The Heismanpundit.com has announced its 2011 Heisman Trophy Watch List, and four of the 22 players who made the cut are from the Pac-12.
Matt Barkley, Jr., QB, USC
LaMichael James, Jr., RB, Oregon
Andrew Luck, Jr., QB, Stanford
Darron Thomas, Jr., QB, Oregon
Sounds about right, though you probably could slip Washington running back Chris Polk in there. Also, if Arizona starts winning, quarterback Nick Foles could raise some eyebrows. He's got an explosive group of receivers, so he could pile up some big numbers as the Wildcats become more of a spread team in 2011.
Luck and James were finalists in 2010, so they will be on everyone's preseason short list. Luck likely enters the season No. 1 on said short list after turning down an opportunity to become the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft this spring. If the Cardinal keep winning, it's hard to believe Luck won't at least get another invitation to the ceremony in New York.
Same probably goes for James, who won the Doak Walker Award as the nation's best running back in 2010. The Ducks are again expected to be national title contenders. The only issue might be if James gets fewer touches than the 294 he got in last fall, which was 34 more than any other Pac-10 running back, despite him being suspended for the season-opener versus New Mexico.