Current or former Big Ten schools have combined to win an impressive 19 Heisman Trophies since the sculpture, given to the nation’s most outstanding college football player, was first awarded in 1935. No program claims more Heisman Trophies than Ohio State with seven (the Buckeyes are tied with Notre Dame).

The B1G claims the first Heisman winner (Jay Berwanger, Chicago, 1935), the first primarily defensive player to win the award (Charles Woodson, Michigan, 1997) and of course the only two-time winner (Archie Griffin, Ohio State, 1974-75). The conference earned three consecutive trophies with three different schools in 1939-41 (Nile Kinnick, Iowa; Tom Harmon, Michigan; Bruce Smith, Minnesota) and to this day it’s the only league to claim three straight Heismans. Yes, Nebraska’s three Heismans and Penn State’s lone award came before those schools joined the B1G, and Chicago dropped football decades ago.

Still, the league has an impressive history with the sport’s most prestigious individual prize. But recent history has not been as kind to the B1G. You might say the league has spent the past decade or so getting stiff-armed.

The B1G’s most recent Heisman went to Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith in 2006. The only returning player who finished in the top 10 in last year’s voting is Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor, who was sixth. He’s as logical a place to start as any when discussing B1G players who might bring home the big prize in 2018. But bear in mind one thing: Who the heck saw Cam Newton coming in 2010? Or Johnny Manziel in 2012? Or Lamar Jackson in 2016? In other words, we might have to update this list as the season goes on.

But for now, here are three candidates who might break the B1G’s wait, now going on a dozen years, for Heisman glory:

Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin

Taylor averaged at least 6 yards a carry against six of the 10 B1G foes Wisconsin faced last season.

The running back heads into his sophomore season as a first-team preseason All-American, according to Athlon’s and Sporting News. Small wonder, as he’s coming off of a season where he broke an NCAA record for rushing yards in a season by a freshman with 1,977. Taylor was one of four B1G players to make the top 10 in ESPN’s list of the 50 best players in college football, released this week. Behind a veteran offensive line, Taylor might well be poised to surpass the spectacular numbers he posted last year, and this season there’s no Saquon Barkley in his own conference to steal the Badger star’s thunder.

Trace McSorley, Penn State

Other quarterbacks might put up more spectacular offensive numbers, but if Penn State is as good as I think it will be — and I have this team going a long way indeed — then McSorley will draw plenty of Heisman hype during the season. We’ll know pretty early where his candidacy, and Penn State’s hopes of winning the B1G East, stack up when the Nittany Lions host Ohio State on Sept. 29. McSorley should have a chance to fatten up his numbers coming into that game, considering the first four games on PSU’s schedule: Appalachian State, at Pittsburgh, Kent State and at Illinois.

Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Rashan Gary, Michigan

This might be a bit of a stretch, but there is a logic to this pick. If Michigan’s defense is as good as advertised, and there is little doubt that the unit has what it takes to compete in perhaps college football’s deepest division, then some players on that unit are bound to earn some Heisman love. If the Wolverines can make a serious run toward a College Football Playoff berth, it’s likely going to be a defensive player rather than anybody on the Maize and Blue offense who garners the most attention. And Gary is perhaps the biggest name on what promises to be a star-studded Michigan defense. Besides, remember earlier when we mentioned the only player ever to win a Heisman primarily for his defensive work? Where’d he play again?