The Big 12's Heisman race front-runners

If you've read the blog long, you've been exposed to Heisman Pundit, aka Chris Huston, who follows the most hallowed individual award in sports more than anybody in the world.

He recently released his list of Heisman finalists, but one guy you might recognize tops his list of "dark horses" in the race.

"If you are looking for a Heisman dark horse for 2013, Oklahoma quarterback Blake Bell might be your best bet," Huston writes.

Huston crunched the numbers, and one big figure could help Bell's Heisman chances: his touchdowns. We'll see how much Oklahoma uses him in the Belldozer formation in the fall, but if he's still used as a runner in short-yardage situations, he could definitely throw for 3,000 yards and account for 40 touchdowns.

That's going to turn some heads, and doing it at Oklahoma ensures it won't go unnoticed. After all, playing for a national power shows up on Huston's Heismandments, a pretty foolproof set of rules that help predict a player's Heisman odds in the current climate.

Johnny Manziel winning the trophy last season pretty much assured that in the preseason, no candidate sounds too crazy. Blake Bell certainly is within reason.

Who else from the Big 12 could get in the mix?

Huston tabbed Texas quarterback David Ash and Baylor running back Lache Seastrunk on his list, and I'd agree. Seastrunk turned heads when earlier this offseason he made public his plans to win the trophy, which drew little more than a shrug from his head coach.

Those are the obvious Heisman candidates to begin the season, and the only guys who'll get major looks in the preseason from the Big 12.

Don't be surprised if one of the league's new starters besides Bell earns a little Heisman hype at some point during the season. Remember, Texas Tech's hot start last season had Seth Doege not far from the race before a disastrous second half in a loss to Kansas State.

Recent trends in the Heisman race have been guys coming from nowhere to win the trophy. The last three winners were relatively overlooked on a national scale in the preseason. Might we see a fourth?