For just the second time this season, a Big 12 player has cracked my ESPN Heisman Watch ballot, but after sharing my thoughts on Monday, that shouldn't be a surprise. Not only is Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III my current front-runner for the Big 12's Offensive Player of the Year, he's arguably more important to his team's success than any other player in the nation. Add to that his passing numbers -- top 10 nationally in touchdowns and second in yards --along with his team's status as the Big 12 South leader, and you get a Heisman candidate.
Here are the five players in the Big 12 with the best chance to take home the Heisman:
1. Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor: Griffin took the Bears into Austin and won with a big-time fourth-quarter performance. He'll have a chance to make another big statement with a game against Oklahoma State on Saturday. With subpar performances by those below him, Griffin assumes the No. 1 spot.
2. Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State: Blackmon will be looking for a big day after sitting out last week's win against Kansas State with a suspension. He still leads the nation in touchdown catches (14) and has a lead of more than 20 yards per game (158.9) among the rest of the nation's receivers.
3. Taylor Martinez, QB, Nebraska: Martinez missed the second half of Saturday's win over Missouri with a sprained ankle, but he's still third in the Big 12 in rushing yards and is proving his worth as a passer with a good performance in the first half when he did play, completing 6-of-9 passes for 115 yards and a touchdown.
4. Ryan Broyles, WR, Oklahoma: Broyles is one of just three players in the country who has already surpassed 1,000 yards receiving, and he did it with one of his best games ever in a win against Colorado, a nine-catch, 208-yard, three-touchdown outing.
5. Kendall Hunter, RB, Oklahoma State: Hunter leads the league in rushing (third nationally with 1,174 yards) for one of the best offenses in the country, and can take a step toward playing in the Cowboys' first Big 12 title game ever with a win against Baylor on Saturday. Only Oregon's LaMichael James and Michigan's Denard Robinson have more yards on the ground than Hunter.
Here's my ESPN Heisman Watch ballot for this week:
1. Cam Newton
2. Kellen Moore
3. LaMichael James
4. Andrew Luck
5. Robert Griffin III