Once again, the preseason Heisman frontrunner hails from the Pac-12. Ted and I have given you our thoughts on a pair of Heisman hopefuls from the conference, but Athlon sports took it a step further -- actually, 23 steps further -- by breaking down their Top 25 Heisman contenders from the Pac-12.
Here's their full list:
Matt Barkley, QB, USC
Marquess Wilson, WR, Washington State
De'Anthony Thomas, all-purpose, Oregon
Keith Price, QB, Washington
Robert Woods, WR, USC
Keenan Allen, WR, Cal
Kenjon Barner, RB, Oregon
Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
John White, RB, Utah
Jeff Tuel, QB, Washington State
Stepfan Taylor, RB, Stanford
Marqise Lee, WR, USC
Chase Thomas, LB, Stanford
Isi Sofele, RB, Cal
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington
Jordan Poyer, CB, Oregon State
Cameron Marshall, RB, Arizona State
Ka'Deem Carey, RB, Arizona
T.J. McDonald, S, USC
Johnathan Franklin, RB, UCLA
Michael Clay, LB, Oregon
Curtis McNeal, RB, USC
Shaq Thompson, S, Washington
Matt Scott, QB, Arizona
Some initial thoughts:
I still like Thomas ahead of Wilson -- even though Wilson might emerge as the top wide receiver in the conference, especially when you consider the system he's in. But wide receivers traditionally don't get the Heisman love.
And keeping with that, I'd put Price at No. 3 because quarterbacks do get the Heisman love. And Price certainly belongs in the conversation. If he's able to make it through the first half of the season with relatively good numbers against elite competition, it's going to boost his stock.
Woods and Lee are too far apart. I don't know which one is better, but I do know Woods isn't seven players better than Lee.
I think you could plug in any number of tight ends from the conference into the Austin Seferian-Jenkins spot and make an argument. That's not to say ASJ isn't worthy, it's just a commentary on how good the conference is at the position.
Taylor has some work to do at No. 11 if he wants to make it all the way up to No. 2. That would make it four straight runners-up for the Cardinal.
McNeal shouldn't be punished because of who isn't behind him. He belongs higher.
Would absolutely love to see a defensive tackle like Lotulelei get legitimate Heisman consideration. Unfortunately, that's not the reality of the award.
Every position group was hit except the offensive line, (and kickers, we're an equal opportunity blog). Yes, the conference lost the bulk of its elite linemen. But Khaled Holmes doesn't at least get a tip of the cap? I know Shaq Thompson is an amazing athlete, but I'd much rather see an established player like Holmes, Boyett, Kasen Williams or Dion Jordan on this list over someone yet to play a collegiate down.