Athlon Sports Heisman Voting: Week 9

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Boise State's Kellen Moore was a winner in this week's Heisman voting.

Boise State's Kellen Moore was a winner in this week's Heisman voting.

-by Braden Gall (@AthlonBraden on twitter)

Each week, the Athlon editors will 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: The scoring system is as follows: 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 player receives one point.

And then there were two.

Andrew Luck is the best player in the country and until proven otherwise, he will be atop the Athlon Heisman voting. But the one name who continues to surge upwards, and may have a chance to catch him due to team circumstances, is Alabama's Trent Richardson. After the Badgers and Russell Wilson fell to Michigan State, Richardson sits alone in second place by a wide margin.

Wilson, who fell from No. 2 to No. 5 in the voting, and Oklahoma's Landry Jones experienced brutal conference losses and probably saw their Heisman chances tumble alongside their national championship aspirations. Boise State's Kellen Moore continues to roll along and was the big winner in the voting now that Wilson and Jones have experienced a loss.

Clemson's dynamic duo of Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins also continue to move up the charts as the Tigers continue to win games. If Clemson runs the table, with an excellent non-conference schedule, it will be hard to keep one of these two out of the Big Apple in Decemeber.

And finally, Tyrann Mathieu goes from 10th in the voting to nary a Heisman vote from nine different Athlon editors - go ahead and add losing a Heisman Trophy to the effects of Synthetic Marijuana.

1. Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford (89/90 total points, 8/9 first place votes)
Season Stats: 145/202, 1,888 yards, 20 TD, 3 INT, 16 att., 83 yards, TD

Consider the grade on his first major test an A-. Stanford destroyed ranked opponent Washington 65-21 at home over the weekend, but Luck wasn't needed much. He completed 16 of his 21 passes for only 169 yards and two touchdowns. The Cardinal ran for a school-record 446 yards and five touchdowns on only 44 carries. Luck's 180.0 passer rating is first in the Pac-12 and fifth nationally. Next Game: at USC

  Name Pos. Team Pts 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th Ballots
1. Andrew Luck QB Stanford 89 8 1 - - - 9
2. Trent Richardson RB Alabama 79 1 5 3 - - 9
3. Robert Griffin III QB Baylor 62 - 2 1 2 2 9
4. Kellen Moore QB Boise State 61 - 1 1 4 2 9
5. Russell Wilson QB Wisconsin 56 - - 3 - 2 9
6. Brandon Weeden QB Oklahoma St 40 - - - 1 3 8
7. Tajh Boyd QB Clemson 39 - - 1 2 - 8
8. Landry Jones QB Oklahoma 23 - - - - - 8
9. Case Keenum WR Houston 15 - - - - - 6
10. Sammy Watkins WR Clemson 11 - - - - - 5
11. Ryan Broyles WR Oklahoma 6 - - - - - 2
12. David Wilson WR Virginia Tech 4 - - - - - 1
13. LaMichael James RB Oregon 3 - - - - - 2
14. Robert Woods WR USC 3 - - - - - 1
15. Denard Robinson QB Michigan 2 - - - - - 2
16. Bernard Pierce RB Temple 1 - - - - - 1
17. Ray Graham RB Pitt 1 - - - - - 1

2. Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama (79)
Season Stats: 149 att., 989 yards, 17 TD, 18 rec., 212 yards, TD

Nick Saban inexplicably turned to the passing game in the first half of the 37-6 win over Tennessee. After watching the Tide sleepwalk to a 6-6 halftime score, Saban gave the ball to T-Rich in the second half and Alabama rolled. Richardson finished with 77 yards and two touchdowns to go with three receptions and 33 more yards. His six-game 100-yard streak came to an end but he still leads the SEC in rushing at 123.6 yards per game. The stiff-armed trophy could be won or lost in two weeks against LSU. Next Game: Bye

3. Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor (62)
Season Stats: 142/182, 1,950 yards, 22 TD, 2 INT, 72 att., 295 yards, 2 TD

Griffin, like Kellen Moore, benefited from Wisconsin and Oklahoma losing this weekend. RG3 is now the nation's most efficient passer with a would-be NCAA record 205.71 passer rating. Griffin and the Bears had better have taken advantage of the off week as Oklahoma State and Missouri are the next two opponents for Baylor. Expect only one of the two Heisman quarterbacks to be left standing after this weekend's trip to Stillwater for Baylor. Next Game: at Oklahoma State

4. Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State (61 pts)
Season Stats: 174/228, 2,010 yards, 24 TD, 5 INT, 8 att., (-12) yards

Moore won for the 45th time in 47 games as a starter and the Boise State starter is now tied with Colt McCoy as the winningest quarterback in NCAA history. In a tricky 37-26 win over Air Force, Moore completed 23-of-29 passes for 281 yards and three touchdowns. Boise State would likely need to land in the BCS title game for Moore to have a chance to win the Heisman, so watching two major dominoes fall had to make Chris Peterson and Company happy.  Next Game: at UNLV

5. Russell Wilson, QB, Wisconsin (56)
Season Stats: 109/149, 1,780 yards, 16 TD, 3 INT, 32 att., 212 yards, 3 TD, 1 rec., 25 yards, TD

It's too bad Wilson cannot play defensive back. After making two of his worst throws as a Badger (two INTs), Wilson rallied his team with 14 fourth-quarter points to tie the game with 1:26 left in the game. Unfortunately, the Hail Mary heard 'round Madtown went the way of the Spartans. The Big Ten title is still very much in reach, but the national championship run is over for Wisconsin. Wilson finished with 223 yards, two TDs, two INTs, 30 yards rushing and a third touchdown on the ground. Next Game: at Ohio State

6. Brandon Weeden, QB, Oklahoma State (40)
Season Stats: 222/309, 2,436 yards, 19 TD, 7 INT, 14 att., (-85) yards

Weeden produced another workman-like victory for the unblemished Cowboys 45-24 over Missouri. The Pokes' quarterback completed 33-of-49 passes for 338 yards and three scores in the easier-than-anticipated triumph over the Tigers. It was his 12th 300-yard effort of the last two seasons, and undoubtedly, Weeden and his Stillwater brethren thoroughly enjoyed what took place later that night in Norman, Oklahoma. A Heisman elimination game between Griffin III and the Bears is up next for Weeden. Next Game: Baylor

7. Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson (39)
Season Stats: 172/278, 2,379 yards, 24 TD, 3 INT, 81 att., 165 yards, 4 TD

Few players had as productive a Week 8 as Boyd did in the convincing 59-38 win over North Carolina. Boyd threw for 367 yards and five touchdowns will rushing for another score on the ground. At 318 yards of total offense per game, Boyd is the most productive player in the ACC thus far in 2011. A trip to Atlanta this weekend provides a rematch of the 2009 ACC title game. Next Game: at Georgia Tech

8. Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma (23)
Season Stats: 201/308, 2,589 yards, 21 TD, 7 INT, 14 att., 22 yards, 2 TD

Jones' numbers were awesome: 412 yards, five touchdowns and 30 completions. Yet, the only stat that matters is the 41-38 final score. Jones' fifth consecutive game of at least 360 yards was all for naught as the Sooners watched their national championship hopes likely die with the inexplicable three-point home loss to Texas Tech. There is still a Big 12 title to be won so Jones will need to be at his best again this weekend at the unbeaten Wildcats. Next Game: at Kansas State

9. Case Keenum, QB, Houston (15)
Season Stats: 194/266, 2,685 yards, 23 TD, 2 INT, 26 att., 40 yards

It was a record-setting evening for the Houston Cougars' quarterback. The sixth-year senior threw for 376 yards and six scores to improve his team's record to 7-0 in the 63-28 win over Marshall. Keenum became the NCAA's all-time record holder for total offense with 17,173 (902 rushing, 16,271 passing). He is only 801 yards away from passing Timmy Chang as the NCAA's all-time leading passer (17,072). For his career, Keenum has scored 150 total touchdowns - 130 passing and 20 rushing. Next Game: Rice

10. Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson (11)
Season Stats: 60 rec., 815 yards, 9 TD, 13 PR, 128 yards

This true freshman has quickly become one of the most dynamic and electric athletes in all of college football. In the 59-38 win over North Carolina, Watkins caught eight passes for 91 yards, returned four kicks for 96 yards and scored a touchdown. It was his third straight game with at least seven catches and his sixth such game in eight career contests. Defenses are beginning to shade coverages towards Watkins as a sign of respect, so it will be interesting to see how the young receiver handles all the attention.  Next Game: at Georgia Tech

Previous Voting:

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

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<p> Athlon Sports Heisman Voting: Week 9</p>
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