People in Iowa Hawkeye Land see no reason why Iowa running back Shonn Greene wouldn’t get included in the Heisman Trophy conversations at this point in the season
Their logic is reasonable. Greene is already over 1,000 rushing yards. He is averaging 162 yards and 6.5 yards per carry in Big Ten games.
But at this stage, just getting his name into the “also receiving votes” end of it is a tough enough hurdle. Reasons:
1. Iowa is 5-3.
2. Though his numbers are tailing off a bit and his team got walloped by Ohio State Saturday, Michigan State running back Javon Ringer is still mentioned in Heisman talk. It’s just out of politeness now, but Ringer’s name was in a lot of Heisman watches around the country Sunday, and Greene’s wasn’t. It doesn’t help that the Spartans beat Iowa when they met, though Greene was the more prolific back that day.
3. It’s a quarterback year. With a national television audience, Texas’ Colt McCoy was superb against Missouri. McCoy, already a national name, completed 29 of 32 passes as the Longhorns dissected Missouri, 56-31. He is the frontrunner after consecutive sterling efforts in wins against Oklahoma and Missouri. Greene has to go off against Penn State in three weeks to make a remotely similar impact.
On top of that, Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford would probably be No. 2 to McCoy were the voting done today. Bradford has been tremendous week after week, even in OU’s loss to Texas.
4. Iowa hasn’t defeated a Top 25 team. It hasn’t played on national TV. Some Big Ten fans are just starting to get acquainted with Greene, so you know they aren’t in the South, East or West.
5. The Hawkeyes don’t play this week. The momentum Greene has with Heisman voters who are aware of his exploits will stall until things resume at Illinois next week. Iowa has to win that game, by the way, for Greene to be more than a novelty nationally. Then you worry about Penn State.
6. Greene had zero preseason buildup or name-recognition. It’s probably the reason why Iowa’s Brad Banks finished second to USC”s Carson Palmer instead of vice versa for the 2002 Heisman. Never mind that Palmer probably deserved it. Had America known Banks and had Palmer come from nowhere instead of the other way around, Banks would have been Iowa’s second Heisman winner.
So … Greene for the Heisman is a long, long longshot. So what? It doesn’t diminish a single thing he’s done, and it certainly doesn’t dampen any of the warm feelings Hawkeye fans have about his play. And if he continues on his current path and gets that national love in the final month of the season, it’s unexpected gravy.