Joe Burrow worthy of Heisman chatter
When it comes to LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, the superlatives are flowing and flowing freely.
Burrow is a good leader, on and off the field. We deciphered that last season.
Burrow is a good runner and a physical runner, much to the chagrin of Ed Orgeron at times. We saw that last season.
Burrow is an accurate passer with a good arm. That was evident in 2018, particularly in the latter stages of the season.
Expectations for Burrow in 2019 were large, as were expectations for the LSU football team, as a whole.
Thus far, neither has disappointed.
To the contrary, both have perhaps even exceeded those expectations.
LSU has a 55-3 win over a Georgia Southern team that won 10 games, including a bowl game a year ago.
The Tigers have a huge road victory over a very good Texas team.
In the process, the Tigers have scored 100 points while amassing 1,025 yards of offense in just two games.
While Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Justin Jefferson, Ja’Marr Chase and Terrace Marshall have had much to do with the productivity, it all starts with Burrow.
In two games, Burrow has been amazing. Simply put, he has been the best quarterback in the country.
Of course, it is a small sample size but the numbers and the accomplishments cannot be ignored or taken lightly.
Of the top 40 ranked passers in the country in the FBS rankings, Burrow is second in completion percentage at 81.8 percent (54-of-66). Only Jalen Hurts of Oklahoma (82.9 percent) ranks higher.
Burrow is second to Hurts in quarterback rating at 219.1 while Hurts is off the charts at 252.3.
Burrow ranks fourth in the nation in passing yards with 749, trailing on Elijah Sindelar of Purdue, Anthony Gordon of Washington State and Cole McDonald of Hawaii and none of those schools figure prominently in the national championship picture as LSU does.
Burrow is tied for first in the nation in touchdown passes with nine with Sindelar and Gordon.
Hurts is a good player but he was not the best quarterback at Alabama.
That would be Tua Tagovailoa, who is the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy this season after finishing second a year ago.
The other name mentioned most prominently in the Heisman discussion at quarterback entering the season was Trevor Lawrence of Clemson and he does not rank among the top 40 in any statistical category after two games.
Let’s put this in perspective.
It is just two games. We have barely scratched the surface.
Then again, LSU will be favored in every game the rest of the way with the exception of a date at Tuscaloosa.
Could the Heisman Trophy be front and center when the Tigers battle the Crimson Tide on Nov. 9?
It is not a far-fetched concept at all.
No one has been better than Burrow thus far this season, including Hurts.
For good measure, Burrow has rushed 10 times for 35 yards, thus far resisting the urge to take off too frequently and try to run over tacklers.
Suffice it to say that his decision-making has been as good as his play, which has been superb.
To even broach the subject of an LSU quarterback being a Heisman Trophy candidate was a laughable concept as recently as a year ago.
To win the Heisman, you have to win big, win big games and put up big numbers.
LSU will beat Northwestern State Saturday. How long will Burrow play and will he be able to post huge numbers?
Can LSU beat the likes of Florida, Auburn and Texas A&M?
Most importantly, can the Tigers finally catch up with Alabama?
All of the above will hinge largely on how well Burrow performs before an improved offensive line, with improved receivers and with running backs who should be good.
Joe Burrow was a godsend for the LSU football program. He was sorely needed. LSU won 10 games a year ago. They appear poised to exceed that this season, barring significant injuries.
It is safe to mention the “H” word in connection with Burrow. He is most definitely in the conversation now and should be. Here’s hoping that he will be.
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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE Owner and CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Football Foundation, College…