There was about a two-week period where the Heisman Trophy, college football’s highest accomplishment, was all but in the hands of Auburn quarterback Cam Newton. That period ended abruptly with just the faintest whispers of a scandal involving the acceptance of money for his services. Regardless of what the NCAA finds to be fact or fiction, one thing remains certain: Cam Newton will not be making an acceptance speech in New York City. You can even go as far as saying when the finalists are announced on Dec. 6, Newton’s name will be absent.
With college football’s regular season coming to a grinding halt, here is a look at five guys who could capture America’s most famous collegiate trophy.
1. RB LaMichael James (Oregon)- James has run up, down, over and around every team on the Ducks’ schedule to this point. He has tallied a total of 17 touchdowns. James has compiled 1,571 all-purpose yards in only nine games. James sat out Oregon’s 72-0 rout of New Mexico in the season opener.
2. QB Kellen Moore (Boise State)- This is outside the realm of possibility considering his competition, but nonetheless, Moore is as good as anyone in the land. Moore has thrown for 2,588 yards, 24 touchdowns and only four interceptions, completing 71.9 percent of his passes. In two games against top 25 teams, he threw six touchdowns and no interceptions.
3. WR Justin Blackmon (Oklahoma State)- Blackmon is reeling in touchdown after touchdown and has 16 in just nine games. The Cowboys receiver has 1,430 receiving yards.
4. QB Colin Kaepernick (Nevada)- I know you’re saying, "Really? Nevada?" but Kaepernick has racked up 32 total touchdowns. He has over 3,100 all-purpose yards. The master of the pistol offense could find himself in New York City if he can do the unthinkable: beat Boise State.
5. RB A.J. Green (Georgia)- Hard to consider a guy who missed his team’s first four games, but for Green we will make an exception. In only seven games, Green has found pay dirt nine times. He has racked up over 600 yards receiving, including 194 against the nation’s No. 2 ranked team: Auburn.
Dark horse pick- RB Marcus Lattimore (South Carolina)- In his freshman season, the kid dropped his age at the door. He has 16 total touchdowns, including 14 on the ground. His 964 rushing yards keep him behind the pack.
Maybe the NCAA will find nothing wrong with Cam Newton, but voters shy away from the start. The last thing we want to see is another Reggie Bush. After all, no one breaks rules in college athletics.