The hunt for the Heisman

Before the 1993 college football season began, LeShon Johnson was considered a dark horse candidate for the Heisman trophy.

No more.

Now, four 200-yard rushing games later, it seems the “Cowboy” may actually have a legitimate shot at the trophy. Many, and I do mean many, people will argue that the level of competition on NIU’s schedule is extremely weak, in comparison with a Michigan, Florida State or Notre Dame.

No doubt about it, they’re right.

Others will say that no back from a small, no-name university is going to walk away with the most prestigious trophy the NCAA awards.

Using history as a barometer, they’ve hit the nail right on the head once again.

So how does LeShon even have a shot?

In my view, there are two other major obstacles for the “Cowboy” to overcome on his way to the top: Tyrone Wheatley of Michigan and Charlie Ward of Florida State.

The best way to get Wheatley out of the way is to out-duel him at the same position.

Winning the rushing title alone won’t be enough. The big advantage LeShon has is that both schools have a common opponent.

The Iowa Hawkeyes.

In Michigan’s win over Iowa, Wheatley had 28 carries for 113 yards, caught three balls for 60 yards and scored three touchdowns.

If Johnson outdoes these numbers behind an offensive line that is obviously not stronger than Michigan’s (no offense guys), this puts him one step ahead of the Wolverine’s All-American.

Now comes the tricky part.

Charlie Ward.

First off, the “Cowboy” must do his part. Not only must he lead NIU to three more consecutive victories, but he also needs to be at 1,900-2,000 yards entering NIU’s matchup against Mississippi Nov. 13th.

Mark this date on your calendars football fans. On this day, all the cosmos come together, explode and the entire college football season will be decided.

Florida St. vs. Notre Dame; NIU vs. Mississippi.

Here’s how the Heisman ends up back in DeKalb:

^‘LeShon runs for over 150 yards against the SEC powerhouse Rebels and leads NIU to its fifth consecutive victory, an 8-3 season and a birth to the Las Vegas Bowl.

^’Charlie Ward chokes. Right now Ward is a shoe-in for the trophy unless he throws three interceptions in a losing effort against a stingy Irish defense. The way the ND defense has played all year, it is possible.

Anything is possible.