Missouri Football: Is Drew Lock among Heisman hopefuls in 2018?

NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 18: Quarterback Drew Lock
NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 18: Quarterback Drew Lock /

As the 2017 season neared its close for the Missouri Tigers, fans wondered if quarterback Drew Lock might be considered a Heisman candidate in 2018.

Lock entered the 2017 season as a potential Heisman candidate, at least to Missouri fans. The Tigers’ quarterback brought a qualified resume of experience into the season, and proved, yet again, why he should be among those in the running for the coveted award.

The biggest factors working against Lock, however, are Mizzou’s strength of schedule and the difficult time he has winning consistently against FBS and conference opponents. In his career at Missouri, as the full-time starter, Lock holds an overall 13-20 record, including a 7-16 mark in conference play, a 3-4 record against non-conference FBS opponents, and a 4-0 record against non-conference FCS opponents.

How the team takes shape in 2018 remains to be seen, but if the Tigers can roll their successful momentum into the fall, then it could keep Lock in the discussion of Heisman hopefuls, although he’ll probably fly under the radar for most of the season.

Missouri Tigers Football
Missouri Tigers Football /

Missouri Tigers Football

Statistically, Lock’s numbers are where they need to be, in order for him to be considered a Heisman candidate.

If we don’t look at a handful of games where those stats came from, then Lock’s numbers are still respectable against FBS and conference opponents, especially over the latter portion of the 2017 season.

Outsiders will try to detract from Lock’s success in 2017, considering the Tigers played weakened versions of Florida, Tennessee, Arkansas and Vanderbilt, but Mizzou also played respectable games against the likes of Georgia and Kentucky.

Missouri’s schedule for 2018 doesn’t include the “cream puffs” of the past. The Tigers will open against FCS opponent UT-Martin, and the remainder of their schedule is against FBS competition. There’s some debate to whether Wyoming should be classified as FBS or FCS, but for now, they’re the former.

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The Tigers’ other non-conference game is a home tilt against Memphis. If Lock can lead Missouri to a winning season, then he should remain a Heisman candidate. Two games that can probably be penciled in as losses are Alabama and Georgia. The rest can go either way for Mizzou.