For the second week in a row, we have a new leader in an ever-so-close Heisman race.
Alabama running back Trent Richardson’s 203-yard performance against rival Auburn put him narrowly ahead of Stanford’s Andrew Luck and Baylor’s Robert Griffin III in the second-to-last Heismanpundit.com Heisman Straw Poll of the season, released on Tuesday (Nov. 29).
The 13-member weekly panel of actual Heisman voters awarded Richardson 5 first-place votes and 22 points in all as he jumped up from third place and 14 points in last week’s survey. Luck was just a shade behind in second with 21 points and 2 first-place votes, while Griffin III (last week’s leader) was a close third with 19 points while tying Richardson with 5 first-place votes.
It’s the first time this season that Richardson has led the poll. However, Luck once again appeared on the most ballots (11), followed by Richardson (10) and Griffin III (7).
All appear to be within easy striking distance of the Heisman.
“It keeps getting tougher to pick my ballot,” said one voter.
Houston quarterback Case Keenum held down the fourth spot with 5 points and 1 first-place vote. USC quarterback Matt Barkley’s six touchdown passes against UCLA moved him into fifth place (4 points), while Wisconsin running back Montee Ball was sixth (3 points).
Griffin III, Keenum and Ball all have games this weekend that could improve their status heading into the Heisman ceremony on December 10.
The final Heismanpundit.com Heisman Straw Poll will be released next Monday, Dec. 5, the same day ballots are due back to the Heisman Trust.
Now in its sixth season, the HeismanPundit.com Heisman Poll is made up of 13 Heisman voters from across the country. They vote for three players each week. Tabulations are made on a 3-2-1 basis, with three points awarded for a first-place vote, two points for a second-place vote and one point for a third-place vote. In each of the last three years, the final Heismanpundit poll has been the most accurate Heisman poll in the country.
The 2011 Heismanpundit Straw Poll, 11-29-2011
Player, total points (first place votes in parentheses)
1. Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama — 22 (5)
2. Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford — 21 (2)
3. Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor — 19 (5)
4. Case Keenum, QB, Houston — 5 (1)
5. Matt Barkley, QB, USC — 4
6. Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin — 3
7T. Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State — 1
7T. Russell Wilson, QB, Wisconsin — 1
7T. Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State — 1
7T. Collin Klein, QB, Kansas State — 1
Number of ballots: Luck (11), Richardson (10), Griffin III (7), Keenum (3), Barkley and Ball (2), all others (1).
About the Voting Panel
The 13 members of the panel include: Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel, Teddy Greenstein and Brian Hamilton of the Chicago Tribune, Olin Buchanan of Rivals.com, Tom Dienhart of The Big Ten Network, Jenni Carlson of The Oklahoman, Bruce Feldman of CBS Sports, J.B. Morris of ESPN the Magazine, Austin Murphy, B.J. Schecter and Stewart Mandel of Sports Illustrated, plus Dick Weiss of the New York Daily News. Chris Huston, publisher of Heismanpundit.com, coordinates and also votes in the weekly poll.