Mac Engel

It’s a crime if TCU’s Trevone Boykin isn’t invited to the Heisman ceremony

Trevone Boykin is 22-2 as a starting quarterback at TCU.
Trevone Boykin is 22-2 as a starting quarterback at TCU. Star-Telegram

TCU’s quarterback won’t win the Heisman Trophy, nor should he, but if Trevone Boykin is not invited to New York City as a finalist, feel free to play the Frog Card.

This is the card that all TCU fans are handed when they embrace the Horned Frogs as their team, and they can play it whenever there is even a hint of bias shown to their team.

In the past 365 days, the card has been worn out.

Boykin deserves to become the first TCU quarterback to win the Davey O’Brien award here in Fort Worth, and he should be in NYC with the best players in college football as a finalist for the Heisman. Both awards are career achievements as much as they are recognition for the season.

If he’s shut out of both, Froggies, feel free to pull out your card; another round of sports victim talk and “Why Me?” chatter from the Horned Frog faithful will be more than warranted.

Yes, I am an unabashed Boykin homer, and so should everybody else who likes college football.

According to the latest odds, Boykin is no longer on the Heisman watch, which is a travesty and a farce. The latest odds don’t even rank Boykin in the top 10. The winner will be Alabama running back Derrick Henry, but Boykin should be in the mix with Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson, Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield and Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey.

Such realities just embolden the paranoid: If TCU’s name was Texas, and if all things were the same in Austin, the Frogs would have been in the playoffs last season and Boykin would be a front-runner for every trophy up to and including the Nobel Prize.

In TCU’s case, it remains not about the name on the back of the jersey but the front. Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you.

The four-interception dog Boykin threw in the Horned Frogs’ 20-point loss at T. Boone State killed his chances to win this trophy as college football’s best player, but it should not end his chances of being recognized for all of the big boy awards.

The last time TCU had a player at the Heisman ceremony was in 2000 when LaDainian Tomlinson finished fourth ... and Dennis Franchione was the head coach at Alabama; yes, that last part is actually true.

LT put TCU football on the national map, and Boykin is the player who legitimized TCU as a legit Power 5 conference player.

Few college players in the modern era have amassed these types of career statistics: 10,727 passing yards, 86 touchdown passes, 28 receptions, one touchdown catch, 2,049 rushing yards, 27 rushing TDs. His team is 22-2 when he has started over the past two years.

Boykin’s asking a little girl what her name was at Iowa State prompted one of college football’s best feel-good stories of the entire year.

Watching Boykin gut his way through TCU’s 28-21 double overtime win against Baylor in the mud, cold and the rain Friday night may have been the most impressive performance of his career. He had no business playing; he couldn’t run much, and it didn’t look like he could plant and drive off his gimpy ankle.

The Boykin who spoiled fans, his team and his coaches was essentially unavailable. How could any coach tell him to sit the bench after all that he has done? It was his last game at Amon G. Carter Stadium, and if any college player had earned the right to say he wanted to play, it was The Boy King.

It was appropriate that TCU’s final two touchdowns were a Boykin run and a Boykin pass.

Lost in the immediate euphoria of the win was that this was Boykin’s last regular-season game. Boykin has been one of the biggest reasons TCU’s growing pains in the Big 12 were cut in half.

He deserved to be carried off on the shoulders of his teammates, the fans or Gary Patterson, athletic director Chris Del Conte, or co-offensive coordinators Sonny Cumbie and Doug Meacham. Both men have enjoyed heightened profiles in their two years with Boykin to the point where they are considered for head coaching gigs.

Meacham is a finalist for the job at North Texas; as long as the good people in Denton accept that he can’t bring Boykin with him, he might have a chance to succeed at a job that has been a black hole.

The Heisman Trophy will be awarded on Dec. 12, and he needs to be there.

If Boykin is not there, it won’t tarnish an otherwise pristine legacy, but you are free to use your Frog Card.

Listen to Mac Engel every Tuesday and Thursday on Shan & RJ from 5:30-10 a.m. on 105.3 The Fan.

Mac Engel: 817-390-7697, @macengelprof

Related stories from Fort Worth Star Telegram