2011 Heisman Watch: Week 12

Nick Cremona

1. Trent Richardson RB Alabama
Week 12 vs. Georgia Southern- Rushing: 32 carries for 175 yards (5.5 ypc), 2 TD Receiving: 1 catch for 4 yards, 1 TD
Season Stats- Rushing: 236 carries for 1,380 yards (5.8 ypc), 20 TD Receiving: 26 catches for 322 yards, 2 TD

The junior back added another huge game to his already impressive resume and got the Tide one step closer to a potential rematch with LSU. His most recent performance was a dominating one as he carried the bulk of the Tide’s rushing game. He’s strong, smart and quick — everything an SEC back should be. Richardson will have a bit of a tougher time running the ball against No. 24 Auburn this week. Three of the Tigers’ four losses have come to teams currently in the top-15 of the BCS standings. Should Richardson keep up his pace, the Tide could very well make it to the BCS title game for a rematch of the “Game of the Century.”

2. Andrew Luck QB Stanford
Week 12 vs. California- 20/30 (66.7%) for 257 yards, 2 TD 1 INT
Season Stats- Passing: 241/343 (70.3%) for 2,937 yards, 31 TD 8 INT Rushing: 39 carries for 133 yards, 2 TD

In a week that saw four top-10 teams lose, Stanford was able to avoid an upset behind the play of Luck. It wasn’t the prettiest of games, but Luck showed some grit in defeating Cal. It’s been slow-and-steady for most of the year as Luck has yet to have a massive game stat-wise. He’ll still draw considerable Heisman hype even if the Cardinal are unable to make it to the national title game. No matter what happens this year, Luck is sure to enjoy success at the next level, and a Heisman trophy with his name on it may just solidify him as one of the best quarterbacks to ever play college football.

3. Case Keenum QB Houston
Week 12 vs. SMU- Passing: 30/45 (66.7%) for 318 yards, 1 TD Rushing: 4 carries for 19 yards, 1 TD
Season Stats- Passing: 309/421 (73.4%) for 4,269 yards, 38 TD 3 INT Rushing: 41 carries for 54 yards, 3 TD

Just looking at the numbers, one would wonder why Keenum isn’t at the top of every Heisman candidate list. However he does play in the not-so-distinguished C-USA, so his numbers are weighted a little differently than other players. That’s not to discount his play completely — the guy is a stud. He’s already laid claim to numerous NCAA record and still has one game left to play. Don’t look now, but the Cougars have moved to No. 8 in the BCS standings, setting up a potential nightmare for bowl selection committees. Who isn’t for a Houston appearance in a BCS game? They’ve earned it this year.

4. Brandon Weeden QB Oklahoma State
Week 12 at Iowa State- 42/58 (72.4%) for 476 yards, 3 TD 3 INT
Season Stats- 355/486 (73%) for 4,111 yards, 34 TD 12 INT

The Cowboys’ defense finally let the team down as Iowa State was able to pull off one of the year’s biggest upsets. Weeden’s three interceptions were crucial because they allowed the Cyclones to stick around and eventually win in overtime. The Cowboys’ BCS hopes aren’t entirely crushed, but any shot at a national title is out of the picture. Weeden needs to regain his confidence in preparation of the annual Bedlam game against Oklahoma in the coming weeks. His numbers are still competitive with any other Heisman candidate.

5. Robert Griffin III QB Baylor
Week 12 vs. Oklahoma- Passing: 21/34 (61.8%) for 479 yards, 4 TD Rushing: 18 carries for 72 yards (4.0 ypc)
Season Stats- Passing: 245/ 336 (72.9%) for 3,572 yards, 33 TD 5 INT Rushing: 135 rushes for 550 yards (4.1 ypc), 5 TD

RGIII has rewritten the Baylor record books so many times the school might want to think about changing to dry erase markers before he uses up any more ink. In the Bears’ first ever win over the Sooners last week Griffin broke his own single-game passing record by throwing for 479 yards against the once vaunted Sooner defense. By now this shouldn’t come as a surprise as the junior has amassed jaw-dropping numbers nearly every week. There are still two games remaining on the Bears? schedule which means two more games for Griffin to shine. This weekend’s game against the Red Raiders should be another nice audition for NFL scouts, who have to be falling in love with the smooth dual-threat quarterback.