- Kevin Gemmell, ESPN Staff Writer
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We have a new front-runner -- at least in terms of the Pac-12 players -- in this week's Heisman tracker. Oregon running back Kenjon Barner, who was tied for third last week, has stumbled out of the top five and been relegated to the "others receiving votes" category. USC wide receiver Marqise Lee checks in tied with Braxton Miller for fourth in the ESPN.com Heisman poll. A pair of running backs -- Ka'Deem Carey and Stepfan Taylor -- also picked up some votes this week. Here's the Pac-12 breakdown:
Marqise Lee, WR, USC
Week 12 numbers: Caught nine balls for 158 yards and a touchdown in the loss to UCLA.
Season numbers: Has 107 catches for 1,605 yards with 14 receiving touchdowns.
What went well: The numbers continue to impress as he went for at least 100 yards for the fifth straight game and the eighth time this season. The fact that he moved up to fourth in the poll shows people recognize his skill, but not enough to catapult him above the quarterbacks. Yesterday he was named a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award. We on the Pac-12 blog aren't shy about saying he should win.
Any questions? USC lost. USC is out of contention for any BCS game. USC is no longer relevant on the national stage. That all hurts Lee's chances. No disputing who the best wide receiver in the country is, but as the Trojans continue to tank (especially this week without Matt Barkley), Lee's Heisman stock could take a bigger hit.
Others receiving votes
Kenjon Barner, RB, Oregon
Week 12 numbers: Was limited to just 66 yards on 21 carries (his worst YPC this season) with no touchdowns. Caught one ball for 13 yards.
Season numbers: Has carried 220 times for 1,426 yards with 19 rushing touchdowns. Has 19 catches for 232 yards and a score.
Thoughts: Back-to-back weeks now that Barner has not performed well. Stanford's conference-leading defense blanked him, and running backs have a smaller margin for error in Heisman races. Still a great season and it's possible he gets an invite to New York. But he has too much ground to gain and not enough games to do it.
Ka'Deem Carey, RB, Arizona
Week 12 numbers: Carried 26 times for 204 yards and a touchdown.
Season numbers: Has 250 carries and leads the nation with 1,585 yards. Is tied for second nationally with Barner with 19 rushing touchdowns.
Thoughts: Nice that he's finally getting the attention he deserves. While he probably won't make a splash in the Heisman voting this season, if he can finish the year as the nation's leading rusher, he'll turn heads and be on the radar early next season.
Stepfan Taylor, RB, Stanford
Week 12 numbers: Carried 33 times for 161 yards in Stanford's win over Oregon.
Season numbers: Has 1,222 yards on 258 carries for nine touchdowns.
Thoughts: Taylor doesn't have the gaudy numbers that some other players do -- he's just a good, solid, workhorse running back. Probably won't have enough opportunities to make a serious late-season push, but he'll go down as one of the best to ever play at Stanford.