Michael Penix Jr. has the college football community re-litigating the Heisman Trophy after a dazzling performance in Washington’s College Football Playoff semifinal win over Texas.

The Huskies moved to 14-0 on the season with a 37-31 win over the Longhorns to advance to the CFP National Championship. In the game, Penix threw for 430 yards and two touchdowns while completing 29 of his 38 pass attempts. Penix kept Washington, which never trailed in the game, on the front foot all night as he threw dart after dart.

It was the kind of performance a player dreams of — an elite display on the biggest stage with a national championship on the line. Penix returned in 2023 to experience that exact moment, and when it arrived, he rose to the occasion.

That prompted many — fans and media alike — to once again question the decision to award the Heisman Trophy to LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels.

Penix finished second in Heisman voting. Daniels was named the winner on Dec. 9 after helping LSU to a 9-3 record.

During the regular season, Daniels threw for 3,812 yards, ran for 1,134 yards, and scored 50 total touchdowns He entered the bowl season as the FBS leader in Total QBR (95.7) and EPA (132.3). He became the only player in FBS history to pass for 12,000 yards and run for 3,000 yards in a career. Against Florida on Nov. 11, Daniels became the first quarterback in FBS history to throw for at least 350 yards and run for at least 200 yards in a single game.

The LSU passer had an outstanding individual season and was a deserving winner.

It just so happens that Penix also had an outstanding individual season and would have been a deserving winner.

And while Daniels sat out of the ReliaQuest Bowl, Penix led his team to a CFP semifinal win over Texas at the Sugar Bowl. Washington’s 14 wins are a program record for a season. Given Penix’s outsized role in that achievement, many believe the Heisman decision looks more like a snub now.