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Three weeks into the college season and we are now starting to see some familiar faces on the Heisman list. Now that most teams are done playing cupcakes and begin to start conference play, we will see the cream rise to the top.
1. Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina
Stat Line: 37 carries, 246 yards, 3 TD’s
Season: 87 carries, 534 yards, 7 TD’s
What can’t Marcus Lattimore do? Whenever South Carolina needs a play they turn to their workhorse in the backfield. Lattimore turned out his best performance of the season Saturday against Navy. He carried the ball 37 times for 246 yards and scored three touchdowns. Thirty-seven carries is a lot, but when you are averaging 6.6 yards-per-carry you might as well continue to hand the ball off.
Lattimore is separating himself from every other running back in the country at this point as he is the only back in the country to rush for more than 500 yards. The Gamecocks have a very favorable schedule moving forward, which is always key to a player winning the Heisman. If they can get by a two week stretch where they have to go to Arkansas and then home against Florida, South Carolina could very well be undefeated in the SEC Championship.
2. Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State
Stat Line: 32-42, 455 yards, 5 TD’s
Season: 60-76, 716 yards, 8 TD’s, 2INT’s
Kellen Moore shredded Toledo Friday night completing 76 percent of his passes and throwing for 455 yards. In his first game against Georgia, Moore completed 82 percent of his passes. Boise State has a very easy schedule so we can expect Moore to continue to complete over 75 percent of his passes while throwing a lot of touchdowns.
Remember the Heisman is not just based off of a players individual statistics, but also how his team does. Moore’s team has the best chance to go undefeated out of all the players I will list. If Boise State gets by TCU at home on Nov. 12, then Moore could be the favorite to take home the trophy.
3. Matt Barkley, QB, USC
Stat Line: 26-39, 324 yards, 5 TD’s
Season: 80-116, 892 yards, 9 TD’s, 1 INT
Yes Matt Barkley’s numbers are slightly better than Moore’s, but Barkley has also played in one more game. Barkley is really putting together an impressive season and showed on Saturday why he is one of the best quarterbacks in the country. Against a Syracuse defense, who finished in the top ten last year in country, Barkley completed 67 percent of his passes making it look easy.
Barkley has plenty of weapons around him so we can expect him to continue to put up big numbers. Having Lane Kiffin as his coach also wont hurt, as Kiffin is one of the best play callers in the country. The big obstacle for Barkley is how will USC fare against Stanford and Oregon? If he plays well and the Trojans win watch out. If they lose both games then you can cross him off this list.
4. Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
Stat Line: 20-31, 325 yards, 2 TD’s
Season: 57-85, 786 yards, 8 TD’s, 1 INT
The bar is so high for Andrew Luck that I look at his stat line and say — that’s it?
If any other quarterback had that kind of day I would say that’s a very good game, but because it’s Luck I expect more. It’s not his fault, but with the amount of hype around him you begin to expect him to throw four touchdowns every week. Through three games Luck has been very good and will only get better. I am circling Oct. 29, as a Heisman showdown, when Luck goes to the Coliseum.
Only one will survive, will it be Luck or Barkley?
5. Robert Woods, WR, USC
Stat Line: 8 rec, 82 yards, 1 TD
Season: 33 rec, 361 yards, 4 TD’s
Consistency is how you win a Heisman and so far Robert Woods has been the most consistent receiver in the country.
He has caught 17, 8 and 8 so far in his first three games. He leads the nation in receptions (33), two more than Notre Dame’s Michael Floyd. He is tied for seventh in receiving yards, and tied for third in touchdowns. Woods may not be most physically gifted receiver — that award goes to Justin Blackmon — but he does have the luxury of playing with one of the best quarterbacks in the country.
Not only that, but he is in an offense that tries to get him the ball. It is tough for receivers to win a Heisman and it does not help that he would split votes with Barkley, but nonetheless Woods has had a great start to the 2011 season.