Heisman Watch: Tua puts Trophy on ice

Donnavan Smoot

While the bottom half of the Heisman race continues to be a revolving door, one name remains at the top: Tua Tagovailoa. With yet another big week of college football ahead of us, here's how the race shapes up heading into Week 11:

#13 Tua Tagovailoa, quarterback, No. 1 Alabama 

There are certain times that we, as a general sports-consuming public, just know who is going to win. We knew the Golden State Warriors were going to win the championship the moment they signed Kevin Durant. We knew at the beginning of last year that Alabama was going to win the National Championship. We knew Floyd Mayweather was going to beat Conor McGregor. Now, we know for certain Tua Tagovailoa will win the Heisman.

After Saturday’s drumming of then-No. 3 LSU, it’s apparent Tagovailoa will walk away from this season a Heisman winner. The sophomore quarterback accounted for over 300 yards and three touchdowns. He finally had a moment of weakness, throwing his first interception of the season. However, seeing Tagovailoa and the Crimson Tide jog off the field after making light work of the Tigers was like seeing Vince Carter signal to the world the 2000 NBA Dunk Contest was over. Alabama  simultaneously made the statement that at the end of the season, it will likely be a championship team led by a Heisman-winning quarterback.

#1 Kyler Murray, quarterback, No. 6 Oklahoma 

According to Bovada, Kyler Murray is twice as likely to win the Heisman as Dwayne Haskins and three times as likely to win as Shea Patterson. Although those gaps are impressive, it still lands him in second place. This is Murray’s first year as the full-time starter, and considering this will be his last year in college, he has made the most of it. In the offensive-driven Big 12, he is the best offensive player, capable of throwing an extremely accurate 350-yard game while running for 100 yards on the ground. The proof was shown this past weekend during the Sooners’ shootout victory over Texas Tech. 

Murray is likely leading Oklahoma to the Big 12 Championship, and after last weekend, that game looks to be a showdown between West Virginia and Oklahoma, which would be a rematch of the regular season finale. Barring injury, Murray will be the star for the rest of the season and dismantle the rest of the Big 12 defenses. If that’s the case, Murray has secured his seat in New York.

#7 Will Grier, quarterback, No. 9 West Virginia 

Will Grier saved the Mountaineers’ season on Saturday evening in Austin. Down by seven with just under three minutes to play, Grier stepped onto the field prepared to crush the hearts of all the Longhorn fans in the stadium. Then, with 24 seconds left, Grier threw an absolute dime to Gary Jennings Jr., who got behind two Longhorns defenders in the back of the endzone. Still down by one, West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen decided to attempt a two-point conversion. Grier took matters into his own hands, rushing into the endzone and virtually putting West Virginia in the driver’s seat for the Big 12 Championship.

Grier has been outstanding this year. After a couple weeks hidden on the radar, he has played his way back into the conversation. The canceled game against NC State gave him one less opportunity to prove his worth but nevertheless, Grier and West Virginia are in prime position to dethrone Oklahoma and be conference champions at the end of the season.