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Heisman Watch - Who's In The Running?

Michael Katz |
September 27, 2011 | 5:35 p.m. PDT

Staff Writer

Andrew Luck may be a favorite for the Heisman, but he's got tough competition. (Kate Rooney/Neon Tommy)
Andrew Luck may be a favorite for the Heisman, but he's got tough competition. (Kate Rooney/Neon Tommy)
College football fans are looking for the next great thing in the sport. 

We’ve been spoiled by the likes of LaMichael James, Andrew Luck and Kellen Moore for the past two or more seasons. 

This season has seen a changing of the guard, however--the players we thought most likely to earn the Heisman Trophy hype are looking somewhat pedestrian. Meanwhile, the leading contenders come from schools that, quite frankly, haven’t been relevant to the football scene in years. 

With that, here is my list of Heisman contenders through week four of the season:

1. Russell Wilson, QB, Wisconsin

Wilson, a transfer from North Carolina State, is completing a staggering 76% of his passes and has a touchdown to interception ratio of 11 to 1. 

More importantly, he leads the No. 7 ranked team in the country with an efficiency that Wisconsin quarterbacks normally do not have.

2. Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor

Most would think that a quarterback who completes 85% of his passes and has more touchdowns (13) than incompletions (12) would be leading this list. Yes, Robert Griffin III has been exceptional, and I think that right now, he’s the best player in the country. 

However, in terms of Heisman voting, pollsters will look at the quality of the team and win-loss record. Baylor could have a great season, but the reality is that Wisconsin is probably going to be better. Thus, I gave Wilson the edge over Griffin for the trophy.

3. LaMichael James, RB, Oregon

It seems like James (pictured left) has been at Oregon for decades now, but the guy just keeps on producing at an astounding pace. 

He ran for 288 yards and two touchdowns in his last outing against Arizona. He also happens to be the key piece behind one of the best offenses in college football, and this will always keep him in the discussion. 

Plus, running backs tend to steal some votes away from quarterbacks every year in the Heisman race.

4. Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina

In the way that I think Griffin is probably better than Wilson, I think Lattimore is better than James. 

I rank him lower for a similar reason to Griffin’s: I think Oregon is going to be more nationally relevant than South Carolina will be. I know, the Gamecocks are undefeated, but they haven’t exactly looked like a machine as of late. 

With that being said, a few losses in a treacherous SEC could find Lattimore lower on the list than his numbers would indicate.

5. Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State

Kellen Moore just continues to put up numbers and win big games. 

He’s completing 79% of his passes and has a 12:2 touchdown-interception ratio. Boise State is ranked in the top five once again, and until the Broncos get knocked off, last year’s Heisman finalist will remain on this list. 

6. Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

I had to put Luck on here somewhere, but he’s lower than a lot of people would put him. 

Luck is by far the most NFL ready player on this list and will probably be the first pick in the 2012 draft. 

However, his numbers aren’t all that eye-popping. 

He’s efficient and leads a top five team, but to get himself higher on this list, Stanford needs to knock off Oregon and Luck needs to throw touchdowns at a higher rate.

Honorable mentions:

Case Keenum, QB, Houston; Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson; Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama; Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State


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