Heisman Trophy Watch—Keeping It Real With The Trophy

Pete DymeckAnalyst IOctober 4, 2010

DALLAS - OCTOBER 02:  Quarterback Landry Jones #12 of the Oklahoma Sooners celebrates a touchdown against the Texas Longhorns in the second quarter at the Cotton Bowl on October 2, 2010 in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Heisman Trophy is all about offense, unless of course your name is Charles Woodson. I refuse to throw trendy players into this discussion since the entire process of selecting the winner of the Heisman Trophy is extremely conservative. I was reading an article where some guy had some linebacker from Iowa State (of all places) ranked in his Heisman Rankings. That is ludicrous.

Some guys that might be mentioned in the conversation:

Andrew Luck, Quarterback, Stanford

Andrew Luck is the best pro prospect in college football today, but he does not carry the stigma that comes with winning a Heisman Trophy. His statistics are not eye-popping enough and he failed to help his squad upset Oregon this past weekend.

Justin Blackmon, Wide Receiver, Oklahoma State

Wide receivers usually don’t get much more love and respect in Heisman discussions than defensive players, but Blackmon’s performance in 2010 thus far has been extremely noteworthy. He leads the nation in receiving yards per game and is tied for first in receiving touchdowns.

With all of these wide receivers putting up spectacular numbers in Oklahoma State, some voters may say it is the system which causes these gaudy stats. Adarius Bowman came before Dez Bryant and Dez Bryant came before Blackmon. The fact of the matter is that it might be the system, but what Blackmon has done so far should receive some attention. Let’s see if he can continue this production in the heat of the Big 12 season.

Terrelle Pryor, Quarterback, Ohio State

Ohio State fans may disagree but if tickets were shipped today, I think it would be 50-50 as to whether or not Pryor would be invited. He is right on the edge of inclusion due to his performance against the Miami Hurricanes a couple of weeks ago, but I still see flaws in his game.

Aside from missing some of his reads, Pryor is actually a gem in college football. He could very well end up winning the Heisman if Ohio State runs the table, but if the Buckeyes falter to Penn State, Iowa, or Michigan, I think his chances go out the window.

Kellen Moore, Quarterback, Boise State

With Virginia Tech gasping for air, we all know that the Broncos' win over the Hokies is less prestigious. Still, one can not discount what Moore is capable of doing from the air. The offense he plays in is quarterback-friendly but so is the competition he faces. I am now a firm believer that if Boise State played the same schedule as Alabama or Ohio State, they would have a couple of losses.

Sorry Moore, but your hopes are contingent on how and who your team plays. Just ask Colt Brennan.

Ryan Mallett, Quarterback, Arkansas

If Mallett would have led the Razorbacks on a game winning drive versus Alabama, he would be sitting atop this list. Drives like those are what win Heisman Trophies. Instead, Mallett is cast back into the group of “maybe’s,” who are performing in the shadows of the guys above them on this list.

Mallett is still second nationally in passing yards, but 19 other passers have thrown for more scores than he has.

Landry Jones, Quarterback, Oklahoma

If Texas were as good as they usually are, Jones would be getting more media attention for leading the Sooners past them. Instead, Jones is silently quarterbacking the youthful Sooners into the national spotlight. He is the face of this Sooners squad that is getting no love, yet if they run the table, which is looking like a strong possibility, they will be playing in the BCS National Championship.

Until he gets more attraction from the mainstream media, he will not receive an invite. On the other hand,  the argument can be made that Jones is deserving of one right now since he is completing 64 percent of his passes and has thrown for nearly 300 yards per game with 11 touchdowns and just three interceptions.

The Invites — In my mind, the following players are the ones who would receive invites to the Heisman Trophy Presentation if they were mailed out today.

Mark Ingram, Running Back, Alabama

Despite missing two games due to a knee injury, Ingram has returned in tremendous fashion to defend his Heisman Trophy. Averaging a little more than 118 yards per game, Ingram has emerged as a credible threat to be the first repeat winner of this award since Ohio State’s Archie Griffin did it in 1974 and 1975.

Ingram’s stellar production has come against two of three viable foes, Arkansas and Florida. If he can continue to rattle off more than 118 yards per game while averaging nearly eight yards per rush, he will be back in full force to repeat as the Heisman winner.

LaMichael James, Running Back, Oregon

James is helping guide the Ducks to a possible run at the national title. James is second nationally in rushing yards per game and has missed just one game this year due to suspension. Amidst all of the controversy surrounding him, James makes the ESPN highlight reels every Saturday night.

James’s ability to cut back and make defenders miss is reminiscent of Barry Sanders. He is also a workhorse back that can carry the ball 20-plus times a game. He is getting recognition as a legit contender for this trophy.

Denard Robinson, Quarterback, Michigan

There is no doubt that if the Heisman Trophy were voted on today, Robinson would win it. He has been the most electrifying player in college football, leading Michigan to an unprecedented 5-0 start. Robinson leads the country in rushing, but he is also capable of completing passes for a high percentage.

We have not seen a dual-threat quarterback like this since Nebraska’s Eric Crouch won the Heisman Trophy in 2001. "Shoelace" Robinson is the best player in the country and if you disagree, you are one of a handful in the very tiny minority.