Why LaMichael James Should Win the Heisman

Nikhil BaradwajSenior Analyst INovember 13, 2011

Why LaMichael James Should Win the Heisman

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    With Oregon's thrashing of Stanford, the Ducks most likely vaulted themselves into the top five of the BCS. Barring a major collapse, Oregon will likely take the Pac-12 North Division and conference titles, and might still have an outside chance of making the BCS National Championship Game.

    Oregon has now won nine straight games since its opening-week loss to LSU.

    At the forefront of this renaissance is LaMichael James, who had a Heisman-esque performance against Stanford's previously ranked 11th-best defense in the nation. His 146 yards and three TDs paced Oregon's vaunted running attack, and ultimately reminded the rest of the country of the speed of this Oregon offense.

    This article details the top five reasons why LaMichael James should win the Heisman.

No. 1: Outstanding Numbers

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    James has been an elite running back yet again, rushing for over 1207 yards, which is second in the nation to only Virginia Tech's David Wilson. In addition, he has 12 rushing touchdowns on the year, putting up three scores against No. 4 Stanford on the road.

    James has exploded in four games this year, rushing for 288, 239, 156 and 146 yards against Arizona, California, Washington and Stanford.

    He is also averaging a ridiculous 7.9 yards per carry, showing his big-play potential along with his great efficiency.

No. 2: Bounced Back After Week 1 Loss

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    After struggling in Week 1 against a stout LSU defense, James has led Oregon in its nine-game winning streak as it closes in on a third straight Pac-12 title.

    James had only 57 rushing yards against LSU, but has picked up the slack after, while even suffering an elbow injury which kept him out of two conference games against Arizona State and Colorado.

No. 3: Big-Play Ability

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    James has made huge plays all year, scoring touchdown runs of 90, 47, 53 and 58 yards respectively.

    James' average yards per carry, 7.9 yards per attempt, is a testament to his penchant for blowing games open or swinging the momentum into his team's favor.

No. 4: Heisman Moment

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    Every Heisman winner has their “Heisman Moment.” From Cam Newton’s gutsy comeback against Alabama last year to Ricky Williams’ 259-yard performance against sixth-ranked Texas A&M, Heisman winners show up when their team needs them the most.

    James did just this on Saturday, rushing for 146 yards and scoring three touchdowns, resuscitating Oregon’s National Championship hopes in the process.

No. 5: Who Else Can Catch Him?

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    With Boise State losing to TCU, Kellen Moore’s hopes at a Heisman have probably been dashed. Landry Jones has not been as effective as he was last year and the Sooners lost to a mediocre Texas Tech team. Trent Richardson has been solid all year long, but has not had a Heisman moment and has the luxury of playing behind one of the top offensive lines in the country.

    Andrew Luck and Stanford just lost to James’ Ducks by three touchdowns, while Luck threw two interceptions and lost a fumble. Without a doubt, LaMichael James is the front-runner.