College Football: Five Heisman Hopefuls at the Halfway Point

Tyler Robinson@trob2416Contributor IIOctober 13, 2010

College Football: Five Heisman Hopefuls at the Halfway Point

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    NEW YORK - DECEMBER 12:  The Heisman trophy awarded to Running back Mark Ingram #22 of the Alabama Crimson Tide at a press conference after  he was named the 75th Heisman Trophy winner at the Marriott Marquis on December 12, 2009 in New York City.  (Photo
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    Bo Jackson, Barry Sanders, Roger Staubach, Doug Flutie, O.J. Simpson, Earl Campbell, Marcus Allen and so on. The Heisman Trophy is the most prestigious individual award in all of sports.

    How many awards have their own special committees and their own special award ceremonies? The Oscars and the Heisman—that's it.

    This year's Heisman race is wide open; it's up for anyone to grab. Here are the candidates that have the opportunity to join the elite Heisman fraternity this year.

5. Cameron Newton

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    AUBURN, AL - SEPTEMBER 25:  Quarterback Cameron Newton #2 of the Auburn Tigers against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Jordan-Hare Stadium on September 25, 2010 in Auburn, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Cameron Newton is the new face in the Heisman race. Newton is right up there with Denard Robinson and Terrelle Pryor in the battle for the best dual-threat quarterback in the country.

    Newton is second in the country with a quarterback rating of 180.80. He has thrown 12 touchdowns and five interceptions. He has also run for 672 yards and nine touchdowns.

    Last week was Newton's coming-out party. He ran for 198 yards and four touchdowns along with 210 passing yards in a close 37-34 victory over Kentucky.

    This wasn't the first time Newton had stepped up in a big game this year. The Auburn quarterback threw for 158 yards with two touchdowns and ran for three touchdowns on 176 yards rushing in a 35-27 victory over No. 10 South Carolina.

    We'll find out if Newton is a real contender for the Heisman the next two weeks when the Tigers take on No. 12 Arkansas and then No. 9 LSU.

4. Kellen Moore

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    BOISE, ID - SEPTEMBER 25:  Quarterback Kellen Moore #11 of the Boise State Broncos looks for a receiver against the Oregon State Beaversat Bronco Stadium on September 25, 2010 in Boise, Idaho.  (Photo by Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images)
    Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images

    Kellen Moore is not going to win the Heisman this year—sorry. It has nothing to do with his play; the guy has been outstanding.

    Moore leads the nation with a passer rating of 183.3; he's thrown 14 touchdowns and only one interception. He also runs the two-minute drill better than any other quarterback in the country (it's too bad he doesn't get to run it very much).

    So why won't Moore win the Heisman? He's not going to win because he plays for Boise State. Moore's only "big" game the rest of the year is against Nevada. I'm sorry, but beating Nevada isn't going to cut it.

    The other Heisman hopefuls will have more opportunities to shine on bigger stages than Moore, and that's why he won't win the award.

    Kellen Moore will be invited to New York, but he won't finish any higher than third.

3. Terrelle Pryor

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    CHAMPAIGN, IL - OCTOBER 02: Terrelle Pryor #2 of the Ohio State Buckeyes runs for yardage against the Illinois Fighting Illini at Memorial Stadium on October 2, 2010 in Champaign, Illinois. Ohio State defeated Illinois 24-13. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Get
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Terrelle Pryor had his best game through the air last week against Indiana. Pryor was 24-of-30 with 334 yards and three touchdowns. He has a quarterback rating of 170.47 with 15 touchdowns and only three interceptions.

    The Buckeyes quarterback has been as impressive with his legs as he has been with his arm. Pryor has run for over 100 yards three times this season and has three rushing touchdowns.

    Pryor will have the opportunity to showcase his talents this Saturday when the No. 1 Buckeyes head into Wisconsin for a showdown with the No. 18 Badgers.

    Terrelle Pryor has come up big for the Buckeyes all season, and he may very well come up big in New York at the Heisman ceremony.

2. Denard Robinson

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    SOUTH BEND, IN - SEPTEMBER 11: Denard Robinson #16 of the Michigan Wolverines runs against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Notre Dame Stadium on September 11, 2010 in South Bend, Indiana. Michigan defeated Notre Dame 28-24. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Gett
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    A week ago this was Denard Robinson's award, and there was no doubt about it...

    Last week Robinson was human; he threw three interceptions and ran for less than 100 yards for the first time all season in a 34-17 loss to Michigan State. A lot of people want to write Robinson off after one bad game (he wasn't bad—Robinson still accounted for 301 total yards and two touchdowns).

    Robinson is still the most electrifying player in college football today, and maybe ever. The man they call "Shoelace" could become the first player in college football history to throw for 2,000 yards and run for 2,000.

    The only reason Denard Robinson wouldn't win the Heisman would be Michigan's record. If Michigan loses five or six games, then it will be hard for Robinson to beat out the players who play for national championship-caliber teams.

1. LaMichael James

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    EUGENE, OR - OCTOBER 2: Running back LaMichael James #21 of the Oregon Ducks heads for the end zone on a 76-yard touchdown run  the fourth quarter of the game against the Stanford Cardinal at Autzen Stadium on October 2, 2010 in Eugene, Oregon. James had
    Steve Dykes/Getty Images

    LaMichael James is the most explosive player on the most explosive team in college football.

    James is the engine that powers Oregon's offensive machine. He leads the nation in rushing yards per game at 169.6 and is second in rushing yards at 848. LaHeisman has also scored 10 touchdowns on the season.

    Oregon is now currently No. 2 and is a favorite to play in the national championship game. The Ducks' schedule gets very tough after this bye week: UCLA, USC, Washington, Cal, Arizona and Oregon State.

    If LaMichael continues to put up big numbers throughout the rest of the season and the Ducks go undefeated, then he will be the favorite to win the award.