We are two weeks into the college football season and we have one of the more wide open races in recent memory. Mark Ingram came out of nowhere to win the Heisman Trophy last season and with him missing two weeks; his chances of repeating have taken a pretty big hit.
But, we have another player that has really came out of nowhere and taken the college football world by storm.
It’s been an interesting two weeks, and so far here is a list of the Heisman candidates.
The Front Runners
- Terrelle Pryor (QB/Ohio State) – My preseason selection as the Heisman trophy winner hasn’t disappointed thus far. After a strong showing against Marshall in the opening game of the season, Pryor had another strong showing against Miami at the Horseshoe Saturday. He went 12/27 for 233 yards and a touchdown without an interception to go along with his 113 rushing yards on 20 carries and another touchdown. Pryor was the offense for the Buckeyes against the Hurricanes and he is firmly in the Heisman race at this point.
- Denard Robinson (QB/Michigan) – The player that has taken the college football world by storm thus far in 2010 is Michigan QB Denard Robinson. Who could have predicted this kind of performance by Robinson? He followed up his incredible performance against Connecticut with an even more incredible performance against Notre Dame in South Bend on Saturday. He had 502 yards of offense, 244 passing, and 258 rushing with three total touchdowns. It will be interesting to see how Robinson can hold up with the beating he is taking. But, if I had a Heisman vote at this point Robinson would be my pick.
- Kellen Moore (QB/Boise State) – Boise State got the week off following their victory over Virginia Tech on Monday. But, Moore’s chances at the Heisman and Boise State’s chances of playing for the National Championship took a hit without them playing. Virginia Tech lost to James Madison on Saturday and that most likely ended Boise State’s chances of playing for the BCS Title. Moore still has a chance at the Heisman as he will be able to pad his stats with their schedule down the stretch.
- John Clay (RB/Wisconsin) – Following up a 123 rushing yard performance against UNLV in week one, John Clay rushed for 137 yards on 23 carries against San Jose State and punched in two touchdowns. Clay isn’t showing any effect from the ankle surgeries he underwent during the offseason. He’s been impressive in the first two weeks, but it will be interesting to see how John Clay holds up when the Badgers begin their Big Ten play in a few weeks.
- Landry Jones (QB/Oklahoma) – Boy, was Landry Jones impressive or what against Florida State on Saturday? There was a lot of doubt about him and Oklahoma after his struggles against Utah State in week one, but his performance against Florida State silenced his critics. He completed 30 of his 40 pass attempts for 380 yards and four touchdown tosses. He’s taken over DeMarco Murray’s spot as the most legitimate threat to win the Heisman trophy from Oklahoma at this point of the season.
Falling off the Pace
- Mark Ingram (RB/Alabama) – Last season’s Heisman Trophy winner has fallen off the pace of the other by missing the first two games of the season after undergoing a knee scope. Alabama head coach Nick Saban is expecting Ingram to see some action against Duke, but it’s likely that he won’t return to full time action until Alabama goes to Fayetteville to play Arkansas on September 25th. I don’t think Ingram is going to be able to make up the ground on the Heisman front runners to become the 2nd two-time winner of the Heisman.
- DeMarco Murray (RB/Oklahoma) – I had DeMarco Murray as one of the front runners after his 218 yard performance against Utah State last Saturday, but he fell off the pace a bit on Saturday against Florida State. His teammate Landry Jones took center stage against the Seminoles while he was held to just 51 yards on 16 carries. He did punch in two touchdowns, but 51 yards isn’t going to cut it. All is not lost for Murray and he certainly has time to make up for his lackluster performance on Saturday, but at this point, his teammate has a better shot.
- Jacory Harris (QB/Miami) – I might have been a little quick to jump the gun on Jacory Harris last week as I put him as a sleeper after his strong performance against Florida A&M. He fell back down to earth against Ohio State on Saturday. He’s had problems in the past with interceptions against tough opponents and he did so again against the Buckeyes. He completed 22 of his 39 passes for 232 yards with a touchdown and four interceptions. Those kinds of days will not get it done for Miami or Jacory Harris in his search of a Heisman trophy.
- Trent Richardson (RB/Alabama) – The recent trend of sophomore Heisman trophy winners makes Trent Richardson an intriguing case. With last season’s Heisman winner Mark Ingram out of action, Trent Richardson stepped his game up as the full time running back. He scored two touchdowns and had 66-yards rushing in limited action in Alabama’s season opening win over San Jose State, but he showed the world what he could do against Penn State on Saturday night. He carried the ball 22 times for 144 yards and a touchdown against the Nittany Lions becoming the first player in 18 games to net 100 rushing yards against Penn State. Mark Ingram may be falling off the pace, but Trent Richardson is gaining some steam in the Heisman race.
- Ryan Mallett (QB/Arkansas) – It might be a stretch to call Ryan Mallett a sleeper, but it felt criminal to not mention him
at all in this and I don’t think he’s one of the top five guys so far. He looked good once again against Louisiana-Monroe with 400 yards on 28/43 passing and three touchdown passes and a touchdown run. For Mallett to become a serious threat in the Heisman race, Arkansas is going to have to keep winning and submit themselves as a serious threat in the SEC race.
- Andrew Luck (QB/Stanford) – Andrew Luck may not get the same kind of love as Jake Locker, but I believe he is the best QB in the Pac 10. With Toby Gerhart gone, Andrew Luck has really stepped it up so far this season for the Cardinal. He’s looked good so far this season in wins over Sacramento State and UCLA. Luck completed 11 of 24 passes for 151 yards and two touchdowns. For the season, he has thrown six touchdowns compared to no interceptions.
- Patrick Peterson (CB/LSU) – If a defensive player is going to win the Heisman trophy this season then it will be LSU defensive back Patrick Peterson. Not only is he one of the best defensive players in college football, but he is one of the top return men in the game as well and that strengthens his case. He had a touchdown return against North Carolina in the season opener and he has to be thought of as a sleeper at this point.
- LaMichael James (RB/Oregon) – It’s easy to forget about this guy after he missed the first game of the season against New Mexico due to a one game suspension from head coach Chip Kelly, but he’s definitely someone to watch this year. He is the most dangerous weapon on a very explosive Oregon offense. He carried the ball 16 times against Tennessee on Saturday for 134 yards and a very big touchdown carry. If Oregon can continue being one of the top teams in the nation, then expect LaMichael James to a be a serious player in the Heisman trophy race.