Prior to last season, I asked, "Can Kyler Murray join the tiny group of Heisman successors who won a national championship?" Murray followed Baker Mayfield into college football lore as the 36th Heisman-winning quarterback but failed to follow Matt Leinart and Steve Walsh as the only quarterbacks who won a national championship in their first season replacing a Heisman-winning quarterback.
After USC quarterback Carson Palmer won 11 games and the Heisman Trophy in 2002, Matt Leinart fell short of the Heisman in 2003 but did lead the Trojans to the national title. Twenty-six years earlier, Miami's Steve Walsh was the first to accomplish the feat when he led the Hurricanes to the 1987 title following the graduation of Vinny Testaverde, the 1986 Heisman winner.
Several quarterbacks have come close, among them: Kyler Murray led Oklahoma to 12 wins and the College Football Playoff in 2018, Todd Boeckman (after Troy Smith) led Ohio State to 11 wins and the Big Ten title in 2007, and Danny Kanell (after Charlie Ward) led Florida State to 10 wins and the ACC title in 1994.
With Murray's departure, it's Jalen Hurts' chance to join Leinart and Walsh. Hurts did win a title at Alabama one year after the Crimson Tide's second Heisman winner, though that was running back Derrick Henry, not quarterback Jake Coker.
Also of note: Since 1990, only four Heisman successors have won a conference title. Kyler Murray is one of them. Will Hurts be the fifth?