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1. Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
Last Game: 325 yards & 2 TDs in win at Arizona.
Outlook: It’s business as usual for Luck. Yes, he didn’t start fast, but he ended up with two TDs and 300-plus yards in a conference road win. He’ll be tough to dethrone until he lays a dud in a losing effort.
2. Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
Last Game: 11 carries, 167 yards, & 3 TDs in win vs. North Texas.
Outlook: In comparisons to other candidates, Richardson‘s somewhat overlooked nationally. Most of the pub is going to QBs, but the Alabama RB is sitting pretty right now. First, the Crimson Tide is a legitimate national title contender, so that immediately puts him in the picture. More importantly, Richardson is racking up major numbers. He has 315 rushing yards and eight TDs through three games. He could make a statement in next week’s SEC opener against Arkansas.
3. Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State
Last Game: 455 yards, 5 TDs, & 1 INT in win at Toledo.
Outlook: I know it was against Toledo, though they gave Ohio State all they could handle. Regardless, five TDs and 455 yards is no easy task to accomplish. Moore was firing on all cylinders and he already has eight TDs in only two games. Nevertheless, let’s not read too much into the performance. A lot still needs to happen for Moore to capture the 2011 Heisman. Anyone jumping him ahead of Luck isn't thinking with the big picture.
4. Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
Last Game: 343 total yards & 3 TDs in win vs. Stephen A. Austin.
Outlook: I don’t care about the opponent. I don’t care about the three TD passes. I don’t even care about the 343 yards of offense. You know you’re good, when you complete 20 out of 22 passes. Get ready folks because Griffin is here to stay. Baylor should coast to 5-0 until mid October, which is when the schedule picks up steam.
5. Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina
Last Game: 37 carries, 246 yards, & 3 TDs in win vs. Navy.
Outlook: Navy gave South Carolina all they could handle in the season opener, which may point to bigger problems for the Gamecocks. Lattimore was the difference, however. Navy’s defense had no answer for the star RB, who rushed for over 200 yards and scored all three of South Carolina’s TDs. The Sophomore sensation likely has pro scouts buzzing already.
6. Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma
Last Game: 199 yards, 1 TD, & 2 INTs in win at No. 5 Florida State.
Outlook: The scoreboard looks great for Jones, but the Heisman hopeful was anything but that on Saturday night against Florida State. The Sooner offense struggled most of the game after an opening drive TD. Frankly, Florida State made Jones look average. He undoubtedly will rebound, but his defense and wideout Kenny Stills is the reason OU is still unbeaten.
7. Denard Robinson, QB, Michigan
Last Game: 293 total yards, 3 TDs (1 rushing), & 1 INT in win vs. Eastern Michigan.
Outlook: Throwing for fewer than 100 yards isn’t going to win you the Heisman over Andrew Luck. It’s as simple as that, really. Still, the Big Ten isn’t very deep this year. In fact, only two teams look like potential contenders in my assessment. Looking at the Wolverines schedule, there is a chance Michigan could start 9-1. I'm starting to believe and this is coming from somebody that did not buy into Robinson's Heisman candidacy a year ago.
On the Bubble
LaMichael James, RB, Oregon
Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia