Heisman Watch: Same five, different order


Heisman Watch: Same five, different order

For the first time all season, the top five Heisman hopefuls this week are the same as last week. The only difference is a shift in the order. Except for at the top, of course.

Rank Player, Position, School Recent Game Stats Season Stats Next Game 1 Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford 20-30, 206 yards, 3 TD, INT in 38-13 win at Oregon State 194-272 (71), 2424 yards, 26 TD, 5 INT, 2 rush TD No. 7 Oregon 2 Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State 18-31, 219 yards, 5 TD, 12-yard reception in 48-21 win at UNLV 192-259 (74), 2229 yards, 29 TD, 5 INT No. 24 TCU (USA Today Poll) 3 Case Keenum, QB, Houston 39-44, 407 yards, 2 TD, 2 rush TD in 56-13 win at UAB 257-347 (74), 3626 yards, 34 TD, 3 INT, 2 rush TD At Tulane (Thursday) 4 Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama 23 rush, 89 yards, five catches, 80 yards in 9-6 OT loss to No. 1 LSU 172 rush, 1078 yards (6.3 YPC), 17 TD, 23 catches, 292 rec. yards, rec. TD At Mississippi State 5 Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State 36-46, 502 yards, 4 TD, 2 INT in 52-45 win over No. 14 Kansas State 282-391 (72), 3212 yards, 26 TD, 9 INT At Texas Tech
On the bubble: Landry JonesQBOklahoma


1) Andrew Luck: The future No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft faces his toughest challenge of the season Saturday night when the No. 4 Cardinal host the No. 7 Oregon Ducks in what is being called the biggest regular season game in Stanford football history. That's not an exaggeration. If Luck leads the Cardinal to victory, Stanford locks up a spot in the Pac-12 Championship Game (which will be at home), keeps the Cardinal alive in the hunt for the BCS title game, and all but cements Luck as the Heisman winner. However, many of Luck's offensive weapons, including WR Chris Owusu and tight ends Zach Ertz and Levine Toilolo, are questionable for Saturday's showdown. Can the Cardinal fly past the Ducks without them?

2) Kellen Moore: Five touchdowns against UNLV certainly don't hurt Moore's chances at leap-frogging Luck. The Broncos face their toughest opponent this Saturday, TCU, since their opening-weekend win against the Georgia Bulldogs (which is suddenly looking like a HUGE victory considering the 'Dawgs control their own destiny and will most likely meet LSU in the SEC title game). If Luck stumbles against Oregon, and Moore dices up TCU's defense (Baylor's Robert Griffin III threw for 359 yards and five touchdowns against the Horned Frogs in Week 1) it could be the southpaw in first-place next week.

3) Case Keenum: Don't look now, but the 6th-year senior has Houston at No. 11 in the BCS Standings. If they close out the regular season undefeated and take care of No. 22 Southern Mississippi in the Conference USA Championship Game, the Cougars should be BCS bound (but you never know because the BCS is the single worst "thing" in all of sports -- more on that at a later date). Three weeks ago, Keenum surpassed Hawaii's Timmy Chang to become the all-time FBS leader in total offense. Two weeks ago, Keenum put Graham Harrell in his rear-view mirror and became the all-time FBS leader in career touchdown passes. And over the weekend, Keenum once again surpassed Timmy Chang to become the all-time FBS leader in passing yards. Amazing stuff.

4) Trent Richardson: In a game that featured probably 20-30 future NFLers, Richardson was the best player on the field. The problem -- he was on the losing team. This guy simply doesn't go down after first contact and requires a multitude of defenders to bring him down. He makes up for his lack of Chris-Johnson-type-speed with some razzle-dazzle and head-and-shoulder fakes that cause defenders to whiff. Had the Tide won, he would easily be sitting in the No. 2 spot on the list and quite possibly head of Luck. But as they say -- "To the victor, go the spoils."

5) Brandon Weeden: It's hard for a matchup between the No. 3 and No 14 ranked teams in the country to go virtually unnoticed, but that's what happens when you play on the same day (let alone the same time) as the "Game of the Century." Weeden led the No. 3 Oklahoma State Cowboys past the No. 14 Kansas State Wildcats in a 52-45 barn-burner that was the antithesis of LSU-Alabama. Weeden did throw two interceptions in the win, but he also threw four touchdowns, and it should have been five had All-World wide receiver Justin Blackmon not fumbled as he was crossing the goal-line. Trap game coming up this weekend as the Cowboys head to Lubbock to take on Texas Tech.

Drew Shiller is a Web Producer at CSNBayArea.com. You can follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Hermanson scores 17, No. 22 Saint Mary's beats BYU 70-57


Hermanson scores 17, No. 22 Saint Mary's beats BYU 70-57

PROVO, Utah — Saint Mary's knows all about the raucous atmosphere at BYU. The Gaels hadn't won in Provo since 2013 and had only come out on top in three of their previous 12 trips.

Make it four out of 13.

Calvin Hermanson scored 17 points and No. 22 Saint Mary's cruised to a 70-57 victory over BYU on Saturday night, snapping a three-game road losing streak to its West Coast Conference rival.

"It's definitely one of the tougher places to play for us," Hermanson said. "Coming in here we know it's a huge crowd and we know they can get riled up on any 3-point shot or any run they make. We wanted to try to limit their runs and their big plays.

"The second half was pretty unbelievable how quiet the crowd was. It felt great for us."

With two games remaining on the regular-season schedule, the Gaels (24-3, 14-2) clinched a second-place finish in the conference standings behind top-ranked and undefeated Gonzaga.

Saint Mary's controlled the game most of the night, riding its staunch defense on one end and running efficient offense on the other. The Gaels were able to get to the rim consistently, but also knocked down 10 3-pointers.

BYU (19-10, 10-6) shot 39.7 percent from the field and connected on four 3s.

Evan Fitzner had 15 points for Saint Mary's, including 11 in the second half.

"We didn't turn the ball over and we shot the ball well," Gaels coach Randy Bennett said, "and were able to get some separation and then it made it tough on them. We kind of just wore them out after that.

"We're a little different team with Fitzner out there. He spaces the floor," Bennett added. "We just play a little different with Fitzner out there versus Jock (Landale). It's nice to have a Plan A and Plan B."

Saint Mary's took a 41-30 lead into halftime thanks to Hermanson's hot shooting and plenty of that trademark defense. The Gaels began the day ranked second in the nation in scoring defense, then held the Cougars to 37.9 percent shooting from the field in the first 20 minutes.

Saint Mary's shot 57.1 percent at the other end, including a 3-for-4 effort from Hermanson from behind the arc.

"I feel like we're better than we showed tonight," BYU guard TJ Haws said. "That team made a lot of runs on us. Tough defensive and offensive team. Very poised and disciplined.

"I want our team to just fight. When they punch us in the face, I want us to punch them right back."

BYU kept Landale under control in the half — and in foul trouble throughout — but Saint Mary's scored 22 of its 41 first-half points in the paint.

Eric Mika had 18 points for BYU, and Yoeli Childs added 13.

"The key to the game was that they were comfortable the entire time in our gym," BYU coach Dave Rose said. "That's on us. We need to be ahead. We need to get them to speed up a little bit because they're a little bit uncomfortable.

"But the game went pretty much exactly how they wanted it to go and we couldn't flip it. We couldn't get on top."


Saint Mary's: The Gaels will be the No. 2 seed in the WCC tournament. No. 1 Gonzaga secured the regular-season title Saturday with a win over Pacific. An early December defeat to UT-Arlington is the Gaels' only bad loss this season, with the other two coming against Gonzaga.

BYU: The Cougars likely needed a win against the No. 22 team in the country to make an argument for the NCAA Tournament off their regular-season credentials. BYU has lost all three games against ranked opponents by double digits, including to Saint Mary's twice, and doesn't have a signature win. The Cougars get one last chance against Gonzaga next Saturday.


No. 22 Saint Mary's might find itself moving up a bit after No. 17 Florida State and No. 21 South Carolina lost on Saturday.


Saint Mary's: Travel to face Pepperdine on Thursday.

BYU: Play at Portland on Thursday.

Pickens, Travis rally Stanford past rival Cal for upset win


Pickens, Travis rally Stanford past rival Cal for upset win


STANFORD -- Dorian Pickens scored 23 points, Reid Travis had 19 with nine rebounds and Stanford held on to beat California 73-68 on Friday night.

Marcus Allen added 11 points for the Cardinal, who overcame an early 12-point deficit to beat their cross-bay rivals for the 21st time in the last 24 meetings between the two teams at Maples Pavilion.

Stanford (13-13, 5-9 Pac-12) won for only the second time in seven games and split the season series with California.

Pickens had nine points, including a pair of 3-pointers, as part of a 20-5 run in the second half when the Cardinal pulled away.

After California closed within 62-56 on Grant Mullins' 3-pointer with 4:54 remaining, Allen made two free throws and Pickens scored on a jumper from the free-throw line as he was falling backward onto the court.

Jabari Bird scored 23 points and set a career-high with seven 3s for the Golden Bears (18-8, 9-5). Ivan Rabb added 16 points and 13 rebounds after being slowed by foul trouble in the first half.