The Heisman is a media-voted award, and there is nothing the media loves more than a good story. Cam Newton joined Auburn after a troubled past with Florida, and led his new team to a National Championship. Mariota was the sweet Hawaiian kid that turned Oregon into a perennial favorite to win it all in his time with the school.
Rosen helped his case early on, orchestrating a 27-point fourth quarter comeback in week one against Texas A&M. He had 292 yards and four touchdown passes in the final frame, highlighted by a fake spike that turned into a Jordan Lasley touchdown.
The excitement of that moment seems distant now, with the aforementioned losses bringing Bruins fans back to earth. Two losses don’t necessarily exclude UCLA from the College Football Playoffs, but the amount of undefeated and one-loss teams ahead of them makes it unlikely.
This is where the signature wins come into play. Rosen leading his team to victories over the likes of SC, Washington, and Utah en route to the most unlikely playoff berth in this tournament’s young history, would make him a virtual lock for the Heisman. This sequence of events would be more at home in Friday Night Lights than in reality. So, the odds of Rosen pulling off this fantastical football finish are slim.
If Rosen can’t overcome all of the obstacles ahead of him to become UCLA’s second Heisman winner since quarterback Gary Began in 1967, it is not a knock on his talent level. Winning the Heisman is a difficult feat to accomplish when factors that the candidate only has so much control over like marketability and overall team record, are taken into account. For the time being, let’s just enjoy Rosen for being the fearless, gunslinging quarterback he is, and worry about the Heisman when the season comes closer to its conclusion.