He has more than 1,000 yards … again.
He is averaging more than six yards a carry … again.
He has more than 10 touchdowns … again.
So why does Dalvin Cook seem to be an afterthought in the Heisman conversation?
Oh, Cook, the talented running back of the FSU Seminoles, gets mentioned … eventually. But long after Louisville’s Lamar Jackson and Clemson’s Deshaun Watson. And perhaps that’s as it should be. Jackson and Watson are very good players for very good teams, which is the way the voting seems to go anymore.
But in ESPN’s Heisman Watch this week, Cook ranked only sixth. He had half the votes of Donnell Pumphrey, the San Deigo State running back who leads the nation in rushing. He had one more vote than defensive end Jonathan Allen of Alabama. Cook had zero first-place votes, zero second-place votes.
All of which may make Cook the most impressive Heisman afterthought since Peyton Manning.
Currently, Cook is fifth in the nation in rushing. But that includes the stats of a running back from Wyoming, one from Middle Tennessee, and Pumphrey from San Diego State. Of the so-called power schools, the only back with more yards than Cook is Texas’ De’Onta Foreman, who has 17 more yards.
So what is it? Is it playing on a team with a bad defense? Is it familiarity? Was it the slow start?
Think about this. Cook already has 2,710 yards rushing and 30 touchdowns the last two years. With four games left, he should end up with around 3,200 yards and 35 touchdowns his last two seasons.
Yes, some backs have done better. But not that much. Archie Griffin of Ohio State won two Heismans in 1974 and 1975. In those two seasons, he rushed for 3,145 yards and 16 scores. In 1967 and 1968, O.J. Simpson finished second and first. He had 3,423 yards and 36 scores. Herschel Walker was second in 1981 and first in 1983. He rushed for 3,643 yards and 34 scores.
And those are the all-time greatest. The best performance probably was Texas’ Ricky Williams of Texas, who came in fifth in ’97 and first in ’98. He rushed for 4,072 yards and 52 scores his last two years. Kind of light?
Of course, the legends don’t always compare. Glenn Davis and Doc Blanchard each finished in the top five for three straight years from 1944-46, Davis won it in ’46 and was second in the other two years. Blanchard won it in ’44 and was third and fourth his other two years.
Davis had a grand total of 2,309 yards. Blanchard had a total of 1,670. For three years.
And so Cook keeps churning. He might not catch the Heisman Trophy.