While every college football fan takes great interest in which teams are in position to play for the National Championship over the course of the season, an individual award often takes precedent over the BCS polls.
That award, of course, is the Heisman Trophy.
Almost certainly the most famous individual trophy in all of sports, the Heisman has a rich history that can be traced back to 1935 when Jay Berwanger became the first player to win the award. One benefit of the Heisman’s lineage is that it allows prognosticators to make predictions based on trends that have developed over the life of the award.
For instance, since 1973, only three players at a position other than quarterback or running back have won the Heisman—those players being cornerback Charles Woodson, wide receiver Desmond Howard and wide receiver Tim Brown. Also, for most of the past decade-plus, the Heisman winner has come from a team that played for or was in contention for the National Championship.
This automatically makes star quarterbacks and running backs on highly-ranked teams the favorites to take home the Heisman. While it’s unlikely a player from an alternative position would win the award, they can’t be dismissed altogether, especially since a couple rare talents exist at wide receiver this season.
With that in mind, here are the top 10 Heisman Trophy candidates for the 2011 college football season.