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Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Big Ten Heisman update: Week 12

By Adam Rittenberg

Most of you live in reality. It's about time I join you.

The Big Ten no longer has any realistic candidates for the 2010 Heisman Trophy. That much became clear Saturday in Evanston, West Lafayette and Columbus.

Iowa quarterback Ricky Stanzi once again struggled in crunch time as his team lost its third game. Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson committed four turnovers (2 interceptions, 2 fumbles) in a fortunate win at Purdue. And Terrelle Pryor's Ohio State team won largely in spite of him against Penn State. Wisconsin running back John Clay missed the Indiana game with a sprained knee, and his team still managed to score 83 points, its highest total in the modern era.

Northwestern quarterback Dan Persa looked like a Heisman candidate Saturday, earning National Offensive Player of the Week honors for his efforts against Iowa. But a ruptured Achilles' tendon suffered on the game-winning touchdown pass has ended his season.

Nothing against Robinson, Pryor or Stanzi, all of whom have had strong seasons, but none of them can catch Cameron Newton, LaMichael James or Kellen Moore in the Heisman lead pack.

It's time to focus on the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year race, which still features no clear front-runner.

It's time to accept reality.