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Northern Illinois Pushing QB Lynch for Heisman

Northern Illinois is attempting to convince the college football world and especially those who vote for the Heisman Trophy that a player from the Mid-American Conference has a chance to win the trophy.

The odds are against that happening, but that did not stop the school from today officially launching a campaign for Jordan Lynch, the team’s quarterback.

Since the MAC’s inception, the highest conference player in the Heisman balloting was Randy Moss, who finished fourth in 1997 while playing at Marshall.

Last season, Lynch was close to matching the former NFL All-Pro Moss when he finished sixth behind winner Johnny Manziel and a host of others.

Nevertheless, he finished ahead of players like Tavon Austin, Jarvis Jones and Kenjon Barner, so he did well for a MAC player many said.

However, the big question remains, can Lynch improve on his spectacular season last year and be a serious candidate for the trophy?

That looks on the surface to be tough as there are many talented players who are at big-name schools like Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater, Tajh Boyd, Jadeveon Clowney, A.J. McCarron, De’Anthony Thomas and Marcus Mariota.

Lynch does have some things in his favor. He is well known for his passing exploits at Northern Illinois. He received a huge amount of exposure by playing in the Orange Bowl, and that was following the vote for the Heisman where he finished sixth.

People who voted for the NI quarterback did so because of his staggering numbers at QB and the 12-1 record of the team including the MAC title.

Last season Lynch threw for 3,138 yards, with a completion rate of 60.2%. He had 25 touchdown passes and just 6 interceptions. He also ran for 1,815 yards and scored 19 rushing touchdowns.

Those stats seem to be nearly impossible to match, but are repeatable. Rod Carey has been promoted from offensive coordinator to head coach, which means the same system will be played this season, where Lynch excelled last season.

The offensive line will also remain the same as all five starters from last season return, along with a couple of Lynch’s backs and receivers, even though he did lose talent at those skill positions.

Lynch also will be helped by a favorable schedule. To start the season in September, Northern Illinois will travel to Iowa then Purdue. While the two are not imposing when it comes to BCS opponents, the games will be on the Big Ten Network for viewers to see Lynch’s talent.

If they were to win both games to start the season they might even jump into an early season top 25 spot. October will be a month where most college football fans will hear little of Lynch, as he will be raking up the big numbers against MAC conference opponents.

When November comes along, Lynch will have an advantage as the Huskies play two Wednesday night games and one Thursday night to end the regular season, which means they will be on television. They will also have another potential primetime clash for the MAC Championship, depending upon how they play.

Lynch will be helped by the fact the standards for players like Manziel and Louisville’s Bridegwater will be so high that a misstep here or there could open the door for Lynch.

Odds makers like Bovada are not even offering odds on the Northern Illinois QB, but wait until December arrives and see where he stands.

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