Christian McCaffrey Is Leonard Fournette’s True Heisman Competition

    Christian McCaffrey is Leonard Fournette's true Heisman competition, but unfortunately doesn't receive the spotlight because most of America is sleeping when Stanford plays.

    October 27, 2015

    Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey followed up his 369 all-purpose yard performance against UCLA with another 300 all-purpose yards against Washington this past weekend. It was McCaffrey’s third game with 300 all-purpose yards or more and fifth consecutive game rushing for over 100 yards.

    McCaffrey’s recent offensive outbursts have not only catapulted him into the lead nationally in all-purpose yards per game, but they’ve also established him as a legitimate Heisman candidate.

    There’s another trend that has accompanied McCaffrey’s games this year: late start times.

    With the majority of the population — and the bulk of the national press — residing in the Central and Eastern time zones, McCaffrey isn’t getting his due respect with the national media and Heisman voters.

    Stanford is slated to play on the road against surging Washington State this weekend, in what’s being billed as a momentous Pac-12 showdown. The game will be Stanford’s third consecutive on national television. One would think that everything is set up perfectly for McCaffrey to make his case to the country. There is just one problem: Stanford’s game will kick off at 10:30 pm ET for the fourth consecutive week.

    Regardless of how well McCaffrey plays, most of the country will be fast asleep. To be fair, one Washington Post reporter did advise that Stanford’s upcoming game “might be worth the perils of evening coffee.”

    This isn’t the first time a Stanford running back has suffered the same fate. Former Heisman Trophy runner-up Toby Gerhart was arguably the nation’s best player in his senior year at Stanford, when he led the nation in rushing yards and touchdowns. Gerhart ended up losing the Heisman to a Southeastern Conference running back in Mark Ingraham.

    McCaffrey is facing a similar prospect with LSU running back Leonard Fournette seemingly running away with the Heisman in the eyes of the national media.

    While former Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota took home the trophy last year, history hasn’t been so kind to players in the Pacific time zone. Only 11 players out west have ever taken home the Heisman Trophy in the award’s history.

    Fournette is the front-runner for good reason, leading the nation in rushing yards, but what McCaffrey has accomplished is nothing short of incredible. The point isn’t that he deserves the Heisman, just that he deserves the respect he’s not receiving after a series of historic performances.

    MORE: Christian McCaffrey’s PFF Grade Makes Case For Heisman Candidacy

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