It’s never too early to talk about candidates for the Heisman Trophy here on Bleacher Report!
As we close the 2011 regular season and look forward to the upcoming postseason bowl games this December and January, here are five of the top players that will be in the discussion for the Heisman when the 2012 season kicks off next fall.
In his first season in the new Dana Holgorsen offense, junior Smith had a great first year as the Mountaineer quarterback threw for nearly 4,000 yards passing and 25 touchdowns while breaking numerous West Virginia offensive records in 2011.
If it weren’t for sanctions that limited what USC could do this season, Matt Barkley and the Trojans could have been at least in the Pac-12 title game and possibly made a trip to the Rose Bowl as their junior signal-caller could be more dangerous than he was this season with more than 3,500 yards passing and 39 touchdowns.
After some injuries to key positions on the Oklahoma offense limited the playmaking ability of Jones, the junior quarterback still had a good season with 4,300 yards passing and 28 touchdowns. But with an anticipated return to Norman next season with a healthy team, their sights can return to winning the Big 12 and the national title in 2012.
With RG3 literally reviving the Baylor football program overnight this season, giving the team its first nine-win season since the 1980s, you would have to put the Bears quarterback into the discussion for the Heisman next season with his great season of 4,642 yards of total offense and 45 touchdowns.
The best runner in college football this season couldn’t have been left off the list of Heisman favorites as Wisconsin’s Montee Ball led the nation in rushing with more than 1,700 yards on the ground along with 32 touchdowns. The Badgers should be favorites in the Big Ten again next year.
Chris Humphrey is a featured columnist for BleacherReport.com. He has covered everything from college football, college basketball, UFC, NFL, NBA and the WWE in his short time writing for the website. You can become a fan of him on B/R and follow him on Twitter @_CBH_.