College Football Picks Week 9: Predicting the Heisman Performances
Mark Ingram took home the Heisman Trophy last season as the catalyst on an Alabama Crimson Tide team that won the 2010 BCS National Championship.
A slow start due to injuries and the emergence of other stars around college football have pushed Ingram to the back burner.
Players like Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor, USC quarterback Matt Barkley and Wisconsin halfback John Clay have been pushed aside as other players prove to be more consistent and more dominant.
At this point in the season, some of the pretenders have been weeded out after poor performances against the top teams in the country. Realistically, there are only five players left who can legitimately say that they have a shot at winning the 2010 Heisman Trophy.
5. Denard Robinson
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As the fastest player in college football, Denard Robinson has shown that he is big enough and tough enough to lead a run-oriented spread offense in the always physical Big Ten. He's not just game managing either—he is the offense.
He's had over 100 yards rushing in six of seven games this season, falling short only against the Michigan State Spartans.
"Shoelace" is coming off a bye week, and he says his shoulder is 100 percent. This week he faces a Penn State Nittany Lion defense that has been decimated by injuries. Expect him to break the 100-yard rushing mark in the first half, if not the first quarter.
He will be back in the discussion after a big week in Happy Valley.
4. Andrew Luck
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Andrew Luck is probably the best pro prospect of any player on this list. While that doesn't count for much in the Heisman race, it's important to note.
He's one of the most efficient passers in the nation, as he has completed over 70 percent of his passes in three different games. Luck is on pace for 33 touchdowns and only nine interceptions in a tough Pac-10 conference. He's also an underrated runner, rushing for 253 yards and averaging 7.2 YPC.
This weekend, he leads the No. 13 Stanford Cardinal into Seattle, WA to take on Jake Locker, another top pro prospect, and the University of Washington Huskies. The Huskies are allowing 33.1 PPG; expect a big day from Luck as he continues to build his Heisman résumé.
3. Kellen Moore
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Kellen Moore is simply the most proficient passing quarterback in college football today. His 69.8 percent completion rate is just off the charts.
He leads one of the most explosive offenses in the country in Boise State, and barring a major upset, he has them on a collision course with, at the very least, a BCS berth. His team is undefeated and riding high.
He's thrown 18 touchdowns and only two interceptions; he is one of the best decision makers in the NCAA and also one of the most accurate.
On Tuesday, his Broncos defeated another cupcake in Louisiana Tech. Moore had another big day that kept his name in the discussion for Heisman winner.
2. LaMichael James
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LaMichael James is the best running back in college football, hands down. After getting a big break last year when his former teammate LeGarrette Blount punched a Boise State opponent in the face to earn a suspension, James has done nothing but run wild ever since.
James has piled up 974 yards on only 134 carries, good for 7.2 YPC. He's also added 11 touchdowns to lead one of the most prolific rushing attacks in college football.
He's had two games of over 200 yards rushing this season for the No. 1 team this season, proving himself to be probably the most valuable player on the best team in football.
This weekend, James and the rest of the Ducks will be looking to lay a beatdown on USC after a questionable tweet by USC quarterback Matt Barkley that compared USC to Cain Velasquez and Oregon to Brock Lesnar.
James will have a huge day at USC and keep his name near the top of the Heisman rankings.
1. Cam Newton
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In reality, it's Cam Newton, a huge gap and then everybody else. This guy has been nothing short of incredible this season.
The JUCO transfer is the best player in college football this season; there's no disputing that. The favorite to win the Heisman has been a revelation for the Auburn Tigers, who are making a major push for the BCS National Championship Game.
He's already rushed for 1,077 yards, more than Tim Tebow ever did in a single season. Did I mention that Newton has four more regular season games to add to that total?
The 6'6", 250-pound freak has had five games of over 170 yards rushing this season. The numbers he is putting up are simply astounding. If he can keep up this pace, something tells me the vote won't even be close come December.
This weekend at Ole Miss, look for another big game for Newton as he continues to be the odds-on favorite.
Best of the Rest
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Here are a few players that just missed the cut:
Blaine Gabbert, QB Missouri Tigers
Justin Blackmon, WR Oklahoma State
Kirk Cousins, QB Michigan State
Matt Barkley, QB USC
John Clay, HB Wisconsin
Terrelle Pryor, QB Ohio State