Heisman Trophy Watch: How the Top 5 Contenders Fared
Coming out of Week 4, the Heisman Trophy watch continues, as we evaluate the candidates on watch and note who may or may not have dropped on the list.
This week, the top five candidates have brought—as they do every week—a mixed bag of reviews that can either raise their stocks or drop them.
In the modern era of football, the offenses continue to reign supreme, with the primary candidates being running backs and quarterbacks.
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Even though they were off in Week 4, the Stanford quarterback is still among the top favorites to win the Heisman.
Arguably the best quarterback in the nation, Andrew Luck boasts a passer rating of 173.4. He has 786 yards passing and has tossed eight touchdowns to one interception. He also has 47 yards rushing to go along with one rushing touchdown.
Sitting at 3-0, the Cardinals are in prime position to make a run for a BCS bowl game and are considered serious contenders for the National Championship Game as well.
The only way Stanford will not at least make a BCS bowl game is if they get in the way of themselves. With Luck under center, they are capable of getting to the next level.
At this early point in the season, Luck is the front-runner for the Heisman. He's everyone's favorite to make a big splash in college and find eventual success in the NFL.
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Quarterback Kellen Moore continues to be among the top Heisman Trophy candidates; his great performance in Week 4 only raised his Heisman stock.
In Week 4, when Boise State hosted Tulsa, the quarterback finished the day with a passer rating of 205.6. He had 279 yards passing and four touchdowns and completed 23-of-29 passes. Moore has made his presence known for winning games and hopes to vault Boise State into the BCS National Championship.
But to get there, they must go undefeated—which is very possible under Moore's leadership on the field. At this point, Moore's stock is continuing to rise. Wins over teams like Georgia only help his cause.
That said, Moore is still considered by many to be in second place in the runnings; Andrew Luck continues to have the early edge and is the main threat standing in his way. The key for Moore will be for Boise State to go undefeated and for Luck to falter as the Cardinal enter the brunt of their schedule.
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Bursting onto the scene after a shootout victory against TCU, Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin's Heisman stock has gradually risen every week. Baylor has become a threat offensively with Griffin under center.
In Week 4, Griffin's stock has risen even more, with his near-perfect performance against Rice (going 29-of-33 for 338 yards and five touchdowns in a 56-31 blowout victory).
In four weeks of football, Griffin has 13 touchdowns to only 12 incompletions. Against Rice, Griffin had a completion percentage of 87.9 percent and a passer rating of 223.9 to go along with 51 rushing yards and one touchdown. On the season, Griffin has 962 total passing yards, 13 touchdowns and a completion percentage of 85.4.
Similar to Boise State's Kellen Moore, Griffin's stock has risen tremendously, but because of the team he is on, it may not be enough to catch Moore or Luck in the standings, despite his explosive ability or Baylor's newfound success.
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Despite still being one of the main front-runners for the Heisman Trophy, Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones saw his stock drop a little over the past two weeks.
After a physical slug-fest against Florida State, Oklahoma faced Missouri in Week 4. Jones performed well, but tossed two interceptions to go along with his three touchdowns. He did manage, however, to achieve 448 yards passing, completing 35-of-48 passes.
Jones still boasted a passer rating of 163.6 and a completion percentage of 72.9. Jones added a rushing touchdown as well. Four weeks into the season, Jones has 1,022 passing yards, five touchdowns, four interceptions and an average passer rating of 149.5.
Due to his performances over the past two weeks, Jones is gradually losing ground in the Heisman race. While it's still very early to tell, Jones needs to start making statements against these teams and performing better in big games.
With four interceptions to five touchdowns, Jones is starting to have one interception for every touchdown he tosses. He still has plenty of time to catch up to the main front-runners, Kellen Moore and Andrew Luck, but he must start producing soon.
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The Wisconsin Badgers continued their streak of dominance in Week 4 with former NC State quarterback Russell Wilson at the helm.
Facing South Dakota in Week 4, Wilson grew more comfortable with the team, passing for 345 yards and three touchdowns with zero interceptions. Wilson also boasted a 231.5 passer rating. In four weeks, Wilson has an average passer rating of 218.4, 1,136 passing yards and 11 touchdowns to one interception. He also has 108 rushing yards to one touchdown.
The Badgers will face their first true test when they take on the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Wilson and the Badgers have yet to face an opponent like Nebraska, who has a very mobile quarterback in Taylor Martinez and a run-based speed offense.
In terms of the Heisman race, Wilson has received attention as the fifth-best currently on the list—but with performances from players like Denard Robinson (Michigan) and Robert Griffin (Baylor), Wilson may soon be overshadowed.
For Wilson to really make a run, he must show he can compete against and beat key marquee opponents. Facing Nebraska will be a true test for Wilson and could be a great springboard if he has a solid performance against the Cornhuskers.