Bryce Love is having an unbelievable season at Stanford as he leads the nation in rushing, averaging a shade over 180 yards a game. He’s also putting in an absurd 8.96 yards a carry, has friggin’ 11 touchdowns of 50 yards or more, and, he broke Christian McCaffrey’s single-game rushing record with 301 rushing yards against Arizona State earlier this season.
The Big Game is on deck this Saturday followed by a date with Notre Dame on Nov. 25. After that will potentially be the Pac-12 title game and then a bowl game. By then, Love should have eclipsed the 2,000-yard rushing mark — he sits at 1,622.
Love has been the best college football player this season. Folks were hyping up Penn State running back Saquon Barkley, or USC’s Sam Darnold and Georgia tailback Nick Chubb.
The only player in the same stratosphere as Love is Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield. His stats look sexy and his hair-on-fire style of play electrifies football fans across the country. But how much are those stats worth in the notoriously offensive-minded Big 12?
No player other than Love should be hoisting the Heisman Trophy Award.
That’s a fact, but we know how this story is going to end, and Stanford as an operation has something with that.
It’s just not in Stanford’s DNA to really hype their players for individual awards.
You can blame the late kickoff times and say that East Coast voters don’t stay up past midnight. But the truth is that Stanford doesn’t do enough to profile their individual talents. I know they launched a website called BryceLove20.com, but is that enough to get folks’ attention?
I’m not saying that Stanford should design a toy race car dedicated to Love like Memphis did for running back DeAngelo Williams in 2005, nor am I saying they should send double-A batteries to voters like Nebraska did to promote running back Ameer Abdullah. That’s ridiculous, and ineffective, but that doesn’t mean Stanford going with the understated approach is the right answer either.
In 2009, Toby Gerhart carried Stanford to new heights but fell behind Alabama running back Mark Ingram in the Heisman Trophy race. Ingram had an amazing season, but me, you and ya mama can run behind Bama’s offensive line for 1,000 yards. Take Ingram off that team and the Crimson Tide don’t skip a beat.
Andrew Luck should’ve beat Robert Griffin III in 2011. Same as in 2015 when McCaffrey fell short. He was the best player I’ve seen in college football since Reggie Bush. Whether it was returning punts or breaking linebacker’s ankles on angle routes, McCaffrey should’ve been striking a Heisman pose.
He didn’t. Derrick Henry from Alabama stole it. Again, Bama is absolutely loaded. Take McCaffrey off of Stanford and they’re not in Pasadena smelling the roses. Instead, they’re playing down the street at Levi’s Stadium in front of 30,000 folks at the Foster Farms Bowl.
I know how prestigious Stanford is, and academics do come first, which I respect. But it drives me crazy that Love doesn’t get the recognition nationally like these other programs.
Whether Stanford cares or not, they’re a perennial top 25 team now that has littered the NFL with talent over the last 10 years. They should do a little more for Love and let the nation know how good he’s been.
Sometimes actions go unnoticed and you need to chirp a bit because Love has been the best player in the nation.
Unfortunately, it looks like he’s going to come up short like John Elway, Gerhart, Luck and McCaffrey, leaving Stanford without a Heisman Trophy winner since Jim Plunkett in 1971.
That is a damn shame, and the people at Stanford only has themselves to blame.
Bonta Hill of 95.7 The Game can be heard from 12-3 on the Greg Papa Show. Born and bred in San Francisco, he is a sports junkie who loves to sit in the lab (home), eats breakfast food for dinner, and has a newfound love for tequila. Follow at your own risk on Twitter @BontaHill.