Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Heisman ballot: Week 13
By Kevin Gemmell
It's getting down to the wire. As many as three different players have had the opportunity to seize it and pull ahead from the pack in the last two weeks, but no one has. Here are the latest ESPN.com results, as always, followed by my ballot.
Andrew Luck, quarterback, Stanford: Back atop my ballot (11th time in 13 weeks) after a very steady performance in an emotional rivalry game. He overthrew a few balls to start the game and his receivers couldn't keep their feet on the rain-soaked field, but he was 16-of-21 (76 percent) for 216 and two touchdowns from the second quarter on. His performance against Cal was smooth, calming and efficient -- exactly what the Cardinal needed coming off the Oregon loss.
Trent Richardson, running back, Alabama: With LaMichael James fading in the USC loss, Richardson is once again the top running back on my ballot. Showed a nice balance of power and shiftiness in totaling 175 yards on the ground in the Crimson Tide's victory over Georgia Southern. It was his third-highest output of the season and his highest yards-per-carry average since the middle of October. All in all, a strong week.
Case Keenum, quarterback, Houston: Has been and continues to be the stats guy -- though he only threw one touchdown last week against Southern Methodist -- the first game all season he's had just one passing touchdown. It was also his third-lowest passing total of the season. But that in no way negates what a special season this has been for Keenum and Houston.
Montee Ball, running back, Wisconsin: Since Wisconsin lost back-to-back games in the middle of the year, Ball has been making a statement. In the past three games, he's rushed for 613 yards, seven touchdowns and an average of 7.6 yards per carry. And Wisconsin has been leaning on him more, giving him the ball a season high 38 times in last week's road victory over Illinois. However, he probably doesn't have enough time or momentum to catch Luck or Richardson.
Robert Griffin III, quarterback, Baylor: Played his way back in to the conversation with a phenomenal performance against Oklahoma. He threw for 479 yards and tossed four touchdowns, leading Baylor to its first-ever victory over Oklahoma. But like Ball, probably not enough chances to make a late-season push against players who have been more consistent.
Brandon Weeden, quarterback, Oklahoma State: Doesn't matter if you are at home or on the road, you can't throw three picks and lose to an unranked team when the national championship game is in your grasp.
LaMichael James, running back, Oregon: I'm still a huge James fan, but with the time he missed because of injuries, he couldn't afford a mediocre game the rest of the way.