Time for a look at week five of the 2011 Heisman race.
Below is my personal list of the players who currently stand the best chance of actually winning the Heisman, based on season-long projections (rather than the current prevailing wind). 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.
1. Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford – Luck had another strong outing and punctuated it with a magnificent one-handed reception that will, no doubt, be seen as his ‘Heisman moment’. Moments like those remind voters of why he’s such a special player. He’s still the default candidate until he screws up or some other player overtakes him.
Last Week against UCLA: 23 of 27, 227 yards, 3 TDs, 1 catch, 13 yards
Next Opponent: Colorado
Season: 80 of 112, 1,013 yards, 71.4%, 11 TDs, 1 Ints., 178.03 rating
2. Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama – The benefit of playing for a team like Alabama in a conference like the SEC is the big spotlight games that inevitably take place. Richardson took advantage of a high profile matchup with No. 12 Florida to make himself the top running back in this race and, in my mind, Luck’s main challenger from here on out.
Last Week against Florida: 29 carries for 181 yards, 2 TDs, 2 catches, 27 yards
Next Opponent: Vanderbilt
Season: 96 carries, 622 yards, 6.48 ypc, 10 TDs, 11 catches, 148 yards, 1 TD
3. Russell Wilson, QB, Wisconsin — Wilson came up big in a route of No. 8 Nebraska and now has a chance to lead his team to an undefeated season. If he does so, he’s a lock to get to New York. Can he produce the numbers he needs to overtake Luck, though?
Last Week against Nebraska: 14 of 20, 255 yards, 2 TDs, 6 carries, 32 yards, 1 TD
Next Opponent: Indiana
Season: 83 of 111, 74.8%, 1,391 yards, 13 TDs, 1 INT, 216.90 rating, 22 carries, 140 yards, 2 TDs
4. Robert Griffin, QB, Baylor – Sure, the Bears lost, but no one expected them to go undefeated. Griffin’s Heisman hopes rest on his superior stats and he came through with yet another fantastic game. On this pace, he’ll shatter several NCAA records.
Last Week against Kansas State: 23 of 31, 346 yards, 5 TDs, 1 INT,
Next Opponent: Iowa State
Season: 93 of 113, 82.3%, 1,308 yards, 18 TDs, 1 INT, 230.33 rating, 36 carries, 173 yards, 1 TD
5. Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State – Moore had the worst game of his career, but voters will gladly give him a mulligan based on his reputation. He’ll soon become the winningest quarterback in NCAA history, so that counts for something.
Last Week against Nevada: 19 of 33, 142 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs
Next Opponent: Fresno State
Season: 102 of 138, 73.9%, 1,137 yards, 14 TDs, 4 INTs, 170.80 rating
6. Denard Robinson, QB, Michigan — The Wolverines appear to be headed back to national prominence and Robinson is a key reason for that. If he can lead them back into the top 10 this season, he could make it to New York.
Last Week against Minnesota: 15 of 19, 169 yards, 2 TDs, 6 carries, 51 yards, 1 TD
Next Opponent: Northwestern
Season: 50 of 91, 54.9%, 793 yards, 8 TDs, 6 INTs, 77 carries, 603 yards, 7.83 ypc, 6 TDs
7. Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma – Jones is off to a somewhat slow start to the season, but if he heats up starting this week against Texas, he could make a second-half run at the trophy.
Last Week against Ball State: 23 of 33, 425 yards, 5 TDs, 1 INT
Next Opponent: Texas
Season: 111 of 155, 71.6%, 1,447 yards, 10 TDs, 5 INTs, 164.86 rating
8. Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson – Boyd is the ‘it’ player on the ‘it’ team of the moment. He’s putting up good numbers and if he can lead the Tigers to an ACC title, he’s going to get a lot of Heisman attention.
Last Week against Virginia Tech: 13 of 32, 204 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 10 carries, 28 yards
Next Opponent: Boston College
Season: 103 of 168, 61.3%, 1,459 yards, 14 TDs, 2 INTs, 159.38 rating, 79 yards rushing, 2 TDs