With Ty Duffy away on Special Assignment, here’s a look at my current Heisman Ballot. You know, the one I’d fill out if I voted for the silly award. Since I’m not sure what we’re voting for – guy with the best stats? Guy who means most to his team? The best player (subjective!) – I booted Marcus Lattimore (injured) and Robert Griffin (Baylor’s 4-2 with another loss coming NEXT Saturday) off the list. Perhaps they’ll re-appear next week.
1) Andrew Luck, Stanford – Thought he was a bit off his game against Washington State for the first 2+ quarters. Some passes were low or a bit off, and the Cougars were able to hang around (only down 10-7 at the half). But late in the third quarter Luck caught fire, and tossed three TDs in a 12-minute span as Stanford ran away for a 44-14 win. Season stats: 1,719 yards, 71% completions (8th in the country), 18 TDs and three picks. This week: vs. Washington. The Huskies have the 116th-rated pass defense in the country. That’s out of 120 teams. The Huskies can score, so Luck might pass more than he usually does. Four hundred yards?
2) Trent Richardson, Alabama – Had his best game of the year vs. lowly Ole Miss – 198 yards, three touchdowns, and a Heisman-worthy run. He’s 2nd in the country in rushing (912 yards; Pitt’s Ray Graham is tops at 945) and averaging a whopping 6.91 yards per carry. Richardson has 15 touchdowns. I think T-Rich overtakes Luck if he has a big night against LSU Nov. 5th and the Ducks beat the Cardinal. This week: vs. Tennessee. The Vols are giving up 159 yards on the ground per game. Amazingly, this is only Tennessee’s 2nd road game of the year. After getting physically dismantled by LSU, expect a bloodbath, with Richardson going for at least 175.
3) Sammy Watkins, Clemson – The true freshman receiver is in the top 20 nationally in receptions (46), yards (728) and TDs (8). Oh, and he’s averaging 30 yards per kickoff return, 8th in the country. He’s got multiple touchdowns in three of seven games so far. Great hands, blazing speed … what’s not to love? Don’t care that he’s a true freshman. He’s done it against better competition than the next guy on the list (so far). This week: vs. North Carolina. The Tar Heels are 91st in the country in pass defense and just helped (maybe) re-ignite the career of Miami’s Jacory Harris. Travis Benjamin caught a career-high eight passes.
4) Russell Wilson, Wisconsin – Russelmania! Having a fabulous year with the Badgers (74 % completions, 14 TDs, one INT). I could see Wilson stealing the award if a) they win out, b) Alabama loses to LSU, c) Stanford loses to Oregon. LSU doesn’t have a Heisman-worthy player, the dumb voters wouldn’t give the award to a freshman, and Robert Griffin will have better numbers by year’s end (he already does), but the Bears might only be 7-5 or 8-4. This week: at Michigan St. Enormous test for Wilson. The Spartans have the best pass defense in the country. It probably has something to do with their opponents (combined record: very bad).
5) Kellen Moore, Boise St. – Love the guy, love the Broncos, but the sad fact is Moore is getting pulled early because Boise is slaughtering teams, and ultimately, that hurts his candidacy. He went 26-for-30 for 338 yards and four TDs in three quarters of a 63-13 pasting of Colorado St. Also hurting Moore: Games that aren’t on national TV. The next time you’ll hear from Moore is Nov. 12 when Boise hosts TCU. Moore is clinical (75 percent completions – 2nd in the country) and has 21 TDs against just four picks. This week: vs. Air Force. The Broncos are favored by 31.