College Football Predictions 2011: The Top 7 Pac-12 Heisman Hopefuls

Maiah HollanderContributor IIIJuly 19, 2011

College Football Predictions 2011: The Top 7 Pac-12 Heisman Hopefuls

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    Andrew Luck has without a doubt been on the list for the Heisman; currently one of the top quarterbacks in the nation, but the Pac-12 has six others who could give him a run for his money.

    The coveted Heisman Trophy is one of the most sought after awards in all of major sports.

    The awarded become the poster child for their school and their names will be fondly remembered for many years to come.

    But with so many great returning players to the Pac-12, the competition is stiff, and nothing is certain.

QB Andrew Luck, Stanford

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    In a move that shocked the NFL and infuriated the rest of the Pac, Andrew Luck decided to return for the 2011 season.

    Luck isn't the only one coming back, most of the potent Stanford offense is returning as well, and with another year of working under the same system, Stanford could be even better than last season.

    Throwing an incredible 32 touchdown passes last year with only eight interceptions; Luck will surely be a Heisman contender. 

RB LaMichael James, Oregon

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    LaMichael James has become embroiled in the ever-growing Oregon recruiting controversies, which may provide James even more of a reason to demolish opposing Pac-12 defenses.

    A potential push towards 2,000 yards coupled with frequent national television exposure should put James in the middle of the Heisman Trophy hunt. 

QB Darron Thomas, Oregon

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    One player that could stand in LaMichael James' path to the Heisman, is his own teammate, quarterback Darron Thomas.

    The mastermind of Oregon's offensive blitzkrieg, Thomas had a brilliant 2010 season as a first time starter.

    With another year of experience, the dual threat ability of Thomas will guarantee opposing defensive coordinators many sleepless nights. 

QB Matt Barkley, USC

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    Matt Barkley came to USC as one of the most heralded QB recruits in the country, and was handed the starting job immediately.

    Barkley went through expected growing pains, but came back last year with a greater understanding of the position, which led to a vastly improved TD/Int ratio.

    With the Trojans being on probation, Barkley will actually be freed up to play with reckless abandon. 

RB Rodney Stewart, Colorado

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    This pint-sized dynamo plays big – Rodney Stewart rushed for 1318 yards in 2010.

    With Colorado joining the Pac-12 this season, Stewart will get the chance to face new defenses for the first time, which could lead to much bigger numbers for this Heisman dark horse. 

RB Chris Polk, Washington

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    With the departure of Jake Locker, Chris Polk will be asked to carry the Husky offense.

    In the last two years, Polk has rushed for more than 1100 and 1400 yards respectively.

    With a comparable jump in yardage, Polk will place himself directly in Heisman Trophy consideration. 

QB Nick Foles, Arizona

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    The only thing hotter than the desert in Arizona might be Nick Foles' passing arm.

    With more than 3000 passing yards and a completion percentage near 70 percent, Foles could be a real sharpshooter in the Heisman corral.