2011 Heisman Race

Nick Cremona

Now that the regular season is in its final stages, Double Coverage came up with a rank up the top five, realistic Heisman hopefuls. With only four games left and such tight competition this year, slip-ups could drop any one of college football’s top players to the bottom.

The Contenders:

Top 5:

Andrew Luck, QB Stanford
Week 10 at Oregon State- 20/30 (66.7%) for 206 yards, 3 TD 1 INT
Season Stats- Passing: 194/272 (71.3%) for 2,424 yards, 24 TD 5 INT Rushing: 29 carries for 147 yards, 2 TD

Luck certainly isn’t putting up “wow” numbers like some other candidates, but he’s been the Heisman front-runner for the majority of the season, simply because he refuses to let Stanford lose. The Cardinal face Oregon in a tough matchup of top-10 teams. A big game from Luck this week could all but solidify his standing as the player most likely to take home the Heisman. If he struggles or the Cardinal lose to the Ducks, the door will swing wide open for a number of other players contending for the annual trophy.

Trent Richardson, RB Alabama
Week 10 vs. LSU- Rushing: 23 carries for 89 yards Receiving: 5 catches for 80 yards
Season Stats- Rushing: 172 carries for 1,078 yards (6.3 ypc), 17 TD Receiving: 23 catches for 292 yards, 1 TD

In what was billed as “The Game of the Century” last week, Richardson couldn’t find the endzone but neither did any other player. For all intents and purposes Richardson was the Tide’s offense in their 9-6 defeat at the hands of LSU. He’s has a skill for catching balls out of the backfield and is as close to a complete back as there is in the nation. Even with one loss the Tide are still in contention for a national title and that means Richardson still has a shot at the Heisman. He’ll have an opportunity for a”stat-padding” night against Mississippi State this week.

Kellen Moore, QB Boise State
Week 10 at UNLV- 18/31 (58.1%) for 219 yards, 5 TD
Season Stats- 192/259 (74.1%) for 2,229 yards, 29 TD 5 INT

Pretty pedestrian stat-line last week compared to some of the huge games Moore has put up in his career. His five touchdowns came in three quarters of work and in the process Moore became college football’s winningest quarterback. He’s on pace for a career best completion percentage and has only been sacked three times the entire season. His all-time wins total should only go up with four games left on the Broncos’ schedule. It’s a shame for Moore that the Broncos will most likely not have a shot at a national title, seeing as that would boost his chances at the Heisman ten-fold.

Case Keenum, QB Houston
Week 10 at UAB- Passing: 39/44 (88.6%) for 407 yards, 2 TD Rushing: 2 carries for 2 yards, 2 TD
Season Stats- Passing: 257/347 (74.1%) for 3,626 yards, 34 TD 3 INT Rushing: 32 carries for 27 yards, 2 TD

What more can be said about this guy? He’s like a combination of every great pocket passer that has ever played the game. Seriously, he’s completed over 80 percent of his passes in four games this year, and if he were to somehow get a seventh year of eligibility from the NCAA he could eclipse 20,000 yards passing. That won’t happen, but if the Cougars keep winning they could find themselves in a BCS bowl. Three non-BCS threatening C-USA games remain for the Cougars. Are more big games on the horizon for Keenum, or will Houston go through its usual late-season slump?

Brandon Weeden, QB Oklahoma State
Week 10 vs. Kansas State- 36/46 (78.3%) for 504 yards, 4 TD 2 INT
Season Stats- 282/391 (72.1%) for 3,212 yards, 26 TD 9 INT

Weeden has the most interceptions of any serious Heisman contender, but he’s also leading one of the nation’s top scoring offenses, so odds are voters will let a few of those picks slide. He’s still as accurate a passer as there is in the nation and his experience has led this squad all year. He went wild last week against the Wildcats, passing for over 500 yards for the first time this season. Two games stand in between the colossal Bedlam matchup with Oklahoma to conclude the season. It will be a make-or-break game for both teams, with the winner likely moving on to a BCS bowl and even the national championship.