The HP Heisman Watch, Week 9

Time for a look at the 2011 Heisman race after nine weeks of football.

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).

From how I see things at this point in the season, there are only TWO players who stand a legitimate chance of winning the 2011 Heisman Trophy. I truly believe it is a two-man race.

1. Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford  Luck brought Stanford back to beat USC in a dramatic overtime showdown at the Coliseum. Beating a traditional power like USC in such a manner is always beneficial to a Heisman campaign. At this point in the season, Luck would have to really screw up to lose the Heisman. A few major tests remain: Oregon on Nov. 12, Notre Dame to close the regular season on Nov. 26 and, potentially, the Pac-12 title game matchup on Dec. 3. Luck is the overwhelming favorite, but I’m not ready to call the race until we see what happens with the Alabama vs. LSU game.

Last Week against USC: 29 of 40, 330 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT, 9 carries, 36 yards, 1 TD

Next Opponent: Oregon State

Season: 174 of 242, 2,218 yards, 71.9%, 23 TDs, 4 Ints., 176.94 rating

2. Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama  Richardson had off last week in preparation for the mega-matchup with LSU this Saturday. Can Richardson catch Luck? I think he can IF he has a monster game against the Tigers in a Tide win. What would constitute a monster game? I don’t think he can have a run-of-the-mill 100-yard game. I think it needs to be a dominant performance where he is seen as the reason for the Alabama win. Of course, if LSU wins, I think we can pretty much hand the Heisman to Luck.

Last Week: Off

Next Opponent: LSU

Season: 149 carries, 989 yards, 6.64 ypc, 17 TDs, 18 receptions, 212 yards, 1 TD

If the vote were held today

1. Andrew Luck

2. Trent Richardson

3. Kellen Moore

4. Case Keenum

5. Landry Jones

6. Robert Griffin III

7. Russell Wilson

8. Brandon Weeden

9. Sammy Watkins

10. Denard Robinson

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About Heismanpundit

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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6 Responses to The HP Heisman Watch, Week 9

  1. DannyAdelante November 1, 2011 at 11:56 am #

    I don’t think they will, but what happens if Oregon beats Stanford, and Alabama goes undefeated? Does Richardson jump above Luck, even without a monster game against LSU?

  2. kd November 1, 2011 at 12:16 pm #

    Interesting list. I put Richardson over Luck.
    Landry Jones and RG3 each had more picks last week than Weeden has had in all of conference play.
    Not to mention Weeden played 2nd half against Mizzou without Blackmon & his number 3 WR, and all of the Baylor game without #2 and #3 WR (granted, Baylor’s defense isn’t exactly lights out, but still)
    Heisman candidates don’t let their teams lose back to back games against MSU and Ohio St (I’m looking at you, Russell Wilson)

    I’d go:
    Broyles or Joseph Randle

    • Heisman Pundit November 1, 2011 at 3:50 pm #

      kd, this is not a list of who I think SHOULD be in the lead, but who I think IS in the lead.

      I do not pick favorites on this website, but what I try to do is demonstrate who is winning the race and why.

      So while your list may be the correct version of who SHOULD win, it is nowhere near the reality of how the race actually IS.

      • kd November 2, 2011 at 6:49 am #

        Oh I know. I think your list is definitely accurate in terms of what voters are thinking, no doubt. Unfortunate, though.

  3. CM November 1, 2011 at 1:59 pm #

    I agree with the article…I think Trent Richardson needs a big game against LSU to vault into the Heisman lead…which would be 100+ total yards where he scores a couple of TDs and is seen as the game’s MVP…Bama obviously has to win the game. But if that happens, I’d put TR over Luck regardless of what Luck does here on out. I just wasn’t impressed with Luck Saturday against a USC pass defense that ranks in the 90s…but then again, it was the first team with a pulse Stanford has played this year. I don’t think Luck has to royally “screw up” before TR wins the award…what TR does against big boy competition should speak for itself. But I also think if Richardson lays an egg Saturday and Bama loses, then no one will catch Luck…right or wrong. He’s a great QB, but I think he was annointed too early just because he gave up the #1 pick in the draft to return to school. But if Richardson has a huge game vs LSU Saturday…then Luck could throw for 500 yards a game against the weak sister defenses left on their schedule and it wouldn’t matter…the award should go to TR. We’ll just have to see what happens. I’ve been waving the TR flag for weeks, but if it’s not TR, then I wouldn’t be outraged if Luck won it…though he would have faced very weak opposition all season long. If Stanford ends up playing either LSU or Bama in the NC game, then I could see a Geno Torreta history repeat.

  4. RC November 1, 2011 at 5:23 pm #

    CM, the difference between Luck and Torretta is that every NFL team in the league wants him…….Torretta wasn’t drafted until the 7th round……the scouts and people who get paid to evaluate talent knew better. Sounds a lot like the Tebow issue as well doesn’t it? People who get paid to evaluate NFL ready talent, who have been doing it for quite some time, are salivating over his skills. It is what it is.

    All pundits thought V. Tech was gonna roll up on Stanford in the Orange for the same reasons you have with the team today. Stanford rolled V.Tech soundly and nobody asked for salt with their crow.

    I agree, if TR throws up a huge game then the conversation becomes less clear. Oh, and by the way, USC is no where near as bad a team as you describe. They are averaged 18th in the country by computer rankings and they played a high level of football last weekend.