Heisman Watch (11/12) Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State (Ranked No. 10)
A week ago Blackmon was taken off our Heisman poll after a one-game suspension for a DUI incident, but the recent storm of bad press on Cam Newton (not to mention LaMichael James’ early-season suspension) has us thinking we should lower our moral standards a bit for the time being. A wide receiver is always a long shot to win the award, but Blackmon has been a monster this year. He showed no rust in his return last week, torching Baylor for 173 yards and a score through the air while adding a 69-yard touchdown run. He's leading the nation in receiving yards (1,285) and is tied for the national lead in receiving touchdowns (15) despite playing just eight games. That's not even making mention of his touchdown and 77 yards on the ground, or the touchdown he scored on a punt block in Week 1. If Oklahoma State can win the Big 12, it would likely be a rare case where a receiver (Blackmon) gets more credit than the team’s quarterback (Brandon Weeden). That’s the primary reason wideouts don’t win the Heisman, but Blackmon could prove to be the rare exception.
*All rankings listed are BCS, players listed alphabetically by last name
Last game: 13 catches for 173 yards and one touchdown receiving (13.3 YPC), 69 yards and one touchdown rushing (69.0 YPC) vs. No. 21 Baylor
Next game: @ Texas
Andy Dalton QB, TCU (Ranked No. 3)
It’s safe to say we’ve neglected Andy Dalton
’s inclusion in this list up until this point. But a resounding 47-7 blowout over previously unbeaten, No. 5 Utah has Dalton in the discussion. For the season Dalton has 19 touchdown passes against five interceptions, and is no slouch on the ground, averaging 5.97 yards per carry while adding another five scores. Dalton’s critics will argue that TCU’s defense (ranked first in the nation) and their lack of ranked opponents (only two) are more the story than Dalton. But bottom-line, Dalton has the Horned Frogs undefeated and averaging over 40 points a game.
355 yards, three touchdowns passing (80.7 percent completed, 13.7 YPA), 14 yards rushing (2.8 YPC) @ No. 5 Utah
vs. San Diego State
Stock: Way Up
LaMichael James, RB, Oregon (Ranked No. 1)
James continues to roll. His three touchdowns against Washington included two scores in the second half that helped stretch a 25-16 lead into a 53-16 blowout. Through eight games played he’s averaging 166 rushing yards with over two scores a game. The Ducks are first in the nation averaging 54.7 points a game and James is obviously a huge reason why. Furthermore, in 17 collegiate starts he’s rushed for 100 yards or more 16 times, with 94 yards in his only sub-100 game. Can any defense stop him? We’re guessing it won’t be Cal. Staggering numbers.
121 yards and three touchdowns rushing (4.7 YPC), three catches for 19 yards receiving vs. Washington
Stock: Sky High
Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford (Ranked No. 6)
Former NFL quarterback and current Stanford Head Coach Jim Harbaugh had high praise for his quarterback Andrew Luck
saying, “It’s very NFL-like the way he executes out there on the field.” Harbaugh was of course referring to the skills that have a growing number of scouts settling on Luck as the best draft-eligible NFL prospect. Luck’s ability to make long throws and deliver the ball into tight spaces has helped rank Stanford fifth in the nation with 42.3 points per game. The one blemish on the Cardinal record, a 52-31 loss on October 2nd, is more attributable to the offense of No. 1 Oregon than it is to Stanford’s quarterback. In any case, Luck led the Stanford beat-down of No. 15 Arizona last week, and that’s got Stanford back in the BCS Bowl picture.
293 yards, two touchdowns passing (71.8 percent completed, 9.2 YPA), 25 yards rushing (8.3 YPC) vs. No. 15 Arizona
@ Arizona State
Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State (Ranked No. 4)
Moore uncharacteristically threw two interceptions against Hawaii last week and has now thrown three over his last two games. The picks did not lead to scores and were inconsequential as Boise State rolled over Hawaii 42-7. But with Moore still chasing Cameron Newton
and LaMichael James
, the margin for error is razor thin. In Moore’s defense, he went for over 500 yards (a career high) through the air and leads a team that is now ranked second in the nation averaging 47 points a game. He needs to run up scores the rest of the way and make his great numbers even gaudier if he wants to stay in the picture.
507 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions passing (81.1 percent completed, 13.7 YPA) vs. Hawaii
Cameron Newton, QB, Auburn (Ranked No. 2)
Amidst all of the off-field distractions (and there have been a lot of them), Cam Newton keeps producing. Of course, we didn’t think Chattanooga would be the team to stop him. With all due respect to Auburn’s fine trio of running backs, we have to admit that the Auburn offense is the closest thing to the proverbial ‘One-Man Gang’. Of Newton’s 34 total touchdowns, 15 have come on the ground, and the highlights of his running scores make defenders look like they’re in slow motion. However, with the recent reports from Yahoo! Sports that the NCAA advised Auburn that Newton’s eligibility could be in question, it’s extremely difficult to guess what’s up next, just as it’s difficult to guess where Newton’s stock is headed. Until an ineligibility ruling comes down, though, his record is impeccable.
317 yards, four touchdowns passing (71.4 percent completed, 15.1 YPA), 24 yards, one touchdown rushing (3.0 YPC) vs. Chattanooga
Stock: Sky High (?)
Today’s Verdict: Cameron Newton
Where do we start? The infamous laptop? The accusations of cheating on tests? The latest development offers claims that Newton’s father named a price on what it would take for his son to commit to a school. In any case, until there is proof of allegations that would tie Newton to actual NCAA violations, his on-field performances have him winning the Heisman. If something were to be proven, LaMichael James is waiting in the wings. And there’s a still a good chunk of regular season college football on the docket. Stay tuned.
THE BIG BOARD
1. Cameron Newton, QB, Auburn (Last week: 1)
2. LaMichael James, RB, Oregon (Last week: 2)
3. Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State (Last week: 3)
4. Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford (Last week: 4)
5. Andy Dalton, QB, TCU (Last week: Not listed)
6. Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State (Last week: Not listed)
Keep an eye on: Darron Thomas (QB, Oregon), Denard Robinson (QB, Michigan), Terrelle Pryor (QB, Ohio State), Ricky Stanzi (QB, Iowa)