Landry Jones should be the Heisman front-runner
Oklahoma Sooner QB Landry Jones should be considered the Heisman front runner.
Many pundits project Andrew Luck as the preseason Heisman leader, as a 2010 finalist and projected first QB selected for the 2012 NFL Draft.
It's possible Luck is the best overall player right now.
However, the modern Heisman race isn't always about the best player. It's lately much more about the best team, and how much a player contributes to a championship season.
When you consider the two players objectively, it is clear that Landry Jones is in a much better position than Andrew Luck in the race to win the Heisman, and should be the preseason Heisman favorite.
Ryan Broyles is the top receiver for the Sooners
Offensive production is a vital stat in the Heisman discussion. Jones is in a much better position to put up monster passing numbers at Oklahoma.
Jones will be throwing to Ryan Broyles, a returning All-American who is already the all-time leader in receiving touch downs.
Jones can also throw to the speedy Kenny Stills, the standout sophomore receiver. And when you add in Trey Metoyer, the highly touted 5-star recruit, the Sooners are going to have several excellent targets for Jones.
On the other Hand, Luck lost his two best receivers. Luck is still going to put up good numbers, but he won’t be able to compete with Jones.
Oklahoma Sooners Offensive Line
In order for a quarterback to be productive, he needs to have a strong offensive line.
The Cardinal will have trouble protecting Luck this season. Last year, they had one of the best offensive lines in the country, but they are replacing three starters.
Consider Sam Bradford’s senior season, and the risks coming back to a team with a weak line. Bradford passed on the draft, only to spend most of the season out with injuries.
Compare Luck’s situation to Jones'. Oklahoma has six players with starting experience. They will keep Jones protected and productive this season.
Stanford Cardinal Quarterback Andrew Luck
In the recent Heisman voting the preseason favorites tend to be runners-up in the final vote.
Consider some of the recent front-runners who failed to win in New York. Consider Jake Locker, Terrell Pryor, Colt McCoy, Matthew Stafford, and other preseason favorites that ultimately failed to deliver.
Remember that nobody projected Cam Newton to win last season. The reality is that preseason rankings do nothing to influence voters.
Andrew Luck might be best player in CFB right now, but he won’t be holding the statue at the end of the season.
The Oklahoma Sooners are a favorite for the National Championship in 2011
To be a strong Heisman contender, it helps to play in big games and lead your team to a championship. Landry Jones will have that chance, but Stanford will not be at the same level as last season.
Oklahoma is poised to have a national championship caliber season, and Jones will have no shortage of opportunities to play in major games.
Stanford lost too much talent, plus a once in a generation coach. They simply do not have the talent to contend for a championship in the expanded Pac-12 this year.
Oklahoma and Landry Jones are in a position to run through a depleted Big XII and make a run at the National Championship Game.
At the end of the day, its about the best team as much as the best player. Landry Jones will be holding the statue at the end of the season, and Oklahoma will be playing for the National Championship.