Why Colorado’s Travis Hunter Won’t Win the Heisman Trophy
Ron Jenkins/Getty Images. Pictured: Colorado’s Travis Hunter.
At halftime of Saturday’s wildest roller coaster of a game between Colorado and TCU, Deion Sanders officially anointed his star wide receiver/cornerback Travis Hunter as a legit Heisman Trophy candidate.
“He is him,” Sanders said. “We missed him on two deep balls. He gets those two deep balls, the Heisman is at his crib chillin’ right now. God bless.”
If only they awarded the Heisman in September, Hunter’s hardware would be chillin’ right now. Then again, so would the trophies for other September Heisman hopefuls, such as Michigan’s Denard Robinson, West Virginia’s Geno Smith, Texas A&M’s Kenny Hill and LSU’s Leonard Fournette.
The list of anointed September Heisman winners who never received an invitation to December’s Heisman Trophy ceremony is almost as long as the number of receipts Sanders says he’s keeping on all those non-believers.
Before kickoff of Colorado’s 45-42 upset of No. 17 TCU, Hunter was a 300-1 longshot to win the Heisman. In the second half, Hunter’s odds had dropped to 80-1. A few hours after Saturday’s game went final, Hunter’s odds had plummeted to as low as 40-1 at DraftKings.
On Saturday afternoon, Hunter had received 17% of all Heisman bets and 16% of the money bet was on Hunter at FanDuel, Action Network's Darren Rovell reported.
Hunter, a dual-threat at two positions like his coach was back in the day, was on the field for a remarkable 129 plays — and his game was even hotter than the 100-degree on-field temperatures in Fort Worth.
The Jackson State transfer finished with 11 receptions for 119 yards and defensively had a red-zone interception, one pass breakup and three tackles.
“(We're) gonna put a hot tub on the plane for him,” Sanders said.
While Hunter’s performance undoubtedly cemented him as one of the nation’s top players, there are several factors that will keep him from winning the Heisman.
Yes, I said it: Hunter will not win the Heisman. Go ahead — I’ll give you a minute to document and forward to @OldTakesExposed.
Ultimately, Hunter won’t win the Heisman because the Buffaloes won’t finish with enough victories (reaching six wins and a bowl game isn’t a guarantee), they won’t reach the Pac-12 conference title game and they won’t be in the mix for the College Football Playoff.
Fair or not, the Heisman has become a team award as much as an individual award, and it’s virtually impossible to be named the nation’s top player in New York City if you’re not on one of the nation’s top teams.
Ironically, if Colorado somehow gets to 10 wins and is in the mix for a playoff berth, Hunter’s Heisman chances could be hurt because of a teammate: quarterback Shedeur Sanders, who threw for a school-record 510 yards and four touchdowns Saturday. The Heisman voters have shown a preference for quarterbacks.
Deion Sanders, not shy to hype up his team or players, said after the TCU win: “We got a couple guys that should be front-runners for the Heisman right now.”
Unfortunately for Coach Prime, Heisman front-runners in the first week of September rarely have the staying power to make it as a Heisman contender in December.
But go ahead and doubt Hunter, Shedeur Sanders and the Buffaloes for the rest of the season. Prime Time will keep all the receipts.