Since Johnny Manziel won the Heisman Trophy with the fifth-ranked Texas A&M Aggies at the end of the 2012 season, every Heisman winner has been on a ranked team. Lamar Jackson in 2016 won the award with 21st ranked Louisville. That was the lowest ranked team with a Heisman winner since then.
If we are debating whether Minshew has a legitimate shot, we first have to look at the schedule and forecast what the Cougars final record might be. Currently, the Cougars are 5-1 with the only loss being a 39-36 heartbreaker at Southern Cal. The remaining schedule is tough. The Cougars opponents have a combined record of 24-9.
The Cougars still have to travel to Stanford and Colorado and have the Apple Cup battle with Washington at the end of the year. After a bye this week, Oregon comes to town. If Washington State finishes somewhere around 8-4, then it will be very difficult for Minshew to win the Heisman on an unranked.
Minshew’s stats put him right in the mix if the team finishes strong. He has 19 touchdowns and just four interceptions while completing 69 percent of his passes. He’s picked up the Air Raid system very quickly and has the skill players around him to succeed. If he can lead his team to victory over some of the ranked opponents left on the schedule, then he would have a great chance.
But, in the end, WSU will have to win those games for Minshew to be considered. Some will say that it shouldn’t matter how high a team is ranked, but let’s be honest. A quarterback is judged on wins and losses just as much if not more than statistics. Minshew should finish out a terrific season in his graduate year at Washington State. However, I feel he won’t finish it in New York.