It's time for the latest edition of Bleacher Report's 2010 Heisman Trophy rankings, presented by Heismanpundit.com.
The Heismanpundit.com Heisman poll is made up of 13 Heisman voters from across the country. They vote for three players each week. Tabulations are made on a 3-2-1 basis, with three points awarded for a first-place vote, two points for a second-place vote, and one point for a third-place vote.
In the past two years, the Heismanpundit poll was the most accurate in the country, picking five of the top six finishers in the Heisman vote in 2008 and the top four in 2009.
Members of the panel include: Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel, Teddy Greenstein and Brian Hamilton of the Chicago Tribune, Olin Buchanan and Tom Dienhart of Rivals.com, Jenni Carlson of The Oklahoman, Bruce Feldman of ESPN.com, J.B. Morris of ESPN the Magazine, Austin Murphy, B.J. Schecter and Stewart Mandel of Sports Illustrated, plus Dick Weiss of the New York Daily News.
Chris Huston, owner of Heismanpundit.com and a Bleacher Report contributor, coordinates and also votes in the weekly poll.
The poll is featured here on Bleacher Report each Tuesday during the college football season.
Here are the top players in the poll heading into Week 6...
Newton has blossomed in his first year as a starter
Auburn quarterback Cameron Newton, who has his team out to a 5-0 start, checks in at fifth in the weekly poll with one point.
He's coming off a game against ULM where he had 245 yards and three scores through the air and—surprisingly—negative 11 yards on the ground.
As long as the Tigers remain undefeated, he’ll hang around the periphery of this race with a chance to push his way into the upper echelon if things go right. Being a Gus Malzahn quarterback, he has an amazing pass efficiency rating of 191.44, and thanks to his superior physical ability, he’s been tearing it up on the ground, too (at least up until last week).
The scenario for Newton to win the Heisman is simple (though not easy): Beat Arkansas on Oct. 16, beat Alabama Nov. 26, and beat the SEC East champ in the league title game. With the numbers he will have in Malzahn’s system, only a Denard Robinson 2,000/2,000 season might prevent him from winning the Heisman if this case.
Pryor struggled through the air against Illinois
For the first time this season, Terrelle Pryor slips below the No. 2 spot in the weekly poll with just six total points.
Even though Pryor’s position in the poll is weaker, he still may have the best overall shot of winning the Heisman given his status as the top player on a traditional power contending for the national title. So don't count him out.
However, he can’t have too many more games like the one he had against Illinois on Saturday or his end-of-season numbers may not end up being considered Heisman-worthy. Pryor rushed for 104 yards on 11 carries, but he threw for just 76 yards and two scores as the Buckeyes looked fairly lethargic against a bad team.
This week, he’ll face Indiana and have a chance to put his stats back on the right track.
Moore might need some more pub in the weeks to come
Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore is third this week with 15 total points.
Moore is in the shadows for a while as his team steamrolls its way through the WAC schedule. He had another highly-efficient game on Saturday, as he threw for 196 yards and three touchdowns in a rout of New Mexico State.
The upside of his schedule is that he is likely to keep dominating and thus remain within striking distance of the Heisman. The downside is that there is very little he can do to move up in the race and therefore must hope the other candidates falter.
Voters know he is a very good player on a very good team, but it helps to be reminded of that once in a while. This might be a good time for Boise State to mount a campaign on his behalf, at least to keep everyone aware of his impressive accomplishments.
James ran wild against Oregon
Oregon running back LaMichael James surges into the No. 2 spot this week with 17 points.
The speedy, smurf-like runner has now become the leading running back candidate in the race thanks to his huge rushing outburst in a nationally televised win over a top-10 Stanford team on Saturday.
The Ducks back went for 257 yards and three touchdowns on 31 carries, his second 200-yard game of the season. Despite missing one game due to suspension, James is second nationally in rushing and is on pace to approach the 2,000-yard mark.
Oregon is a national title contender with a sexy and entertaining offense that gives James plenty of opportunities to produce, so he’s got a decent shot at it. The ideal scenario for James to win the Heisman is for the Ducks to go undefeated, for Pryor and Ohio State to stumble somewhere along the line, and for Denard Robinson to get hurt.
This scenario is certainly within the realm of possibility, but if the status quo doesn’t change and he keeps playing well, he’ll get to New York as a finalist regardless.
Robinson is ready for his closeup
It was a clean sweep for Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson in this week's poll, as he captured all 13 of the first-place votes to lead the survey for the fourth week in a row.
Robinson keeps putting up crazy numbers, and as a result, he is creeping closer and closer to making the race a fait accompli. For now, the possibility of injury is the only thing standing between Robinson and a Heisman landslide.
Last week, he had another fantastic outing, rushing for 216 yards and two touchdowns while throwing for 277 and three scores. He already has two games so far where he has thrown and rushed for over 200 yards, an NCAA record. He leads the nation in rushing, is fourth in passing, and is on pace to become the NCAA's first 2,000/2,000 player.
Michigan's games with Michigan State and Iowa the next two weeks will go a long way toward determining his Heisman fate. If he pulls off two more big-time performances, he might be able to coast his way to Michigan's fourth Heisman.
Full Poll Results
(first-place vote in parentheses)
1. Denard Robinson, QB, Michigan—39 points (13)
2. LaMichael James, RB, Oregon—17 points
3. Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State—15 points
4. Terrelle Pryor, QB, Ohio State—6 points
5. Cameron Newton, QB, Auburn—1 point