My way too early Heisman Predictions...
Written by Curt Popejoy on 05/31/2010
When I look at the guys I think deserve a shot at the Heisman Trophy I typically put them in 3 groups. First are the obvious front runners. Guys who play in bigtime programs, and have the hard throbbing endorsement of the media and their names will rape our ears all season long.
Second is the group of guys who are poised to win it, but get almost no love preseason from the masses so they either can’t get their name out there in time (Ndamukong Suh), or don’t get enough pub at all (Ryan Mathews).
The third group is that “nukka what?” group. I call them that because every time I mention their name in the Heisman discussion, someone says “nukka what?”
Jake Locker QB Washington - If we were all tired of Tebow Mania last year, hold onto your jock straps because I have a feeling the Locker Love-In is going to pass it. Locker might not be going to Malasyia to cure diseases or any of that, but you can count on the media beating him down our throats on a weekly basis.
Why he’ll win: Because the Pac-10 is wide open, and every game the Huskies win will be because of Locker.
Why he won’t: Because his supporting cast is going to let him down. You have to have some semblence of talent around you, especially in the passing game if you are a QB looking for the stiff arm trophy. Locker will have the best of intentions but may not have the firepower around him.
Ryan Mallett QB Arkansas - I won’t lie, I have a bit of a man crush on Mallett. I’m an old school pocket QB kind of guy. Mallett is pure stand and fire in the Dan Marino mold. He’s the best QB in the SEC and will be high profile every week.
Why he’ll win: He’s got a high powered offense, with weapons all around him, and a defense that is going to force him to win games.
Why he won’t: His style lends itself to a crappy game here or there and that’s suicide in this Heisman group. He’s going to have a low completion percentage compared to past winners, and for every 400 yard, 4td game he’ll have, he’s going to have a 175yard 2int game as well.
Mark Ingram RB Alabama - Last year’s winner has to be in the mix for a return visit. A dominant runner who can do it all, and was the focus of the Crimson Tide offense. Alabama doesn’t get to, and win the National Championship without him.
Why he’ll win: He’s got cache’ going for him, with a trophy under his belt. He’s going to be running behind a great line and could once again have a dominant season.
Why he won’t: Trent Richardson. The uber-talented backup RB is going to get more carries and even if Ingram can duplicate last year’s numbers will be considered part of a RB Tandem.
Terrell Pryor QB Ohio State - Another hype monster. I was blasted when Pryor finally got around to signing his LOI to Ohio State by saying that he’d never win a Heisman or a National Championship. So far he hasn’t let me down. I think a lot of people thought he’d be Vince Young, but that hasn’t materialized yet.
Why he’ll win: The Buckeyes will go undefeated and he’s going to have some great stats in that case.
Why he won’t: He’s not that talented. That’s really it.
Kellen Moore QB Boise State - The easy pick I think. Probably the most outstanding player in the country last year, but was competing with too much name recognition to get a nod. A complete surgeon with the football in his hands, and all he does is win.
Why he’ll win: Boise State is going to start the year ranking very high and staying there will fall on huge games by Moore. The offense is built for him to succeed.
Why he won’t: Boise could lose. Heisman voters will be doing the pee pee dance if the Broncos slip up, especially at home, and be able to pin it all on Moore and then safely take him off their ballot.
Outside looking in…
LaMichael James RB Oregon - Even though he’ll be losing one game to suspension, James is poised minus Jeremiah Massoli, to put up some silly numbers. If he can progress like it looks like he can, even short one game, James could be this year’s Mark Ingram.
Dion Lewis RB Pittsburgh - Another talented RB who is going to carry a huge load for his team’s offense and assuming his team wins will rack up some massive statistics.
Case Keenum QB Houston - If it’s a stats only judging, Keenum is probably a shoe in. But thank God that isn’t the case, and Keenum can just be a novelty on offense and get no serious consideration.
John Clay RB Wisconsin - Clay promises to just churn out yards and touchdowns all season long. Could end up statistically nearing a single season rushing record, and if you break the single season record, odds are you win the Heisman.
Ryan Willaims RB Virginia Tech - Like the backs already mentioned, Williams is going to be a workhorse and a statistical monster. It’ll all depend on whether or not those yards and touchdowns mean wins. Losing teams don’t produce Heisman winners.
My “Nukka what” picks…
Blaine Gabbert QB Missouri - The best QB in the Big 12, and plays in an offense that will showcase his skills. He’s got talent around him, but the truth is this is his show and he could have a huge season.
Ryan Broyles WR Oklahoma - Broyles could be the WR version of C.J. Spiller this year. He’ll have huge numbers as Landry Jones favorite target, and is a dynamic kick returner.
Notre Dame QB - Not sure who it’ll be just yet, but regardless they are going to be playing on the most recognizable team in the country, on a huge stage, and in Brian Kelly’s offense will put up insane stats, especially with Michael Floyd and Kyle Rudolph in the mix. My money is on Dayne Crist winning the job, but you can’t rule out Freshman Nate Montana.
Matt Barkley QB USC - Barkley didn’t wow anyone last year, but with a new head coach and offense in place, I expect a big rebound by Barkley. As with Locker, the Pac-10 is wide open, and if he can string together a big season, he’ll get plenty of media love.
Ultimately I expect the top 4 to be among the guys I’ve listed. I also think it was an injustice that Kellen Moore didn’t get an invite last season. Just like this past season when the media rode the jock of Colt McCoy all year, because they felt bad for the year before, they will love all over Kellen Moore this year. The difference is, Moore is going to lead Boise State to another undefeated season, and in doing that should lock the Heisman trophy up.
Last Edited: 05/30/2010