CFB Huddle chronicled the Heisman Trophy race last season with the Heisman Top 10, a weekly forecast of voter leanings. This season, I’m taking it a step further with a look at the conferences, starting with the ACC Heisman contenders for 2016.
Projecting the field in the preseason relies considerably on the previous year’s production — or, in some cases, production before that. The last ACC Heisman winner had zero collegiate appearances before emerging as the award’s front-runner all of one game into the 2013 season.
Pinpointing a dark-horse contender at this juncture’s tough. Perhaps one of the four quarterbacks vying for the starting job under proven FSU quarterback guru Jimbo Fisher? What about Qadree Ollison, Pitt’s surprise freshman phenom now sharing a backfield with James Conner? And hey, new Syracuse head coach Dino Babers had a Walter Payton Award winner in Jimmy Garoppolo and a player who generated some mild Heisman buzz last season in Matt Johnson.
The following 10 ACC Heisman contenders aren’t the only candidates the conference might produce in 2016, but they are the initial front-runners.