Heisman News and Notes, Week 7

What I saw in week seven, plus some mid-season awards:

The Big Winner

Trent Richardson has begun to make his move for the Heisman after ripping Ole Miss for 183 yards and 4 TDs. The schedule sets up nicely for Richardson, as he gets a monster matchup with No. 1 LSU in three weeks and then can look forward to closing out the season with high profile games against Auburn and (potentially) against the SEC East champ in the SEC title game. Obviously, beating LSU is paramount, as it gives him a 13th regular season game to accumulate stats and to impress the voters.

Holding Steady

Andrew Luck started out slow but closed fast, throwing for 336 yards and 4 TDs (with one pick) against Washington State. I expect he’ll remain comfortably on top of the Heisman race for now, though there is potential for some road blocks ahead on the schedule as he plays No. 22 Washington and then USC in the next two weeks.

Russell Wilson had a quiet week with just 166 yards and a touchdown against Indiana.  He did, however, catch a TD pass and, naturally, that made all the highlight reels. I expect he’ll remain in the top three of the race for the time being, but sometimes the constraints of the Wisconsin system is going to result in games like this one. The key to his Heisman hopes may lie in the next two weeks when Wisconsin takes on No. 16 Michigan State and Ohio State.

— Even though Baylor lost, I don’t think Robert Griffin III will lose too much ground in the race after throwing for 430 yards and 3 TDs against Texas A&M. Essentially, his is a numbers candidacy. As long as his statistics retain their majesty in comparison to the rest of the field, he’ll be a factor. Too bad Baylor doesn’t have a defense.

— All people will see is the box score, but Oklahoma had to work hard to make it look easy against Kansas. Landry Jones had 363 yards and 3 TDs (with an interception) and he remains the candidate with the most late-season potential. He’s like the race horse that sits back in the pack, waiting to make his move. He’ll get plenty of opportunities, with games against Kansas State, Texas A&M and Oklahoma State still to come. Too bad that Big 12 title game isn’t there to give him an extra chance to impress voters.

Down for the Count

— Time to turn the lights out on the Denard Robinson for Heisman campaign. It’s not just that his team lost, it’s that he didn’t look good in the process. If he rebounds the rest of the way and leads Michigan to a fine season, I think he can get his share of votes, but I don’t believe he can win.

— Obviously Marcus Lattimore’s injury could end up costing a lot more than the Heisman, as his loss puts a real crimp in South Carolina’s season. He’ll be back next year and will likely feature prominently in preseason Heisman talk.

Random Note and Observations

We are half way through the season so I thought I’d give some shout outs:

Best Team — Alabama

I don’t think this one is close. As good as LSU’s defense is, I think the Tide are better. This could end up being one of the top defenses in the history of college football before it’s through. And having Trent Richardson on the other side of the ball helps, too.

Best Player — Robert Griffin III, Baylor

Griffin has been incredible so far this season. His accuracy as a passer is scary and he has the arm strength to make every throw imaginable. Add in his overall football intelligence, his leadership, his coolness under pressure and his running ability and you have what I consider to be a near-perfect quarterback. This season, he’s on pace to throw for 3,900 yards and 44 TDs with just 4 interceptions. As good as some other players have been, he’s been better.

Top Defender — Tyrann Mathieu, LSU

It’s rare for a defensive player to make so many game-changing plays the way Mathieu has so far this season. He’s recovered 3 fumbles, forced another 4 and intercepted 2 passes (and broken up 5 more). He is second on LSU in tackles with 42 and also has 5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. He’s also scored 2 TDs. For most defenders, this is a good season, but he’s done it in seven games. What’s more, he’s the heart and soul of a great defense and you know if a play has to be made, he’ll make it.

Best Freshman — Sammy Watkins, Clemson

Watkins might be the best freshman receiver I’ve seen in a long, long time. He’s not only a physical specimen who can stretch the field, but also a natural receiver with soft hands and excellent timing. To date, he’s got 46 catches for 728 yards and 8 scores. He’s also rushed for 127 yards and is averaging nearly 31 yards  per kick return (with one score). He is ninth nationally in all-purpose yards per game. This guy is special and I look forward to watching him in the coming years.

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About Heismanpundit

Chris Huston, A.K.A. ‘The Heisman Pundit‘, is a Heisman voter and the creator and publisher of Heismanpundit.com, 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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4 Responses to Heisman News and Notes, Week 7

  1. CM October 17, 2011 at 6:55 am #

    Trent Richardson should be at the top of everyone’s ballot right NOW. What in the world has Andrew Luck done so far outside of just returning to school and beating up on pathetic defenses every week? If Trent Richardson goes for 100+ yards vs LSU and the Tide win out…he should win the Heisman going away.

    RG III is this year’s Denard Robinson. Kellen Moore plays a Boy-EZ schedule…he shouldn’t even be in the top 5 unless you want to include I-AA players in the discussion as well. Russell Wilson is legit…I think it should come down to Wilson and Richardson…with the edge going to Richardson because he has more “big stage” games that he’s already played in…and more coming up. Competition matters.

  2. AUman76 October 17, 2011 at 11:27 pm #

    Hey CM,
    how many yards does TR get in the Iron Bowl? I say Dyer has more against that best ever bammer defense than Trent has against my pitiful lil ol Auburn D. Reference what your last and only Heisman winner did or maybe I should say didn’t do. See y’all on the Plains Novemebr 26. Wanna spot us 24 and see if we can hold it? LMAO

    • sewaneetide October 18, 2011 at 6:53 am #

      auboy76 – living in the past will get you nowhere. You can make all the jokes you want about last year’s meltdown against the alabama polytechnic pussies, but what you have over there is a kick ass offensive coordinator and a pretty good recruiter in loopy. Beyond that I’m not sure you’ve got much. Please keep the staff intact except for Gus and I’ll take my chances against your chumps any day. You had a great one year run, but are now relegated to your traditional position as Alabama’s little brother, or would you prefer to be our lapdog? Whichever……good luck!

  3. CM October 18, 2011 at 11:18 am #

    Allbarn fans coming out to badmouth an Alabama Heisman candidate. Wow…how original. A sane auburn fan is about as hard to find as Gene Cheez-It’s teeth are. Seriously…find a pic of Cheez-It showing teeth.