This is it… time to hand out the hardware and honor one athlete with the most prestigious award in college football. It’s also time for a Heisman Trophy prediction.
The Heisman Trophy presentation is upon us, with three finalists invited earlier this week:
The above TWHS links assess each player’s candidacy, while the below outlines it all into a tight summary, while making a final prediction on the Heisman outcome.
Team Performance: A Quick Comparison
Anyone that thinks team performance doesn’t matter is just kidding themselves – just look at past winners. Although, the trio of finalists – all teams ranked within the top six – further proves that fact.
With that in mind, should it lead to a winner in this category? A few quick points:
- ESPN’s 2015 Football Power Index has Alabama ranked #2, Clemson #6 and Stanford #8
- Clemson is the lone undefeated team in the country, going 13-0
- At the time of the actual game, Alabama played seven ranked opponents, while Clemson (3) and Stanford (4) faced that many combined
KP’s Take: Alabama had an overall stronger season performance, while Clemson went undefeated, leaving me to rank them as 1A and 1B, while Stanford lands in third
1A) Clemson – Watson, 1B) Alabama – Henry, 3) Stanford – McCaffrey
2015 Season Overview: Notable Stats from the Three Finalists
Again, more statistics and information are included in the individual posts for the finalists, but here are the numbers that stuck out the most:
- 1st in the nation in rushing yards (1,986)
- 1st in the nation in rushing TD’s (23)
- 2nd in rushing yards per game average (152.77)
- 3rd best completion percentage in nation (69.5%)
- 9th in country in passing TD’s (30)
- 11th in nation in QB rating (159.56)
- More than 4,300 total yards
- 2nd in the nation in rushing yards (1,847)
- 5th in rushing yards per game average (142.08)
KP’s Take: It’s hard to ignore when a player leads the nation in both rushing yards and rushing touchdowns, especially considering how many ranked opponents he faced
1) Derrick Henry, 2) Deshaun Watson, 3) Christian McCaffrey
Individual Performances – Highs and Lows
- 22 carries for 204 yards (9.3 ypc) against Mississippi State
- 11.3 ypc against a highly-ranked Wisconsin run defense
- 46 carries for 271 rushing yards against rival Auburn
- 95 yards (3.5 ypc) against Arkansas (2nd-best run defense in the SEC)
- 38 carries for 210 yards and 3 TD’s against an LSU team that was ranked #2 at the time
- 404 total yards, 28-42 for 297 yards w/ no INT against Florida St.
- 6 total TD’s and 437 total yards in a 56-41 win over N.C. State
- In ACC Championship vs. North Carolina: 26-for-42, 289 yards passing, 3 TD and 1 INT, while adding in 131 rushing yards and 2 rushing TD’s (on 24 carries)
- 25 carries for 243 yards and four touchdowns against UCLA
- At least 100-yards rushing in 10 of his last 11 games, with the one that wasn’t being a 94-yard rushing performance vs. Notre Dame
- Against Washington’s defense (29th against the run): 23 carries for 109 yards, while adding 5 catches for 112 yards and two total TD’s
- Weakest performance: Despite a 27-yard carry, had 11 additional rushes for 39 yards (66 total)
KP’s Take: Henry had no major blemishes during any of his individual performances, while Watson faltered against Notre Dame and McCaffrey had a tough stat-line against Northwestern
1) Derrick Henry, 2A) Deshaun Watson, 2B) Christian McCaffrey
2015 Heisman Prediction:
Derrick Henry dominated the final weeks of the season and made more noise than any other offensive player in college football. He leads the nation in both rushing yards and rushing touchdowns, flashing tenacity and brilliant playmaking ability. Henry’s performance has been the talk of the game since the first College Football Rankings came out.
Deshaun Watson has been in the Heisman conversation since the season began and his numbers have clearly backed up all the hype. His ability to run and pass along with his top-notch completion percentage make him a worthy candidate.
Christian McCaffrey is explosive and well-liked, a truly fantastic story and one of the biggest surprises of the season. No one would’ve been able to predict the fact that McCaffrey would finish the season with more rushing yards than LSU’s Leonard Fournette. Although, it may not end that way, depending on how each team’s bowl games pan out.
Despite each and every great performance by this trio, it’s Henry’s resume that is the most impressive. Being a quarterback in a QB-heavy Heisman winner’s circle, Watson should also get some additional love (and therefore a slight edge over McCaffrey), but not enough to top the Alabama running back.
KP’s Heisman Prediction:
Derrick Henry – Alabama
Deshaun Watson – Clemson
Christian McCaffrey – Stanford
Strike the pose and as always, thank you for reading The Wife Hates Sports.