Top-ranked Ohio State has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to talented players. But which Buckeye, if any, has the best shot at winning the Heisman Trophy? Our writers share their thoughts after watching Ohio State through two weeks of the season.
Brian Bennett: None
I can't recall many teams having a plethora of offensive superstars like this. The closest parallel is probably 2005 USC, when Reggie Bush "won" the Heisman while playing in the same backfield as the previous year's Heisman winner, Matt Leinart. That team also had LenDale White and Dwayne Jarrett. But it didn't have a backup quarterback who was capable of coming in and stealing some highlights like Ohio State does. Cardale Jones has the best shot to win the Heisman for the Buckeyes, because he's the starting quarterback, and this award has become almost exclusive province for quarterbacks. But no Ohio State player will win it, because there's just too many guys to share the ball -- and the limelight.
Dan Murphy: Braxton Miller
The fifth-year senior stands out among Ohio State's crowd of All-America candidates because he's unique. Modern college football has never seen a player quite like Miller, who is a threat to score on any play from any position on the field other than offensive line. Dominating in one field won't be enough to set yourself apart in the Buckeyes lineup. If Ohio State continues to use Miller creatively, he should puzzle defenses all season long and create plenty of signature moments while racking up a stat line we've never seen, combining passing, receiving, returning and rushing touchdowns.
Jesse Temple: Ezekiel Elliott
He's the only one whose statistical output -- yardage and touchdowns -- will likely be good enough to raise eyebrows. Miller might do a bit of everything, and his Week 1 spin move is a signature moment, but that also means he won't rank among the national or Big Ten leaders in any statistical category. Jones doesn't even rank in the top 10 among Big Ten quarterbacks in passing yards. If OSU plays in the Big Ten title game, Elliott is on pace for 1,450 yards and 26 rushing touchdowns. That's good enough for me.
Austin Ward: Miller
There is obviously no shortage of candidates, but no case will be as compelling as the one Miller could build in an Ohio State offense that once again is the perfect platform for his otherworldly athleticism. The Buckeyes haven't been shy about using him in his new role either, utilizing him as a receiving threat, getting him involved as a rusher and lining up him at his old spot as a Wildcat quarterback. Given the variety of ways Miller can hurt a defense, the numbers he's going to put up and his feel-good story after missing a season because of injury and returning at a new position, there will plenty to like for voters.
Josh Moyer: Elliott
Let's be honest, the Heisman Trophy has basically devolved into the quarterback MVP Award, as eight signal-callers have won it in the past nine years. That being said, with the Jones-J.T. Barrett debate seemingly far from settled, the favorite for Ohio State here -- by default -- has to be Elliott. Don't get me wrong; Miller is a great athlete. But this isn't 1972, when WR/RB Johnny Rodgers won the Heisman. Slash-type players just don't stand a chance. Elliott has played well so far, there's no debate about his spot, and he might be the best back in college football. That's not a bad resume.
Mitch Sherman: Miller
Yes, Ohio State has too many candidates. And no, you shouldn’t feel sorry for the Buckeyes. I see a path to the podium in New York for Miller. He won’t have the stats and wouldn't win in a typical year. But this season could be different. Who is the star quarterback of a championship-caliber team set to separate from the pack? Is it Deshaun Watson or Connor Cook or Cody Kessler? I'm not convinced. If no quarterback fits the Heisman profile, voters want something unique. And though it's not supposed to matter, Miller’s career accomplishments will factor.