Heisman chances slim for Ka'Deem Carey
Ryan Revock/ The Daily Wildcat
Last week, the Arizona Athletics department reignited the #TeamKaDeem campaign, after the hashtag had been left mostly unused for months.
After All-American running back Ka’Deem Carey carried the ball a school-record 39 times and ran for 236 yards against Utah, Arizona Athletics brought back the Twitter hype and dedicated a page on its website to his accomplishments. The sports-communications staff is reaching out to media across the nation and injecting Carey into the conversation, apparently in hopes of boosting Carey’s chances of winning a postseason award.
In fact, there has been talk of Carey being in the running for the Heisman Trophy. Not much talk, but talk nonetheless. He was seventh on the ESPN Heisman Watch Experts’ Poll.
The harsh reality, though, is that Carey’s just not going to win a Heisman. The odds aren’t ever in his favor.
Since 2000, only one running back has won the Heisman. That was Mark Ingram from the Alabama Crimson Tide in 2009. The rest of the winners? Quarterbacks.
Not to mention that the last time a Heisman winner came from the West Coast was in 2004, with Matt Leinart from USC. Technically, Reggie Bush won one in 2005. He vacated it, though, after the NCAA sanctioned USC for Bush’s receiving of improper benefits.
The majority of schools that put out Heisman winners reside in the dominant football conferences: the SEC, Big 12 and Big 10.
That’s not to say a Pac-12 player can’t win the Heisman this year; Oregon’s quarterback, Marcus Mariota, is currently leading ESPN’s watch list.
But Arizona football just doesn’t get enough attention around the country.
People who watch Wildcats games are people who want to watch Wildcats games.
Five out of seven of Arizona’s games started at 7 p.m. or later. Football fans on the East Coast aren’t going to sit through a game with a 10 p.m. start time.
Four of those same seven games were shown on the Pac-12 Networks. Not even all Arizona fans in Tucson could watch them, thanks to the DirecTV debacle.
Arizona finally gets off the Pac-12 Networks for its Homecoming game and onto ESPN, but the kickoff will be at 8 p.m.
So what happens? Carey doesn’t get enough nationwide recognition. Why? Because people just haven’t seen him.
He might be the FBS rushing leader with an average of 153.3 yards per game. He might be the FBS leader in consecutive 100-yard rushing games. But because Arizona football games aren’t televised nationally or at opportune times, and because Arizona has yet to pull off a thrilling upset/win, people can’t see, or haven’t seen, Carey in action.
Not all hope is lost, though. On Tuesday, Carey was named a semifinalist for the Maxwell Award for the Collegiate Player of the Year, the winner of which will be announced in December.
But until then, Arizona athletics will continue to promote #TeamKadeem.
—Follow Scarlett McCourt @scarlettnoelani