Heisman Watch (12/7) Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State (Ranked No. 14)
Blackmon has been a beast all year, accomplishing what no one saw coming prior to the season: not only did Blackmon replace OSU’s MVP in wideout Dez Bryant, but he actually exceeded Bryant’s production. In 2008, Bryant had 87 catches for 1,480 yards, with 19 total touchdowns and 17.0 YPC. Blackmon’s 2010 season totaled 102 catches for 1,665 yards, 19 total touchdowns and 16.3 YPC. Look for Blackmon and the Cowboys offense to give Arizona some problems. The redshirt sophomore won’t win the Heisman, but he still put together a season for the ages.
*All rankings listed are BCS, players listed alphabetically by last name
Last game: Eight catches for 105 yards and one touchdown receiving (13.1 YPC) vs. No. 13 Oklahoma
Next game: December 29th vs. Arizona (Valero Alamo Bowl)
Andy Dalton QB, TCU (Ranked No. 3)
Only Auburn and Oregon could accomplish what Dalton and the Horned Frogs did this year: make it to the bowl season undefeated. Dalton posted 31 total touchdowns (26 passing, five rushing), had 3,045 all-purpose yards (2,638 passing) and threw only six interceptions. He posted a career-best 66.2 completion percentage and has passed for 49 touchdowns and 14 interceptions over the last two seasons. The argument against Dalton is the level of competition, as he played against only two ranked teams all season. However, Dalton will get his chance against to shine against the fifth-ranked Wisconsin Badgers in the Rose Bowl.
156 yards, three touchdowns passing (64.3 percent completed, 11.1 YPA) @ New Mexico
January 1st vs. No. 5 Wisconsin (Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO)
LaMichael James, RB, Oregon (Ranked No. 2)
The Ducks downed Oregon State 37-20 last weekend, and James rushed for over 100 yards for the ninth time in his 11 games played. For the season, James averaged 153 rushing yards per game, with 22 total touchdowns (one receiving) and an average of six yards per carry. His 1,682 yards mark the second year in a row that he’s rushed for at least 1,500 yards. The undefeated Ducks’ closest margin of victory was a 15-13 win over Cal, which was also the only game that James was held scoreless. James won’t win the Heisman, but he’s had an amazing two-year start to his college career.
134 yards rushing, two touchdowns rushing (4.8 YPC) @ Oregon State
January 10th vs. No. 1 Auburn (Tostitos BCS National Championship Game)
Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford (Ranked No. 4)
Luck had a great season, passing for over 3,000 yards and completing 70 percent of his passes. While his 28 passing touchdowns tie him with Cameron Newton
, he loses considerable steam in the rushing department where Newton has scored 20 touchdowns to Luck’s three. Luck’s 3,500 all-purpose yards were also bested by Newton who went for over 4,000. The only blemish on Luck is a 52-31 loss to Oregon in which he performed well, but Stanford’s defense couldn’t stop Oregon’s fast-paced attack. Look for Luck to give Virginia Tech fits in the Orange Bowl and end up a very high pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.
305 yards, four touchdowns passing (70 percent completed, 10.2 YPA) vs. Oregon State
January 3rd vs. No. 13 Virginia Tech (Discover Orange Bowl)
Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State (Ranked No. 10)
Boise State bounced back nicely after the devastating loss to Nevada, as the Broncos scored 50 against Utah State, with Moore accounting for four scores. With the win, Boise State clinched a share of their third straight WAC title, this time splitting it with Hawaii and Nevada. For the season Moore finished with 35 total touchdowns (one rushing and one receiving) against only five interceptions. His 3,506 passing yards mark the third year in a row that he’s thrown for at least 3,400 yards. Moore won’t win the Heisman, but the junior’s had a stellar collegiate career and deserves high nomination.
237 yards, three touchdowns passing (70.6 percent completed, 7.0 YPA), 13 yards, one touchdown rushing (6.5 YPC) vs. Utah State
December 22nd vs. No. 19 Utah (MAACO Bowl Las Vegas)
Cameron Newton, QB, Auburn (Ranked No. 1)
The SEC title win against South Carolina was a rout, as Auburn set the record for most points in an SEC title game. Newton scored six times in the game, and No. 1 Auburn will now play No. 2 Oregon for all the marbles in Glendale. The victory caps a season for the ages for Newton in which he combined for 49 scores in 13 games. (28 passing, 20 rushing, 1 receiving.) Newton finished with over 4,000 yards of total offense, as he threw for almost 2,600 yards and went over 1,400 on the ground, with just six interceptions.
335 yards, four touchdowns passing (60.7 percent completed, 12.0 YPA), 73 yards, two touchdowns rushing (5.2 YPC) vs. No. 19 South Carolina
January 10th vs. No. 2 Oregon (Tostitos BCS National Championship Game)
Stock: Sky High
Today’s Verdict: Cameron Newton
As if he needed another ‘Heisman Moment’ after the 24-0 comeback against Alabama, Newton’s six touchdowns in the SEC title game tied former-Florida quarterback Danny Wuerffel’s 1996 mark. Auburn coach Gene Chizik said, “When you look at the 13-game span, I’ve never seen anything like it.” Newton overcame double-digit deficits four times this year, and was unstoppable throughout. This might be the first time that the other candidates don’t need to travel to New York City. Congratulations, Cam.
THE BIG BOARD
1. Cameron Newton, QB, Auburn (Last week: 1)
2. LaMichael James, RB, Oregon (Last week: 2)
3. Andy Dalton, QB, TCU (Last week: 4)
4. Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State (Last week: 3)
5. Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford (Last week: 5)
6. Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State (Last week: 6)