Trent Richardson Rolls To Hesiman Frontrunner

By Tony Piraro

My Previous Heisman Rankings: 

1) Tajh Boyd, Clemson QB

2) Trent Richardson, Alabama RB

3) Kellen Moore, Boise State QB

4) Andrew Luck, Stanford QB

5) LaMichael James, Oregon RB

Just Missed The List:

1) Montae Ball, RB (Wisconsin)

2) Justin Blackmon, WR (Oklahoma State)

3) Sammy Watkins, WR (Clemson)

4) Russell Wilson, QB (Wisconsin)

5) Ryan Broyles, WR (Oklahoma)

6) Brandon Weeden, QB (Oklahoma State)

7) Landry Jones, QB (Oklahoma)

A lot has transpired in the past week, therefore my rankings look a bit different this week. 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, Tajh Boyd and Clemson fell last week, sliding him down and out of my rankings for the time being. Therefore, no matter how great Boyd’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 Tajh Boyd 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 10 of the college football season…

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

Hello and welcome to the top spot, by default, due to Boyd’s loss and Alabama’s bye week. No doubt over the last few weeks, there are few better players in the nation then Richardson. 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 two weeks ago. 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. Proclaimed by all as the “Game of the Year” this Saturday when #1 LSU visits #2 Alabama will give the nation its best look at the Heisman frontrunner.

2) Andrew Luck, QB (#4 Stanford, 8-0)

Back into my top 2 slips Mr Luck. As is the case with Kellen Moore, Luck does not play in the best toughest conference in the country, therefore his numbers are more highly scrutinized. Last week against USC, it took Luck three overtime’s, but he prevailed over the Trojans in the end. The QB threw for 330 yards and three touchdowns in the game, while rushing for one. Luck totaled four touchdowns and led Stanford to a 56-48 triumph against USC. 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 eight games, Luck has thrown for 2,218 yards in the air with 23 touchdowns and just four interceptions, while rushing for two TD’s.

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

The quarterback gets leapfrogged by Luck because of Boise State’s bye week. Moore wasn’t even on any of my lists this year until last week. 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) Justin Blackmon (#3 Oklahoma State, 8-0)

Welcome to the top 5 for the first time this season, Justin. I have been waiting to put this guy on my list all year, but his numbers haven’t justified his pre-season Heisman rankings. Last year he was higher on most people’s list for the award, but his Cowboys weren’t living up to the BCS National Title landscape. This year is a different story entirely as OK State is ranked No. 3 in the nation and is unbeaten through nine weeks of football. Blackmon went off last Saturday for 13 grabs, 172 yards and two touchdowns against Baylor. In total, the wide receiver has 74 catches for 834 yards and 10 touchdowns total in 2011. If his team remains unbeaten as they play a tough Kansas State team this weekend, look for Blackmon to move up my list next week.

5) Ryan Broyles (#6 Oklahoma, 7-1)

Two wide receivers on my top 5 list for the first time this year, and both happen to play in the state of Oklahoma. Ryan Broyles led his Sooners to a huge victory last week against a ranked Kansas State team. In fact, Oklahoma kicked KSU in the face and Broyles led the assault. The wide receiver grabbed 14 balls for 171 yards and touchdown. That huge game enabled Broyles to surpass the 1,000-yard mark already. In 2011, the Sooners Heisman WR candidate has 81 catches for 1,070 yards and 10 touchdowns. If a couple more undeafeated teams lose in the coming weeks, look for Broyles to move up my list. Also, with the Sooners loss of starting running back Dominique Whaley for the rest of the season…look for Broyles production to step-up even more then it has as of late. That could be a scary thought for opposing Big 12 Conference secondaries.

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

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