Yes, I believe Gardner Minshew is a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate. For one thing, he is leading the nation in passing throwing 313 times completing 215 for 2422 yards. He has only four interceptions which are a good number for the amount number and has 19 touchdowns.
He is playing for a team expected to end the season in bottom half of the northern division of the PAC-12 Conference. The Cougars have a record right now of 5-1 overall, and 2-1 in conference play, which puts them in a tie with Stanford for second place behind the Washington Huskies.
Minshew wasn’t on the radar before this season because Coach Mike Leach didn’t announce who would be starting at quarterback. It wasn’t until they took the field against Wyoming in their opening game that anyone knew for sure.
Minshew was a graduate student transferring to Washington State after starting two years at East Carolina. There was thought he may go to Alabama before changing his mind and went to Washington State.
On Tuesday, October 9 on KIRO 710 he said on the Danny, Dave and Moore Show he decided on WSU primarily because of Coach Mike Leach. He felt that he would have a better chance starting at WSU, plus when his playing career is over he wants to go into coaching himself so following the lead of Leach sounded like a good idea to him.
Playing at East Carolina for two seasons then initially planning to transfer to Alabama I am sure Minshew‘s name is more familiar to those in the south and east than to fans in the west. Whether we believe in East Coast bias, or not he will get a shot at receiving votes for the Heisman especially if the Cougars continue to win.
Washington State has a bye this week then take on the Oregon Ducks in Pullman, October 20. This game we will see even more so how serious he will be considered for the Heisman. The Cougars have five remaining games after this one including the Apple Cup in Pullman on November 23.
If the Cougars win 10 games then he should be in the top three for the Heisman.