- Brian Bennett, ESPN Staff Writer
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We have one month's worth of games in the books, so let's take a look at the Big Ten's Heisman Trophy chances this week by seeing who's in and who's out (while acknowledging that things can change quickly):
In: Ohio State QB Braxton Miller
The Buckeyes might not have impressed in their past couple of outings, but Miller continues to carry this 4-0 team offensively. He's tied for second in the Big Ten in rushing yards with 441 and has run for more touchdowns (7) than any other league player. He has also thrown for 754 yards and seven scores. That puts him on pace for over 3,500 yards of offense and 42 touchdowns. If the Buckeyes keep winning and he keeps making magic, Miller will stay in the race.
Out: Michigan QB Denard Robinson
Robinson had climbed back onto the radar after his opening game dud against Alabama with two standout performances. Then this happened. Five turnovers versus Notre Dame means Robinson will not win a Heisman Trophy in his career.
In: Michigan State RB Le'Veon Bell
Bell had his own struggles against Notre Dame, but not enough to knock him out. After compiling 253 rushing yards against Eastern Michigan, the Spartans junior trails only Nevada's Stefphon Jefferson in total rushing yards. This week's Ohio State-Michigan State game could be a Heisman eliminator between Bell and Miller.
Out: Wisconsin RB Montee Ball
Hard to believe, but Ball's Heisman campaign is virtually over before September ends. He lost his first career fumble last week against UTEP and then left the game with a concussion after rushing for 40 yards and a touchdown. It's been a brutal senior year so far for Ball, and while he can always finish with a flourish, he's lost too much ground to be considered a serious contender any longer.
In: Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez
The Huskers QB is No. 10 nationally in passing efficiency, completing 70.7 percent of his throws, with a 9-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio. He's been brilliant most of the season, save for parts of the second half at UCLA. Martinez hasn't even started to run yet. He'll get two high-profile chances to impress voters in the next two weeks with prime-time showdowns against Wisconsin and Ohio State.
My Heisman Watch ballot for ESPN.com this week:
1. West Virginia QB Geno Smith
3. Georgia QB Aaron Murray
4. Notre Dame LB Manti Te'o
5. Florida State QB EJ Manuel
7hSam Khan and Greg Ostendorf