Quarterbacks are still at the top -- but this weekend will sort out a lot. Here are the results of the ESPN.com expert’s poll, as always followed by my ballot.
Andrew Luck, quarterback, Stanford: He shook off a poor start to finish with three touchdowns against Oregon State. But it wasn’t his best game in terms of decision-making. Rain and cold didn’t help, plus he was without three of his favorite targets for the majority of the game -- Chris Owusu for a half, Zach Ertz for the game and Levine Toilolo for three quarters. When you take all of that into account, his performance doesn’t seem as bad. But it was still well below his standards. This weekend’s game against Oregon could wrap it up for him -- or blow the race wide open.
Kellen Moore, quarterback, Boise State: Just as Luck has a big game this week, so does Moore against TCU -- probably the toughest game Boise State has remaining on its schedule. Five touchdown passes are great -- even if they are against UNLV. But his completion percentage was his lowest of the season against a sub-par defense. Hard to argue though with what he’s done over a magnificent career.
Case Keenum, quarterback, Houston: Who says this guy only does it in the air? He had two rushing touchdowns -- his first two of the season no less -- in a game where he had his highest completion percentage of the season at 88.6 percent. If the Heisman was strictly a statistical award (and it is to some voters), it would be his. But there is more to it than just numbers. But it’s still hard to ignore the amazing stats he’s put up in his career and this season.
Trent Richardson, running back, Alabama: He had a chance to make huge gains in the Heisman race this week, but he didn’t “wow” against LSU. Granted, the Tigers have the best defense in the country, but Heismans are won and lost in such games and 89 yards with no touchdowns and 3.9 yards per carry isn’t going to cut it if you’re making your name as a running back. The five catches for 80 yards shouldn’t be ignored, but his absence from the end zone was notable.
LaMichael James, running back, Oregon: Despite missing two games because of a dislocated elbow, James has played his way back into the conversation. He regained the top spot in the nation with 151.57 yards per game and is once again the most explosive running back in college football. Like Luck, much will be determined this weekend.