The Heisman hype train is rolling into Coral Gables for the first time since Brad Kaaya was slinging the pigskin in a Hurricanes uniform. The Kaaya train may have entered South Florida, but that engine never came close to generating enough steam to send him to New York. The 2016 team, Mark Richt’s first and Brad Kaaya’s last, started 4-0 and peaked at 10th in the rankings before Kaaya’s Heisman train was derailed by a mid-season 0-4 stretch. Oh what could have been for Kaaya, Miami’s career leader in passing yards, if he returned to quarterback the 2017 team.
The TVD train is carrying significantly more fuel and looks beautifully refurbished after being out of commission in 2022.
If we don't count his year with Josh Gattis -- and lord knows, no one at Miami wants to remember it -- Tyler Van Dyke's last 8 starts:— ️♈️ (@ADavidHaleJoint) September 11, 2023
26 TD passes
86.0 Total QBR
TVD is coming off a sensational, record performance against Texas A&M. The ACC recognized him as the conference’s Quarterback of the Week.
Congratulations to Miami Hurricane Tyler Van Dyke on being named the ACC Quarterback of the Week! pic.twitter.com/K6AhUIWuHk— GO ‘CANES! (@83_87_89_91_01) September 11, 2023
Early into this season, TVD has the 8th best QBR rating (87.0), and first amongst ACC quarterbacks. He’s also 6th in passer efficiency, which again is best in the conference. Hopefully this relatively soft, upcoming stretch in the schedule against Bethune Cookman, Temple, and Georgia Tech allows Tyler to maintain, if not improve, his statistically scorching start.
Van Dyke is still very much a dark horse, but his Heisman odds are improving. Our friends at Draft Kings peg him at +5000 to win the Heisman. Having the 18th best odds means Vegas still considers him a long shot, but it’s a huge improvement over his preseason +10000 odds.
Many of the Heisman favorites statistically ahead of him, like Caleb Williams (USC) and Sam Hartman (ND), have yet to play a quality team like Texas A&M. Hartman played well against NC State, but I’d wager that the Wolfpack defense isn’t nearly as stiff as the Aggies. Williams has feasted upon lesser competition and won’t see a real defense until USC travels to Notre Dame in about a month (although USC facing Colorado in three weeks should be an entertaining shoot out).
Aside from continuing his lights out play, Miami probably needs to hit or exceed ten regular season wins to land TVD a ceremony invite - although...Lamar Jackson won in 2016 with only nine wins. Winning big games on big stages gets you noticed - Quinn Ewers (Texas), Jordan Travis (FSU), and Shedeur Sanders (Colorado) each jumped into the Top 6 in the Heisman race thanks to their early, signature victories. Throwing five touchdowns against Texas A&M is impressive, but it’s not as impressive as beating Alabama, LSU, or TCU outside your home stadium like those three respectively accomplished.
Van Dyke will have more opportunities to impress. TVD and the Hurricanes will hit the road against fellow Heisman hopefuls Jordan Travis and Drake Maye (UNC), and a victory against either would help immensely in TVD’s Heisman quest. Miami also plays host to a seemingly down, but still talented, Clemson team next month.
It's still early, but how far do you think the TVD Heisman Train will go?
Where Will Tyler Van Dyke Finish in Heisman Voting?
This poll is closed
Wins the Heisman!
Invited to New York (Top 3 to 5)
Receives Votes, but Not Invited to Ceremony
Fizzles Out and No Votes