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NCAA Football

2012 Heisman Trophy: Early Look At Top Ten Candidates

College football season is just around the corner, which means it’s time to speculate on the 2012 Heisman Trophy.  There will be a lot of worthy candidates this season that will put up just ridiculous numbers.  Right now, I’ll give you my top ten of possible guys to win the award.

10.  Kenjon Barner, RB, Oregon  Barner is finally the top dog at Oregon and can finally show of his true skill set.  I expect him to get a lot of carries and a decent amount of catches.  Playing on a high octane offense like Oregon should get him big enough numbers to end up in New York if they have a good season.

9.  Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson  Mr. Swag Reasons should throw up some awesome numbers once again.  The ACC is not exactly a juggernaut so Boyd will have the numbers to get him to New York.  If Clemson doesn’t collapse like they always do, Boyd could be a dark horse for the award.

8.  Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia  Between Murray and numbers six on my list, it will be quite a QB battle in the SEC.  Murray is going to have good numbers, but the loss of Isiah Crowell will hurt his production.  He still has a pretty good shot of doing enough to earn a bid to New York.

7.  Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia  Moving to the wide open spaces of the Big 12 should be great for Smith.  The spread offense, not a lot of defense haven should allow him to throw up massive numbers.  I’m just not sure WVU does well enough to garner Smith enough actual consideration for the award.

6.  Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas  Wilson wins the battle between SEC QBs on my list and he is going to have a great season.  The SEC is always tough, so the numbers that Wilson has might not matter if the Razorbacks end up with more than a loss or two.

5.  Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina  Lattimore was hurt last year, but I think he makes a full recovery and runs wild this season.  He might just be the best back in the country and if the Gamecocks win 10 games or so, Lattimore will have big numbers and get to travel to NY for the award ceremony.

4.  Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin  Ball is going to be on everyone’s list, due to the sheer numbers that he is capable of putting up.  His numbers were so ridiculous that I would not have believed them if I didn’t watch him run.  Wisconsin might slip a bit this year, which will end up hurting ball.

3.  Tyrann Mathieu, DB, LSU  The Honey Badger is looking to make his second straight trip to NY and I think he does it.  He is capable of putting up huge interception numbers and he also wows people on returns.  If he can find his torrid pace from the beginning of last season, he might just win it.

2.  Denard Robinson, QB, Michigan  I think Shoelaces finally figures it out this year.  By it, I mean an accurate deep ball.  Robinson is on his last shot to win the award and I think he has a good chance of putting up the numbers to get there.  He also has the best chance on this list of completely self-destructing.

1.  Matt Barkley, QB, USC  Barkley is easily the favorite for this award and I will be shocked if he doesn’t bring home the 2012 Heisman Trophy.  His numbers at the end of last year were simply absurd.  If he can somehow duplicate that pace, he is going to walk out of NY with a brand new trophy.

There you have my list of the top ten early contenders for the 2012 Heisman Trophy.  Let us know in the comments if you agree or disagree with this very early list.

Riley Schmitt is a writer for Rant Sports.