Joe Heisman

Kyle Riviere

Joe Burrow has earned quite a few nicknames since transferring from Ohio State and taking over as starting quarterback here at LSU.

He's been called "Burbank Joe," "Bayou Joe" and "Joe Burreaux." Well, now, we can just call him Joe Heisman.

Last Saturday night, we witnessed a moment I didn't think I'd ever see in my lifetime. We saw a player from LSU hoist the Heisman Trophy. Burrow became only the second Tiger to ever win the award, and he was the first to bring the trophy back to Baton Rouge in 60 years. 

Since Billy Cannon won LSU its first Heisman back in 1959, there have been few Tigers that have come close to winning it.

Legendary LSU running back Jerry Stovall had the best finish in 1962, when he was named the Heisman runner-up to Oregon State quarterback Terry Baker.

Before Burrow's unworldly 2019 season, Bert Jones was always considered the greatest LSU quarterback of all time. In 1972, Jones finished third in Heisman voting. Nebraska running back Johnny Rogers took home the award that year.

The only LSU player to ever be a finalist in my lifetime was Tyrann Mathieu back in 2011. Mathieu had probably the greatest year ever by a Tiger defensive player.

But even with the amazing season he put forth, he still only finished fourth in Heisman voting, as Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III took home the trophy. Mathieu should have won that year. He made the biggest impact of any of the finalists, but I digress.

The reason I never thought another LSU player would win is because the Heisman is such a quarterback-dominated trophy, and for a quarterback to win, he has to put up eye-popping statistics.

And after watching LSU's offense and seeing the shoddy quarterback play for the past decade, I thought that would be impossible.

Enter Joe Burrow. Enter Joe Brady.

The talent was always there for Burrow. We just didn't always see it last year because he was in a system that was not conducive to what he does best. It was like trying to force Kyle Busch to drive the speed limit.

That's where Joe Brady came in; Brady was hired as the new passing-game coordinator. In doing so, he brought in a scheme that maximized Burrow's talents.

It was a scheme Burrow knew like the back of his hand. He has been running offenses like this since high school, and he ran it again for three years at Ohio State.

And when you give him uber-talented players around him like Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Justin Jefferson, Ja'Marr Chase, Terrace Marshall and Thaddeus Moss, the result is something LSU has never seen before in its history.

In fact, it's something the SEC has never seen in its history.

Burrow just completed the greatest season ever by an SEC quarterback. He broke records for yards, touchdowns and completion-percentage. Those records are not held by Danny Wuerffel, Cam Newton or Tim Tebow. They're held by Joe Burrow.

What Burrow has done this season has truly been astounding.

He has passed for 4,715 yards and 48 touchdowns. Sure, we've seen quarterbacks in college football put up those kinds of numbers before, but it's almost always quarterbacks in run-and-shoot-style of offenses that throw the ball 45-55 times a games. 

Burrow put up these numbers despite only surpassing 40 passing attempts in two of his 13 games. He also only played six complete games. In five others, LSU was up so big that he was able to sit out and let Miles Brennan come in for mop-up duty.

But the most impressive stat of all is his completion percent. He is completing 78 percent of his passes. That's just ludicrous.

He has completed at least 71 percent of his passes in every game this year. In four games, he completed at least 82 percent of his passes.

To put that into context, you can look at Sam Bradford's Heisman year in 2008. Bradford had one of the greatest statistical seasons in college football history that year. His completion percentage was 67 percent--still 11 points lower than Burrow.

But forget numbers. Why was Burrow the runaway Heisman winner? He played his best on the biggest stages.

At Texas, he threw for 471 yards and four touchdowns and converted that huge third-and-17 late in the game.

Against a top-10 Florida defense, he went 21-24 for 293 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-clincher to Chase with five minutes left.

At Alabama, he threw for 393 and three touchdowns and ran for 64 more yards. He closed out the Tide with two straight touchdown drives.

And in the SEC Championship against Georgia's second-ranked defense, he threw for 349 yards and four scores.

He is no longer just an LSU player; he's an LSU legend. He's an LSU icon that will join the likes of Billy Cannon, Bob Pettit, "Pistol" Pete Maravich, Shaquille O'Neil and Skip Bertman.

Start building the statue.