Athlon Sports Heisman Voting: Week 13

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Robert Griffin III had his Heisman moment last weekend against Oklahoma.

Robert Griffin III had his Heisman moment last weekend against Oklahoma.

-by Braden Gall (@AthlonBraden on twitter)

Each week, the Athlon editors vote on the most prestigious award in all of college football. A nine-man conglomerate of college football gurus from Athlon Sports will vote for their top 10 Heisman Trophy candidates. The votes will be tallied and the result will be posted as the Athlon Sports Heisman Watch List every Wednesday of the regular season.

Note: A first place vote earns a player 10 points. A second place votes earns nine points - so on and so forth until the 10th place vote receives one point.

And then there were three. Stanford's Andrew Luck, Alabama's Trent Richardson and Baylor's Robert Griffin III have separated themselves as the top three candidates for the 2011 Heisman Trophy. Each received a first-place vote, and there is a major drop-off in the voting to the next tier of options.

The second group of three includes two of the hottest risers in the nation and the most productive player in the history of the sport. Wisconsin's Montee Ball and USC's Matt Barkley have improved their stock more than anyone over the second half, and Houston's Case Keenum is still undefeated. These three are trailing the top three by a fairly wide margin, but have plenty of breathing room on the rest of the field.

The final group of candidates features three very talented quarterbacks who each brings something unique to the Heisman discussion.

1. Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford (85/90 total points, 5/9 first place votes)
Season Stats: 241/343, 2,937 yards, 31 TD, 8 INT, 39 att., 133 yards, 2 TD

Luck wasn't amazing in the 31-28 win over Cal, but he was still the driving force behind the second straight win over the arch-rival Golden Bears. He completed 20-of-30 passes for 257 yards and two scores and has kept the The Axe in Palo Alto for another year. Luck is working with much less on the oustide than, say, a USC, Oklahoma State or Oklahoma quarterback and is still the best player in the nation for a potential one-loss BCS at-large team. Next Game: Notre Dame

  Name Pos. Team Pts 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th Ballots
1. Andrew Luck QB Stanford 85 5 3 1 - - 9
2. Trent Richardson RB Alabama 78 3 4 2 - - 9
3. Robert Griffin III QB Baylor 75 1 2 5 1 - 9
4. Montee Ball RB Wisconsin 47 - - - 3 - 9
5. Case Keenum QB Houston 45 - - - 1 3 9
6. Matt Barkley QB USC 42 - - - 2 3 8
7. Russell Wilson QB Wisconsin 30 - - 1 - 1 6
8. Kellen Moore QB Boise St 28 - - - - 2 9
9. Brandon Weeden QB Oklahoma St 25 - - - 1 - 7
10. LaMichael James RB Oregon 13 - - - 1 - 4
11. David Wilson RB Virginia Tech 6 - - - - - 3
12. Landry Jones QB Oklahoma 4 - - - - - 2
13. Collin Klein QB Kansas St 4 - - - - - 1
14. Denard Robinson QB Michigan 4 - - - - - 2
15. Justin Blackmon WR Oklahoma St 2 - - - - - 1
16. Bobby Rainey RB Western Kentucky 2 - - - - - 1
17. Brad Wing P LSU 1 - - - - - 1

2. Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama (82)
Season Stats: 236 att., 1,380 yards, 20 TD, 26 rec., 322 yards, 2 TD

You don't just line up against Georgia Southern and expect to get a win. Trent Richardson was needed for more than expected in the 45-21 win over the Eagles. T-Rich touched the ball 33 times for 188 yards from scrimmage and three trips to paydirt. Richardson leads the SEC in rushing at 125.5 yards per game and 12.0 points per game. Next Game: at Auburn

3. Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor (75)
Season Stats: 245/336, 3,572 yards, 33 TD, 5 INT, 135 att., 550 yards, 5 TD

RG3 not only won himself arguably the biggest game in Baylor history, but he likely also won himself plenty of Heisman votes and made himself loads of cash with his performance in the 45-38 win over Oklahoma. He completed 21-of-34 passes for 479 yards and four touchdowns for almost 23 yards per completion. He also ran for 72 yards on 18 carries. His 412.2 yards per game of total offense leads the nation, and his 191.65 passer rating is No. 2 in the country — and better than the single-season NCAA record. Simply put, Griffin III is the most valuable player in the nation. Next Game: Texas Tech

4. Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin (47)
Season Stats: 223 att., 1,466 yards, 25 TD, 16 rec., 233 yards, 5 TD, 1/1, 25 yards, TD

The game started slowly for the Badgers offense, but then Wisconsin gave the ball to Mr. Ball. The Big Red tailback rushed for 164 yards and two touchdowns in the second half of the 28-17 road win over Illinois. Keeping his Big Ten title hopes alive, Ball finished with 222 yards from scrimmage and three total touchdowns on 40 touches. He became only the fifth player in college football history to score 30 touchdowns in a season and could make a run at Barry Sanders' NCAA-record 39 scores. He is now third in the nation in rushing at 133.3 yards per game and is leading the nation in scoring at 16.9 points per game. His 1,466 yards trail only Western Kentucky's Bobby Rainey (1,468 yards) nationally. A big-time Big Ten title game-clinching performance this weekend against Penn State could vault him into the city that never sleeps. Next Game: Penn State

5. Case Keenum, QB, Houston (45)
Season Stats: 309/421, 4,269 yards, 38 TD, 3 INT, 41 att., 54 yards, 3 TD

Lee Corso freudian slips aside, Gameday saw the most productive player in history throw for another 318 yards and account for two more touchdowns. More importantly, he kept his team unbeaten with the 37-7 drubbing of C-USA rival SMU. Keenum is currently the No. 2 in the nation in total offense and is the No. 3 most efficient quarterback nationally. Next Game: SMU

6. Matt Barkley, QB, USC (42)
Season Stats: 273/404, 3,105 yards, 33 TD, 7 INT, 27 att., 20 yards, 2 TD

Few players have seen their stock rise more quickly than Barkley. On the road in a foggy, cold Autzen Stadium, the Trojan signal-caller completed an outstanding 26-of-34 passes for 323 yards and four touchdowns in the 38-35 win over Oregon. The Ducks never led. Barkley has proven that he belongs on this list, especially in the face of sanctions and probation — which only makes his performance that much more impressive. Next Game: UCLA

7. Russell Wilson, QB, Wisconsin (30)
Season Stats: 170/231, 2,506 yards, 26 TD, 3 INT, 59 att., 289 yards, 5 TD, 1 rec., 25 yards, TD

Wilson didn't post the big numbers, but he played an efficient game in a key win that keeps the Badgers' BCS bowl hopes alive. The UW passer completed 10-of-13 passes for only 90 yards but scored a pair of touchdowns (1 rush, 1 pass). His passer efficiency of 199.27 is not only leading the nation, but would also shatter the NCAA's single-season record of 186.00 set by Colt Brennan. Next Game: Penn State

8. Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State (28)
Season Stats: 248/336, 2,915 yards, 35 TD, 6 INT, 16 att., minus-50 yards

Moore is not used to playing games following a loss, but that is what he had to do this weekend. The Bronco put the TCU loss behind him by throwing for 366 yards and four touchdowns in the 52-35 road win over San Diego State. Next Game: Wyoming

9. Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State (25)
Season Stats: 355/486, 4,111 yards, 34 TD, 12 INT, 15 att., minus-95 yards

It is unfortunate that Weeden's entire Heisman campaign might have come down to a couple bad throws against Iowa State. The Pokes quarterback completed 42 passes to his own team — for 476 yards and three touchdowns — but three to the Cyclones as well in the 37-31 overtime road loss. Weeden is fourth in the NCAA in total offense (365.1 ypg) and is No. 2 (to Griffin III) in passing efficiency in the Big 12. However, his Heisman and National Championship aspirations might have fallen by the wayside last Friday night. After the bye, he will have one more major chance to prove himself in the Bedlam Series. Next Game: Bye

10. LaMichael James, RB, Oregon (13)
Season Stats: 173 car., 1,285 yards, 13 TD, 14 rec., 180 yards, 1 TD

James and the Ducks experienced one of the most heartbreaking losses of recent memory when the USC Trojans outlasted them 38-35 in Eugene last weekend. James did reach the end zone but was arguably the third most effective back on his own offense. He still leads the nation in rushing yards per game at 142.8 yards but will likely not be making a return trip to New York. Next Game: at Baylor

Previous Voting:

Athlon Sports Heisman Ballot: Week 12

Athlon Sports Heisman Ballot: Week 11

Athlon Sports Heisman Ballot: Week 10

Athlon Sports Heisman Ballot: Week 9
Athlon Sports Heisman Ballot: Week 8

Athlon Sports Heisman Ballot: Week 7

Athlon Sports Heisman Ballot: Week 6

Athlon Sports Heisman Ballot: Week 5

Athlon Sports Heisman Ballot: Week 4

Athlon Sports Heisman Ballot: Week 3

Athlon Sports Heisman Ballot: Week 2

Athlon Sports Heisman Ballot: Week 1

Exclude From Games: 
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<p> Athlon Sports Heisman Voting: Week 13</p>
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