Heisman Watch: Make room for Tajh Boyd

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Heisman Watch: Make room for Tajh Boyd

Week 8 of the college football season dramatically altered both the BCS standings and the race for the Heisman Trophy.

The No. 6 ranked Wisconsin Badgers blew a 14-0 lead, came back from a 31-17 4th quarter deficit to tie it at 31, only to lose on an improbable Hail Mary as time expired.

The loss not only dropped Wisconsin to No. 15 in the BCS, but Russell Wilson's Heisman bid is practically a thing of the past.

The biggest shock of the weekend, however, was unquestionably Texas Tech's upset victory on the road at No. 3 Oklahoma. Landry Jones had a monster game (30-55, 412 yards, 5 TD, INT) but when you're team loses, you feel the effects in the Heisman Watch.

Fortunately for the Sooners, they only dropped to No. 9 in the BCS and still have three ranked opponents on the schedule to make up ground.

Does it make sense that Wisconsin fell nine spots after losing on a Hail Mary on the road against the No. 16 team, and Oklahoma only dropped six spots after losing to an unranked team at home? Of course not, but that's the world of the BCS.

The Heisman is also an imperfect science but it doesn't mean we don't try to get it right. Without further ado...

Rank Player, Position, School Recent Game Stats Season Stats Next Game 1 Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford 16-21, 169 yards, 2 TD in 65-21 win over 25 Washington 145-202 (72), 1888 yards, 20 TD, 3 INT, rush TD At USC (No. 20 AP Poll) 2 Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama 17 rush, 77 yards, 2 TD in 37-6 win over Tennessee 149 rush, 989 yards (6.6 YPC), 17 TD, 212 rec. yards, rec. TD Bye, No. 1 LSU 3 Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson 27-46, 367 yards, 5 TD, rush TD in 59-38 win over North Carolina 172-278 (62), 2379 yards, 24 TD, 3 INT, 165 rush yards, 4 rush TD At Georgia Tech 4 Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State 23-29, 281 yards, 3 TD, INT in 37-26 win over Air Force 174-228 (76), 2010 yards, 24 TD, 5 INT Bye, At UNLV 5 Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State 33-49, 338 yards, 3 TD, INT in 45-24 win at Missouri 222-309 (72), 2436 yards, 19 TD, 7 INT Baylor
On the bubble: Robert Griffin IIIQBBaylor, Landry JonesQBOklahoma, Case KeenumQBHouston, Russell WilsonQBWisconsin

Analysis:

1) Andrew Luck: How was he supposed to put up big numbers when the Cardinal rushed for a school single-game record 446 yards? That surely won't be the case when Stanford travels to USC this weekend, as the Cardinal will need Luck's arm to get by the Trojans. But don't let anybody fool you, Stanford's season, and Luck's Heisman candidacy rides on the showdown November 12 with Oregon.

2) Trent Richardson: Had he not scored two touchdowns he probably would have slipped a spot in the rankings after registering just 77 yards rushing against Tennessee. Nonetheless, Richardson has a chance to steal in the show (and possibly the Heisman) when the Crimson Tide host No. 1 LSU on November 5 in the undisputed Game of the Year.

3) Tajh Boyd: Before the season, or before this week, or before one minute ago when you starting reading this blog, did you know who Tajh Boyd was? The redshirt sophomore has put himself, and No. 5 Clemson on the map and has the Tigers dreaming of a BCS tile game appearance (it's not a dream anymore, it's a reality). WARNING: Don't look past Georgia Tech this week -- yes, the Yellow Jackets have lost two in a row and have gone from No. 12 in the AP Poll to unranked, but they would like nothing more than to ruin your perfect season and then hope to meet you again in the ACC Championship Game. Consider yourself warned...
4) Kellen Moore: He had a solid game against Air Force but the Broncos shouldn't have struggled like they did against the Falcons. I said last week that Kellen Moore has smallest margin of error if he wants to remain in the Heisman hunt, and the same goes for Boise State's BCS quest. In reality, Boise has .00000009 chance of making the BCS National Championship Game but will surely earn a spot in a BCS game if they simply win out. Let's use this analogy for Moore's Heisman bid: He doesn't have a great shot at winning it (BCS Title Game) but if Boise wins out, he will be invited to New York (a BCS game).

5) Brandon Weeden: His 19 touchdowns to 7 interceptions doesn't scream "Heisman" but he is completing 72 of his passes and has thrown for 2436 yards for the No. 3 ranked team in the land. With a daunting schedule ahead (Baylor, No. 8 Kansas State, at No. 20 Texas Tech, at Iowa State, No. 9 Oklahoma) it's simple: If the Cowboys win out, they will be facing either LSU or Alabama in the BCS Championship Game, and Brandon Weeden will be in New York for the Heisman presentation.

Warriors All-Stars combine for 56 points, West wins

Warriors All-Stars combine for 56 points, West wins

BOX SCORE

NEW ORLEANS — Anthony Davis had an All-Star Game for the record books.

And on a night when Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant provided a glimpse of the past, Giannis Antetokounmpo showed he's clearly part of the future and a midcourt lob attempt from James Harden even went in, Davis absolutely stole the show.

He scored 52 points, 10 more than Wilt Chamberlain's All-Star record that had stood for 55 years, and the Western Conference beat the Eastern Conference 192-182 on Sunday night — the highest-scoring game in league history.

Davis made 26 shots and took 39, both of those also All-Star records. He even outdid Westbrook, who had 41 points in just 20 minutes — which ordinarily would have been enough to merit him what would have been a third straight MVP award.

Not this time. It was Davis hoisting the trophy, to the delight of his New Orleans fans.

"It was a lot of fun," Davis said. "My teammates did a great job of looking for me."

Durant had a triple-double with 21 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Stephen Curry added 21 points for the West — where a subplot emerged as DeMarcus Cousins played only two minutes, prompting some speculation that a trade sending him out of Sacramento might be looming.

Antetokounmpo had 30 points for the East, with 12 dunks in his night. LeBron James scored 23 points to become the first All-Star to eclipse 300 in a career, Kyrie Irving had 22 points and 14 assists, and Isaiah Thomas scored 20 for the East.

Davis became the story that overshadowed The Story coming into this game, that being the Durant-Westbrook whatever.

And if there is any animus remaining between Durant and Westbrook, it was hidden. They passed each other the ball and slapped hands in the pregame layup line, and not long after Westbrook checked into the game the former Oklahoma City teammates provided one of the game's top highlights — a give-and-go, capped by Durant lobbing the ball to set Westbrook up for a dunk.

"OH MY GOD! WHAT JUST HAPPENED?" Curry shouted on the West bench, which moments later broke into celebration. Players jumped and threw hands skyward, Curry tossing a cupful of water onto a smiling Durant amid it all.

Draymond Green called the play "cute," and Westbrook and Durant seemed happy with it as well.

"It was a nice give-and-go, man," Westbrook said. "Good give-and-go. Made a good pass. I barely got over the rim, but it was a nice give-and-go."

Added Durant: "It was a great basketball play. He was open so I threw him the lob. He can jump really high so yeah, good play."

Some fans were shouting "De-Fense!" in the fourth quarter. West center DeAndre Jordan heard them, rising from his seat on the West bench to yell "No, no, no" back in their direction.

If those fans were serious, they were disappointed.

Westbrook scored 12 points — all on 3s — in a 63-second span late in the third quarter, coming off the bench and firing over and over and over again. And then he opened the fourth quarter with another 3, giving him 34 points in just under 14 minutes played to that point.

It looked like he was a cinch for MVP honors, until Davis scored 20 points in the fourth.

TIP-INS

East: Irving also led the East in rebounds with seven. ... Kyle Lowry scored 19 points and DeMar DeRozan added 16. ... No East player logged more than 24 minutes.

West: Curry took cover in the third quarter, comically hitting the deck face-first as Antetokounmpo went in for yet another dunk. So later in the quarter, Antetokounmpo went over Curry for a rebound slam — one that left Curry staring at the scoreboard for a replay. ... Kawhi Leonard had a steal and dunk in the opening minute, a defensive display that left West coach Steve Kerr in hysterics.

EMBIID CLOSE

Joel Embiid wanted to be in the All-Star Game, and he was close — literally and figuratively.

The Philadelphia star sat on the edge of the baseline next to the West bench, meaning he got to greet players throughout the night and share a few words with some at halftime.

CELEB WATCH

A huge roar greeted Jon Batiste, who performed "The Star-Spangled Banner" pregame, when he started the song.

It wasn't for him.

That happened to be the moment when John Legend — the halftime performer — and Chrissy Teigen were shown at their sideline seats on the video screens around the arena. And a louder cheer came not long afterward when Beyonce and Jay Z got on-screen.

Among the other celebs in the seats: Guy Fieri, Dave Chappelle, Julius Erving, Alonzo Mourning, Bill Russell, Oscar Robertson and The Roots.

UP NEXT

The next All-Star Game is Feb. 18, 2018, in Los Angeles, which will host for a record sixth time.

Source: Kings, Pelicans have discussed possible Cousins trade

Source: Kings, Pelicans have discussed possible Cousins trade

Nothing is ever a sure thing when it comes to the Sacramento Kings. After digging deep into negotiations with DeMarcus Cousins on a new five-year, $219 million contract extension, a source has confirmed to CSN California that Sacramento has had discussions with the New Orleans Pelicans on a possible trade for the All-Star big man.

No deal is imminent, but according to a person with knowledge of the situation, talks between the Kings and the Pelicans took place over the weekend and there is a 50/50 chance that something will materialize before Thursday’s NBA trade deadline.

The Kings went to great lengths a few weeks back to ensure Cousins that rumors of a potential trade were false, even meeting with the 26-year-old big and his agents in Sacramento to crush published reports.

Sacramento's GM Vlade Divac even went as far as to tell ESPN’s Marc Stein, “We’re not trading DeMarcus.”

Cousins spoke glowingly of Sacramento in his media sessions at All-Star weekend in New Orleans, reiterating to reporters that he would love to finish his career in a Kings uniform.

The Pelicans are a strange trade partner. Anthony Davis is the only blue chip player on the roster, but there is no way New Orleans is giving up their superstar in a deal. There are other assets that Sacramento might be interested in.

According to sources, the Kings attempted to move up in the 2016 NBA Draft to select shooting guard Buddy Hield, and point guard Jrue Holiday has admirers in the organization. The Pelicans also own all of their first-round draft picks moving forward.

Any team trading for Cousins would likely want assurances from the center/forward that he intends to sign an extension during the summer. But they would be limited to a four-year deal, not the “designated player” five-year extension Cousins has been looking to sign in Sacramento.

Cousins is having his best season in Sacramento, averaging 27.8 points, 10.7 rebounds and 4.9 assists under Dave Joerger.

Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical was first to report the potential deal.