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1. Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
Last Week: 336 yards, 4 TDs, & 1 INT in win at Washington State.
Outlook: Luck’s Saturday night was a tale of two halves. Stanford only took a 10-7 lead into halftime and Luck was without a TD pass. This isn’t the first time Luck and Stanford struggled in the early going. Against Arizona, the Cardinals only took a 13-10 lead into half.
However, like in that contest, Luck exploded in the second half, throwing four TD passes and putting the game away in the fourth quarter. That’s what separates the great ones from the good. Luck has a killer instinct and the Cardinals have taken on that mentality. They finish games as well as anyone in the country.
2. Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
Last Week: 213 total yards and 4 TDs in win at Mississippi.
Outlook: Nationally, I’m not sure what more Richardson can do to garner some love. His performance Saturday night was arguably the best of his collegiate career. He’s was a one-man show rumbling for 183 yards on the ground and four scores.
All year, I’ve been writing about the importance of TDs in Richardson’s Heisman quest. He’ll get his yardages, which he’s proving, but he has 16 total TDs this season, including 15 via rushing. Alabama may have as many as six games remaining on their schedule, when you include the possibility of appearing in the SEC championship. Richardson’s on his way to a 25 TD year on paper.
3. Russell Wilson, QB, Wisconsin
Last Week: 208 total yards & 2 TDs (1 receiving) in win vs. Indiana.
Outlook: Wisconsin dropped 80 on Indiana without Wilson last year, so you can imagine how this contest went. The Badgers rolled in large part because of their overwhelming ground game. Wilson did manage to throw for and catch a TD, however.
Next week is the beginning of the final regular-season test for the Badgers. They travel to East Lansing for a primetime showdown with Michigan State. This could be the first of two meetings, as the Spartans are one of the frontrunners of the Legends division.
4. Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma
Last Week: 363 yards, 3 TDs, & 1 INT in win at Kansas.
Outlook: Maybe Kansas had OU on their heels for a while. Maybe. But the universe corrected itself and the Sooners rolled over the Jayhawks. Nonetheless, Oklahoma’s not as dominate as the box scores indicate. With the exception of Texas, the Sooners haven’t overwhelmed their conference foes.
The Big 12 isn’t bad this year, either. The conference’s instability has taken away from the quality of football these programs have put out. The Sooners still have tough road tests against Kansas State, Baylor, and Oklahoma State. I don’t see them finishing unbeaten and that doesn’t bold well for Jones’ Heisman aspirations.
5. Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State
Last Week: 338 yards & 4 TDs in win at Colorado State.
Outlook: Throwing seven TDs and no interceptions in back-to-back road games is normally a big deal. For Moore, it probably doesn’t make the front page. Not when the Big East is about to reportedly, invite your football program to their conference.
Regardless of any off-field politics, Moore is really good and Boise State is one of the most complete teams in the country. Their showdown against TCU will receive national attention, but the Broncos should thoroughly pound the Horned Frogs. Their last test is traveling to San Diego State, where QB Ryan Lindley has the ability to possibly match Boise State’s offense.
On the Bubble
Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
Denard Robinson, QB, Michigan
LaMichael James, RB, Oregon
Brandon Weedon, QB, Oklahoma State
Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State