2010 Heisman Trophy Rankings: Andrew Luck Surges Into Second

Chris HustonContributor INovember 30, 2010

2010 Heisman Trophy Rankings: Andrew Luck Surges Into Second

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    We're 13 weeks into the season, and it's time for the latest edition of Bleacher Report's 2010 Heisman Trophy Rankings, presented by Heismanpundit.com.

    The Heismanpundit.com Heisman poll is made up of 13 Heisman voters from across the country. They vote for three players each week. Tabulations are made on a 3-2-1 basis, with three points awarded for a first-place vote, two points for a second-place vote and one point for a third-place vote.

    In the past two years, the Heismanpundit poll was the most accurate in the country, picking five of the top six finishers in the Heisman vote in 2008 and the top four in 2009.

    Members of the panel include Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel, Teddy Greenstein and Brian Hamilton of the Chicago Tribune, Olin Buchanan and Tom Dienhart of Rivals.com, Jenni Carlson of The Oklahoman, Bruce Feldman of ESPN.com, J.B. Morris of ESPN The Magazine, Austin Murphy, B.J. Schecter and Stewart Mandel of Sports Illustrated, plus Dick Weiss of the New York Daily News.

    Chris Huston, owner of Heismanpundit.com and a Bleacher Report contributor, coordinates and also votes in the weekly poll.

    The poll is featured here on Bleacher Report each Tuesday during the college football season.

    Here are the top players in the poll heading into the final week of the season...

No. 6: Andy Dalton, QB, TCU: 1 Point

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    TCU quarterback Andy Dalton checks in at No. 6 with one point in the poll.

    Dalton might go down as the most important player to play for TCU since Davey O'Brien, who won the Heisman in 1938. 

    He has led the Horned Frogs to an undefeated regular season and pushed the program to such national prominence that it has now made a move to the Big East.  Future BCS appearances can be attributed, in part, to the career of Dalton.

    The senior capped his tenure with a fine season, throwing for 2,638 yards, 26 touchdowns and six interceptions, while rushing for 407 yards and five more scores.

    He won't get an invite to New York, but he's been as important to his team and program as any other player out there.

No. 5: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State: 3 Points

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    Wide receiver Justin Blackmon of OSU is fifth this week with three points.

    Blackmon just finished up one of the most dominating seasons by a receiver in college football history.  He had eight catches for 105 yards and a touchdown against Oklahoma, as he finished his regular season with 102 catches for 1,665 yards and 18 scores.

    The sophomore gained at least 100 yards while scoring at least one touchdown in every game he played this year.  His average of 151 receiving yards per game was the best average in college football in over 10 seasons. 

    On the downside, the Cowboys won't be going to the Big 12 title game, but Blackmon did help lead them to the first 10-win regular season in school history.

    For that, he should snag a top five or six finish in the Heisman vote.

No. 4: Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State: 13 Points

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    Boise State's Kellen Moore drops to fourth this week, but is just a single point out of second with 13 total points.

    You can't blame Moore for Boise State's remarkable upset loss to Nevada last Friday.  It was Moore who threw for 348 yards and two touchdowns.  It was Moore who tossed an incredible bomb to Titus Young in the waning seconds of regulation to set up a game-winning field goal.  It was Moore who guided Boise State all season to the brink of BCS glory.  It wasn't Moore who missed two chip shot field goals.

    Nonetheless, Moore's candidacy has taken a slight hit and he'll have to come back next season for another shot at it.

    As it stands, he has the NCAA single-season pass efficiency record in hand.  With one game to go, his mark is 187.96, as he's thrown for 3,269 yards, 30 touchdowns and five interceptions.

    He's on his way to New York, but is a bit deflated after this loss. 

No. 2 (tie): LaMichael James, RB, Oregon: 14 Points

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    Oregon running back LaMichael James is tied for second with 14 points.

    James has slowed down a bit in November.  In his last three outings, he's averaged 112 yards per game and just 4.1 yards per carry.  This comes after a torrid October where he averaged 188 yards and 6.8 yards per carry.

    His latest effort was a 126-yard, two-touchdown game against Arizona.  We just aren't seeing as many explosive highlight-reel runs from James of late and that has resulted in some loss of momentum in the Heisman race.

    He still leads the nation in rushing with an average of 155 yards per game.  On the year, he has 1,548 yards and 19 touchdowns.  But it would help his cause if he went out big against Oregon State on Saturday.

    Whatever the case, he's on his way to New York as a Heisman finalist.

No. 2 (tie): Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford: 14 Points

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    Andrew Luck of Stanford has surged into second place with 14 points, even picking up two first-place votes along the way.

    It's hard not to be impressed with Luck.  We all know he is the likely first pick in the coming NFL draft, but he has a style about him that is fun to watch.  He combines traditional passing skills with some hard-nosed running and the combination of that has resulted in the best season in Stanford's history.

    Luck's latest gem was against Oregon State, where he threw for 305 yards and four touchdowns.  On the year, he's got 3,045 passing yards, 28 touchdown passes and seven interceptions, while adding another 438 yards and three scores on the ground.

    The big question now is: Will it be enough to garner an invite to New York?  It will probably depend on how James does against Oregon State on Saturday.  If James has another average game, we could see a Cardinal player in the Big Apple for the second-straight season.

No. 1: Cameron Newton, QB, Auburn: 33 Points

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    Cameron Newton continues his domination of the Heisman Poll with 33 points and 11 first-place votes.

    If there was ever any doubt about whether Newton was going to win the Heisman, it was swept away last weekend with his work in leading Auburn to a come-from-behind victory on the road against Alabama.

    Newton threw for 216 yards and three touchdowns and added another 39 yards and a score on the ground as the Tigers rebounded from a 24-0 second quarter deficit to win the Iron Bowl, 28-27, and secure Auburn's undefeated regular season.

    On the year, Newton has thrown for 2,254 yards, with 24 touchdowns and six interceptions and has rushed for 1,336 yards and 18 scores.  That's 42 combined touchdowns, for those keeping score at home.  And there is still one more game to play.

    At this point, there's not much that can happen against South Carolina that could cause Newton to lose the Heisman. His lead is just too great and, indeed, voting has already begun.

    It may well be that in the future, Newton has to return the trophy, but for now, he is merely awaiting his coronation as the most outstanding player in college football for 2010.

    Full Poll Results, 11/30/2010

    (first place votes in parentheses)

    1. Cameron Newton, QB, Auburn -- 33 (11)
    2. (tie) Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford -- 14 (2)
    2. (tie) LaMichael James, RB, Oregon -- 14
    4. Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State -- 13
    5. Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State -- 3
    6. Andrew Dalton, QB, TCU -- 1