The Orlando Sentinel published the early odds coming out of Las Vegas on who will win the Heisman Trophy, and five Pac-10 players made the top-20.
The Pac-10 Heisman candidates are:
No. 3 Jake Locker, QB, Washington
No. 13 Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
No. 17 Matt Barkley, QB, USC
No. 18 Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Oregon State
No. 20 LaMichael James, RB, Oregon
Alabama running Mark Ingram, the 2009 Heisman Trophy winner, tops the list, but his chances will be hurt by touches given to sophomore backup Trent Richardson, who is an extraordinary talent (and the Crimson Tide backfield might be the best tandem since, well, the Pony Express with Eric Dickerson and Craig James in the early 1980s). Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor is No. 2. To me, Pryor is the frontrunner.
As for the Pac-10 candidates, these odds make sense, though obviously Rodgers would be No. 1 if the odds were based on past achievement. But QBs have won eight of the past 10 Heismans and the two running backs who broke through -- USC's Reggie Bush in 2005 and Ingram in 209 -- both played for teams that were unbeaten and ranked No. 1 at the end of the regular season.
Putting up great numbers is only half of the Heisman formula. Winning is critical. So if Locker, Luck, Barkley, Rodgers or James are going to break through into legit candidates, their teams need to get into October-November with national rankings and impressive records.