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1. Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
Last Week: 271 yards, 3 TDs, & 2 INTs in loss vs. No. 7 Oregon.
Outlook: Things are getting interesting. Very interesting. Luck didn’t play well Saturday night against Oregon. Their front four rattled him and he turned the ball over three times, in what was basically an elimination game from the championship picture. Yet, I still place him atop my Heisman report.
It’s all about pedigree. Luck is a once in a lifetime prospect for the NFL draft. Mel Kiper Jr. has hyped him as the best QB prospect since John Elway. The NFL expects him to be its next big thing. That helps his Heisman résumé. I don’t think it should because the Heisman trophy is a college football award, but I can’t ignore the big picture. He benefits from being the most publicized pro prospect of all-time. He'll win the Heisman if he finishes off California and Notre Dame in respectable manner.
2. Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
Last Week: 127 total yards & 1 TD in win at Mississippi State.
Outlook: Despite their sub par record, Mississippi State isn’t a terrible team, so I wouldn‘t overlook Richardson‘s bounce back performance against them. Frankly, I’d pick the Bulldogs to win the Big East, though maybe that has more to do with that conference’s prestige.
Nevertheless, Richardson’s Heisman aspirations are looking up again after Stanford’s mishap against Oregon. Luck’s margin of error is now very small, so if the Cardinal were to fall to Notre Dame, Richardson would then be in position to swoop in and win the Heisman. It also doesn’t hurt that pollsters currently are leaning toward giving Alabama a second crack at LSU.
3. Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
Last Week: 6 receptions, 103 yards, & 2 TDs in win at Texas Tech.
Outlook: I’m tired of trying to figure out the national media’s fascination with rewarding college QBs or RBs the Heisman trophy. It shows just how foresighted some people really are. By definition, the Heisman is rewarded to the most outstanding colligate football player. How can QB Brandon Weeden be Oklahoma State’s Heisman contender then? He isn’t the most outstanding player on his team.
I’m not taking anything away from Weeden. He’s proving to be a very good college QB. Blackmon is just better, though.
Unfortunately, too many place an emphasis on QBs and their box scores. I know I’m probably on an island, but if I had a Heisman ballot to cast, Blackmon would be on it as we stand today. He’s the most outstanding player on arguably the second best team in the country.
4. Case Keenum, QB, Houston
Last Week: 325 yards & 3 TDs in win vs. Tulane.
Outlook: While Stanford falling was huge, Boise State losing was even bigger for Houston. Keenum, who holds the NCAA all-time records for passing yardage and TD passes, pretty much takes over the spot many reserved for Kellen Moore.
More importantly, the Cougars are now in position to make a run at a BCS game. All they have to do is win their next two games, which is no easy task. SMU and Tulsa probably represent the toughest opponents on their schedule.
5. Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma
Last Week: Idle
Outlook: Many Oregon fans are clamoring for LaMichael James and they may have a point. However, I believe Oklahoma is in better position to make a run at the BCS championship than the Ducks.
The Sooners haven’t played LSU yet, which negates any pollster bias. OU still travels to Baylor and Stillwater for two marquee night games. I can’t imagine them not finishing No. 2 in the polls if they win out. As a result, that makes Jones a bigger threat to Luck than James is. If he’s able to lead Boomer Sooner to the national championship without star WR Ryan Broyles, he’ll have a legitimate chance to unseat Luck.
On the Bubble
Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State
LaMichael James, RB, Oregon
Russell Wilson, QB, Wisconsin
Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State