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Can't Wait For Saturday | Time to get serious about changing Heisman calendar

Jan. 3—Sign up for our daily Illini football newsletter here

Greetings from "Can't Wait For Saturday," your morning morsel of college football, courtesy of longtime Illini beat writer, AP Top 25 voter and Heisman state rep Bob Asmussen. He'll give you his views each day on the game he loves

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Seems like as good a time as any to remind you about my idea for the Heisman Trophy: the voting would be better if it was done after the bowls.

And why not? The bowls are part of the record book for the players and the teams. Washington and Michigan are now 14-0 and one of them will finish 15-0. That will be the 2023 team's record forever.

All those yards piled up by Michael Penix Jr. on Monday night against Texas (430) count.

Peix finished second in the Heisman voting behind LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels. On the night Penix led his team to a win against the Longhorns, Daniels was on the sidelines cheering on his Tigers against Wisconsin. LSU won barely, but Daniels didn't throw a pass, choosing to preserve himself for the NFL. No argument on that from me.

But if players knew the stats from the bowls counted toward the Heisman, it might convince a few others to play in their team's bowl.

Oregon's Bo Nix would have moved up in the final voting after his monster game against Liberty on Monday. He threw five touchdown passes in a blowout victory.

On the other hand, Ohio State's Marvin Harrison Jr., might have not been a finalist after sitting out the Buckeyes loss to Missouri on Friday in the Cotton Bowl. He is a likely Top 3 NFL draft pick so no gripe about him not playing against the Tigers. But he would have dropped a spot or two in the Heisman voting.

The bowls need to look for ways to add incentives for the bowls The Heisman can be a part of that solution, though the organization will be reluctant to change its popular December ceremony.

Though Penix didn't win the Heisman, he still has a shot at the national title, That's more important.