Patrick Peterson and the Heisman 

October, 1, 2010

We had a wide array of questions that came in this morning via Twitter. Here's this week's mailbag:

From @corbettreeves: How many offensive yards would Patrick Peterson need to become a viable Heisman candidate ... not an honorable mention?

Peterson would need to return a couple more kicks for touchdowns, probably have four or five more INTs, have LSU knock off Florida and/or Alabama and win the SEC West to be a contender to win the Heisman.

As I wrote in the opening week of the season, he's dynamic enough to be that defensive player that gets the annual Heisman buzz because people can see what kind of talent he is. In the truest sense of the Heisman being about the most outstanding college football player, that may well be Peterson. We've talked plenty about what a physical freak he is. He plays for a team that seems so underwhelming on offense, and if he can spark it to be a top 10 team in spite of that, the buzz around him will grow significantly.

Last year, Ndamukong Suh made a serious run at winning the Heisman, but lost out to the top offensive player on the best team, Alabama's Mark Ingram. I think Peterson would need help from other top candidates to fall off, which is entirely possible. But for the Tigers to beat the SEC big boys this year and possibly the SEC West seems like a big stretch at this point. Incidentally, LSU quietly launched a Patrick Peterson for Heisman campaign on Monday at LSU coach Les Miles' weekly press luncheon, Glenn Guilbeau reported.