Russell Wilson Falls Out Heisman Race

By Tony Piraro

My Previous Heisman Rankings: 

1) LaMichael James, Oregon RB

2) Russell Wilson, Wisconsin QB

3) Robert Griffin III, Baylor QB

4) Sammy Watkins, Clemson WR

5) Andrew Luck, Stanford QB

Just Missed The List:

Justin Blackmon, WR (Oklahoma State)

Trent Richardson, RB (Alabama)

Tajh Boyd, QB (Clemson)

Denard Robinson, QB (Michigan)

A lot has transpired in the past few weeks, therefore my rankings look a bit different this week then in weeks past. This is college football for you. Every time a ranked team loses or a player in my top 5 has a poor showing, they automatically will fall down or off my list. For example, Russell Wilson threw his second and third interceptions of the season last Saturday at #16 Michigan State, all while losing the game too. Therefore, no matter how great Wilson’s stats still appear, he must fall out of my top 5 for the time being. If he makes a case the rest of the season and some other undefeated teams lose, no doubt Wilson will be back in my top 3 amidst the “year of the quarterback.” If a team falls out of contention, the players chances of winning the Heisman decreases over time as well. Now, for my Heisman candidate rankings entering week nine of the college football season…

1) Tajh Boyd, QB (#5 Clemson, 8-0)

Hello and welcome to the top spot, let alone the top 5 of my list. No doubt over the last few weeks, there are few better players in the nation then the do-it-all quarterback. Boyd skyrocketed from my “Just Missed The List” all the way to the No. 1 overall contender for the Heisman Trophy in 2011. Boyd has thrown for 2,379 yards and 24 touchdowns with just four interceptions through the air. He has also run for 173 yards and four scores on 81 carries. No doubt the weapons around him only maximize his appeal. If he can stay healthy, while his Tigers keep winning, their may be an upset special brewing for the Heisman this season.

2) Trent Richardson, RB (#2 Alabama, 8-0)

He finally got his chance to shine after the departure of Mark Ingram to the NFL, and boy did Trent take advantage of it. Richardson just like Boyd, was on my just missed list the last time my rankings were published. The Bama beast has rolled for 989 rushing yards on just 149 carries, averaging 6.6 yards per carry. Oh by the way, he also has an insane 17 rushing touchdowns already! Not to mention he has 18 receptions for 212 yards and a score, as he averages 11.8 yards per catch. The Tide is seeking another national title and their second Heisman Trophy winning running back in the last three seasons.

3) Kellen Moore, QB (#4 Boise State, 7-0)

Moore wasn’t even on any of my lists this year. Just like Boise to sneak up on someone when they’re least expecting it. I can’t say I am surprised. I just don’t know if he can win the Heisman in the end due to his weak conference play. If he wants it, he is going to have to step it up another notch and blow the doors off the voters. Right now, as it stands Moore has thrown for 2010 yards, alongside 24 touchdowns and just five interceptions. It is going to be a miracle finish for him to win the award….but look who I am talking about. Boise State’s middle name is miracle. It could happen.

4) Andrew Luck, QB (#6 Stanford, 7-0)

As is the case with Kellen Moore, Luck does not play in the best toughest conference in the country either. He may and probably will be the No. 1 overall pick in next years NFL Draft, but that doesn’t mean he’s a lock to win the Heisman. His numbers are gradually getting better with his always steady play. Through seven games, Luck has thrown for 1888 yards in the air with 20 touchdowns and just three interceptions. Luck’s biggest test of the season will be this weekend when he plays at USC. It should be interesting to see how badly the quarterback can dominate a once-powerhouse. If he wins this game, I look for him to vault Moore in the rankings.

5) LaMichael James (#7 Oregon, 6-1)

I apologize. I just can’t do it. I can not take LaMichael off my list. He was my original pick to win the award and I am not backing off that prediction just yet. If he misses this week again, I may be forced to take action. Even after missing the last two games, James has bolstered some crazy stats. He has rushed the ball just 95 times for an incredible 852 yards and eight touchdowns. He is averaging 9.0 yards per carry every time he touches the rock. James also has 11 grabs for 159 yards and a TD, truly a multi-dimensional back. He has recorded three straight performances of over 200-yards rushing in his previous three starts. This guy is a juggernaut. If he plays, he will remain on my list for the foreseeable future. If he sits for a third consecutive week I will be forced to drop him from my list for good due to eligibility requirements for the award.

Just Missed The List, But On The Rise….Montae Ball, RB (Wisconsin) Justin Blackmon, WR (Oklahoma State) Sammy Watkins, WR (Clemson) Russell Wilson, QB (Wisconsin) Ryan Broyles, WR (Oklahoma) Brandon Weeden, QB (Oklahoma State) Landry Jones, QB (Oklahoma)

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