Friday, December 18, 2009
Could Heisman slump be coming for Big 12?
By David Ubben
The Big 12 has carved an enviable niche in Heisman Trophy balloting in its short history.
With Colt McCoy's third-place finish and Ndamukong Suh's fourth-place finish last week, the Big 12 has had a top-five finisher in 11 of its 14 seasons of existence.
Included in that mark are winners like Ricky Williams in 1998, Eric Crouch in 2001, Jason White in 2003 and Sam Bradford last season. Additionally, the conference has had six players who finished second and two others who were third.
Despite that history, the early prognosis doesn't look good for duplication by the Big 12 in 2010.
ESPN.com's Bruce Feldman has no Big 12 players among his 10 early Heisman favorites list, which is topped by Jacquizz Rodgers of Oregon State and Kellen Moore of Boise State. Among the players who barely missed his cut are Baylor's Robert Griffin and Texas A&M's Jerrod Johnson.
And the Heisman Pundit lists only two Big 12 players on its list of 17 early Heisman favorites (Johnson and Oklahoma's DeMarco Murray).
It looks like a bleak early season for the Big 12 in 2010 from a starpower standpoint. The conference will need someone to emerge to turn that around.
A candidate who wasn't listed but might be able to surprise is Missouri's Blaine Gabbert. Keep an eye on him.