Heisman Trophy Tracker: Stock Up, Stock Down for Candidates in Week 10
Is Kenjon Barner on the rise in this week's Heisman Trophy stock evaluation after an impressive performance against the USC Trojans?
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As the 2012 college football season is entering the final month of the regular season, the Heisman Trophy race is starting to heat up, and several of the top contenders turned in impressive performances over the weekend.
Is Johnny Manziel on the rise after leading Texas A&M to a victory over the Mississippi State Bulldogs? Does AJ McCarron deserve a bump in the rankings after leading the Alabama Crimson Tide to a road win over the LSU Tigers?
Those questions and many more will be answered as we evaluate the stock of the nation's top players after their Week 10 games.
Note: All player rankings are based off of their position in last week's Heisman Trophy rankings.
10. Jarvis Jones, Georgia Bulldogs: Stock Down
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Junior linebacker Jarvis Jones was a non-factor on Saturday as the Georgia Bulldogs routed the Ole Miss Rebels 37-10 at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Geo.
The Bulldogs' defense held Ole Miss to 46 rushing yards and forced three turnovers, but Jones only managed to record three total tackles in the lopsided victory.
Jones' Heisman Trophy candidacy is on life support after recording less than five tackles for the second time in the last four weeks, in addition to missing two games this season due to injury.
It will take a big game against the Auburn Tigers next Saturday for Jones to get himself back in the conversation for college football's most coveted individual award.
9. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M Aggies: Stock Up
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Johnny Manziel is only a redshirt freshman quarterback for the Texas A&M Aggies, but the Kerrville, Tex., product continues to put up monster numbers against opposing defenses and the Mississippi State Bulldogs were victimized by the talented youngster on Saturday.
The Bulldogs did nothing to rattle Manziel's confidence or rhythm as he led the Aggies on six scoring drives, completed 30-of-36 pass attempts for 311 yards, carried the ball 21 times for 129 yards and ran in two touchdowns.
Manziel hooked up with Ryan Swope and Mike Evans nine times apiece as the two wide receivers combined for 218 receiving yards in the Aggies' 38-13 victory over Mississippi State.
Next week will likely decide whether or not Manziel remains in the race for the Heisman Trophy as Texas A&M will head to Tuscaloosa to take on the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide.
8. Giovanni Bernard, North Carolina Tar Heels: Stock Down
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The North Carolina Tar Heels were idle for Week 10, so Giovani Bernard's stock in the Heisman Trophy race took a bit of a hit after an outstanding performance from Johnny Manziel over the weekend.
The sophomore running back is one of the least known Heisman candidates despite leading the nation in all-purpose yards per game (214) and punt return average (21.5).
Despite missing two games with a knee injury, Bernard has rushed for 930 yards on 126 carries, returned 12 punts for 249 yards, hauled in 32 passes for another 319 yards and scored 15 total touchdowns.
Bernard's best rushing performance of the season came against the Virginia Tech Hokies as the Davie, Fla., product carried the ball 23 times for 262 yards and one touchdown in Week 6.
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets have the unenviable task of attempting to hold Bernard under 135 yards rushing for the first time since the 5'10", 205-pounder rushed for 70 yards and two touchdowns on just two carries against the Idaho Vandals on Sept. 29th.
7. Kenjon Barner, Oregon Ducks: Stock Soaring Up
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The time has come for senior running back Kenjon Barner to be considered a legitimate candidate to take home the Heisman Trophy this season after a 38 carry, 321-yard and five touchdown performance in the Oregon Ducks' 62-51 win over the USC Trojans at the Los Angeles Coliseum on Saturday.
Barner has rushed for more than 100 yards in five straight games, and has racked up over 1,400 total yards and 20 touchdowns thus far in 2012.
No one did more to boost their Heisman stock this weekend than Barner and there are no signs that Oregon's offense will be stifled anytime soon with a road game against the struggling California Golden Bears up next for the Ducks.
Barner will need to have outstanding games against the Stanford Cardinal and Oregon State Beavers in the last two weeks of the season to stay in Heisman conversation, but for now he is comfortably in mix to take home the award.
6. Marqise Lee, USC Trojans: Stock Up
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Kenjon Barner was not the only one who bolstered his case for the Heisman Trophy at the Los Angeles Coliseum on Saturday as sophomore wide receiver Marqise Lee hauled in 12 receptions for 157 yards and two touchdowns for the USC Trojans.
Lee recorded his sixth game of the season with double digit catches, third straight game with over 100 yards receiving and fourth multi-touchdown game in USC's loss to the Oregon Ducks.
In USC's last two games, Lee has 28 catches for 502 yards and four touchdowns. Lee now ranks No. 2 in the nation among all wide receivers with 1,286 yards and 12 touchdown catches.
The Trojans will have to bounce back and close out the season with three victories in order to keep Lee in the Heisman discussion, and the Inglewood, Cali., native will need to haul in a few touchdowns against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish if he wants to book a ticket to New York.
5. Geno Smith, West Virginia Mountaineers: Stock Collapsing
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No one has fallen further in the Heisman Trophy discussion since Week 6 than West Virginia Mountaineers quarterback Geno Smith, who failed to throw for more than 300 yards for a fourth straight game in a loss to the TCU Horned Frogs at Mountaineer Field.
Smith completed 32-of-54 passes for 260 yards, three touchdowns and an interception against the Horned Frogs.
The 6'3", 214-pounder had everyone's first place vote after the month of September, which saw Smith throw for 1,728 yards and 20 touchdowns, including a 656-yard and eight touchdown effort against the Baylor Bears on Sept. 29th.
After three consecutive disastrous performances against the Texas Tech Red Raiders, Kansas State Wildcats and TCU, Smith is no longer a contender to win the Heisman this season.
4. AJ McCarron, Alabama Crimson Tide: Stock Down
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In order to win a Heisman Trophy, there has to be a balance of wins and eye-popping statistics in big games.
AJ McCarron has been more than just a game manager this season for the Alabama Crimson Tide in their pursuit of a second straight national title, and while the junior quarterback completed 4-of-5 passes in the final 1:34 to lead the nation's No. 1 team to a victory over the LSU Tigers in Baton Rogue, he did not play well enough overall to keep his stock from taking a downward dip.
The Mobile, Ala., native finished the game with 165 yards through the air, two total touchdowns and completed 51.9 percent of his passes.
McCarron has yet to thrown an interception this season and has thrown for 19 touchdowns and 1,849 yards, which will be good enough to earn the 6'4", 210-pounder a trip to New York, but will not be enough for him to leave with the hardware.
3. Braxton Miller, Ohio State Buckeyes: Stock Down
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The Ohio State Buckeyes would not be 10-0 this season without strong performances week in and week out from starting quarterback Braxton Miller, and Saturday's rout of the Illinois Fighting Illini only validated the true sophomore's case to win the Heisman Trophy in December.
Miller completed 12-of-20 pass attempts for 226 yards and two touchdowns to go along with 73 yards and a touchdown on the ground. If Miller had picked up one more yard it would have been his sixth game with more than 300 total yards of offense.
While Miller's performance would typically warrant a stock boost, the Ohio State signal caller will inevitably drop in this week's Heisman rankings after strong weekends from several other contenders.
This weekend the Buckeyes will be idle, which will provide Miller with an opportunity to get himself rested and ready to face the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium in Week 12, which will be a pivotal game for his Heisman Trophy candidacy.
2. Mantei Te'o, Notre Dame Fighting Irish: Stock Down
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The Notre Dame Fighting Irish got their biggest scare of the season against the Pittsburgh Panthers on Saturday, and Brian Kelly's squad put themselves in a position to drop their first game of the season as a result of a defense led by Manti Te'o that allowed Ray Graham to rush for 172 yards.
For just the third time this year, the senior linebacker failed to record 10 or more tackles. Te'o did not have the same impact in Notre Dame's triple overtime victory over Pitt as he has in the their eight other wins in 2012.
Te'o will need to force a turnover, or two and have at least 10 tackles in Notre Dame's upcoming game against the Boston College Eagles if the future first round draft pick wants to keep his name in the Heisman Trophy conversation.
1. Collin Klein, Kansas State Wildcats: Stock Up
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Before the frontrunner to win the Heisman Trophy this season left the Kansas State Wildcats' 44-30 win over the Oklahoma State Cowboys with an undisclosed injury, senior dual-threat quarterback Collin Klein completed 16-of-22 passes for 245 yards, in addition to rushing for 64 yards and one touchdown on 17 carries.
Klein's status is unknown at this point for Kansas State's Big 12 Conference tilt with the TCU Horned Frogs at Amon Carter Stadium next weekend, and the 6'5", 226-pounder will likely see his Heisman stock take a hit if he is unable to play.
Until someone else manages to turn in an outstanding performance during a week when Klein either struggles or does not play, the Loveland, Colo., native will continue to be the No. 1 contender for the Heisman Trophy.