Robert Griffin III Takes Home the 2011 Heisman Trophy

Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III, who helped lead the Bears to a 9-3 record in 2011 and an Alamo Bowl bid, has be named the recipient of the 2011 Heisman Trophy.

Griffin started the season by playing on an almostĀ inconceivableĀ level. Through his first three games, the junior quarterback had more touchdown passes than incompletions.

In the middle of the season, however, Griffin’s name dropped off many Heisman watch lists, but the Baylor signal caller continued to rack up stats. A heroic last-second drive to beat Oklahoma late in the season re-energized his Heisman campaign, and an electric victory over Texas in the season’s final weekend was enough to get Griffin the support he needed to claim the trophy.

Griffin finished the season with 3,998 passing yards and 36 touchdown passes against just six interceptions. He also ran for nine more touchdowns throughout the season, including two scores each in victories over Texas Tech and the Longhorns.

Griffin topped the likes of season-long favorite Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, Alabama running back Trent Richardson, Wisconsin running back Montee Ball and LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu.

2011 Heisman Trophy Voting

Rank Player Votes
1 Robert Griffin III 1,687
2 Andrew Luck 1,407
3 Trent Richardson 978
4 Montee Ball 348
5 Tyrann Mathieu 327
6 Matt Barkley
7 Case Keenum
8 Kellen Moore
9 Russell Wilson
10 LaMichael James

Heisman Watch Week 14: Richardson, Luck, Griffin Top a Loaded Field of Contenders

Trent Richardson

Before Mark Ingram won the Heisman Trophy in 2009, Alabama — surprisingly — had never had a Heisman Trophy-winning player. Now suddenly, it seems as if there is a chance that the Crimson Tide could have two winners in three years.

Widely regarded as the most physical and dominating running back in the nation, Trent Richardson had a season full of highlights and big stat lines, all while helping Alabama (almost assuredly) get to another BCS title game.

Richardson finishes the year with 1,583 yards rushing on the season and 20 rushing touchdowns to go with 327 yards receiving and three more scores through the air. The junior is likely headed to New York City as a Heisman finalist at the very least.

Case Keenum

Twelve wins, FBS passing records and the chance at a BCS bowl were what characterized Case Keenum’s final season in a Houston uniform. Unfortunately for Keenum’s Heisman hopes, however, the final thing that will characterize his season is a loss, and a disappointing one at that.

A victory Saturday would have given Houston a BCS bowl bid and given Keenum a real argument to be included in any Heisman discussion. Who could ignore the records broken and the statistics levied against C-USA opponents by the senior quarterback?

But two interceptions and an inability to close the deal Saturday likely closed the book on Keenum’s hopes for the trophy, as his 373 yards and two touchodwns will likely not be enough to sway voters in his favor.

Keenum finishes the season with an incredible 5,099 passing yards and 45 passing touchdowns, all of which helped him break a variety of FBS records. But a loss of this magnitude is crushing, and although Keenum’s name will be in the record books for some time to come, it won’t likely be because of a Heisman Trophy.

Andrew Luck

From the start of the season, Andrew Luck was the Heisman favorite. Through the first two months of the season, Andrew Luck was the Heisman favorite. To many, his name was already on the trophy after no candidate had presented themselves as contenders for the trophy. Then all of a sudden, the race was tight. Candidates around the country were suddenly on everyone’s mind, as Luck’s story seemed to become old.

But did Luck’s stock fall enough to prevent the Stanford quarterback from winning the trophy? Or do Luck’s nearly season-long support and impressively strong numbers on the season give him what it takes to win the most prestigious trophy in college football? It’s a debate that is not easy to settle.

Luck finished the season with 3,170 passing yards and 35 touchdowns on the season against just nine interceptions. The presumed frontrunner for the trophy has been challenged and will not coast to the trophy in the way many expected earlier this season. But is it still his to lose? We’ll soon find out.

Kellen Moore

The final regular season game of Kellen Moore’s brilliant collegiate career went about the way all of his others had, as Moore picked apart the defense he was faced with in exacting and efficient ways, leading Boise State to another dominating victory and another statement about the strength of the Broncos.

Moore threw for 313 yards and three touchdowns before being pulled in the third quarter. Though a loss to TCU late in the season likely ruined Boise State’s chance at a national title shot or even a BCS bowl bid, Moore completed one of his most effective seasons, finishing with 3,507 yards passing on the season while throwing for a school record 41 touchdowns. He also completed a Boise State best 300 passes this season.

Though Moore likely wont be winning the Heisman Trophy, his success in these past years have shown the ever-improving strength of the offenses in the non-AQ conferences, and the ever-building momentum of those long forgotten schools.

Robert Griffin III

Playing in what could prove to be his last game in a Baylor uniform, Griffin took the opportunity to impress Heisman voters one last time on a national stage with an all-around performance against Texas in the Bears’ 48-24 victory over the Longhorns on Saturday.

The dual-threat quarterback threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more, while accounting for 352 total yards of offense.

Griffin spent the season entering and leaving the Heisman conversation, but certainly has made his mark on this season recently and has made his Heisman candidacy undeniable.

Griffin ends the season with 3,998 yards passing and 36 passing touchdowns to go with 644 yards rushing and nine rushing scores. Griffin also helped revive a Baylor program that was a factor in the Big 12 all season.

Heisman Watch Week 13: Richardson, Keenum Propel Teams to Victory on Penultimate Weekend

Trent Richardson

Saturday really could not have gone better for Trent Richardson and the Crimson Tide. Knowing that their chances for a spot in the SEC Championship Game had been ruined by LSU’s victory Friday, Alabama was playing for a likely shot in the BCS title game in its annual Iron Bowl matchup with Auburn.

Richardson and the Tide made up for a loss to Auburn last year, beating the Tigers 42-14, while the junior running back rushed for a career-high 203 yards on the afternoon.

What will be Richardson’s final impression on the Heisman voters was a good one, topped off with a five-yard touchdown catch.

Richardson finishes the year with 1,583 yards rushing on the season and 20 rushing touchdowns to go with 327 yards receiving and three more scores through the air. The junior is likely headed to New York City as a Heisman finalist at the very least.

Case Keenum

For Case Keenum the Friday after Thanksgiving gave the senior and Houston much to be thankful for.

Houston clinched a spot in the C-USA title game with its dominating 48-16 victory over Tulsa while Keenum passed for five touchdowns and 457 yards to once again fill up the stat sheet and keep his Heisman hopes more than alive.

With a game added to Keenum and Houston’s schedule, the record-breaking quarterback will have yet another opportunity to add to his FBS records and bolster his chances at a finalist spot for the Heisman.

Andrew Luck

Two weeks of substandard performance made many question Andrew Luck’s viability as a Heisman hopeful entering the final month of the week. Luck’s performance on Saturday, though, was more up to his usual effective and efficient numbers.

Luck finished with 233 yards and four touchdowns in what will be his final regular season game and the final performance Heisman voters will have to judge the senior quarterback on.

Luck finishes the year with 3,170 passing yards and 35 touchdowns on the season against just nine interceptions. The presumed frontrunner for the trophy all season will certainly have competition for this trophy, but is likely assured of a trip to New York City for the presentation as a trophy finalist.

Kellen Moore

A somewhat weak start to its game against Wyoming Saturday might have been troubling for Moore’ Heisman hopes and Boise State’s continued hopes at an at-large berth in a BCS bowl.

But a 46-yard touchdown pass from Moore to Matt Miller provided just the spark the Broncos needed, and the Broncos walked off their blue turf with another victory and Moore walked off with another great game under his belt.

Moore passed for 279 yards and three touchdowns against just one interception against the Cowboys defense. Moore has one more shot to impress Heisman voters next weekend against New Mexico. A strong performance there would do wonders for Moore’s chances at being a finalist for a second straight year.

Robert Griffin III

An apparent injury restricted Griffin from playing at all in the second half of Baylor’s game against Texas Tech on Saturday, severely hurting Griffin’s stat line.

Griffin finished with 106 yards passing and 62 yards rushing, to go with two rushing touchdowns. If Griffin’s injury isn’t too bad, he’ll get another chance to impress Heisman voters next weekend against Texas, where the national exposure could do wonders for his Heisman hopes and leave a strong final impression.

Matt Barkley

Admittedly a late addition to this Heisman watch, but junior quarterback Matt Barkley’s performance late Saturday night was one not to be forgotten.

Breaking USC and Pac-12 records time and again, Barkley finished the game with 423 yards and six touchdowns as he led the Trojans to a 50-0 beat down of USC’s crosstown rivals, UCLA.

Barkley finishes the year with 3,528 yards and 39 touchdowns. Could Barkley make his way to New York City as a finalist despite USC being ineligible for postseason play? With all of the upheaval in this race recently, it wouldn’t be all too surprising.

Heisman Watch Week 12: Richardson, Griffin, Luck Key in Leading Teams to Victory

Trent Richardson

Alabama’s home finale was all about Richardson as the Crimson Tide defense wasn’t quite up to par, leaving Richardson’s three touchdowns to be the key to another Alabama victory.

Richardson ran for 175 yards against a very game Georgia Southern team in Tuscaloosa to once again prove he (along with Wisconsin’s Monte Ball) is among the the nation’s best running backs. Is Richardson, however, good enough to warrant a Heisman trophy this season? The running back may only get one more chance to prove his worth, however, if the Crimson Tide are unable to make their way to the SEC championship game.

Either way, it will be integral for Richardson to perform well against Auburn next week in the Iron Bowl to leave voters with a good final impression.

Case Keenum

It wasn’t Keenum’s arm or Houston’s offense that shined for the Cougars on Saturday, although Keenum did set the FBS all-time record for completions. Instead it was Houston’s defense that shined Saturday against SMU, somewhat detracting from the very solid performance from Keenum on the day.

Keenum finished the day with 318 yards passing and two total touchdowns — one through the air and one on the ground — to help lead Houston to a relatively easy 37-7 victory. Houston did struggle out of the gate, but its defense shut SMU down in the key second and third quarters to secure the victory.

Keenum will next lead the Cougars against Tulsa, and a victory there would give Houston a chance at the C-USA championship game and then possibly a BCS bowl bid. Strong performances these next few weeks will be key for Keenum’s Heisman hopes.

Brandon Weeden

For weeks, Brandon Weeden and Oklahoma State worked to solidify their spots among the BCS and Heisman contenders. Weeden kept piling up the numbers and the Cowboys kept winning.

On Friday night, Weeden again posted huge numbers, 476 yards and three touchdowns, but his three interceptions and inconsistent play late kept the Cowboys from winning once again, putting a huge gash in the Cowboys’ BCS hopes.

Weeden still remains among the nation’s leaders in many passing categories and his numbers speak for themselves, but Weeden’s hopes at the trophy were certainly not helped by not taking advantage of the Cowboy’s chance in the spotlight.

Andrew Luck

On a day where everything for the favorites seemed to go south, Stanford and Andrew Luck survived an upset bid from California. Luck himself had an ordinary day by his standards, throwing for 257 yards and two touchdowns in the Cardinal’s 31-28 victory.

Luck continues to be atop many watch lists, but has seen support falter around the country. Saturday certainly wasn’t the clinching game for Luck that it could have been, and if he can’t make his way to the Pac-12 championship game, his time to prove himself above the rest of the field is dwindling. Luck and the Cardinal welcome Notre Dame to the Farm next weekend, and a strong showing there would certainly help Luck bolster his support once again.

Kellen Moore

A week after suffering a huge blow to both Boise State’s hopes at a BCS title game berth and a shot at the Heisman Trophy, Kellen Moore delivered a classic performance against San Diego State, passing for 366 yards and four touchdowns in the Broncos’ big 52-35 victory.

Connecting with 11 different receivers on the night, Moore once again proved one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the FBS, and built upon the all-time FBS career wins record, which he already holds.

Moore has two more games remaining, versus Wyoming and New Mexico, to add to his year’s stat line and bolster his chances at a return trip to NYC for the Heisman presentation.

Robert Griffin III

Somewhat forgotten in the hoopla over Andrew Luck somewhat losing his iron-clad grip on the Heisman race last week was the resurgence of Robert Griffin III.

Then, Griffin’s performance Saturday thrust the Baylor quarterback back into the thick of things. Leading his team in an upset of Oklahoma, Griffin had a classic “Heisman moment” by completing a 34-yard touchdown with eight seconds left to complete a game-winning drive.

Griffin finished with 479 yards and four touchdowns to go with 72 yards on the ground to once again show the nation what a dual threat he is.

Heisman Watch Week 11: Could Luck’s Loss Be Richardson, Moore or the Field’s Gain?

Trent Richardson

Proving once again that there are no easy weekend in the SEC, Richardson and Alabama had a difficult time getting in a groove against Mississippi State.

Richardson did, however, record 127 yards and a touchdown on the ground combined with 26 more yards through the air. It was Richardson’s score in the fourth quarter that all but sealed the tough victory for the Crimson Tide.

The junior’s Saturday night performance gives Richardson more than 1,000 yards on the season for the first time in his career to go with his 17 touchdowns.

Case Keenum

When 325 passing yards and three touchdown passes is an off day, you know you’ve put together a statistical season for the ages.

Houston quarterback Case Keenum has posted some of the best stat lines in the entire country this season, but Thursday’s performance from Keenum was uncharacteristically slow. Still, the all-time leader in touchdowns in FBS history had a strong night, and has solidified his name as one to watch as we reach the final portion of the college football season.

Two more games remain for Keenum and the Cougars — SMU and Tulsa — and with two more strong Keenum-esque performances, the Cougar signal-caller might just be able to throw a wrench into the Heisman race.

Russell Wilson

Teetering on the edge of the Heisman race, Russell Wilson had an inspired day against Minnesota, finishing 16-of-17 and passing for a season-high four touchdowns.

Wilson’s day could have been perfect, but receiver Nick Toon dropped Wilson’s final attempt mid-way through the third quarter, even though the pass was on the money. The performance likely keeps Wilson in the conversation at least for another week, but what is truly helping Wilson’s candidacy is the resiliency of Wisconsin after losing two straight. The senior’s performance will likely be weighed against the Badgers’ overall performance in the weeks to come.

Andrew Luck

Seemingly the leader in this race for weeks and weeks, Andrew Luck once again had a strong night against a tough Pac-12 foe. This time, however, Stanford was not able to pull of victory. And Luck’s stat line somewhat belied the actual performance he left on the field. Luck finished the night with 227 yards and three touchdowns.

Uncharacteristically, he also threw two interceptions, although the blame for one did not fall squarely on Luck’s throw. So now the question becomes, is the race open once again?

Luck still seems to be the prohibitive favorite here, and by a large margin. With a loss and a less-than-stellar performance, however, the question remains. Who, if anyone, will challenge Luck for this trophy?

Kellen Moore

Year in and year out, Boise State looks to break into the BCS conversation as a school with an outsider’s shot and an outsider’s mentality. Kellen Moore also has spent the past few seasons trying to break into the Heisman conversation and win the trophy from a non-AQ conference, something that is becoming more and more difficult to do. Moore, however, did make his way to New York City as a Heisman finalist last year, and Boise State seems just on the edge of breaking into the title game every season.

Unfortunately for both hopes, losses do no favors in terms of making the rest of the country believe you’re on the same level as the more well-exposed teams and quarterbacks. And when TCU beat Moore and the Broncos Saturday, both hopes were seemingly dashed.

Of course, Moore had another strong statistical performance, passing for more than 320 yards and two touchdowns, but the loss will certainly hurt his chances at the trophy itself.

Watching the Heisman Watchmen Week 10: The Race For No. 2 Heats Up

Andrew Luck holds on tight to the top spot in all of the polls, but suddenly we have a very interesting race for the No. 2 spot in the Heisman race, as well as new and surging candidates in Case Keenum and Brandon Weeden who could make plenty of noise in the closing weeks of this season.

With a chance to solidify his spot at No. 2 or even jump Andrew Luck in at least a few ballots, Trent Richardson didn’t put on the all-out performance he likely needed against LSU. As a result, Luck is well ahead of the rest of the pack. Kellen Moore even moves up into the No. 2 spot in a few ballots this week, leaving room for the winningest quarterback in FBS history to possibly make a late run at the trophy.

Off to the races!

Heisman Pundit Heisman Poll

1. Andrew Luck
2. Trent Richardson
3t. Kellen Moore
3t. Case Keenum
5. Brandon Weeden

ESPN Experts Poll

1. Andrew Luck
2. Kellen Moore
3. Trent Richardson
4. Case Keenum
5. Brandon Weeden

CBS Sports Heisman Watch

1. Andrew Luck
2. Trent Richardson
3. Brandon Weeden
4. Kellen Moore
5. Case Keenum

Sports Illustrated Heisman Watch

1. Andrew Luck
2. Trent Richardson
3. Kellen Moore
4. Case Keenum
5. Brandon Weeden

BCS Know How Heisman Watch

1. Andrew Luck
2. Kellen Moore
3. Trent Richardson
4. Landry Jones
5. Russell Wilson


1. Stanford QB Andrew Luck (25)
2. Alabama RB Trent Richardson (18)
3. Boise State QB Kellen Moore (17)
4. Houston QB Case Keenum (8)
5. Oklahoma State QB Brandon Weeden (6)

Others Receiving Votes: Wisconsin QB Russell Wilson (2); Oklahoma QB Landry Jones (1)

Again a first-place vote is worth five points, a second-place four, and so on until a fifth place vote is worth one point.

Any other suggestions of Heisman Watches to add? Let me know!

Heisman Watch Week 10: Luck, Moore, Jones Shake Off Roadblocks to Bolster Trophy Hopes

Trent Richardson

Richardson and Alabama had the chance Saturday night to prove to the nation that not only were the Tide the best team in the country, but that Trent Richardson could also be viewed as the best player in the country.

And although Richardson recorded 169 total yards on the ground and through the air, the spotlight shone brightest on the LSU defense, which was able to contain the back all night. Richardson’s performance bent, but did not break the Tiger defense, and because of that, his performance likely did little to cut into Andrew Luck’s Heisman lead.

Richardson and Alabama have a few games remaining on the schedule, but barring unforeseen circumstances, Alabama will not be able to play in the SEC Championship Game, the only other place the spotlight would be nearly as bright on Richardson, and therefore will have to do wonders to begin to break into the conversation at the top of the Heisman race.

Landry Jones

For all the talent any quarterback has, his receivers are always an important factor in just how well a signal caller can perform. On Saturday, Landry Jones and Oklahoma saw both sides of that, as Sooner receivers made plays around the field, helping Jones maintain a strong performance throughout the day and left the junior in the thick of the Heisman race.

Jones finished the day strong with 255 passing yards and two touchdowns while leading Oklahoma easily by Texas A&M, although the Sooners did get out to a slow start.

But wideout Ryan Broyles went down in the third quarter with a knee injury, leaving the Sooners without one of their stars and Jones without his go-to target and one of the best statistical receivers in FBS history. With Broyles out for the season Jones will unfortunately be without a major weapon, and the quarterback will have to persevere if Oklahoma is to continue to be in the midst of the national conversation.

Russell Wilson

Two straight losses had Russell Wilson’s Heisman hopes faltering, but a classic Wisconsin badgering of a Big Ten opponent proved Wisconsin is still one of the best offensive teams in the land and Wilson can still lead an effective attack.

Wilson finished a efficient 15 of 20 for 205 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for another score along with 76 yards on the ground.

Of course, the star of the day was not Wilson, but running back Monte Ball and his career-high 223 yards on the ground, but Wilson’s leadership shone through against a lacking Purdue attack, an intangible that is key to the Heisman race.

Andrew Luck

Slow to start in the cold and the rain, Andrew Luck and Stanford made the most of the second half, as the senior led the Cardinal past Oregon State while throwing for three more touchdowns on the day. Luck did throw an interception, just his fifth of the season, but his 206 yards in chilly Corvallis was more than enough to bring the Cardinal past the Beavers.

Luck, like Jones, lost a receiver on the day to injury as senior Chris Owusu fell victim to a concussion on a hard hit in the second quarter, but like Jones, Luck persevered, bringing the Cardinal to a dominating second-half performance.

For Luck, not much was gained and not much lost on the weekend, however, next weekend’s looming meeting with Oregon, a matchup likely to decide the Pac-12 North division, will be a chance for the senior to bolster his Heisman hopes beyond the already sky high status of his candidacy.

Kellen Moore

Moore and Boise State didn’t look their best out of the gate late Saturday night, but the senior worked through the surprisingly game UNLV attack, and ended his night with yet another impressive statistical performance.

In the Broncos’ 48-21 victory over UNLV, Moore passed for 219 yards and five touchdowns as Boise continues its undefeated run through the 2011 season. In the process Moore also broke the record for wins in a career in FBS history, passing former Texas quarterback Colt McCoy.

Moore and Boise next opponent might be the most daunting remaining on the schedule. TCU will present Boise with tough matchups up and down the field, and the challenge could give Moore the chance to show his ability to lead his team no matter the opponent. A strong performance against the Horned Frogs could prove vital for Moore’s hopes of making his way to another Heisman Trophy presentation in New York City this year.