Kirk Herbstreit Explains Why This Year's Heisman Race Is 'Tough' (Exclusive)

With the college football regular season ending in a month, this is the time were some top players make their case to win the Heisman Trophy. However, the 2021 season has been unique because there is not a player or two who has stood out and become a favorite to claim college football's most prestigious award. recently caught up with ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit, who admits to having difficulty choosing his list of Heisman candidates. 

"It's a tough year," Herbstreit told PopCulture. "You typically look at the highest-ranked teams, top five teams in the country. And I'm not saying it's how I vote; it's just I think how voters have tended to vote. They normally look at those quarterbacks of the teams that are ranked up near the top. Well, if you look at Georgia, I don't think right now they have a quarterback. "I don't think Iowa has that quarterback. Cincinnati has a good story in Desmond Ridder, but I don't know if he's on everyone's Heisman radar. Oklahoma the same thing; they're at four. Alabama with Bryce Young, same thing. Ohio State, I'm going down the list, you tell me when I said a team with a quarterback."

Last year, Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith won the Heisman, making him the first receiver to win the trophy since Desmond Howard in 1991. Since 2000, 17 quarterbacks have won the Heisman, including current NFL stars Joe Burrow, Kyler Murray, Baker Mayfield and Lamar Jackson. 

"Nobody in the top 10 has a quarterback that makes you go, 'That's the guy,'" Herbstreit continued. "And so I guess my point is, it was Matt Corrall in preseason of Ole Miss, and now you don't really hear much about him. It was Spencer Rattler at Oklahoma; you don't really hear much about him. It was North Carolina, Sam Howell; he's out of it right now."

Herbstreit did mention one player who is having a solid season but might not be the best choice to win the Heisman." With my own eyes, the best player I've seen is Bijan Robinson, the running back from Texas," he said. "I don't think ... You know how it is, I mean, you got to be a team. When was the last time a guy won a Heisman his team was ranked 17th in the country or 18th in the country? Right now, Texas is 25th and the country. But that kid is elite and special. Ohio State has some really good wide receivers."

With only a few weeks left, a few players will make a huge impact and be invited to New York in December. "Somebody's going to steal our hearts in the second half of the season with a Heisman moment and they're going to win the Heisman Trophy," Herbstreit stated. "But right now, it's like the table was set, the guests have yet to arrive and eventually, we're going to have a party. And right now that has not been decided. It's more wide open than it's ever been in the years that I've covered it."