Jordan Lynch is 24-3 as the NIU Huskies’ starting quarterback in two seasons, including a 12-1 mark in 2013. He has one game remaining as he will lead NIU into the 2013 San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl against Utah State on December 26, 2013.
But first, it's off to New York City for the bright lights and big stage of the Heisman trophy presentation. Yes, Jordan Lynch has brought Mid-Major Northern Illinois to the national media stage twice. The first time was last year when he quarterbacked the Huskies to a MAC Championship and a BCS Bowl appearance. Where they were utterly destroyed by Florida State in the Orange Bowl. FSU should win over NIU by a healthy margin again on Saturday night, as Seminoles QB Jameis Winston will slaughter everyone. Jordan Lynch is the first Huskie player to be selected as a finalist for the trophy, but he won't win. He might not even finish second either.
Florida State QB Jameis Winston (how has no one has created a Jameis Winston parody song set to Rihanna's "I'll drink to that"? That one line "Let the Jameson sink in" in the tune just writes itself) win it, but Lynch for 6 is only the third player from the Mid-American Conference to be named a finalist along with Randy Moss (1997) and Chad Pennington (1999), both from Marshall.
No MAC player has ever won the Heisman.
The other finalists are Alabama QB AJ McCarron, Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel (under-the-radar guy, he's very obscure, THINK OF THE BRAND JOHNNY!), Boston College running back Andre Williams and Auburn RB Tre Mason. Manziel won the award last year, if he wins this year, which he won’t, he would be just the second two-time Heisman winner in college football history. Archie Griffin of Ohio State is the first and only.
The only FBS player in the country who is his team’s first option both as a passer and as a runner, Jordan Lynch was named MAC West Offensive Player of the Week a record eight times this year while compiling 4,557 yards of total offense on 1,881 rushing and 2,676 passing yards. He gained over 300 yards of total offense in 11 of the Huskies’ 13 games in 2013 (all except blowout wins over Purdue and UMass when he did not play fourth quarter).
“If you can play football, you can play, it doesn’t matter what level it is," Lynch said on the media conference call yesterday previewing his Heisman trip. "
"No matter where you go, you can be a contender for the Heisman, if you can play football, they’ll look at you,” Jordan Lynch said. I asked him who has most looking forward to meeting in the NYC and what he thinks the highlight of his first visit to New York City will be.
It should be really exciting for the Chicago product and Mt. Carmel graduate. All trips to the media capital of the world, well the just plain capital of the world always are.
“His body of work speaks for itself. That’s the first thing, this is for him. We’re super proud of him,” said NIU Coach Rod Carey.
“It gets us on the stage where we haven’t been and that’s a good thing for the university, and when we can have that stage we like it. It gets our name out there and puts us on the map” NIU Coach Rod Carey
Former NIU Coach Jerry Kill (now with Minnesota) was the only one to give Jordan Lynch a chance ot play qb coming out of high school. Even the NIU staff had thoughts of moving him to safety. Good thing they didn’t!
Of course, the biggest obstacle for Jordan Lynch winning the trophy is the lack of name brand recognition. Best exemplified by this incident at MAC Media Day.
If Jordan Lynch had played for a big traditional national power with a lot of media coverage, instead of a mid-major with low publicity, he wouldn't have this problem. The Heisman is first about "can you play?" Which Jordan Lynch obviously can. But second, it's about the glory and star power.
Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. He’s also an analyst for multiple news talk radio stations across the country; with regular weekly segments on NBC and Fox Sports Radio. Follow him on Twitter (@paulmbanks) and RSS Catch him Tuesdays talking Illini and Northwestern for KOZN 1620 The Zone, Fridays talking Chicago Bears for WAOR 95.7 The Fan
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