My Heisman Trophy pick isn't going to New York: It's Jordan Lynch of Northern Illinois

Published: December 5 2012 | 11:00 am - Updated: 1 April 2014 | 2:58 am in

This post will be met with scorn and derision. Either is bad enough, but when they come at you together ... ouchie!

Not that I care. I knew when I electronically filled out my Heisman Trophy ballot on Monday that my vote wasn't going to alter the final Heisman Trophy standings. If I thought it would, the last thing I'd do would be to reveal my vote.

But putting Jordan Lynch of Northern Illinois atop my ballot (Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M is second and Collin Klein of Kansas State is third) isn't a joke.

By the way, Manziel fully deserves the Heisman he is about to receive Saturday night, and I wouldn't complain in the slightest if Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o finished first instead of his likely second-place showing. I voted Klein ahead of Te'o because I've been so impressed with Klein every time I've seen him play on TV the last two seasons. All of them would be worthy winners.

But I voted for Lynch because he put the NIU offense on his shoulders, and the Huskies are going to the Orange Bowl. Are you telling me that isn't a remarkable thing, something no one could have seen coming before the season started, something no one would have even said in jest because it was too ridiculous.

Here's the weird part: The day I saw Lynch play in person, he was unremarkable. He completed 6 of 16 passes for 54 yards and rushed 17 times for 119 yards and a touchdown in the Huskies' 17-16 loss to Iowa. It was his first college start. He had thrown 26 passes before this season began.

I do not remember saying "I think that kid will lead Northern Illinois to the Orange Bowl" on the drive back to Iowa from Chicago.

But here's what he has done this season:

Rushing: 4th in the nation with an average of 136.2 yards per game, and 19 touchdowns. He averages more rushing yards a game than eight teams that are going to bowl games!

Passing: 25th in the nation in passing effiiency. He threw for 2,962 yards, with 24 touchdown passes and a measly five interceptions.

Total offense: 3rd in the nation behind Nick Florence of Baylor, and Manziel.

Just for good measure, Lynch had a 63-yard punt this season out of the shotgun formation.

I know, I know. He plays in the Mid-American Conference, not the SEC or Big 12 or Notre Dame. But he'll be quarterbacking a team in the Orange Bowl. And Florida State's defense better show up ready to play that night if it knows what's good for it.

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