Two weeks in, a very clear picture is formulating regarding who we should be watching closely in 2011. Although there is still a lot of football left to be played, here are 6 guys to keep an eye on over the next few games:
With Robert Griffin III and Kellen Moore off this week, the ballot gets a little facelift. Don’t buy too much into the ballot on the second week, as there’s still a lot of football yet to be played and this is based on only two games (and one in some cases). I went with six players on this week’s ballot, as it was hard to leave off a certain somebody. A running back is yet to really take off as a Heisman contender, so five more quarterbacks make the list this week and a wide receiver/kick return specialist enters the fray.
1. Russell Wilson, QB, Wisconsin Badgers: Wilson and the Badgers running game didn’t explode in the way we’ve become accustomed, but he moves up in these rankings nonetheless. He threw for less than 200 yards, but had three touchdown passes in the win over Oregon State and completed all but four of his 21 pass attempts, showing his and the Wisconsin offense’s versatility.
2. Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor Bears: Griffin and the Bears were off this week, but his performance against TCU lingers enough to keep him high on the ballot in the second week.
3. Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State Broncos: I was very impressed with Moore in the opener, as he was super accurate and put almost every ball right on target. Boise State was off this week.
4. T.Y. Hilton, WR/KR, FIU Golden Panthers: Call it an overreaction if you want, but after two weeks, Hilton is off to as good a start as any skill position player in the country. North Texas and Louisville may not be the stiffest competition, but his 333 receiving yards are tied for the most in the country, and his 275.5 all-purpose yards per game are second in the nation.
5. Case Keenum, QB, Houston Cougars: It isn’t simply about putting up those big numbers. Keenum gives his team a chance to win every single week, and with a relatively soft schedule we could be talking about the Cougars at the end of the year as a potential BCS Buster. Don’t think a weak schedule should be rewarded? Change the system to make them play the so-called ‘big boys’ at the end of the year and prove they belong. How else do we know if an undefeated record is indicative of the team’s ability?
6. Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford Cardinal: He may not put up monster passing yards, but he’s the best quarterback in the country and is capable of leading his team to the win every single week. And if that doesn’t define a Heisman contender, I don’t know what does.