Heisman campaigns must start somewhere. Why not right here in your hands?
The life-size posters, the wallet cards, the glossy literature : all that will arrive in voters' mailboxes later. For now, this must do.
Todd "Sparky" Reesing was that impressive Saturday evening against a bad defense in a 52-7 blowout victory against Central Michigan.
The Heisman Trophy isn't won against the Chippewas, and it's not won in Week 1, but it's a nice time to launch a campaign.
And what an opening speech Reesing gave in the first start of his college career. He threw long passes with stunning accuracy, short ones into small spots, medium ones with the right touch.
By the time Willie Pless, the greatest linebacker in the history of the Canadian Football League and KU was being honored at halftime, Reesing already had thrown for 217 yards and four touchdowns.
Pless, who called Doug Flutie the greatest quarterback he played against, also fought the too-small rap Flutie and Reesing share.
"I love this guy, man," Pless said of Reesing at halftime. "If I was a pro football team, I'd put him on my radar screen, that's for sure. Size doesn't matter to me. If a guy can play, it doesn't matter how tall, how short, how fast. This guy's a player, and not only that, he's a smart player."
So far, so brilliant.
It's early, but not too early to compare Reesing to another quarterback considered a Heisman candidate. Reesing's team is 1-0. He completed 20 of 29 for four touchdowns and 261 yards and did not turn it over. Michigan's Chad Henne is 0-1, having lost to Appalachian State. Henne completed 19 of 37 passes for 233 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Until proven otherwise, Reesing is a better Heisman candidate than Henne. It's a single-season award. Nothing that happened before 2007 counts.
Toss Reesing's name into the pool with 50 or so other college players who had great opening weeks.
Open the campaign video with Reesing's 49-yard touchdown pass to Aqib Talib. It traveled 51 yards through the air.
"I think he can throw the ball the best in the country," said Marcus Henry, who had 103 receiving yards and a touchdown. "He can put the ball on any spot he wants, as we saw when Aqib scored. He put it right on the money. I think he has a really strong arm, and he can move it anywhere he wants."
Best in the country. Interesting choice of words. Since Henry used them, why not ask him the question: Can Reesing contend for the Heisman?
"I think he can," Henry said. "I think he can. With this offense, I think he can."
Sixth-year KU coach Mark Mangino praised Reesing's poise.
"You'd think he did this for 10 years the way he approached the game, the way he warmed up on the sidelines," Mangino said. "Courage is a good thing to have. He has it. : I can't say I'm totally shocked by (his starting debut). He has this competitive spirit about him that's hard to describe. The kids feel it. The coaches feel it. He's confident. He makes people around him confident."
He made 46,815 spectators confident Saturday that this won't be another mediocre Kansas football season.