This just in: The Heisman race is still completely wide open. I do believe we have a front runner right now that has been head and shoulders better than everyone else, but it’s going to be interesting to see if he can keep putting up the outrageous numbers that we have.
Also, as soon as we thought that last season’s Heisman Trophy winner was out of the race after missing the first two games of the season, he comes out and puts up ridiculous numbers this week and throws his name back into the ring.
Needless to say, it’s been interesting to keep up with so far and we are going to have a very interesting race for the rest of the season.
The Front Runners
- Denard Robinson (QB/Michigan) – So far, your leader in the clubhouse for the stiff-arm trophy is Michigan QB Denard
Robinson. He has been head and shoulders better than any other candidate at this point of the season. Even though Michigan struggled against UMass on Saturday, it wasn’t any fault on Robinson. He once again put up great numbers. He had 241 yards and two touchdowns through the air and rushed for 104 yards and a touchdown on the ground. It was the third straight 100-yard rushing game by Robinson. He’s been brilliant so far this season and it will be interesting to see if the Wolverines can continue having success this season to continue Robinson’s Heisman campaign.
- Terrelle Pryor (QB/Ohio State) – Two Big Ten QB’s are neck and neck competing for the Heisman. Pryor looked good against Ohio on Saturday and only really made two mistakes and they were on deep balls that were intercepted. He completed 22 of his 29 passes for 235 yards and a pair of touchdowns to go along with a rushing touchdown against the Bobcats. Pryor has one more out of conference game on Saturday against Eastern Michigan before the Buckeyes open up Big Ten play against Illinois in Champaign.
- Ryan Mallett (QB/Arkansas) – We finally got to see Ryan Mallett against tough competition this season and he did not disappoint. His strong performances against Tennessee Tech and Louisiana Monroe did little to impress me, but his game against Georgia on the road did on Saturday. He completed 21 of 33 passes for 380 yards and three touchdowns without an interception. He’s gone over 300 yards in all three games and is completing 70% of his passes thus far. Also helping Mallett’s chances is Arkansas playing like a top 10 team. His Heisman hopes will either skyrocket or take a dip when the Razorbacks welcome top ranked Alabama to Fayetteville on Saturday.
- Kellen Moore (QB/Boise State) – Kellen Moore remains a front runner for the Heisman with his strong performance against Wyoming on Saturday. He went 20/30 for 370 yards and two touchdowns with an interception. It was just another day at the office for Moore and he will get one more chance on the national stage this Saturday when they play Oregon State on ABC. Moore is going to need a great game and the Broncos are going to have to defeat the Beavers if Moore wants to continue having a shot at winning the Heisman Trophy.
- LaMichael James (RB/Oregon) – The one game suspension LaMichael James served didn’t hurt his Heisman chances as he has had two very impressive performances for Oregon. The Ducks are in the National Title hunt and a top five team which boosts James’ chances that much more. He only carried the ball 14 times against Portland State, but he had 227 yards rushing (16.2 YPC!) and two touchdown rushes. He racked up 134 yards against Tennessee and has looked extremely impressive thus far. James also has that wow factor that always gets Heisman voters attention.
Just off the Pace
It’s hard to leave it at just five people as the front runners and some other guys really aren’t sleepers. So, I added in a new element this week…
- John Clay (RB/Wisconsin) – John Clay has been John Clay so far this season. Three straight 100 yard games and he hasn’t moved your excitement needle up a single notch. If you aren’t paying attention, you probably haven’t even realized how good Clay has been this year. In Wisconsin’s win over Arizona State, John Clay just had another boring 123 yard game with a rushing touchdown to help lead the Badgers to a 20-19 win over the Sun Devils. It’s not right that Clay isn’t being talked about, but that’s the way it is in college football and Clay just isn’t an exciting player.
- Andrew Luck (QB/Stanford) – A lot was expected from Stanford QB Andrew Luck coming into this season and he hasn’t disappointed. He had another impressive game for the Cardinal in their 68-24 win over Wake Forest on Saturday. He completed 17 of his 23 passes for 207 yards and 4 touchdowns without an interception. He also added a touchdown on the ground. He’s had a brilliant start to the season with 674 yards passing and 10 touchdowns without an interception.
- Landry Jones (QB/Oklahoma) – I had Landry Jones as a front runner last week following his brilliant performance in Oklahoma’s blowout win over Florida State. He’s still very much in the race, but I have him outside of the top five after the Air Force game on Saturday. He completed 26 of his 42 passes for 254 yards and a touchdown in the Sooners 27-24 win over the Falcons. He will be a major player in the race if the Sooners are able to stay in the National Title picture and he continues putting up good numbers.
Falling off the Pace
- Jake Locker (QB/Washington) – I think it’s officially time to jump off the Jake Locker bandwagon. It officially crashed and burned this Saturday against Nebraska. I’ve never touted Locker as a great QB or in the Heisman race at all. I always thought it was dumb to tout Locker as the best QB in the nation and the lock to be the top draft pick. He looked awful against Nebraska on Saturday. He completed just 4 of his 20 pass attempts for 71 yards, a touchdown, and a pair of interceptions. Locker might should have cashed into the NFL last season, because his stock has taken a hit so far this year.
- Case Keenum (QB/Houston) – Keenum’s Heisman hopes are completely gone along with his season. Keenum tore his ACL in Houston’s loss to UCLA on Saturday and ended what could have been a spectacular season. You hate to see it happen, but injuries are apart of college football. I wish him a speedy recovery and hope that he is able to get back on the field next season and be the same guy that we were used to seeing.
- Trent Richardson (RB/Alabama) – Richardson’s performance didn’t really hurt his Heisman hopes, but Mark Ingram’s return does. Ingram is still the #1 running back in Alabama’s system and that will drastically hurt Richardson’s chances of winning the Heisman Trophy. It was nice to talk about while Ingram was out and he was great with Ingram out. But, with Ingram returning, he will still get a fair share of the work load, but he won’t put up the same kind of numbers with Ingram back in the rotation.
- Mark Ingram (RB/Alabama) – Did you forget about this guy? He may have missed the first two games of the season due to
knee surgery, but he came back in a big way on Saturday in Alabama’s win over Duke. His first carry netted 48 yards against the Blue Devils and he eclipsed 100 yards on his 3rd carry. He ended the game with 151 yards on just 9 carries. It’s going to be a difficult road for Ingram to get back into the front runner category and have a shot at repeating, but it’s doable.
- Taylor Martinez (QB/Nebraska) – Taylor Martinez was on nobody’s Heisman race before the season started. We weren’t even sure that Martinez was going to start. All the Husker faithful are sure glad he won the starting job. He finally got his chance to shine on a national stage against Washington on the road. He threw for 150 yards and scored a touchdown and he rushed for 137 yards and punched in three more touchdowns. He’s had over 100 yards rushing in all three games this year and if he keeps playing well and Nebraska continues being a top 10 team, he’s going to get a lot of Heisman consideration.
- Daniel Thomas (RB/Kansas State) – Pop quiz: Who is 2nd in the nation in rushing so far this season behind Denard Robinson? That would be Kansas State running back Daniel Thomas. He started the season with 234 yards rushing in a 31-22 win over UCLA and he hasn’t slowed down. He rushed for 137 yards against Missouri State and then had 181 yards on the ground against Iowa State on Saturday. Thomas has been a big reason behind Kansas State’s 3-0 start. Thomas and Kansas State face off with Central Florida this weekend before they open up Big XII play.
- Bernard Pierce (RB/Temple) – What is the likelihood that Bernard Pierce wins the Heisman? Almost impossible. But, he’s definitely someone worth mentioning. He struggled a bit in the first two games of the season, but he came on strong against Connecticut with 169 yards on 26 carries and two rushing touchdowns with a receiving touchdown to go along with it. Pierce will get another chance to prove himself on a national stage this Saturday when Temple heads to Happy Valley to face off with Penn State.
- Marcus Lattimore (RB/South Carolina) – A freshman has never won the Heisman Trophy, and I don’t expect that to change this season, but Marcus Lattimore at least deserves a mention at this point in the season. Following up his impressive workhorse-like 182 yard effort on 37 carries against Georgia, Lattimore had 97 yards on 19 carries and a touchdown against Furman. It will be interesting if he can keep up this play when the Gamecocks get into the heart of the SEC schedule.