Oklahoma State’s Weeden vaults to top of Heisman race
The Cowboys’ gunslinger may have passed Stanford’s Luck and Alabama’s Richardson.
By: Patrick Snow | 11/14/11, 2:33 PM EST
Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck was considered by most college football observers to be leading the Heisman race throughout this season. However the Cardinal lost to Oregon on Saturday night, and many voters are now reevaluating their ballots. Is it fair to punish Luck for Stanford’s lack of defense against the Ducks? Maybe not, but Heisman votes usually do not involve fairness. Oklahoma State signal caller Brandon Weeden has had a great season, but some believe he is the product of a good system with an excellent offensive line and the country’s best receiver in Justin Blackmon. There are also several quality running back candidates, including Alabama’s Trent Richardson, Wisconsin’s Montee Ball, Virginia Tech’s David Wilson and Oregon’s LaMichael James. The race for this year’s award looks like it will go down to the last week of the season.
Who is your Heisman favorite?
Mitch Light (@AthlonMitch)
This seems to change every week, but right now I would go with Brandon Weeden from Oklahoma State over Trent Richardson of Alabama and Andrew Luck of Stanford. Weeden has been terrific all season for the undefeated and second-ranked Cowboys, but his numbers in recent weeks have been incredible — 502 yards and four touchdowns against Kansas State and 423 yards and five scores in a breathtaking, 66–6, win over Texas Tech on Saturday. Richardson might be the best overall skill-position player in the nation, but Bama has lost a game, and you can argue that he isn’t as valuable to his team as Weeden and Luck are to theirs. Eddie Lacy, Richardson’s backup, has rushed for 580 yards on 74 carries for a 7.8-yard average — almost two full yards more per carry than Richardson. Alabama could survive an injury to Richardson and still be one of the top teams in the nation. That’s definitely not the case with Stanford and Luck, and most likely not the case with Oklahoma State and Weeden.
Braden Gall (@AthlonBraden)
I still have to vote for the best player in the nation, Stanford's Andrew Luck. A sloppy field and his secondary’s inability to tackle in the open field cost him an undefeated season. Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden isn't getting enough credit, and Alabama's Trent Richardson was still the best player on the field in the LSU-Alabama slugfest from a few weeks ago. Robert Griffin III pulled-off another clutch win for Baylor and Wisconsin's duo of Russell Wilson and Montee Ball is doing things statically that have never been done before. This is a wide open a Heisman race as I have seen in years, but Luck is still America's best and most important football player.
Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven)
I’ve had Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck at the top of my Heisman ballot until this week. It wasn’t all Luck’s fault why the Cardinal couldn’t beat Oregon, but he didn’t have a stellar performance either. The new No. 1 on my ballot is Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden. The senior has the Cowboys on the doorstep for an appearance in the national title game, throwing for 3,635 yards and 31 scores. Also, Weeden has tossed only nine picks on 428 attempts and has an impressive passer rating of 164.2. While I have Weeden at No. 1 going into Week 12, his chance to win the Heisman will likely be decided on Dec. 3 against Oklahoma. Whether it’s fair or not, if the Cowboys get beat by the Sooners, his Heisman hopes are going to take a hit. Also, with Luck slipping, and Alabama’s Trent Richardson not gaining any momentum, it’s time to consider Oregon’s LaMichael James as a strong candidate once again. Despite missing two games with an elbow injury, James leads the nation with an average of 150.9 yards per game.
Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
The best player I have seen this season is Trent Richardson of Alabama, with Stanford’s Andrew Luck right there as well. I do not see the reasoning to push Oklahoma State’s Brandon Weeden ahead of Luck just because the Cardinal defense cannot stop Oregon. It becomes an even tougher evaluation because Luck and Weeden hardly ever play defenses that rank in the top half of the nation, but Weeden definitely has more around him and a more ‘stat-friendly’ system. In fact, I do not see the 28-year-old OSU quarterback as the best player on his own offense — wideout Justin Blackmon is that player. Running backs like Oregon’s LaMichael James, Virginia Tech’s David Wilson and Wisconsin’s Montee Ball have had great seasons, but Richardson has been the best. He’s had to go against SEC defenses, plus a top 10-ranked group from Penn State. Richardson outgained James in both rushing and receiving yards against LSU, and the Bama bruiser should be at the top of Heisman ballots.
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