Andrew Luck, 2011 Heisman Front Runner

So much for my post saying LaMichael James is the 2011 front runner.  That’ll teach me a lesson about assuming things.

Defying all expectations to the contrary, Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck is coming back for another year of college football. 

This means the Heisman runner up in 2010 is now the clear Heisman front runner in 2011.  Not only was he a solid second in the Heisman vote, he also had a fantastic bowl game performance on a national stage and with his return he could conceivably be the top player on the nation’s preseason No. 1 team.

Mark down that Nov. 12 game against Oregon in Stanford Stadium.  It should be a doozy between two top five teams and the top two Heisman candidates.

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Chris Huston, A.K.A. ‘The Heisman Pundit‘, is a Heisman voter and the creator and publisher of, a site dedicated to analysis of the Heisman Trophy and college football. Dubbed “the foremost authority on the Heisman” by Sports Illustrated, HP is regularly quoted or cited during football season in newspapers across the country. He is also a regular contributor on sports talk radio and television.

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8 Responses to Andrew Luck, 2011 Heisman Front Runner

  1. DanielS January 6, 2011 at 1:14 pm #

    I didn’t agree with LaMichael James as a front runner, just because I think Darron Thomas will get more credit next season, and I think Kenjon Barner and Lache Seastrunk will get more carries.

    But Luck has to be the biggest favourite since Tim Tebow in 2008 (although, I know, Heismandments said that he wasn’t in the running).

    I think he’s a lock for a top 3 finish, and Stanford are a legitimate national title contender.

  2. Ed Newman January 6, 2011 at 1:58 pm #

    I thought Stanford kids were supposed to be smart. If you are the consensus no. 1 pick in the draft you have to go pro. The money is just too great. I understand his family probably has money, but this is just a terrible decision for him. At best he’ll still be the number one guy when he does leave Stanford. There is nowhere to go but down. That’s great that he wants to get his architectural degree. More power to him. But he’s never going to make as much money in his whole career as an architect as he will from his first NFL contract. And there is nothing stopping him from getting a Stanford degree after his playing days are done. Does he think Stanford wont let him back in?

    It’s great for the program (though the program and its fans are selfish–they should be pushing him out the door) and I’m sure he’ll have fun for the next year or two at school but there is a good chance he’ll regret this decision. Just ask Matt Leinart.

  3. Travis January 6, 2011 at 8:44 pm #

    @ Ed Newman: If it was any previous year, I would have agreed with you. But the rookies in this years draft are going to be capped. The number one overall pick in the draft isn’t going to be making $40+ million deals anymore.
    Plus, who wants to get drafted by the Panthers and live in the Carolinas? I used to live in the Carolinas, it sucked (except for a few coastal areas).

  4. AUman76 January 6, 2011 at 9:56 pm #

    well now ain’t that special? If Luck get’s hurt there goes some of the big $$$$$$$$$$$. Hey HP what if Cam comes back? It’s possible and may just happen.

  5. Kirk January 7, 2011 at 1:06 am #

    Travis – I could be wrong, but my understanding is that any rookie salary cap put in place wouldn’t go into effect until 2012. In which case, it’s an even worse decision. He could be dealing with a strike situation, in which case his pay would obviously be worse, but it’s darn near guaranteed to be worse in 2012.
    Yes, his family has money…but not $40 million, or whatever he’d end up guaranteed with. It really makes no sense to me, especially since he’s apparently very close to his degree – he could play in the NFL and still get the degree within 2 years.
    From a pure business perspective, absolutely horrible decision.

  6. Ed Newman January 7, 2011 at 6:36 am #

    Two more things. By not coming out this year he not only loses the years (monster) salary, but he also delays the start of his second, even bigger, franchise shattering contract. He forgoes the stats that may be the difference between getting into the HOF or missing out. Sometimes it makes sense to go back to school. Not this time. Just ask Jake Locker.

    If there is a lockout/strike then no big deal. Go take those architecture courses you need. You’ll still graduate in 2012, and you’ll have locked in the maximum salary you could get playing football.

  7. AUman76 January 7, 2011 at 8:47 pm #

    uh oh! Now what since Jimbo has moved on? Luck is now gonna have to adapt to a mostly new coaching staff if not a complete change. While I wis all kids had to stay four years, this ain’t xactly a smart move by a Stanford kid. Does he think that degree will earn him 40 million for a few years work or does he love the co-ed life that much? Me thinks the NFL guys nail their fair share of young babes also. OH well…good luck, Andy cause you just had the high light of your college career. Welcome back to 7-5 Standford.

  8. johnnymac February 23, 2011 at 10:19 am #

    #1. rookie sal cap idiots. his dad was an nfl exec and knows there will be a lockout. part of the new cba will be a rookie sal cap just like lebron had in hoops. coupled with the fact that they will miss ota’s, part of training camp, and has a new coach in carolinas that is the worst nfl team fire selling pepper’s and any other talent (hint: carolinas’s owner is on the negotiating board for the owners). on the worst team and having a month to learn the playbook before ray lewis can take your head off. hmmmmm or stay @ stanford for his JUNIOR year (he has 2 years of eligibility left), be the #1 heisman pick (fact check heisman pundits), be on the cover of every mag in the country, play prime time for only the fourth time in his career, be on the cover of every video box and have your team ranked in the top 5 to start the season (last year was around 20-something up to 3 or 4). he could graduate now if he wanted to. he’ll be working on his masters now. insured with lloyds of london for more than the new rookie salary caps will be. HOF #’s? he called peyton manning and asked him about staying for his SENIOR year at tennessee. remember he decided to stay his JUNIOR year! harbagh was good but he called luck the greatest player he has EVER seen. how much was harbagh and how much was luck? harbagh didn’t only throw 3 picks as a fresh and 5 asa soph and as a dropback qb have 3 runs (@ 6’4″ 235) over 60 yards. not to mention as a frosh picking apart nfl safeties tyler mays and cle. brwns s from ore st. on one of those runs he ran over cal’s s and future nfler. how about the usc db who was knocked into next week in which the youtube vid hit 2 mill hits in 1 wk? this kid was ranked 68th coming out of h.s. he is quiet (1 sentence press release thru the school) . 4th best drop back qb behind jokers like christ @ n.d. this isn’t locker. luck (like manning’s) had an nfl dad (2nd rd pick of hou oilers, pres of nfl eur) who chose wvu (current a.d.) over harvard.
    dumb like a fox.
    here’s a couple for the pub. harbagh shares same interests as schlister and look 4 the vikes or bills to have an L.A. before their name.