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Jordan Travis: Heisman or Hopeful? We break down why he could win and what can stand in his way

The Jordan Travis Heisman Hype train has left the station — but is the award attainable for the Seminoles signal caller?

Charles Mays/Tomahawk Nation

Once booed by all of Doak Cambell Stadium, Jordan Travis now captains the No. 8 team in the country as he continues to etch his name into the Florida State record books.

As the starter for three years, the coaching staff has opened up the entire playbook for number 13. The preseason talk on the quarterback raves about the possibility of the season to come and while personal accolades are not the quarterback's focus, depending on how this year progresses, the platform is there to send the West Palm Beach native to the Big Apple as a Heisman Trophy finalist.

According to DraftKings, Travis has the third-highest Heisman odds of any player in the country. There are plenty of reasons to believe in value, but also obstacles standing in his way to snagging the stiff-armed trophy.

Here are the three biggest on each side.

Jordan Travis will win the Heisman because...

No. 1: Supporting Cast

Football is the ultimate team game.

Without multiple positions executing in unison, no progress can be made. Travis received all the pieces to make this year a memorable one. Starting with the pass catchers, this may be the deepest room in the country. Johnny Wilson, the 6’7 behemoth, presents a matchup nightmare few have an answer for. The connection may become the most deadly in the country. Johnny Wilson finished a hair under 900 yards last year; the expectation is that number will fall quickly in 2023. The only reason that number will not be broken is how many other options the Seminoles have.

Keon Coleman, the transfer from Michigan State, blew coaches away during camp. For such a big body, his route-running nuances make him look like a professional receiver playing in the college ranks. Coleman will receive a significant chunk of the offense and give Travis a 1A on the outside.

Besides these two pass catchers on the outside, plenty of talent returns upfront. This should be the best offensive line in front of Travis since he stepped foot in Tallahassee. The big uglies blend strength and athleticism, making it difficult for any defense to get to the quarterback. Keeping Travis healthy all year long is the goal of the Seminole team, and the group in front of Travis makes this possible.

No. 2: Dual-Threat Ability

The quarterback position evolution changed the way football is played. Gone are the days of a QB being able to sit back all day and be a pocket passer. A signal caller must utilize his legs and arm to tilt the field in an offense's favor. Travis can change the game in both ways.

The dual-threat quarterback finished 8th in the country in rushing average for QBs, overcoming the games when he was injured. He complemented this with finishing in the top 10 yards per attempt while throwing the ball. The goal of Mike Norvell’s offense is to stay balanced and be even with the throw and the run. Jordan Travis perfects the wish of the coach. The way Travis epitomizes efficiency makes Florida State one of the most balanced offenses in the country. The team constantly stays ahead of the sticks, keeping the offense on the field. As a year-three starter, the West Palm Beach native makes the read between running and passing more straightforward than the younger version would have. Travis will run up the stat sheet in multiple categories, increasing his chances of the Heisman going to Tallahassee.

No. 3 Coaching Staff

Mike Norvell emphasizes that Florida State is where stars come to shine. He built his offense on that mantra. FSU constantly looks to put their playmakers in space and put defenses in a blender. This creates easy reads for the quarterback and constant ball movement for the offense. Norvell and quarterbacks coach Tony Tokarz are constantly on Travis to make the proper reads and improve his ability to understand the defense. The Seminole signal caller answered the bell. His most significant improvement has been reading the defense pre-snap and putting the ball in the right places. This is a testament to the quarterback and the supporting staff behind him. The increased understanding of defenses will keep the ball out of harm's way and create more opportunities for explosive plays. Mike Norvell created an offense that will make Jordan Travis successful and create opportunities for the whole Seminole roster.

Jordan Travis will not win the Heisman because...

No. 1: Competition

Analysts adore comparing prospects to players in scouting to understand the incoming class. Not every day are players compared to Patrick Mahomes. Caleb Williams may be the closest look-a-like to the quarterback in Kansas City since he came into the league. He takes the word dual-threat to another level, blending incredible arm talent with rapid speed. Defenses can never create an answer for either of these two quarterbacks, and that is before they start expanding the play. Caleb Williams won the Heisman last year and picked up where he left off last Saturday, throwing for four touchdowns during an efficient victory for the Trojans. Many analysts believe the Heisman presentation will become a formality as Caleb Williams already locked up the award before the season started. Taking Williams out of the picture, this year's Heisman favorites are more profound than usual. Marvin Harrison Jr. and Brock Bowers lead the non-quarterback contenders and are the two most talented players in their position in recent memory. Both pass catchers dominated their opponents during their sophomore campaign, and many believe they had tremendous growth during pre-season action. Drake Maye, an ACC quarterback like Travis, expects to go in the top 5 of the NFL draft and improve on a year in which he finished fourth in the country in passing yards with 4,321. Jordan Travis belongs in the conversation with these players; he must be generational to overtake the frontrunners.

No. 2: Strength of Schedule

Although all college fans want competitive, high-level football games, there is an advantage to scheduling cupcakes. Florida State does not build out its games the way some colleges do. Florida State begins the season with a daunting task facing the reigning SEC west champions in LSU and a defense that litters NFL draft talent. Three games later, they go on the road to Clemson in what many believe is the best defense in the ACC, led by returning linebacker Barett Carter, who will be a first-round pick in next year's draft. The Seminoles later face a 9-win Duke team, a Miami team with two pre-season all-Americans in Lennard Taylor and Kamren Kitchens, and Florida, who always manages to play Florida State tough. The road to a heisman will not be easy, and each game presents a unique challenge.
Further, when FSU played its most brutal stretch of games for the season, Travis was not at his best. In the games against their three ranked opponents, #13 did not have a QBR eclipse 76 and threw his only multi-interception game of the season. This is not to say that Travis padded stats against inferior competition. However, it should be noted that the Seminole roster underperformed in big games, and that will need to change for both Jordan Travis and the FSU football to reach their goals.

All of camp, Jordan Travis gets raved about by teammates and coaches alike. However, the time for talk is over. The Seminole signal caller will begin his Heisman campaign Sunday night in Orlando. The eyes of the college football world and Heisman voters will be watching.