Four young men have been nominated for the 2010 Heisman Trophy. One candidate you already know — Cam Newton? The one who might be the best college football player ever? Yeah, that guy. But let’s take a moment to appreciate the other three finalists.
Kellen Moore, Boise St. Broncos QB. Among all 2010 players who threw seven or fewer interceptions, Moore is the only one to also throw for over 3,050 yards. He threw only five picks, thank you very much, and for way more yards than that — seventh in the land in yards per game, matter of fact. I’m having a hard time justifying Moore’s selection over Nevada Wolf Pack QB Colin Kaepernick. Well, over other players besides just Kaepernick too, dozens of whom play defense or offensive line, but if we need a WAC QB, why not take the one who contributed the conference's second-most total yards per game (behind Hawaii Warriors QB Bryant Moniz -- wait, why not Moniz too?) and led the conference’s best offense?
LaMichael James, Oregon Ducks RB: Somebody from the nation’s most explosive offense had to be nominated, and James’ numbers are the most eye-popping. He led the country in yards from scrimmage by almost ten per game, and did it against a tougher schedule than anybody else in the top 13. The only guy to beat Newton in rushing touchdowns, too. And the last BCS conference guy to beat his yards-per-game total? 2005 Heisman winner Reggie Bush.
Andrew Luck, Stanford Cardinal QB: Any mention of Luck’s name must include the term future No. 1 draft pick. It’s in his contract (Stanford guys are crafty). In any other season, Luck would be the front-runner, though not a runaway favorite. His stats lag a bit behind Moore’s across the board, but keep in mind Luck has lit up the nation’s tenth-toughest schedule, not the 70th. And it’s not like his numbers are anything to be ashamed of. Seventh in quarterback rating and right near the top ten in everything else, he’s the biggest single reason for Stanford’s best season since 1940 and what could go down as the Cardinal’s second-best season in 90 years of football.