Heisman Trophy Race: Players Who Will Not Win NCAA Football's Most Coveted Award
As we head into the sixth week of college football, Heisman trophy speculation is really starting to heat up.
While there remains much college football left to be played, by now every player has had enough game time to show whether or not he deserves to remain in consideration.
After five games, we can now start weeding out those Heisman hopefuls whose performances have not displayed enough firepower to take home the coveted award.
The following list of ten players is an attempt at this type of speculation.
Some of the players have underperformed in their time on the field.
Others simply do not have a good enough team to carry them into true Heisman contention.
None will take home the award when the fat lady sings.
Jake Locker, QB, Washington Huskies
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Locker had a great game this past week against USC. He had 420 total yards in the Huskies upset win over the Trojans.
Unfortunately for Jake, not many people seemed to notice after his awful showing against Nebraska. In the Huskies’ only game against a national contender thus far, Jake went 4-for-20 and threw two interceptions.
As quarterback for the Huskies, his chances were already pretty slim. The game against Nebraska will most likely be his undoing.
Dion Lewis, RB, Pittsburgh Panthers
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After rushing for almost 2,000 yards last year, there was serious talk this offseason about Dion Lewis’ Heisman candidacy.
In order to be considered, however, Dion needed his Pittsburgh Panthers to have an outstanding year.
Unfortunately for Dion, the Panthers have started the year at an unimpressive 2-2 pace.
Lewis’ name has been removed from the discussion. In fact, after teammate Ray Graham’s 277-yard game this past weekend, Lewis should be more concerned with keeping his starting spot.
Anyone from Any State Containing the Word Virginia
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At the beginning of the season, many people thought that Virginia Tech's Ryan Williams and WVU's Noel Devine deserved consideration as potential Heisman candidates.
Tech was a top 10 team, and Williams was fantastic in 2009. WVU was ranked in the top 25, and it would be silly to overlook someone with as much highlight potential as Devine.
Unfortunately for Virginians and West Virginians alike, WVU has fallen into mediocrity, and we all know what happened to Virginia Tech.
Basically, it’s tough to win a Heisman when most teams you face don’t want to lose to you because it would spoil their reputation.
Anyone from the State of Florida
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In a similar way, the state of Florida was rife with preseason Heisman talk. Miami QB Jacory Harris was looking forward to a big-time showdown with Ohio State in the first month of the season.
Jeff Demps and John Brantley threatened to bring the award back to the Gators.
People were even talking about Florida State making a comeback with QB Christian Ponder leading the way.
Cut to week 5.
Harris can’t remember what jersey his team is wearing, Demps hurts his foot, and FSU gets whooped by Oklahoma.
It’s safe to say that the trophy will not be returning to the sunshine state anytime soon.
Any Defensive Player
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A lot of people have been speculating that LSU’s Patrick Peterson might have enough firepower to break through the Heisman’s prejudice against defensive players.
LSU is 5-0, and Peterson is racking up some very impressive numbers.
Unfortunately for Peterson, it is just too hard to get Heisman recognition as a defensive player.
Charles Woodson did it in 1997, but he played both ways.
There has been talk that Peterson might see some time on offense in the next couple games. If LSU continues their winning ways, Peterson might find his way off this list.
In reality, Peterson most likely has as much hope as defensive greats Dwight Freeney and Julius Peppers had.
Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford Cardinal
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Last week, Stanford QB Andrew Luck was very much in the race for Heisman consideration.
Through four games, Luck had thrown for a season’s worth of yards, a bunch of touchdowns, and helped the Cardinal rack up close to 200 total points scored.
As Stanford headed into conference play, his offensive potential seemed limitless due to the complete lack of defense in the Pac-10.
Unfortunately for Luck, Stanford ended up recording its first loss to Oregon.
One loss isn't a big deal, right?
It wasn’t that Luck played poorly against Oregon—he threw for 341 yards and two touchdowns. The problem was that Oregon RB LaMichael James played better. And now, Oregon is still undefeated and ranked higher in the polls.
It’s hard enough to win the Heisman with a loss. It’s even harder when you are in competition against the best player on the team that beat you.
Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama Crimson Tide
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If Tebow can’t do it, no one can.
That’s kind of an ironic thing to say about Mark Ingram’s chances of doubling his Heisman trophies because he beat Tebow out last year, but it is nonetheless accurate.
Ingram has too much going against him to win his second Heisman this year.
Alabama is still the best team in the country, but he has missed time with injury. Not only has this time away allowed guys like Denard Robinson to take the spotlight, but it has also allowed his backfield mate Trent Richardson to take on a bigger role.
Both of these details will complicate Ingram’s pursuit of an accomplishment that has only been done once before.
Denard Robinson, QB, Michigan Wolverines
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Yes, Denard Robinson is on this list.
Although Robinson’s numbers have been unbelievable, his Michigan squad has yet to face a first class opponent.
This is important because of the way Michigan has reached its 5-0 mark. The Wolverines barely squeaked by Indiana and Notre Dame, two very average teams.
Robinson may continue his impressive ways during Big Ten play, but it is pretty evident that Michigan simply doesn’t have the defense to stop teams like Ohio State and Iowa. Rich Rodriguez even said that the reason his offense has had so many long drives is because his defense can’t stop anyone.
Unfortunately for Robinson, no matter what, he will have to come through Ohio State.
It is unlikely that Heisman voters will ignore the best player on an undefeated team for a three to four-loss sophomore quarterback.
Truthfully, that’s about how many games he’d have to lose to finish any lower than third in the final Heisman voting.
But like I said…there’s a lotta football left.