2012 Heisman Trophy Voting: Post-Week 1

Each week the Athlon editors cast their ballots for college football's Most Outstanding player.

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 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.

Voting: Each first place vote gets 10 points. A second place vote gets nine points. So on and so forth with a 10th place vote getting one point.

USC's Matt Barkley did little to hurt his Heisman Trophy campaign with his big win over Hawaii and will remain atop the polls entering Week 2. On the flip side, names like Denard Robinson, Montee Ball, Landry Jones and others took major steps back after struggling on opening weekend.

Only three players landed on all nine ballots and those three names claim the top three spots. Otherwise, this week's voting features plenty of new names after a huge first week of games. Fans can expect more volatility over the next couple of weeks with it leveling out somewhere in the second month of the year.

1. Matt Barkley, QB, USC (7 first place votes)
Season Stats: 23-38, 372 yds, 4 TD, 0 INT
The preseason frontrunner is almost guaranteed a spot in New York come December and throwing for nearly 400 yards and four scores in the Trojans' first blowout victory is the type of weekly output that will all but lock Barkley in as a finalist. The Athlon votes didn't change whatsoever as seven of the nine cast their first place vote for the senior signal caller from USC. And the other two (of which, I am one) gave Barkley second-place votes. Next Game: at Syracuse

  Name Pos. Team Tot. Pts 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th Ballots
1. Matt Barkley QB USC 88/90 7 2 - - - 9/9
2. Geno Smith QB West Virginia 78/90 2 6 - - - 9/9
3. Marcus Lattimore RB South Carolina 55/90 - - 4 - 2 9/9
4. Le'Veon Bell RB Michigan St 47/90 - - 3 1 1 8/9
5. Montee Ball RB Wisconsin 34/90 - - - 2 1 6/9
6. De'Anthony Thomas AP Oregon 28/90 - - 1 1 1 5/9
7. Marqise Lee WR USC 25/90 - - - 1 - 7/9
8. Andre Ellington RB Clemson 25/90 - - 1 1 1 5/9
9. Taylor Martinez QB Nebraska 21/90 - - - 1 - 6/9
10. Barrett Jones OL Alabama 14/90 - 1 - - - 2/9
11. Braxton Miller QB Ohio State 13/90 - - - 1 - 4/9
12. Tyler Wilson QB Arkansas 11/90 - - - - - 4/9
13. Johnathan Franklin RB UCLA 10/90 - - - - 1 2/9
14. Landry Jones QB Oklahoma 7/90 - - - 1 - 1/9
15. Logan Thomas QB Virginia Tech 6/90 - - - - 1 1/9

Also receiving votes: 16. A.J. McCarron, QB, Alabama (5 pts), 17. Tyler Bray, QB, Tennessee (5 pts), 18. Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson (5 pts), 19. Jarvis Jones, LB, Georgia (4 pts), 20. Tyler Tettleton, QB, Ohio (4 pts)

2. Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia (2 first place votes)
Season Stats: 32-36, 323 yds, 4 TD, 0 INT, 8 att., 65 rush yds, TD
For the second straight week, I have voted the Mountaineers quarterback as my No. 1 pick to win the famed stiff-armed trophy. Against an archrival in the season opener, Smith was in midseason form as he scored more touchdowns (5) than he had incompletions. He has more raw ability than Barkley, plays in a more pass-happy system and has one of the only receiving corps that can match the talent and depth of USC's. And the smart money is never on the preseason favorite. Next Game: at James Madison

3. Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina
Season Stats: 23 att., 110 yds, 2 TD, 3 rec., 21 yds
The most talented running back in the nation was back on the field for the first time since last October, but he didn't look like he missed a beat. He was up to his usual gyrating, impossible-to-tackle tricks that eventually led to the Gamecocks only scores against SEC East foe Vanderbilt. Steve Spurrier leaned on him in the second half and Lattimore delivered with the game-winning touchdown and more than a few key third down runs. He, like Smith and Barkley, was on all nine Athlon Heisman ballots. Next Game: East Carolina

4. Le'Veon Bell, RB, Michgian State
Season Stats: 44 att., 210 yds, 2 TD, 6 rec., 55 yds
The Michigan State tailback was easily the highest mover on this list and rightly so as he carried his team to one of the biggest wins nationally in Week 1. He also had a mini-Heisman moment when he scored the game-winning touchdown late in the game on national television against a ranked Boise State team. And he shattered his career statistical highs in the process. His previous career highs: 20 attempts, 141 yards, 5 receptions, 49 receiving yards — all of which he broke in one game. Next Game: at Central Michigan

5. Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin
Season Stats: 32 att., 120 yds, TD, 3 rec., 21 yds
It wasn't a vintage Badger offensive performance, but Ball was still the workhorse. On an offense that clearly misses its quarterback, coordinator and three offensive lineman from last season, Ball's 35 touches stabilized the new-look offense and allowed Wisconsin to hold on for a tight win over Northern Iowa. Next Game: at Oregon State

6. De'Anthony Thomas, AP, Oregon
Season Stats: 3 att., 64 yds, TD, 4 rec., 55 yds, 2 TD, 6 PR yds
The Black Mamba was up to his old tricks by scoring three times on seven total offensive touches. He is arguably the most dynamic player in the game today and should see his workload increase as the competition gets tougher. Next Game: Fresno State

7. Marqise Lee, WR, USC
Season Stats: 10 rec., 197 yds, 1 KR, 100 yds, TD
Lee was often overshadowed by his counterpart Robert Woods last season, but the super sophomore made a big statement in Week 1. He scored on the first play of the game and then again on a 100-yard kickoff return. His 297 all-purpose yards currently lead the nation. Next Game: at Syracuse

8. Andre Ellington, RB, Clemson
Season Stats: 25 att., 228 yds, 0 TD
The oft-injured tailback was at his best on Saturday night in a huge win over the Auburn Tigers. He is leading the nation in rushing and, should he stay healthy, could be a huge factor in the Heisman race. Next Game: Ball State

9. Taylor Martinez, QB, Nebraska
Season Stats: 26-34, 354 yds, 5 TD, 0 INT, 6 att., 10 yds
Martinez was at his all-time best this weekend and it could not have happened at a better time. Nebraska could be without star tailback Rex Burkhead for a few games, which means the offensive onus will fall to T-Mart. His 212.46 QB-rating currently leads the Big Ten. Next Game: at UCLA

10. Barrett Jones, OL, Alabama
Season Stats: 232.0 rush ypg, 41.0 ppg, 2.0 sacks allowed per game (Alabama offense)
Okay, there aren't really any great stats to use for offensive lineman, but how about this. Jones is the best player on the best team who played the best against the best competition this weekend. And he is doing it all at his third position. Next Game: Western Kentucky

11. Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State
Season Stats: 14-24, 207 yds, 2 TD, 0 INT, 17 att., 161 yds, TD

12. Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas
Season Stats: 19-27, 367 yds, 3 TD, 0 INT, 3 att., minus-2 yds

13. Johnathan Franklin, RB, UCLA
Season Stats: 15 att., 214 yds, 3 TD, 1 rec., 4 yds

14. Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma
Season Stats: 21-36, 222 yds, 2 TD, 0 INT, 3 att., minus-19 yds

15. Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech
Season Stats: 21-38, 230 yds, 2 TD, 0 INT, 15 att., 40 yds

- by Braden Gall

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