Andrew Luck of Stanford and LaMichael James of Oregon seemed to lead every preseason All-America list. Wisconsin’s Russell Wilson and Baylor’s Robert Griffin III have created as much buzz as anyone in college football this year, while SEC stalwarts Marcus Lattimore of South Carolina and Trent Richardson of Alabama performed as expected during the season’s first month. Kellen Moore is rolling up records at Boise State, while Nebraska’s Taylor Martinez and Michigan’s Denard Robinson are running through opposing defenses. Records are also being set in the state of Oklahoma, where the quarterback-receiver tandems of OSU’s Brandon Weeden to Justin Blackmon and OU’s Landry Jones to Ryan Broyles have been excellent.
Who was the best player in the nation in September?
The best college football player in September (or any other month) is Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck — although I do think LSU’s Aussie-rules punter Brad Wing deserves a name-drop after pinning West Virginia at the 3, 4, 5, 8, 10 and 11-yard line last Saturday night in couch-burning country. But the reality is that no player is better than Luck, who has thrown for 786 yards, eight TDs and one INT while leading Stanford to a 3–0 start. The 6’4”, 235-pounder from Houston is the best collegiate pocket passer since Sam Bradford, the best NFL prospect since Peyton Manning and the best Cardinal QB since John Elway. There are trendier answers for the month of September, but Luck is the Michael Jordan of college football in 2011. That didn’t change after one month of action.
Mitch Light (@AthlonMitch)
There are a ton of good candidates for Player of the Month in September. I will go with Brandon Weeden, the quarterback at Oklahoma State. In four games, he has completed an amazing 74.3 percent of his attempts for 1,492 yards and 10 touchdowns. He did throw three picks in the opener against UL-Lafayette, but since that game he has only been intercepted three times in 152 attempts. Weeden has thrown for at least 388 yards in each games with a minimum of two TD tosses. He has been at his best against the better teams on the Pokes’ schedule, throwing for 397 yards and two TDs against Arizona and 438 yards with two scores and no interceptions in the epic comeback at Texas A&M last Saturday. Weeden has a ton of help on offense, and he plays in a quarterback-friendly system, but the guy has been sensational for a team that is emerging as a legitimate national title contender.
Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
I have to go with South Carolina’s Marcus Lattimore. The sophomore running back has his team sitting at 4-0, and the Gamecocks would probably be 2-2 (or maybe even 1-3) without him. Lattimore had 112 yards and three scores in helping USC come back from 17 down against East Carolina, and he was the offense - 176 yards rushing and a score - in South Carolina’s win at Georgia. The powerful sophomore ran for 246 yards (on an astounding 37 carries) with three touchdowns vs. Navy, and once again he was the only offense Steve Spurrier had in the win over Vanderbilt. I also want to mention LSU’s Tyrann Mathieu, who seems to be college football’s best playmaker on defense and special teams, as well as the three touchdowns scored by South Carolina defensive lineman Melvin Ingram.
Braden Gall (@AthlonBraden)
You can define the term "best" in many different ways. Andrew Luck is the best player in the nation and I am not sure it is even close. However, Marcus Lattimore and Robert Griffin III had the best first month of the season. Lattimore carried Carolina to victory in three "tight" games, but no one is more electric, dynamic, talented, productive and important to his team (in September, at least) than RG3. His 236.23 QB-rating is downright absurd and would shatter the NCAA record (186.00). He has more touchdowns (13) than incompletions (12). And he has Baylor 3-0 (with an upset win over TCU) and poised for its second straight bowl game. Give me Bob Griffin III please.