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Here is Stanford, once again, in November a Heisman Trophy contender.

Bryce Love is gaining yards at an unprecedented rate, and yet his fate looks inevitable and familiar:

New York City, the second Saturday of December, smiles, gratitude … and second place.

By all accounts — from the rankings of respected media members to the odds established by betting websites — Love currently trails Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield.

Unless the trajectory changes, Love, fast as he is, won’t catch the Oklahoma quarterback and Stanford will finish second for the sixth time overall and the fifth time in nine years:

John Elway in 1982 (lost to Georgia’s Herschel Walker).
Toby Gerhart in 2009 (Alabama’s Mark Ingram).
Andrew Luck in 2010 (Cam Newton) and 2011 (Baylor’s Robert Griffin III).
Christian McCaffrey in 2015 (Alabama’s Derrick Henry).

Perhaps most frustrating for the Stanford football community is this: A strong case could be made that in ’09, ’11 and ’15, the Cardinal had the better player.

Is Love better than Mayfield? That’s a delicious debate at the moment:

Love leads the nation in rushing at 180.22 yards per game, averages an astounding 8.96 yards per carry and has 10 runs of at least 50 yards.

Mayfield’s 202.1 efficiency rating is No. 1 by a considerable margin, and his play in big games is off the charts: a phenomenal 216.3 rating against ranked opponents.

But at this point, it’s Mayfield’s trophy to lose, not Love’s to win … unless the dynamic changes.

Stanford could continue to promote Love as it has, with a cool website and timely emails and sweeping words from coach David Shaw — all the same components it has used in prior Heisman campaigns.

It could attempt to direct attention to Love’s character, to his academic excellence, to his plans to become a doctor.

Or the Cardinal …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Sports

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