Go to this great sportsbook for the latest betting odds, but in the meantime, it’s time to look at the state of the Heisman race.
Here is my list of the players who currently stand the best chance of actually winning the Heisman. This is not a predicted order of the final vote, nor the order of how the vote would go if held today. Some players not on this list are likely to receive support, but not enough to win.
So, here is the HP Heisman Watch after four weeks of football. One of these guys is going to win the 2010 Heisman:
1. Terrelle Pryor, Ohio State–Pryor is coming off one of his more spectacular days as he went 20 of 26 for 224 yards and four touchdowns while running for 104 yards and a score on seven carries against Eastern Michigan. Oh, and he also caught a touchdown pass. His trump card over the rest of the field remains his team’s tradition and lofty ranking. As long as he keeps playing like he has been lately–and the Buckeyes keep winning–he’ll stay the favorite. Looking ahead, he is likely to be challenged just once over the next five games–a road trip to Wisconsin in mid-October. Get through that, and he’ll head into November with a chance to seal the deal.
Current Stats: 71/107 (66.4%), 939 yds, 10 TDs, 2 INTs, 167.18 rtg; 43 att, 269 rush yds (6.3 ypc), 3 TDs; 1 TD rec.
Projected Season Stats*: 2,817 passing yds, 30 TDs, 6 INTs; 807 rush yds, 9 TDs
2. Denard Robinson, Michigan–I’m convinced that the only thing standing between Robinson and the Heisman is the health issue. Can he survive a full season? If so, I think he’s going to put up numbers that will be impossible for the Heisman electorate to ignore–no matter what Michigan’s record. Before getting dinged up against Bowling Green last Saturday, he still managed 129 rushing yards and two scores on just five carries while completing all four of his passes for another 60 yards. Despite the limited play, he still leads the nation in rushing and is second in total offense. If he stays healthy, the combination of Michigan’s traditional power status and his overwhelming stats should carry him through. However, the more time he misses and the more his stats suffer due to injury, the more he’ll have to make up for it by leading Michigan to some big wins down the road.
Current Stats: 57/80 (71.3%), 731 yds, 4 TDs, 1 INT, 162.01 rtg; 79 att, 688 rush yds (8.71 ypc), 6 TDs
Projected Season Stats*: 2,193 passing yds, 12 TDs, 3 INTs; 2,064 rush yds, 18 TDs
3. Kellen Moore, Boise State–Moore looked fantastic against Oregon State and once again reminded voters why he’s such a special player. He was 19 of 27 for 288 yards and three touchdowns against the Beavers and it seemed like he put every throw on the money. He and his team are just really, really good, despite playing in a non-BCS conference. Unfortunately for his Heisman aspirations, he’ll go into the equivalent of hibernation for a while as BSU heads into conference play against a slate of lesser foes. However, Moore has a chance to get a boost later in the year when the Broncos play three late November games on Friday night, which means he’ll have the spotlight to himself. In the meantime, he’s got to keep adding to his already dazzling career numbers (29-1 as a starter; 47-4 TD-to-INT ratio in the last 17 games) and hope Pryor and Robinson falter a bit.
Current Stats: 62/95 (65.3%), 873 yds, 8 TDs, 1 INT, 168.13 rtg
Projected Season Stats*: 3,492 passing yds, 32 TDs, 4 INTs
4. Andrew Luck, Stanford–Luck acquitted himself well against Notre Dame, going 19 of 32 for 238 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions while also rushing for 23 yards. Beating the Irish in a nationally-televised game never hurts when it comes to the Heisman race (just ask Denard Robinson). But Luck has an great opportunity to add another feather to his cap this Saturday when Stanford takes on No. 5 Oregon in Eugene. If he plays well and beats the Ducks, then he’ll start to eat into a significant chunk of Moore’s West Coast vote and become a major Heisman contender. Beating USC the following week would also be a boon to his candidacy. Lose to one or both and it gets problematic. In the end, several things have to fall into place for Luck to have a shot, but the same was true of Toby Gerhart last year and he missed the Heisman by the closest vote ever.
Current Stats: 67/108 (62.7%), 912 yds, 11 TDs, 2 INT, 169.52 rtg; 17 att, 163 rush yds (9.6 ypc), 1 TD
Projected Season Stats*: 2,736 passing yds, 33 TDs, 6 INTs; 489 rush yds, 4 TDs
5. LaMichael James, Oregon–James has wasted no time getting back up to speed after missing the first game due to suspension, averaging 151 yards per game in his three outings. However, he had just 114 yards and a score on 28 carries against Arizona State, so he needs to pick up the pace a bit. He’s got just the arena to do it, too, as the Ducks host Stanford on Saturday in a game everyone will be watching. If James explodes for big yardage and Oregon wins, he’ll solidify his status as the running back with the best chance of taking home the Heisman.
Current Stats: 58 att, 455 rush yds (7.8 ypc), 4 TDs
Projected Season Stats*: 1,672 rush yds, 15 TDs
6. Ryan Mallett, Arkansas–This past Saturday, Mallett had the ideal scenario in place for taking control of the Heisman race. The No. 1 team was on the ropes, but he wasn’t able to deliver the knockout punch. While he did throw for 357 yards and a score on 25 of 38 passing, he also tossed three costly interceptions. I don’t count him completely out of this race, however (though his chances have plunged). Nowhere is it written that you have to go undefeated to win the Heisman. And if Mallett can play really well the rest of the year and the Hogs win out and beat some good teams along the way, he’ll have a chance to win if the rest of the field slips up. It might be a fat chance, but there’s a chance.
Current Stats: 95/138 (68.8%), 1,438 yds, 10 TDs, 5 INTs, 173.03 rtg; 2 rush TDs
Projected Season Stats*: 4,314 passing yds, 30 TDs, 15 INTs; 6 rush TDs
* – Stat projection is for end of regular season when the Heisman votes are due.
If the vote were held today
1. Denard Robinson
2. Kellen Moore
3. Terrelle Pryor
4. Mark Ingram
5. Andrew Luck
6. LaMichael James
7. Ryan Mallett
8. Cameron Newton
9. Patrick Peterson
10. Russell Wilson