The 2010 Heisman Trophy race is coming down to the wire and the unanimous pick as of right now is Auburn quarterback Cameron Newton. There are still a few games left on the schedule, but unless something comes to fruition about the NCAA investigation against Newton, I don’t see how he doesn’t overwhelmingly take the prize. Newton has been the most explosive and exciting player to watch this college football season. He has also been the reason his team is sitting at 11-0 and in prime position to make it to the national championship game. His resume already blows the rest of the field out of the water, no offense to anyone else, of course. So if he can turn in impressive performances in the regular season finale against Alabama and the SEC championship game against South Carolina, he could put himself in position to have one of the best individual single season performances in NCAA football history. The most impressive aspect of what Newton has done this season is the ease with which he has done it. It looks like he’s playing against the peewee league sometimes. And although Auburn has played against some tough SEC defenses so far, it will be interesting to see how he does against an NFL-style defense on the road at Alabama. Either way, Newton has all but locked up the 2010 Heisman Trophy.
It seems kind of pointless to discuss the credentials of the other candidates in the Heisman race because of Newton’s dominance, but it still serves as a good conversation piece. Much like his Boise State Broncos, quarterback Kellen Moore is waiting in the wings hoping the frontrunners somehow trip up (referencing Newton’s possible ineligibility). The junior from Prosser, WA has turned in another stellar season and keeps adding to his legacy at Boise State. He has thrown for 9,943 yards, 92 touchdowns and just 18 interceptions in almost three full seasons as the Broncos’ starting quarterback. Even though he may not win the Heisman this year, he still has his senior season to look forward to, as he will surely be the top candidate for the award next season.
Oregon running back LaMichael James isn’t far behind Moore and has two more prime opportunities against Arizona and Oregon State to show the voters what he’s got. The star running back for the No. 1 team in the country has averaged 6.3 yards per carry this season and has 1,422 yards on the ground despite missing the first game of the season due to suspension. The sophomore has a bright future ahead of him especially if he keeps performing at the rate he has this season.
Stanford junior Andrew Luck is probably the most NFL-ready quarterback in college football right now. He is an extremely efficient passer (162.97 passer rating in 2010) and can create plays with his legs as well, totaling 445 rushing yards already this season. His 6-foot-4, 235-pound stature is typical of an NFL quarterback and pro scouts see a lot of potential in his ability. Luck also knows how to win and has his team at 10-1 with a key match up against Oregon State coming up this weekend. Whether he decides to come out this spring or next, he is going to make some NFL team very happy one day.
The last of the Heisman hopefuls I want to discuss is Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon. The sophomore has been completely off the hook this year and has had at least 125 yards receiving in every game he has played in (he missed one game due to suspension). I actually feel sorry for opposing defenses that have to try and cover him because it seems like almost an impossible task. I’m not sure if he’s going to declare himself for the NFL draft after this season, but he is a sure first-round pick if he decides to go that route.
Submitted by Steve Giles