Poll Results: How long will Matt Reyonlds be an Outland Trophy Candidate?

The results are in and a majority (51%) think that Brigham Young Cougars offensive tackle Matt Reynolds will be an Outland Trophy finalist. The second leading vote getter was to win the trophy with 30%. Semi-finalist was third with 11%, and not making it past the pre-season watch list was last with 8%.

Personally, I would love to see Reynolds win the Outland Trophy.
Ever since BYU had two players win the award in a span of three years (1986-89), I have felt that having a linemen contend for the Outland Trophy was just as much a part of BYU football as having a great quarterback. Now that over 20 years have passed without another BYU player winning the Outland, it feels like the time is right. Reynolds was a pre-season candidate last year as well. He was and is considered one of the top offensive tackles available for the NFL draft.

The schedule is favorable for Reynolds to make a serious run at winning the award. BYU goes to SEC country to open the season, followed by at date against the flagship program in the Lone Star state. Both games, plus the next three, will be broadcast on ESPN or ESPN2. If Reynolds can turn in impressive games, then he will be a lock to be a semi-finalist. A mid-October date at Oregon State and a return to ESPN on October 28 vs. TCU will give Reynolds the opportunity to make his case for being a finalist. If Reynolds is to win the award, he really needs to wow the voters in these two games. BYU only plays two games in November against very inferior opponents. An end of the year match against Hawaii will be played on ESPN2, but it is the same day as the conference championship games.

What will really happen? I want to think that Reynolds will fare well to start the season, so being a semi-finalist is assured. The ESPN exposure is helpful, but I think whether or not Reynolds wins will hinge on how good of a season sophomore quarterback Jake Heaps has, and whether BYU keeps winning. Perhaps the biggest hurdle for Reynolds to overcome is the stigma of not playing for a team in an automatic qualifying BCS conference. The last player to win the Heisman who did not play for an AQ BCS conference was none other than BYU's Mo Elewonibi in 1989. As much as I want Reynolds to win, I have to agree with the majority and say Reynolds will be an Outland Trophy finalist. 

Thank you to everyone who voted. Don't forget to vote in this week's poll: "What is the best part of BYU being independent?"

The Editor appreciates all feedback. He can be reached via email at bluecougarfootball@gmail.com