Heisman Trophy Race: Life After Cam Newton
This week's allegations against Cam Newton have thrown what looked to be a locked up Heisman Trophy into question. It's unfortunate that such a talented athlete made (it appears, at least at this point) such a bad decision.
While there's still a good chance that Newton wins the award regardless of the outcome of the current dispute, it has certainly hurt his chances. With that in mind, here is the updated top five ranking of the Heisman candidates.
1. LaMichael James
LaMichael James has been the best running back in college football this season. He leads the explosive Oregon Ducks offense, which is first in college football, scoring more than 50 points a game. Despite being a sophomore, James has led the Ducks to the No. 1 ranking in the country.
Out of Chip Kelly’s spread-option, James has rushed for 1,331 yards despite missing the first game of the season. Only Denard Robinson has more yards.
James may have had a slightly disappointing week facing Washington, but he turned it on when it counted. And against Stanford and USC, he rushed for more than 230 yards each. Impressive statistics.
2. Kellen Moore
The only real knock on Kellen Moore is that he plays for a non-automatic qualifying school. His numbers are stellar, and his passer rating leads all of college football.
He put up pretty decent numbers against both Virginia Tech and Oregon State, showing that he can compete against better opponents. Unfortunately for him, unless the Ducks and LaMichael James stumble, he won’t be able to take home the award.
3. Denard Robinson
Out of the gate, Denard Robinson looked like a monster, rushing for well over 400 yards in his first two contests against Connecticut and Notre Dame. From there he played well until faltering against his first talented opponent, Michigan State. Simply put, he was very bad against the Spartans.
Robinson still has an outside shot at winning the Heisman, as he is not only leading the league in rushing yards but is among the leaders in quarterback rating. But that loss to Michigan State will hurt him.
4. Justin Blackmon
Justin Blackmon is a monster that is just coming to light in college football. He has only had three games this season with less than 150 yards catching. He’s caught 15 touchdowns and averages more than 17 yards per catch. Simply ridiculous.
It would be tough for him to win, given the talent ahead of him, but his team has a big test against Oklahoma at the end of the season. Could it be a Heisman party for Blackmon?
5. Cam Newton
Nobody actually thought he’d fall off the list, right? I’ve got to be honest: as an Oregon fan, I hope LaMichael James wins the Heisman. That being said, Cam Newton has been the best player in college football this season. He’s among the leaders in rushing and passing and has single-handedly brought the Auburn Tigers to the national stage.
Hopefully the allegations get resolved one way or another by the end of the season. If he’s innocent, he deserves the award. If not, college football faces the potential for another Reggie Bush-type embarrassment, and who knows how they will vote?