Heisman Trophy: Why J.T. Barrett Isn’t In New York


For The Ohio State Buckeyes the season has met their goal: they are in the first every College Football Playoff. Before the season Braxton Miller was considered a top level Heisman Trophy candidate. Near the end of the season J.T. Barrett was considered a high level Heisman Trophy candidate.

Yet tonight, in New York City, no Buckeye will sit front row. None will have a chance to hold the famous trophy.

Barrett was snubbed. But before we look at the reasons that Barrett was snubbed let us first make sure we all agree that he deserves to be in Heisman Trophy consideration. So let us compare numbers between Barrett and the other quarterback who will front row tonight, and the favorite to win the Heisman, Marcus Mariota:







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Top 2023 Heisman Trophy contender from each college football conference
Top 2023 Heisman Trophy contender from each college football conference /

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  • Wanted to give you the numbers without names attached to start with. Obviously the player at the top has better statistics, especially in regards to passing. He has far more yards and far less interceptions. Interestingly he has done so on 58 more pass attempts. That minimizes the yardage difference a bit but makes the INT difference even more impressive.

    The second player catches up a bit with over 250 more yards rushing and stays close in both touchdown categories. The second player has 54 more rushing attempts which again minimizes the yardage difference, and makes the first players 14 rushing TDs all the more impressive.

    Overall the first player, Marcus Mariota, outgained the second, J.T. Barrett, by over 600 yards and had 7 more touchdowns. Mariota did so with about 5 more quarters of play than Barrett, due to Barrett’s injury in the Michigan game.

    Based on the numbers and factoring in both Oregon and OSU both finished with only 1 loss, and both in the College Football Playoff, it is shocking that the redshirt freshman Barrett is not sitting with Mariota tonight. The numbers, his team success, his impact and his unknown status coming into the season all call for him to be there.

    So why isn’t he? Is it as simple as his injury and missing the Big Ten Title Game?

    Yes and no.

    Barrett missed a great chance to add to his numbers and to put an exclamation point on his season. If he had put up the same numbers as Cardale Jones Barrett’s combined numbers would be much closer to Mariota:


    Not only that but the lasting memory of Barrett’s amazing season would have been a 59 – 0 destruction of what was considered a top notch Wisconsin defense. For the Buckeyes’ Barrett it was not to be. Most likely voters quickly forgot about Barrett the minute he was ruled out of the Big Ten Title Game.

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    But for those who still thought about giving Barrett some Heisman Trophy love, the Big Ten Title Game likely sealed his fate. With Jones at the helm the Buckeyes offense didn’t lose a beat. They stormed out of the gate and never looked back. Instead of struggling without Heisman Trophy candidate Barrett running the show, Jones looked like he could have been a candidate himself.

    That quickly put an end to any hope that Barrett had of making the trip, if his health would have allowed. If a player with zero starts can come in and make the offense look good, it isn’t about the quarterback it is about the system, or so the thinking goes. Jones dominate performance made it easy to see Barrett’s season as a result of a system, not a great player.

    So Barrett sits at home. He likely takes solace in knowing that he helped lead his team to the Playoff and should have another year or two to do it again. Yet he, and all of Buckeye Nation, have to wonder what could have been had he not been tackled in that way, in that game. What if he had led the Buckeyes to the huge title game victory? What if he were preparing to lead his team into the Playoff, instead of helping his backup to prepare?

    What if J.T. Barrett was in the discussion to unseat Marcus Mariota as the front runner for the Heisman Trophy?

    It is not to be but it is clear that Barrett deserves to sit front row tonight.

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