Week Two Heisman Check-In

By Alex on September 13, 2010 at 4:00p
Would be nice to get OSU that 8th Heisman

There's a good chance everyone is still high flying after the big win against the Hurricanes on Saturday afternoon, but it is now Monday and time to come down a little bit to the ground. Remember it is still extremely early in the college football season and anything can happen, but that certainly won't stop people around the nation discussing the early beginnings of the 2010 college football season and everything that has surrounded it thus far. That buzz includes who's hot, who's not, various predictions of division, conference, and national championships, and of course the coveted Heisman Trophy.

While the Heisman is generally awarded based on an entire season of work, and even more so often decided based on late-season and big game performances, writers, analysts, and fans everywhere are focused on the candidates months before the season even begins. As we previously mentioned, it is only week two and a ton can happen each and every week, but with two games in the book now seems like a good time to take an early look at where the early favorites to bring him the golden statue in December currently stand. 

Please keep in mind this list is based solely on the early-season hype these players received and more importantly, their performances over the first two weeks. By no means is this our prediction of the final winner of the award and the list of the top ten has been created in no particular order.


Pryor looked a little shaky early on against Miami, but found his groove in the second half, accumulating 346 total yards of offense and two touchdowns in a 36-24 win over the #12 Hurricanes. For the season Pryor has completed 56% of his passes for 480 yards and 4 touchdowns against 0 interceptions. He has run for 130 yards on 20 carries (4.64 avg.) with a score as well. Expect big performances out of TP the next two weeks against Ohio and Eastern Michigan before the Bucks start Big Ten play.

Forecasting the future?DENARD ROBINSON

It kills me to say this, but right now Shoelace is your Heisman favorite. The sophomore has beaten Notre Dame and UConn, two respectable opponents, through the air and the ground. While I still think he has a lot to prove in the passing game, there is no questioning his ability to run the ball. He really reminds me of Josh Cribbs and I think one day he will be a very solid wide receiver, kick returner, and wildcat quarterback in the NFL, that is if he makes it through three more years in the Big Ten without breaking all of his ribs. That being said, Robinson is your frontrunner after compiling 502 total yards against the Irish this weekend, brining his season totals to 430 yards passing, 455 yards rushing, and 5 total touchdowns. UM plays UMass and Bowling Green the next two weeks so the Heisman hype will grow for Denard, but Michigan fans don't get too excited. Remember last year when you all were chanting "Tate for Heisman"?


Many think Boise State's win against Va Tech means less now that the Hokies loss to FCS James Madison, but nobody is thinking twice about Moore's ability to make the big play when it matters most. The Broncos had a bye this week, but Moore's performance of 215 yards and 3 touchdowns against a top ten opponent in what was a virtual road game will keep at the top of the Heisman race for now. I will predict Moore at least ends up in New York as a finalist for the award, but unless Boise State is in the championship game I think it will be hard for him to actually take home the hardware.


Arkansas has played nobody yet (Tennessee Tech and La. Monroe), but Mallett has done work, gathering 701 yards passing and 6 touchdowns through the air in the first two games. He also has a rushing score to pad the stats, but the real judgement of this former Wolverine will take place in the next few weeks when the Hogs take on Georgia in Athens, Alabama at home, Texas A&M in College Station, and Auburn in Jordan-Hare Stadium . Bobby Petrino's passing attack is a great fit for Mallett to play in, but how will things play out in this very tough four game stretch?

Dude is just so freakin' cool, no?MATT BARKLEY

Barkley and USC also have not faced stiff competition in Hawaii and Virginia, but the golden child has taken care of business. Barkley has completed 65.5% of his passes for 459 yards and 7 touchdowns in his first two games, and should continue to air it out with great success throughout the rest of the season. USC may not be able to make a bowl game the next two seasons, but when it's all said and done Barkley may be the first Heisman winner from USC to go to the NFL with just one bowl game appearance. I don't think he will make it to New York this year, but he is working hard to prove me wrong as of today.


This Florida speedster is the fastest man in college football. If a career in the NFL doesn't work out, Demps can likely head to the Olympic Games and sprint his way to success like he has for the Gators so far this season. He had a career high 139 yards against USF this past weekend, helping UF escape some early game struggles to go on to a 38-14 victory. On the season he has 237 rushing yards, 25 receiving yards, 160 return yards, and 2 touchdowns. I think he is a long shot to win the award and even get an invite to the ceremony, but watch out for Demps to make big moves, especially if Urban Meyer can't get the passing game together soon.


Broyles, along with Demps, is another dark horse on this list, but his first two games have been spectacular. The junior has caught 21 passes for 266 yards and 3 scores against Utah State and Florida State and is on his way to becoming a household name around the nation. As Landry Jones continues to grow as a quarterback, watch out for Broyles to further his Heisman hopes and get recognized around the country as a legitimate candidate for the position.


Another Sooner, Jones became a man this past weekend against the Seminoles, completing 30 of 40 passes for 380 yards and 4 touchdowns against 0 interceptions. Jones has 597 yards and 6 touchdown passes on the year and his confidence has probably never been higher. It may have been a blessing in disguise last year for Oklahoma that Sam Bradford got hurt because Jones was able to get on the field and learn on the job. He will still have some growing pains, but now has the mental part of the game down and we will see if he is for real the next couple weeks with games at Cincinnati and against Texas in the Red River Shoot Out Rivalry.

Get used to seeing this in 2010DeMARCO MURRAY

It's all Boomer Sooner in here today, but when you dismantle a top 25 team by a score of 47-17 you're going to get some notoriety. Out of the three Sooners, Murray is probably the most well-known and best NFL prospect and he has compiled nice stats so far. I say nice stats, because he has totaled 259 yards rushing, 52 yards receiving, and 4 touchdowns in 2010, but struggled last week with an FSU defense that held him to just 51 yards on 16 carries. He did score two times against the Seminoles though so his production on that end was fine. Murray will be a candidate talked about throughout the entire season, so don't expect him to go away any time soon.


It was a tough pick between John Clay and Thomas to finish up this week's list, but the lesser known Thomas gets the nod. He has 371 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns in two wins against UCLA and Missouri State, but will have to prove he can be consistent when the Wildcats face Iowa State, UCF, Nebraska, Kansas, Baylor, Oklahoma State, Texas, and Missouri in their next eight games. If he can produce the same output after that tough stretch, I think you will start to hear his name mentioned for an invite to New York. There is pretty much zero chance he wins the Heisman, but if you can average 185+ yards a game like he has so far in 2010, you're going to get a good, long look.


Comments Show All Comments

BucksfanXC's picture

I think you gotta include Peterson from LSU, even though he's on defense. And I understand you have lots of disclaimers on this list, but no one is going to win the Heisman if their team loses three or more games, (I'm looking at you Shoelace).

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

Johnny Ginter's picture

the thing about denard is that michigan is going to have to limit his rushes if he's going to last the entire season. this isn't even about the hits he's going to take, from a simple stamina standpoint it'll just wear him down.

pat white ran the ball a bajillion times as QB under rich rod, but the majority of his carries came in the last half of almost every season he played, and he also usually had a complimentary back to help him out. unless shoelace is truly a sport-breaking player a la barry sanders and has the kind of season that guy did, he is going to need help once the big ten season starts.

right now their #2 guy is vincent smith, who is averaging just over 3 ypc. that has to change, because starting october 9th michigan plays MSU, then iowa, then at penn state, illinois, at purdue, wisconsin, and at OSU. that is going to be brutal and the wolverines can in no way afford to place all of the offense in one dude's hands for that

i think denard is a legit QB and makes michigan about a billion times better than they were with forcier, but a team with a decent d-line is going to cause them a LOT of problems as it stands now

M Man's picture

Right offhand, I remember George Rogers winning the Heisman with an 8-3 record at South Carolina.  I remember because I saw him play in Ann Arbor that year.  I am guessing there are others.

M Man's picture

So, uh, more Heisman winners from teams with 3+ losses, just going back to Steve Owens at Oklahoma:

1969 - S. Owens, Oklahoma 6-4

1970 - J. Plunkett, Stanford 9-3

1980 - G. Rogers, S. Carolina 8-4

1981 - M. Allen, USC 9-3

1990 - T. Dettmer, BYU 10-3

1998 - R. Williams, Texas 9-3

2007 - T. Tebow, Florida 9-4

Nik's picture

so you're saying the only guy in the last 10 yrs to lose 3 games and win the Heisman was Tebow of Nazareth, that pretty much tells you how hard it would be to win on a mediocre team.  Although obviously if he keeps up these stats (long shot playing against the tough defenses of the big 10), it's certainly possible

Johnny Ginter's picture

if he keeps up the stats he's had the past two games, it'll go down as possibly the greatest single season in the history of college football, because he'll have over 2200 yards rushing and 2100 yards passing which would be insane (he won't do this, but a pat white esque season is not out of the question)

M Man's picture

All that I was doing was replying to your fellow Bucknut who said, "no one is going to win the Heisman if their team loses three or more games."  That's an assertion that isn't supportable and is basically refuted by history.  We'll see how things go.  It's one thing to say, as I do, "I don't know who will win the Heisman."  It's quite another to say, "I know that Denard Robinson cannot win the Heisman."

btw, we were rather pleased to hand sophomore Tebow one of the Gators' 2007-season losses, incidentally.

And then there's this photo:

Powers's picture

too bad he got thrown to the ground like a rag doll on this play

BucksfanXC's picture

I'm not much for research but how many of those losses came AFTER the trophy was given to the player, like, as you point out, Tebow's was?


UPDATE: I'm better at research than I thought:


Marcus Allen lost his 3rd afterwards, so did Ty Detmer.

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

M Man's picture

I get it.  You're trying to rebut my rebuttal. 

Not so much.  The 1970 Stanford Indians lost 3 regular season games.  Marcus Allen's 1981 USC Trojans only lost 2 regular season games, before losing in the Fiesta Bowl to Penn State.  Of course, the Trojans could have, and nearly did, lose 3 or 4 regular season games and Allen, the first collegian to break the 2,000-yard mark, would have been given the Heisman.  Ty Dettmer's 1990 BYU team only had  two losses, but he was a statistical freak even more than Allen.  If I recall correctly, Dettmer was busy losing to Hawaii when the award was given out.  (Or am I just imagining that perfect ending to a BYU football season?)  Ricky Williams' 1998 Texas Longhorns had 3 regular season losses.  Tebow, Rogers, Owens, et al; they all had 3 or more regular season losses and won the trophy anyway. 

So the rebuttal largely stands up to re-rebuttal.

BTwrestle04's picture

I don't know much about the Michigan uniforms, but in that picture it looks like the yellow outline on the numbers is much more pronounced this year than in years past.... or is it just me?

M Man's picture

I had the same impression from that particular photo; I just presumed that at near-light speed, Denard's uniform underwent a kind of Doppler shift, and you need a spectrometer instead of a camera to capture it.

Actually, that basic away-jersey design goes back to the old Nike days.  Here's Michael Hart, engaging in the traditional exchange of facemask violations with his old pal (and one of my all-time favorite Buckeyes) Malcolm Jenkins:


I think you may be right, but it is a very subtle difference if any.

741's picture

Pretty badass photo of an historic performance.

builderofcoalitions's picture

Shoelace will not win the Heisman as soon as his 20+ carries a game get him carted off somewhere around week 7 or 8. Then, he'll run scared for a while, severely affecting his production. That and what BUCKSFANXC said.

Because we couldn't go for three.

VBBuckeye's picture

I agree with these guys ^ concerning "shoelace". Also, Matt Barkley is a total douche! That is all.

Buckeye Black's picture

Pryor has to get his completion percentage up if he wants to get some real consideration.  Where were the swing passes against Miami?  Maybe it was just the poor weather, either way he needs that 70-75% range over the next two games to help his stats out.  The TD's and yards will come with his natural ability, but the finer aspects of being a QB also are involved.

btalbert25's picture

Personally,  if this team is destined for a national championship this year, I'm ok with Pryor not winning the Heisman.  There are too many distractions in the down time between the season and bowl game if you have to attend multiple awards banquets and don't get to focus on the game.  Don't get me wrong, I want the kid to be considered one of the nation's best QB's and I think he is.  I don't care if his completion percentage was under 50% Saturday, how many QB's would've taken the Buckeyes to victory?  Plays he made when there was not much to be had, saved this team Saturday.  He kept the chains moving and he ate up clock.  He may not have been 65% throwing the ball but he hit big passes and made great plays with his feet.

buckeyejonross's picture

i couldn't care less if he wins the heisman or not. he is playing for a crystal football, not a bronze statue. he would be the first person to tell you that.

"You might as well appeal against a thunderstorm as against these terrible hardships of war. War is cruelty, there is no use trying to reform it; the crueler it is, the sooner it will be over." -William T., Battle of Atlanta, B1G.

buckeyedude's picture

I would rather that Pryor not win the Heisman. I'll take the MNC instead, thank you.



Bucksfan's picture

I know we are a Buckeye blog, and I'm a psycho Buckeye fan, but I'm sort of stunned by the results of the poll where only about 50% of people here think Robinson is something to worry about.  It's one thing to look at what he's doing with a grain of salt, which of course is understandable with only 2 games  But he has done something that NO MICHIGAN WOLVERINE HAS EVER DONE.  Granted, that's mostly because of the pro-sets Michigan is known for.  Anything unprecedented in a history that long is still something to be in awe over.  This was not Eastern Michigan or Appalachian State he did that against.  It was UConn and on the road at a much-improved Notre Dame.

Robinson scares the living sh*t out of me.  Sure we have the defensive speed to catch him.  Yeah the Michigan secondary is untested, but it's not like Terrelle Pryor's arm is some sort of Wolverine machine gun responsible for the last 2 wins - he's been largely mediocre in those games.  As I've said before, the longer the streak lasts, the more likely it is to end.  It's only a matter of time.  Robinson looks like someone who could have a big day and just outplay us.  I wouldn't want to be a Michigan fan in the Horseshoe if they make it 5 wins that knock us out of a national title game in 17 years ('93, '95, '96, '03...'10?).

I don't believe Pryor is Heisman worthy right now.  I know it was rainy, but 44% against stout competition needs to improve against Wisconsin, Iowa, and PSU.  Compare that to previous Heisman contenders like McCoy, who led his team in rushing, and completed 80% of his throws and still DIDN'T win.  Still, he's on pace to threaten Joe Germain's yardage record (even though Germaine had 1 less game), and that's something!

BTwrestle04's picture

+1 on nearly everything said here. I'm already having nightmares about Denard in my sleep and we don't even play him until November!

O-H Kee Pa's picture

Look, obviously he deserves his props, and he's much more talented than Forcier. But, for two massive games thus far, they're only averaging 29 points per game. If they're D gives up 500+ yards against us (not out of the realm of possibility), we will score 40+. Something tells me Clayborn, Klug, Heyward, Rolle, and Homan aren't drinking the Kool-Aid. Robinson might make the game more interesting, but that's about it. No more, no less.

andyr78's picture

I am one of the No votes on the poll.  I do think Robinson is a outstanding player.  I don't think there is a player in the world that could do this week in and week out and stay healthy.  I will be interested to see how he does against Iowa's defense on 10/16.

tomcollins's picture

We aren't worried because the game isn't in October.  He'll barely be able to walk after his slate of B10 games.

Kyle's picture

Funny how scUM beats two mediocre teams and the delusional Michigan trolls come out pronouncing the rebirth of Michigan football and Denard Robinson as the black Tebow of Nazareth.  It must be nice to live in a dream world.

Buckeye_Mafia's picture

Dude is talented as hell. Just crown him now. Mark May loves him. He must be the "real effing deal".

"At critical moments throughout the season, we learned about the character of this football team.  This was a team of true character, of true resilience." -- President Barack Obama

Irricoir's picture

Has there ever been a college heisman hopeful abstain from all of the functions and formalities to focus on the team and winning their bowl game? It seems to me that Pryor has the personality that is not afraid to buck the trend and  do just that. He would earn my respect x1mil if he did so. I have no more interest in the heisman after what happened last year. Mark Ingram is one helluva player. He is A deserving recipient but not the rightful recipient. How can you argue that Toby Gerhart should not have won? I could have this stat wrong but I believe the average ranking of the rush defense Toby ran against was higher than that of Ingram. Toby had better yards and TDs than Ingram. Toby was more important to his team than Ingram was. Everyone knew Toby was running the ball at Stanford. Ingram had McElroy and Julio Jones as diversions. The only thing that Ingram had going for him is his team was in the championship game and that he was a member of the SEC. I think there are a few other reasons for it as well but will only focus on the facts I stated. Gonna do more research on stats and get back with you all.

Just did the research. In full disclosure I had to assign a Rushing Defense rank of 120 to two teams Alabama played that were division 1AA. (Florida International and Chattanooga) Stanford played every game against a Division 1 team. The results Stanford played against teams that averaged 55th against the run. Alabama played against the 67th ranking. Even if I gave those FCS schools the benefit of the doubt and still ranked them in the middle of division one schools, Alabamas average opponent was still 58th ranking them slightly worse than Stanfords. So, how did Toby rush for more yards than Ingram, against better rushing defenses, when they knew what was coming at them anyhow? Because he was the better back. Ingram is outstanding but I think the facts speak for themselves. Please respond.

I don't always take names when I kick ass but when I do, they most often belong to a Wolverine.

Another Jason's picture

Florida International is not 1AA, they are 1A and ranked 116th last year against the run.

Irricoir's picture

Thank you, I had a hard time finding information on them but it only validates my comments further. You opinion on my post?

I don't always take names when I kick ass but when I do, they most often belong to a Wolverine.

Another Jason's picture

I am not a big fan of the Heisman, especially in recent years, when there seems to have been some new "Championship Contender" rule added.  I'm still proud of every Buckeye who's won it, and don't have major problems with any winner, outside of the general issue that it's virtually impossible to win if you're not an offensive skill player.  Suh was just as deserving as Gerhart or Ingram last year, but your analysis is spot-on.  The award is not what it says it is.

I would LOVE to see Pryor (or anyone) take your proposed approach.

Irricoir's picture

And I agree with your comments about SUH too. If any other defensive player wins it I will forever compare that player to SUH and likely be left wanting.

I don't always take names when I kick ass but when I do, they most often belong to a Wolverine.