LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Scrolling through the endless amount of Heisman Trophy watch lists, you see all of the big-name schools represented.
Ohio State, Georgia, LSU and the other usual suspects have players listed, but there's another school with a longshot candidate who doesn't garner the same type of attention. That school would be Western Kentucky and its sixth-year quarterback Brandon Doughty.
Quarterbacks hog the preseason Heisman glory, but coming from a small school that doesn't get the big-time national TV games, Doughty's chances of winning the coveted trophy are slim. However, statistically, he ranks favorably against the other top candidates from the more traditional powerhouses. Last season, Doughty threw for 4,830 yards to lead the country. The next-closest Heisman candidate quarterback, TCU's Trevone Boykin, threw for 3,901 yards. USC signalcaller Cody Kessler threw an impressive 39 touchdown passes last season, 10 fewer than Doughty.
In order to make it to the Heisman presentation ceremony in New York, a few things are going to have to happen in Doughty's favor. First, WKU is going to have to pull off the nearly impossible: Finish the season undefeated. With games at Vanderbilt, Indiana and LSU, a perfect season is unlikely. However, WKU has played well against the big-name schools in the past, and a good showing in Baton Rouge against the Tigers could go a long way.
Secondly, Ohio State has at least four candidates in the running, meaning they could cancel out each other's votes, which could clear the way for Doughty to at least crack the top five. Buckeye Ezekiel Elliott is arguably the best running back in the country, but his three teammates who have all dominated at quarterback at one time or another -- including Braxton Miller, who's transitioning to receiver and returner -- could take away some of his shine.
At the end of the day, Doughty is a very long shot to even make it to the Heisman ceremony, but for WKU, just to have him mentioned as a candidate is huge. The Hilltoppers jumped to college football's FBS division in 2008, so to already have a player mentioned as a possible Heisman candidate speaks volumes for their program, and could be a sign of big things to come in Bowling Green.