Compare: CFB Teams | CFB Players
Penny enters the regular-season finale vs. New Mexico as the nation's leading rusher (1,824 yards) thanks to a 7.2 yards-per-carry average (first among players with at least 200 carries). The 5-foot-11, 220-pound senior has four 200-yard games, including three straight that have produced a staggering 700 yards.
"I mean, I don't know. It's a dream come true. I don't know what they're going to do. It's up to them," Penny said on Monday of potentially being a Heisman finalist. "I think my teammates are more excited about me just trying to get invited or get a table at the Heisman. I think that would be fun but I mean we'll see what happens."
Odds are Penny will not be a finalist, which angers his teammates and coaches, including head coach Rocky Long, who blamed ESPN and East Coast bias.
"I think the Heisman campaign is handled by ESPN. … I sure hope he will be [invited to New York], but I don’t think he will be because of East Coast prejudice and I think there’s a Power Five prejudice. It doesn’t matter how good the guy is.”
Offensive coordinator Jeff Horton, who along with Long watched last year's FBS-leading rusher Donnel Pumphrey finish tied for 10th in Heisman voting, says Penny is different than any other player in the country.
“I think it’s a joke. I think it’s a disgrace. How you can have the leading rusher in the nation and leading all-purpose yardage guy, and what’s he second in touchdowns in the nation? To not have him as one of the finalists, to me it discredits the award. … The kid’s done more than anybody else on the field at that position.”