Heisman Watch: And then there were 5

Heisman Watch: And then there were 5
October 17, 2011, 8:14 pm
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The first BCS standings were released on Sunday, signifying that the chase to the BCS Championship Game is in full swing. In addition, now that we are over halfway through the season the race for the Heisman Trophy is starting to take shape. We have narrowed down the candidates from 10 to five, with a few players on the bubble. After all, only five will be invited to the presentation in New York on December 10. Without further ado...

Rank PlayerPositionSchool Recent Game Stats Season Stats Next Game 1 Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford 26-36, 336 yards, 4 TD, INT in 44-14 win Washington State 129-181 (71), 1719 yards, 18 TD, 3 INT, rush TD 25 Washington 2 Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama 17 rush, 183 yards, 4 TD in 52-7 win at Ole Miss 132 rush, 912 yards (7 yards per carry), 15 TD, 179 rec. yards, rec. TD Tennessee 3 Russell Wilson, QB, Wisconsin 12-17, 166 yards, TD, 42 rush yards in 59-7 win over Indiana 95-128 (74), 1557 yards, 14 TD, INT, 182 rush yards, 2 rush TD at 16 Michigan State 4 Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State 26-30, 338 yards, 4 TD in 63-13 win at Colorado State 151-199 (76), 1729 yards, 21 TD, 6 INT Air Force 5 Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma 29-48, 363 yards, 3 TD, INT in 47-17 win at Kansas 171-253 (68), 2177 yards, 16 TD, 6 INT, 2 rush TD Texas Tech
On the bubble: Brandon WeedenQBOklahoma State, Robert Griffin IIIQBBaylor, Case KeenumQBHouston, Ryan BroylesWROklahoma

Analysis:

1) Andrew Luck: Stanford has won its six games by an average of almost 35 points per game, and although their lack of competition hurt the Cardinal in the first BCS standings (8th) it hasn't hurt Luck in Heisman race. Big numbers and a big margin of victory against the 25th ranked Washington Huskies will only extend Luck's lead, and should help boost the Cardinal's strength of schedule with the computers.

2) Trent Richardson: Did you see his 76-yard touchdown run over the weekend? This guy will be carrying it 20 plus times a game on Sundays next year, and may pick up a Heisman trophy and BCS National Championship on the way. Set your DVR right this second for November 5 when a spot in the SEC Title Game, and most likely the BCS Title Game is on the line when the Crimson Tide host LSU. If Richardson shines and the Tide wins, Luck may not be feeling so lucky after all.

3) Russell Wilson: All of the quarterbacks he is battling have completed more passes than Wilson has even attempted. Wisconsin will always be a smash-mouth, run-first program but without Wilson they are an above average team. With him, they have a realistic shot at sneaking into the BCS Title Game. However, they face their biggest test of the season this Saturday in East Lansing against a Spartans squad that knocked off Michigan over the weekend. My prediction: Russell dominates and the Badgers win by double digits.
4) Kellen Moore: I've had him 3rd, 5th, 1b, 7th, and now 4th. The Broncos' weak schedule has made me flip-flop practically every week, but I think it's safe to say that he will remain in the Top 5 and be invited to New York on December 10 as long as Boise runs the table, and he doesn't either get hurt or throw three interceptions in a game. His margin for error is smaller than anybody on the list.

5) Landry Jones: He got off to a bit of a slow start (five passing touchdowns vs. four interceptions in first three games) but has thrown 11 touchdowns against just two interceptions in the Sooners' last three games. Oklahoma has the toughest route to the BCS Title Game with games at 11 Kansas State, 17 Texas A&M, at Baylor, and at 4 Oklahoma State still on the schedule. The way I look at it -- amazing opportunities for Jones to vault himself to the top of the list, and into a top draft pick he elects to enter the 2012 NFL Draft.
Note: If team records or rankings didn't matter, Robert Griffin III would unquestionably be in the top 5. However, Baylor has two losses, including a 55-28 drubbing over the weekend from Texas A&M. Maybe he should play defense, too?