Heisman: A dead Duck and a darkhorse?

September, 6, 2011
9/06/11
6:01
PM ET
The ESPN.com "Heisman Predictor" is again is plugged into the wall socket in an undisclosed location, and it had some interesting takes this week. Insider

For one, it had Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck fifth and Oregon RB LaMichael James ninth in its standings.

It had this to say about James, a 2010 Heisman Trophy finalist.
Oregon's loss to the LSU Tigers on Saturday night severely hurt running back LaMichael James' Heisman hopes, but it's too early to count him out of the race.

As said in the preseason Heisman Predictor, James' candidacy is primarily reliant upon his individual statistics.

A 51-yard, one-touchdown performance against LSU certainly puts him at a disadvantage, but a 2,000-yard season is still very much in reach.

Assuming Oregon reaches the Pac-12 championship game, James will have 12 more games before the Heisman voting. To reach 2,000 yards, he'll need to average a little more than 162 yards per game, which is only slightly higher than his average of 152.9 in the 2010 regular season.

So although James' prospects look bleak at the moment, a 2,000-yard performance coupled with a Pac-12 title could be enough to make voters forget about this early-season stumble.

The Heisman Predictor also is eyeballing a certain quarterback in Tucson who could get into the Heisman race if he has a good performance Thursday night at Oklahoma State.
Arizona Wildcats QB Nick Foles narrowly missed the cut in Week 1, but he'll have an opportunity to state his case on the national stage on Thursday against the Oklahoma State Cowboys.

If Foles -- who threw for more than 400 yards and five touchdowns against Northern Arizona on Saturday -- leads the Wildcats to an upset in Stillwater, he'll quickly ascend the Predictor standings.

With more than 300 yards and/or three touchdowns in a victory against a top-10 team, Foles could earn up to 10 Predictor points in Thursday's game alone.

Foles would still be a long way from the finish line, but an impressive performance against Oklahoma State would make him a legitimate early-season contender.

It's likely that coach Mike Stoops would be more than thrilled with that.

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