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Dalvin Cook is the nation's second leading rusher through two games. What has to happen for him to win the Heisman?

Florida State running back Dalvin Cook is the second leading rusher in college football. What has to happen for him to win the Heisman Trophy?

Florida State running back Dalvin Cook is the nation's second leading rusher after two games with 422 yards and 5 touchdowns on just 49 carries. Only Ray Lawry of Old Dominion has more. That has left a lot of Florida State fans wondering if he could win the Heisman. Although it's a little too early for that, i wanted to delve into what it would take for Cook to win the Heisman.

Only two running backs have won the Heisman Trophy this century. USC running back Reggie Bush in 2005 and Alabama running back Mark Ingram in 2009.

Name Rushing Yards Rushing Touchdowns Receptions Receiving Yards Receiving Touchdowns
Reggie Bush 1,740 16 37 478 2
Mark Ingram 1,658 17 32 334 3

Over the past five years the only running backs invited to New York for the ceremony are Melvin Gordon, Andre Williams, Trent Richardson, and LaMicheal James. Only one of them came within 1,000 points of the winner and that was Trent Richardson who still came in 709 points back.

Name Rushing Yards Rushing Touchdowns Receptions Receiving yards Receiving Touchdowns
Lamichael James 1,731 21 17 208 3
Trent Richardson 1,679 21 29 338 3
Andre Williams 2,177 18 0 0 0
Melvin Gordon 2,587 29 19 153 3

All four of those players, especially Gordon, put up incredible numbers. Better numbers than Ingram put up in 2009 when he won the Heisman Trophy, and yet none of the four running backs listed above came anywhere close to winning the Heisman. Thats because voters love quarterbacks. Since 2000 all 13 of the remaining Heisman Trophies have gone to quarterbacks.

So how did Bush and Ingram do it?

First, they both played for teams that went to the National Championship game. Bush's USC team lost. Ingram's Alabama team won. Bush's main competition for the 2005 Heisman trophy was Vince Young. Bush's electrifying ability, with highlight reel play after highlight reel play, and the hype he had before the season started helped him win the votes over Young. Ingram, on the other hand, was not the electrifying athlete that Bush was and didn't have the hype heading into the season that Bush had. What Ingram did have on his side was that there wasn't a great quarterback in College Football that year. In fact, the highest vote getter besides Ingram was Stanford running back Toby Gerhart. Texas quarterback Colt McCoy finished 159 points behind in third. 

Are there Quarterbacks that stand out this year?

Right now there are four quarterbacks that have separated themselves from the pack. TCU's Trevon Boykin, USC's Cody Kessler, OSU's Cardale Jones, and UCLA's Josh Rosen. There will be other quarterbacks that make a jump during the season, but only two games in those seem the likely favorites to be in New York among the quarterbacks. 

Other Running Backs will take votes as well.

Another problem that Cook would be facing is the incredible depth at running back in college football this season. UGA's Nick Chubb, LSU's Leonard Fournette, OSU's Ezekiel Elliot, and UA's Derrick Henry will all be chasing the award as well. Three of the four (Fournette has only played one game and racked up 159 yards and 3 touchdowns) have over 200 yards. Henry is tied for the nation's lead in touchdowns with 6, which is one ahead of Cook's 5.

What would need to happen for him to win the award?

Cook is currently on pace, for fourteen games, for 2,954 yards and 35 touchdowns. He will not come near those marks, but he has a good foundation to make a run at the award. With so many things working against him, however, he would need to continue to dominate on the field and rush for over 2,000 yards while leading Florida State to their fourth consecutive ACC Championship. He would also need to hope for a little help. 


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