So almost half of the season is over, and I am finally getting around to posting a 2011 Heisman race. Why? Because you have to play more than two or three games before you award these trophies. If the first three weeks really mattered that much in the Heisman balloting, then a month ago we could of called a press conference to hand Denard Robinson his trophy and call it a day.
But I’m sorry Michigan fans, it does not work like that.
So moving forward lets look at how am I ranking the 2011 Heisman candidates. I look at a number of factors:
- Individual talent
- Team record
- Impact on team
- Overall excitement
A very simple formula. The best player on the best team with a highlight reel of outstanding plays and eye popping stats should win. With that said, lets rank ‘em up.
1. Cam Newton QB Auburn
Auburn’s quarterback is playing very consistent football and is the main reason behind Auburn’s rise in the polls. He should be at Florida, but that is a different story for a different day. His exciting runs, Auburn’s No. 4 ranking, and the regular 50+ point games his team drops has him a firm No. 1.
2. LaMichael James RB Oregon
Oregon is the No.1 team in the nation in the coaches polls, and James is a big reason why. His electric 70+ yard runs has many thinking of Reggie Bush who also took a similar route to the Heisman. Long as Oregon wins out, LaMichael will be at the Downtown Athletic Club this winter.
3. Taylor Martinez QB Nebraska
I know, I know, Martinez had a bad game vs. Texas but that doesn’t take away from his incredible yardage totals and the 5-1 record that Nebraska put up. Zac Lee relieved him in the second half of that Texas game so going forward Martinez has to play outstanding to keep his job and stay in the Heisman race.
4. Denard Robinson QB Michigan
Michigan lost a tough game versus Michigan State and Denard Robinson threw multiple picks for the second week in a row. I’ve written several articles on how Denard was going to cool off in conference play, and he has, but like Martinez he has many games left to crank his hype machine up again.
5. Kellen Moore QB Boise State
I really wanted to include Terrelle Pryor in these rankings but I cannot justify that after he faltered on the national stage in a loss versus Wisconsin. A come from behind win in that situation and Pryor would have been number two or three on this list.
Moore is the quarterback of the BCS’ third ranked team, and boasts the longest winning streak in the nation. I don’t think that he is particularly as exciting or super talented but he reminds me a lot of another lefty to win the Heisman on a top ranked team: Matt Leinart.
Just Missed this list: Demarco Murray RB Oklahoma