Heisman Trophy Watch 2012: Breaking Down Frontrunners After Week 4

Colby Lanham@Colby1226Correspondent ISeptember 23, 2012

Heisman Trophy Watch 2012: Breaking Down Frontrunners After Week 4

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    Week 4 of college football brought us plenty of action and a good amount of highlights on our way towards one of college football's greatest honors, the Heisman Trophy.

    Who has emerged this week as a possible frontrunner, and who has also emerged as a possible new face for the upcoming week? The Heisman Watch changes so much from week to week, it can be a little hard to keep up. But, let's see what Heisman potential Week 4 produced for us.

No. 5: USC Trojans Quarterback Matt Barkley

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    Why is the USC quarterback here?

    Well, first, Barkley has too much talent not to make this list. After their upset loss against the Stanford Cardinal, the Trojans did bounce back a little with a win over California, and Barkley remains a contender after Week 4.

    While his stats did not break the record books (22-of-34 for 192 yards, with two touchdowns and two interceptions), he still remains, based off of his talent and ability, and has not effectively been eliminated. But he needs to pull it together soon or he'll be eliminated, especially with the play of Geno Smith and EJ Manuel. 

No. 4 : South Carolina Gamecocks Running Back Marcus Lattimore

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    The South Carolina running back has exploded onto the rushing scene once again, becoming the Gamecocks' all-time leader in touchdowns by rushing for two of them in their Week 4 win against the Missouri Tigers.

    While he had 85 yards on 21 carries, he remains arguably the best running back in the SEC and remains on the Heisman list going forward.

No. 3: Oregon Ducks Running Back Deanthony Thomas

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    Running back Deanthony Thomas, while he didn't explode as much as he normally does, remains one of the main frontrunners because of his dynamic ability as both a runner and a receiver. It's certain that many don't know he's actually a running back instead of a receiver. His ability to play and excel at the flex position in an offense like Oregon's is impressive, not to mention his ability as a return man.

    He has put together three solid weeks, and while he did not have game-breaking highlights for the first time in Week 4, he remains a serious contender and is one of the main guys to beat out.

No. 2: Florida State Seminoles Quarterback EJ Manuel

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    The Florida State quarterback will be the talk of college football this week, having been part of a comeback to pull out a big win against the Clemson Tigers, effectively putting the Seminoles in good position for the ACC Atlantic Division and possibly at the National Championship. 

    Manuel was very efficient in Week 4, completing 27 of his 35 passes for 380 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 102 yards on 12 carries and was the second leading rusher for the game. Manuel has all of Seminole nation hoping again, and rightfully so.

No. 1 : West Virginia Mountaineers Quarterback Geno Smith

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    The West Virginia quarterback continues to guide Dana Holgorsen's "Air Raid," completing 30 of his 43 passes for 338 yards and three touchdowns in the Mountaineers' 31-21 victory against the Maryland Terrapins. Smith continues to build off of his Orange Bowl success and easily remains one of the main contenders at quarterback for the Heisman Trophy. After Week 4, Smith is still standing strong with the Mountaineers "Air Raid."