(Book Won’t be suspended, for anyone that hasn’t heard the rumors.)
Ian Book has been sensational for most of his last three performances. Book has taken the Irish to a new level and is a major reason the entire country is talking about Notre Dame making it into the playoff at seasons end.
This seems like a stretch since he missed three games while Wimbush was running the offense but he isn’t far off. While he needs to make up some ground, things look favorable for him over the next few weeks.
First I had to compare Book to a few Heisman Hopefuls this season. I took the stats of Will Grier of West Virginia and Tua Tagovailoa of Alabama, two of the current favorites to win the Heisman. Book is currently sitting at 887 passing yards and 11 total touchdowns. The other two have 1821 yard with 21 touchdowns and 1495 yards with 20 touchdowns respectively.
At first glance they seem to be miles ahead and they are, right now. Alabama never plays any real talent until mid October every year and West Virginia has a brutal schedule the next few weeks. This is what gives Book the Edge.
Grier had four turnovers last week, against Kansas. WVU still has to play Texas, TCU and Oklahoma in the coming weeks. Alabama has three ranked teams on their schedule. When you think Iron Bowl or their history with LSU, typically explosive offense doesn’t come to mind. Book doesn’t have to face another ranked team for the foreseeable future. The toughest game on the schedule still seems to be USC in California. A struggling USC I might add.
I’m not saying this isn’t an uphill battle, it is, but it is also doable. In his three games, two of which were against ranked opponents, Book averaged 291 yards passing and four touchdowns a game. Now he gets the likes of Pittsburgh, Navy and Northwestern. Throw in a struggling Florida State team and a Syracuse team that just let up 44 to Pitt. His odds improve. No team or game should be overlooked but I think it is fair to say that Stanford and Virginia Tech are better defensively then Pitt or Navy.
Another point to hit on is what the Heisman means. He fits the mold if he continues to put up big numbers. He was an instant impact for this Irish team and is a direct result of their success to this point. I would say he has shown his performance “best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity.” (Thankfully those rumors were fake) Whats missing is the stats and now he gets some middle of the pack to lower end teams to boost his numbers. He has an opportunity to put up eye popping numbers while the rest of the country has to grind through the tough part of their schedule.
While everyone else was playing FCS schools, Book was beating top ten teams and winning against ranked teams away from home. It is time for Book to beat up on lesser talent and show the country how great he can be. The next two weeks he gets to face Pittsburgh and Navy. Both teams have been less then stellar this year to say the least. If he wants to get into the middle of this race, these two weeks are going to need to see big numbers. Ian Book is on his way to taking the College Football world by storm, now it’s time to execute.
Let us know what you think of his chances at the Heisman below. Follow us on Twitter for all things Irish @casualfball and subscribe for emails at the bottom to not miss any Irish content or news.
Started Saturday Tailgate in 2018. Covering all things college football and talking Notre Dame on Twitter.