Should Kenny Pickett be considered the Heisman frontrunner going into Week 9?
Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett has emerged as one of the nation’s top passers this season.
Pickett is in his fifth year of eligibility and is having a career year across the board. He’s currently fourth amongst all Power 5 quarterbacks in passer efficiency rating, with a mark of 176.1.
He’s thrown for 2,236 yards this season and has a remarkable 23-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
Pickett’s performance has propelled the Panthers to a 6-1 record so far this season and a commanding lead in the ACC Coastal division. Pittsburgh should have a chance to win 10 games in a season for the first time since 2009. Before that, the Panthers didn’t have a double-digit win season since 1981 when they were independent.
Contrast that with Pickett’s fellow Heisman contenders — Alabama’s Bryce Young, Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud and Ole Miss’ Matt Corral. Young and Stroud are both surrounded with perhaps the most talented rosters in the country, and their passing numbers are similar to Pickett’s after eight Weeks.
Pickett leads that group in yards per attempt and only trails Young in total passing yards and touchdowns.
There’s also opportunity for Pitt to make a bigger statement on a national stage in the coming weeks. The Panthers still have five ACC games remaining, including a showdown with Virginia on Nov. 20 that could have ACC title game implications.
If Pittsburgh is able to take care of business down the stretch — and perhaps win the ACC — while Pickett continues at his current pace, he could find himself at the top of the Heisman Trophy leaderboard this December.
The 2021 Heisman Trophy will be awarded at a ceremony in New York City on Dec. 11.