With Denard Robinson coming back full throttle against Indiana, Terrelle Pryor matching up at Illinois and Kellen Moore taking on New Mexico State, I don’t expect the top three in the Heisman race to change much after this weekend.
However, the three players hanging around on the outside looking in can certainly make some headway.
If Andrew Luck leads Stanford to a victory at Oregon, it would probably be the most impressive win for any of the Heisman candidates to date. The player with the most to lose from Luck’s emergence is Moore, as the two quarterbacks share the same Heisman voting region and Luck could steal some of his support there. Playing well in a follow-up win over a possibly-undefeated USC team a week later would probably vault Luck into the top three and–at least temporarily–knock Moore down a peg or two.
While this year’s race belongs primarily to quarterbacks, the top running back in the field is Mark Ingram even though he missed the first two games. The Tide back isn’t going to win the Heisman, but he might end up having a lot of influence on the race when it is all said and done. Another big game against Florida would go a long way toward sending him to New York for the second year in a row and maybe cause voters to think twice about putting another quarterback on their ballot.
However, if Florida keeps Ingram in check and Oregon’s LaMichael James runs wild in a win over Stanford, then James just might become the top running back in this race.
Other players who could kick up some Heisman buzz on Saturday: Cam Newton, Daniel Thomas, John Clay.