It was always going to be an uphill battle for Sammy Watkins in the 2011 Heisman Trophy race. He's a freshman; he plays for an off-brand school in an oft-underestimated conference; he's a wide receiver. But now, with Clemson's hopes of playing for a BCS title dashed, Watkins is something else: no longer a legitimate Heisman candidate.
Clemson's 31-17 loss to Georgia Tech on Saturday effectively knocked the Tigers out of the national title race. Even for a record-setting quarterback, that would be enough to mortally wound a Heisman candidacy; for Watkins, who did star in the game, with 10 catches for 159 yards and a touchdown, it's probably enough to ensure that he won't even get invited to New York City for the Heisman Trophy presentation.
Watkins' candidacy depended on him being seen as the game-changing superstar leading Clemson into the national championship conversation. With Clemson's sights now set on an ACC championship and the Orange Bowl berth that should come with it, it's far less likely that Watkins' name gets brought up for Heisman consideration.
The last full-time wide receiver to win? Desmond Howard of Michigan, in 1991. Charles Woodson saw some time at receiver in his Heisman season, too. The last receiver to make the trip to New York as a Heisman finalist was Larry Fitzgerald, in 2003; he finished second to Jason White.