1. Andrew Luck
It's interesting how much the outcomes of games get credited to players who may or may not be responsible for them. Last week's Stanford-USC game is a prime example. If the controversial 56-48 Stanford overtime win had ended differently with USC on top, would we be talking about Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck dropping in the Heisman race and USC quarterback Matt Barkley rising? Their stats are amazingly comparable. Luck's spreadsheet includes 2218 yards passing, 72% completion rate, 23 touchdown passes, 4 interceptions, 2 rushing touchdowns. Barkley's? How about 2290 yards passing, 67% completion, 22 touchdown passes, 5 interceptions, 1 rushing touchdown. The main difference between the two? Luck's team is 8-0; Barkley's team is 6-2. Thus, Luck leads the Heisman race.
The Alabama running back, along with his team, rested last weekend, but has been licking his chops all season for this weekend's hosting of the #1-ranked team (according to all major polls)in the land, LSU. Might an Alabama win and a headlining performance by Richardson not only propel the Crimson Tide to the #1 ranking but also Richardson to front runner status for the Heisman? It's possible, although Luck's Stanford would probably need to lose to Oregon or Notre Dame in order for Richardson to seal the trophy. Richardson will be seeking his seventh 100-yard rushing effort of the season against the Tigers. Interestingly, his worst performance of the year (37 yards rushing, 2.8 ypc) was against a lowly Kent State team.
3. Kellen Moore
I'm sick of saying it, really. Boise State's veteran quarterback sits essentially where he started the year in the Heisman race and probably where he'll finish it. Pack your best suit for New York, but no need for excessive luggage because you won't be coming back with any hardware. There is virtually nothing Moore can do to win the Heisman, the same as his Broncos, which cannot impress voters enough to play for the BCS Championship, even if they win out and the teams ahead of them lose. Nevertheless, the system won't be changing any time soon. Moore's 180.7 quarterbacking rating will be on the line as Boise State takes on a weak UNLV team this weekend. If we're lucky, Boise State will be playing in a major conference soon. (Just in time for Moore to graduate. What a shame.)
4. Landry Jones
Just when you start to think Jones and his Sooners weren't as good as we thought, they destroy a previously-unbeaten team, Kansas State, 58-17. All the Oklahoma quarterback did in that game was complete 35 of 47 passes for 5 touchdowns. Just another day at the office. Jones will need to go the rest of the way without any major letdowns and a win against Oklahoma State in order to receive major consideration for this award.
5. Case Keenum
Remember a couple years ago when we heard so much about this quarterback from Houston? Well, after sitting out most of last season with an injury, he and the Cougars have charged back into the Headlines. Why? For starters, Houston is undefeated and the 13th best team in the nation, according to the BCS standings. It also didn't hurt that Keenum tossed an FBS-record 9 touchdown passes last week against Rice. This week, Keenum and the Cougars take on a terrible UAB team.
Honorable Mentions: Tajh Boyd (Clemson quarterback), Russell Wilson (Wisconsin quarterback), Brandon Weeden (Oklahoma State quarterback), Robert Griffin III (Baylor quarterback), Matt Barkley (USC quarterback)