio State.” So, if he has plans to leave soon, he’s certainly not tipping his hand.

Back to the money; it does not appear that there was any existing contractual language that would have governed the finances of Day’s temporary promotion. However, the co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach already makes $1 million per year, on a contract that is loaded with incentives to keep him around for the life of his three-year deal.

So, if you want to put yourself into the shoes of athletic director Gene Smith, as embattled as he might be, you’d have to think that this healthy bonus—on top of the roughly $115,000 he already made for those six weeks—might have served as another enticement to ride out that contract and to see what happens with Urban.

Day was already on the radar of many people in college football before he came to Columbus, but you’d have to imagine that after how masterfully he handled the situation this fall both on and off the field, come December when teams are firing coaches, he will be at the top of many wish lists.

I, for one, would love to see Day stay in Columbus for a long time, be it as offensive coordinator or eventually as head coach; he’s proven that he’s more than capable of handling either, or both, responsibilities.

“I enjoyed my time there a lot. I love the people and love the fans. It really meant a lot to me that they showed love like that.”

-Joe Burrow via Bill Kurelic, 247 Sports

Oh, how times have changed for Ohio State fans over the past 11 and a half years. Who would have thought that after back-to-back BCS National Championship losses at the hands of Florida and LSU, that in 2018, Buckeye fans would be hosting rallies in support of Urban Meyer and cheering for an LSU quarterback?

The awfulness of this fall aside, Meyer has obviously had a historic start to his OSU career, and with the transfer of fan-favorite Joe Burrow, now quarterbacking the Bayou Bengals, it looks like Buckeye fans finally have a rooting interest in the Southeastern Conference.

Obviously the onset of the College Football Playoff has made the antagonism between the two storied conferences a little less intense, since instead of fighting for one of two spots in the BCS final, they are now battling for one of four spots.

But, for those of us that have lived in the South throughout the SEC’s reign of terror, it still can be a little jarring to see Buckeye fans expressing anything other than disgust for LSU.