Do you think North Carolina State head coach Tom O’Brian regrets telling quarterback Russell Wilson to choose between pursuing his baseball career and competing for the quarterbacking job at North Carolina State yet? Either way, Wisconsin is reaping the benefits. And Wilson leads this week’s list of Heisman candidates.
1. Russell Wilson. He has been dominant (13 touchdown passes, one interception, 75% completion rate, two rushing touchdowns) in leading the Badgers to their undefeated start. Against Nebraska, they almost looked unbeatable. After this weekend’s contest with IU—which Wisconsin will surely win—the Badgers have their next tough test at Michigan State on October 22.
2. Andrew Luck. Even though it seems much of the popular press has already anointed Luck the Heisman winner, he will probably have to play well and beat USC, Oregon, and Notre Dame in three out of his last five games to garner the award. His numbers compare to Wilson’s: 14 touchdown passes, two interceptions, 73% completion rate, one rushing touchdown. All of this will likely result in Luck as the first quarterback drafted in 2012, but whether or not the Heisman trophy will be part of the package remains to be seen.
3. Robert Griffin III. What has he done to slide, you ask? It’s a legitimate question. He’s still completing 80% of his passes, and his Baylor Bears are 4-1. His 19:1 touchdown passes to interceptions ratio is incredible. I do think, however, that those numbers are going to come back to earth during the next few weeks, as Baylor’s next two games are against Texas A&M and Oklahoma State (and Oklahoma a few weeks later). If Griffin can lead Baylor to two wins out of those three, while continuing to produce at such a high level, he deserves major consideration for the Heisman. (And you can say that I jumped ship before I should have.)
4. Kellon Moore. Let’s be clear and honest about Moore and Boise State. He and they are where they were at the beginning of the season and probably where they will be at the end of the season, barring anything crazy. Third (or fourth, in this instance). As in, you’re really good, and in a just system you’d get a chance to prove you’re the best, but for now, we’ll give you a high five and put you in the Heisman tracker. We’ll probably even invite you to New York; just don’t expect to go home with the trophy. Moore’s numbers so far? How about 17 touchdown passes, 4 interceptions, completing 74% of his passes. And Boise is 5-0. Man, everything those guys do is so cute!
5. Landry Jones. He is right back in the thick of things after leading his Sooners in a dominant 55-17 win over Red River rival Texas. Jones threw for 367 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions. Very comparable to his numbers on the season. If Oklahoma continues to win dominantly against good competition, don’t count Jones out of this race. Voters definitely bias their votes toward teams that play in the national championship. So far, at least four of these five at least have a chance to do that.
And yes, I’m still biased toward the quarterback position.