Heisman Watch: Does Trent Richardson Need Style Points Today vs. Ole Miss?

John BainCorrespondent IIOctober 15, 2011

TUSCALOOSA, AL - OCTOBER 08:  Trent Richardson #3 of the Alabama Crimson Tide tries to break a tackle by Kenny Ladler #1 of the Vanderbilt Commodores at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 8, 2011 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Alabama Crimson Tide running back Trent Richardson is having a great season.

In his first year as starter, he is ranked eighth among running backs with an average of 121.5 yards per game. He has also put up 11 touchdowns and 729 total yards on the season, including a 181-yard stand out performance against Florida in Week 5.

Unfortunately for Richardson, it seems to be the year of the quarterback in the Heisman race this season. If he has any hopes of winning and leaping over the likes of Andrew Luck, Kellen Moore and Russell Wilson, he needs to have a big performance over Ole Miss.

Currently, Richardson is ranked just eighth among running backs in the nation when it comes to yards per game, putting him behind the likes of LaMichael James and Marcus Lattimore among the best backs in the nation.

Although Richardson may be the most important player on the Alabama offense, and perhaps the Crimson Tide's most outstanding player, he has yet to show he is the most outstanding player in college football. 

In four of their five games, Ole Miss has given up at least 150 yards on the ground. Although their official stat line says they've given up an average of 193 yards a game. If Richardson doesn't dominate for at least 200 yards in this one, or at least 150 with some big break out runs, he could slowly fall to the back burner of the 2011 Heisman watch. 

Trent Richardson has full capability of having a huge game that will solidify his spot in the Heisman campaign, but it also has to be big enough to outshine any performances by Andrew Luck, Kellen Moore and Russell Wilson.

Now Richardson controls his own destiny, but he will need a little help from the opposition of the latter mentioned players if he wants to make the leap.

Not only will Alabama running back Trent Richardson need a big game against Ole Miss if he wants to be taken seriously in Heisman trophy voting, but he will also need to have a big performance against the nation's No. 3 rush defense in LSU in just two short weeks.