Alabama Football: Media not interested in Bryce Young Heisman repeat

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

It has been a bizarre college football season when the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, who is arguably playing even better in his encore season, is an afterthought to win the award. That is the conundrum Alabama quarterback Bryce Young finds himself in. Alabama football has had its struggles this season, but they have not been due to Young’s play. In fact, he has been remarkably effective in spite of his supporting cast not always helping him out.

Bryce Young hasn’t had to throw quite as much this year due to the emergence of Jahmyr Gibbs and the Alabama running game. Last season, Young had over 40 passing attempts in six different contests. He has only had one such game in 2022. Additionally, Bryce Young missed nearly two full games with a shoulder injury.

For these reasons, his numbers aren’t quite as gaudy. It would’ve been difficult to match his output from the 2021 campaign. Young threw for just under 5,000 yards last season and rang up 50 total touchdowns, with 47 coming through the air. It would’ve likely been a sign of imbalance in the Alabama offense if he was able to reproduce those numbers.

Still, from an efficiency standpoint, he has been nearly just as good. Young’s completion percentage, yards per attempt, and overall QBR are all down, but only slightly. He is essentially mirroring his efficiency from last season despite lacking the game-changing group of receivers that he had at his disposal.

Bryce Young has also debatably been a more well-rounded player this season. Though his shoulder will probably prevent him from running as much going forward, he had taken a big step in that department prior to his injury. Young showed more of a willingness to run, and proved to be extremely effective due to his elusiveness.

Because he seldom ran last year, he likely caught defenses off guard early in the season. Now that he has shown that ability, the threat of him running serves to open up the Alabama offense a little more (even if the Alabama faithful would prefer he didn’t actually take off anymore).

Alabama Football: No love for the incumbent

Despite playing as well as one could ask him to, Bryce Young hasn’t received much Heisman fanfare at all this season. This isn’t incredibly surprising. It’s early November, and Young has already missed time with injury. To further quell his chances, Alabama football has already lost a game in which he was active (through no fault of his own).

The most important factor is that the Heisman is a numbers award, and several players have put up better numbers than Bryce Young, regardless of unfair circumstances. Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker and Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud have deservedly received most of the hype to this point. Even USC quarterback Caleb Williams and North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye have gotten more buzz than Young.

It was always going to be improbable for Bryce Young to win the 2022 award. The odds have been stacked against him since the offseason, when the college football world tends to get bored of already-crowned kings and favors discussion of potential new blood.

It doesn’t seem as though the media or the college football public have much interest in discussing the possibility of a repeat winner. With back-to-back road games against ranked SEC opponents on tap, as well as an Iron Bowl and potentially an SEC championship game down the line, Bryce Young will have ample opportunities to reassert himself.

Keys for Alabama offense vs LSU. dark. Next

If the unlikely dark horse can come from behind, he would become the first repeat winner in 47 years. He would also give Alabama football an unprecedented third straight Heisman Trophy.