Should he be in Heisman talks?
The name Jordan Lynch might not ring a bell to the average NCAA football fan - well at least not yet. Tonight at 9 p.m. EST, ESPN2 viewers will get a chance to watch one of the most electrifying and productive dual-threat quarterbacks in all of college football this season, when Lynch and the Northern Illinois Huskies (9-1, 6-0 MAC) take on the Toledo Rockets (8-2, 5-1 MAC) in Dekalb, Illinois.
If you're looking for Jordan Lynch's name on the experts Heisman lists, you're probably not going to find it there right now. Where you will find his name is near the top of several offensive categories in the NCAA. Lynch's 3,517 total yards rank him third in the nation among all FBS players; he also leads all FBS QB's in rushing with 1,342 yards, to go along with 35 touchdowns (19 pass 16 rush) and only three interceptions. To put those numbers into context, that's more total yards and touchdowns than Johnny Manziel, Collin Klein, Braxton Miller, Marcus Mariota, etc. On the ground, Lynch has run the ball 185 times while averaging 7.3 yards a carry. The NCAA rushing leader, Nevada's Stefphon Jefferson, has ran the ball 290 times for 1,436 yards. The point is, Lynch's numbers can stack up with just about anyone in the country.
Lynch's Heisman candidacy depends on his team's and conference's success as much as his own individual performance. The MAC currently has six teams with at least seven wins - the only other conference that can boast that sort of success is the SEC. Adding on, only the PAC-12 and SEC have more bowl eligible teams so far than the MAC, with seven teams apiece. I don't think anyone can argue that the MAC has the talent of the BCS conferences, which does dim his Heisman chances but, I do think you can argue that he means as much to his team's success as the players I mentioned earlier. If the Huskies defeat Toledo on Wednesday night, they will clinch the MAC and most likely be headed back to the GoDaddy.Com Bowl. NIU received 77 votes for the AP Poll this week, so a win here could boost the Huskies into the Top 25 heading into bowl season. With no clear-cut Heisman favorite and the success of NIU and the rest of the MAC, Lynch should at least be in the conversation. Wednesday night, college football fans can put a face on those incredible numbers as Lynch continues a record-breaking season for the Huskies.
Northern Illinois recently launched a Heisman campaign for Lynch. Officials at the school have set up the Facebook page Jordan Lynch For 6 as well as the Twitter hashtag #VoteLynchto gain more local and national exposure.