Don’t Have a Heisman Vote, But If I Did … Bo Knows

Lyn Scarbrough

November 23, 2022 at 11:53 am.

I don’t have a vote to determine the Heisman Trophy winner. I’ve never had one and I’ve never even been asked if I wanted to have one.

The Biletnikoff Award has me on their list of voters to determine the nation’s best wide receiver and has for a lot of years. Same for the Doak Walker Award to determine the nation’s top running back. I get to vote for the Lott Impact Trophy winner (top defensive player, as well as excellence off the field), the Ray Guy Award winner (nation’s top punter) and for the college football Coach of the Year.

But, not for the Heisman Trophy.

I don’t know why I’ve never been asked. I asked our publisher, Lindy Davis, who also doesn’t have a Heisman Trophy vote, and he doesn’t remember any Lindy’s full-time editorial staffer ever voting for college football’s most prestigious award.

There have been a few prominent contributors to Lindy’s, writers/editors who work freelance for us, sports journalism pros who provide editorial assistance but who have other full-time positions, who have been Heisman voters. But never a Lindy’s representative.

Lindy’s has the largest volume audience of all publishing companies in our sports category in the United States. We have a 110-plus station radio network, the Lindy’s Football Report, with affiliates throughout the collegiate season in 14 states. We publish high-quality football, basketball and baseball editions year-round, America’s leading college football authority for 41 years. We have an active website and social media platforms.

But, no full-time Lindy’s staffer has ever even been asked to have a Heisman vote.

According to a website, the Heisman voting panel includes “870 media voters, all former living Heisman winners and, beginning in 1999, the public, whose collective choice is given one vote.”

Maybe the Heisman folks consider that Lindy’s is represented through that one vote allocated to the “collective” public. For sure, no Lindy’s person is included among “former living Heisman winners,” or dead winners for that matter.

That list of 870 media voters includes some outlets with more than one representative, and some that people might question as being respected, well-known or longtime established sports media outlets or media figures. Each voter gets to indicate a first-, second- and third-place choice to win the trophy.

But, that doesn’t include Lindy’s … and doesn’t include me.

Since that’s the case and will likely continue to be the case, I’m going to give my thoughts here on who the most deserving Heisman candidates have been in 2022 so far with only Rivalry Week and conference championship games remaining.

Included below are the three guys that would receive my vote for Heisman right now, not based on their prior reputation, not based on the prestige of their program, not based on who has won the Heisman Trophy there in that past. Just based on what they’ve done this season.

As of this morning, Las Vegas odds-makers have the favorites in this order:

  1. C.J. Stroud, Ohio State quarterback
  2. Caleb Williams, Southern Cal quarterback
  3. Blake Corum, Michigan running back

Along the way, others have been among the favorites but don’t seem to be looked on as favorably now:

** Drake Maye, North Carolina quarterback … just a freshman; the performance by him and the team in the loss last week to 21-point underdog Georgia Tech pretty much ended that.

** Hendon Hooker, Tennessee quarterback … performance by him and the team in the loss last week to 22.5-point underdog South Carolina pretty much ended that, plus he’s injured and out for the remainder of the season.

** Bryce Young, Alabama quarterback … this has still been an outstanding season statistically, but not as successful as last year for the team or for the most recent Heisman Trophy winner.

I’m OK with Stroud, Williams and Corum as legit candidates. Unless Ohio State gets massacred by Michigan on Saturday, or Stroud has an unthinkably horrible game against the Wolverines, the Ohio State signal caller will likely be this year’s winner. Based on his career in Columbus, plus his 2022 performance, his case can be made.

Among running backs, Corum’s case is as strong as any overall … No. 3 nationally in rushing yards, tied for No. 2 in rushing touchdowns, and No. 5 in both rushing yards per game and scoring.

If I were voting, Stroud would get my third-place vote.

My second-place vote would go to Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett. Most college football fans know his story. He initially signed with Georgia, but was more-or-less the forgotten man. He transferred to a junior college, then came back to Georgia apparently to be the forgotten man again.

But when Southern Cal transfer J.T. Daniels was injured early in the 2021 season, Bennett became the starter. Since then, the Dawgs haven’t lost a game. They’ve won the national championship and are poised for the chance to make it back-to-back titles.

Bennett isn’t among the statistical leaders in anything, but he is a winner in everything. Without Bennett, Georgia wouldn’t be the national title favorite again, and that should mean a lot in consideration for Heisman voting or anything else.

But, my No. 1 vote would go to Oregon’s quarterback, Bo Nix.

If you sort of chuckled or shrugged when you read his name here, you’ll want to reconsider.

Bo Nix is not that much of a longshot candidate. In fact, those same Vegas odds-makers that have Stroud, Williams and Corum as the top three, have Nix as the fifth most likely Heisman winner. TCU quarterback Max Duggan is fourth.

The numbers give a strong case. Consider the national statistical categories below among the leading quarterback Heisman contenders:

Pass completion percentage:

  1. Bo Nix, Oregon
  2. Stetson Bennett, Georgia
  3. Michael Penix, Washington
  4. C.J. Stroud, Ohio State
  5. Max Duggan, TCU
  6. Caleb Williams, Southern Cal

Passing Efficiency:

  1. Stroud
  2. Duggan
  3. Nix
  4. Williams
  5. Penix
  6. Bennett

Points Responsible For:

  1. Nix
  2. Williams
  3. Stroud
  4. Duggan
  5. Penix
  6. Bennett

Points Responsible For Per Game:

  1. Nix
  2. Williams
  3. Stroud
  4. Duggan
  5. Penix
  6. Bennett

Total Offensive Yards:

  1. Penix
  2. Williams
  3. Nix
  4. Bennett
  5. Duggan
  6. Stroud

Passing Yards:

  1. Penix
  2. Williams
  3. Nix
  4. Bennett
  5. Stroud
  6. Duggan


  1. Nix (highest ranked QB)

No other leading QB contender is in the Top 100 players

Rushing Touchdowns: (among all players, not just QBs)

  1. Nix

No other leading QB contender is in the Top 200 players

Nix is playing in an offense this season that allows him to show his athletic ability with an offensive line that keeps him from running for his life on almost every play.

This season started with a disastrous 49-3 loss to defending national champion Georgia.

In that one, the Ducks had to travel 2,600 miles; Georgia traveled 72 miles. It was a Georgia “home game” in Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. The Oregon crowd was miniscule. The Georgia crowd was overflowing. And, that game was 13 weeks ago, the first game for the Ducks with Nix, their first-time quarterback.

Lesser teams and lesser players would have crawled into a hole. The Ducks and Nix climbed toward the top. In their next eight games – all victories – Oregon scored a minimum of 41 points with only one game under a 15-point winning margin.

Their only other loss came two weeks ago against nationally ranked Washington, 37-34, when Nix was injured and taken out of the game in the fourth quarter. The next week against nationally ranked Utah with a Pac-12 Championship Game berth on the line, Oregon won with a gutsy effort by Nix, who limped on-and-off the field and couldn’t run the ball as usual.

Since the season’s second game, Nix has been the player that he was expected to be when he signed with Auburn after the 2018 high school season. As a Tiger freshman, he was Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year, passing for 2,542 yards and 16 touchdowns and running for seven more scores. Ironically, his first game that season was a win over No. 11 Oregon when he threw a late touchdown pass for the winning margin. His last game that season was over arch-rival No. 5 Alabama. His offensive coordinator that season was Kenny Dillingham, who has that same role for Oregon now.

After his junior season on the Plains, Nix transferred to Eugene to rejoin Dillingham and in just one season became an Oregon icon.

Who knows if Oregon will prevail this weekend over Oregon State that’s also having a surprisingly good season. Then, if Oregon wins, will it defeat Southern Cal to claim the Pac-12 title? Regardless, from my perspective, Nix has earned a trip to New York and the opportunity to hoist the Heisman.

In early 2018, I received a call from longtime friend Russ Cofield, at that time the assistant principal at Pinson Valley (Ala.) High School where Nix was the senior quarterback for the Indians. Russ was excited to tell me that Nix had committed to Auburn, the school where his father, Patrick Nix, had been an outstanding quarterback more than two decades earlier.

I let Russ know that I had not seen Bo play in-person.

“He’s a great quarterback,” Russ told me. “He can run and throw. He has great accuracy. He can win the Heisman before he graduates. He’s that good!”

Russ was right. Bo Nix has been that good and he proved it this season, but Russ didn’t figure that Nix might win the trophy playing in a uniform that’s yellow and green.

But, I have to stop this one now.

I need to answer a call coming in on my cell and it could be those Heisman folks, calling to ask my opinion. If so, I’ll let them know that the winner should be Bo Nix.