If he had to decide today, Archie Griffin has no idea who would receive his Heisman Trophy vote. In fact, even if you told the former Ohio State tailback that he had to vote for a Buckeye, he wouldn’t be able to give you a definitive answer.
“I’m trying to decide which one I want to choose,” Griffin said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “You certainly have Cardale (Jones), but I’ll tell you: Braxton (Miller) is making a difference. Moving to that H-back position, he’s making a difference. And certainly Ezekiel Elliott, a guy who really came one extremely strong towards the end of last year and made an impact in this first game against Virginia Tech. So you got to decide which one of those that you would even vote for. I’m looking forward to seeing how this season develops with the Buckeyes because there’s a ton of talent on that team. You know as well as I do every year there’s going to be somebody who we don’t expect that’s going to jump up and get in that race. It always happens.”
Take, for example, UCLA freshman quarterback Josh Rosen, who last weekend completed 80 percent of his passes for 351 yards and three touchdowns.
“My goodness, what a game he had,” Griffin said. “That was absolutely incredible. But before the start of the season, we weren’t thinking about him.”
Regardless of who wins the Heisman, Brandon Tierney feels that there is a tremendous gap in talent between Ohio State and the rest of the Big Ten, including No. 5 Michigan State (1-0), which hosts No. 7 Oregon (1-0) this Saturday. Tierney feels that the Buckeyes will win every game this season – as long as they put forth a decent effort.
“That’s the key,” Griffin said. “You all know that if you lose focus, crazy things can happen. I think that’s the job that Urban has to do is keep these guys focused in order for them to achieve their potential. That’s the tough part of it, but that’s what coaches are hired for – to do that. Because there’s no doubt that there’s a ton of talent on this football team. But if this talent loses focus, then they can lose games. Coaches have to make sure that that doesn’t happen.”
Especially in rivalry games. Especially against Michigan, which, despite its 0-1 start, will certainly improve before hosting the Buckeyes the last week of the season. Yes, Michigan may have looked outmatched against Utah in its season-opener, but Jim Harbaugh will whip his Wolverines into shape by Nov. 28.
“I was so glad – so glad – that Michigan pursued Jim Harbaugh,” Griffin said. “I felt that he was the guy that they needed to get and I was glad to see that they got him. He’s certainly going to make a difference. There’s no question that he’s an outstanding coach, he’s a great coach. There’s no question in my mind that he’ll have Michigan back to where we’re used to seeing Michigan. It may take some time, but I guarantee you when they play us this year, they’ll be ready. Because I know he knows how that rivalry works. I know when we go there, they’ll be ready to play us.”