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Robert Griffin III took home the 2011 Heisman Trophy Saturday evening, edging out Stanford QB Andrew Luck by 280 points. Luck put together a very solid 2011 regular season, but the flash and sizzle of RG3 was enough to get him over the hump as he became the first Baylor player to take home the Heisman.
Naturally, in this era of finding the next big thing yesterday and picking apart people at the top, the topic has now switched from who deserved the Heisman Trophy to who should be the number one pick of the 2011 NFL Draft. Both technically still have to declare for the draft as they both have eligibility remaining. Luck is strongly expected to declare while Griffin remains a mystery.
Andrew Luck entered the season as the consensus pick to win the Heisman and also the consensus pick to be the number one pick of the upcoming draft. While he put together a very solid 2011 season, he likely did not have enough sizzle moments that can define a player's Heisman candidacy. Griffin on the other hand had several such moments throughout the season and was rewarded accordingly.
Now, word has it that some NFL executives might be having second thoughts about Luck as the best option for the number one pick. There are reportedly some NFL executives who claim to prefer Griffin to Luck based in part on everything from his ridiculous athleticism to his high completion percentage and the way he carries himself.
Some would say the only opinion that matters is that of the Indianapolis Colts front office, since they have the number one pick. If Griffin emerges as a potential alternative to Luck, it creates a whole host of question marks about the Colts intentions as well as well potential trade opportunities with the number two team and anybody else around.
It is easy to get excited about the next big thing. That is not to say RG3 is not going to be a successful NFL quarterback, but teams would still be foolish to quickly move past Andrew Luck just because of the shiny new toy. Luck can make the NFL throws and has the intelligence to run an offense and be the centerpiece of a team.
However this plays out, the next four or so months will be incredibly interesting as the NFL and college players work their way through the annual draft process.
At the beginning of the 2011 NCAA football season, the Heisman Trophy appeared to be Andrew Luck's to lose. The Stanford Cardinal quarterback had been the runner-up for the trophy in 2010 and this season looked like it was destined to be his ultimate triumph. Toward the end of the season, however, a loss to the Oregon Ducks and an overwhelming offensive output from Robert Griffin III of the Baylor Bears proved to be the key differences that swayed the Heisman voters.
A ceremony and television broadcast in New York on Saturday culminated in the announcement of this year's Heisman Trophy winner, which ended up being the Baylor quarterback, Griffin. Luck ended up in second place for the second consecutive year. Following the ceremony, he was candid with reporters about his feelings. This choice quote comes courtesy of Bruce Jenkins of the San Francisco Chronicle:
"I'm not going to lie, I'm definitely disappointed," Luck said as he met with the Bay Area media later. "As a competitor, you always want to win. And sure, I'd love to go back and take another shot at Oregon. But you can't dwell on those thoughts. It just becomes self-pity. I think this award was so well deserved by Robert Griffin the Third, it's very hard to be upset."
Luck, although disappointed, was gracious in defeat. He is still expected to be selected as the number one overall pick in next year's draft, likely by the Indianapolis Colts, who need offense any way they can get it.
According to Daniel Brown at Mercury News, Luck summed up his feelings on the Heisman loss rather succinctly:
"I'll get over it,'' Luck said. "Football goes on."
To get over it with your fellow Stanford fans, please visit Rule of Tree.
Baylor Bears QB Robert Griffin III was named the 2011 Heisman Trophy winner Saturday evening, and while the balloting was not the closest in recent memory, it was still a competitive fight up until the end. Griffin edged out Stanford Cardinal QB Andrew Luck by 280 total points and 158 first place votes. The top eight in votes was as follows (total points listed):
The top three of Griffin, Luck and Richardson were tops in each region, although they were not necessarily in the 1-2-3 above. For example, it is not surprising to note that Andrew Luck claimed the Far West with 315 points to Griffin's 220 and Richardson's 137. The South region was a bit of a difference-maker as Luck slipped to third behind Trent Richardson. Robert Griffin took home 303 points, Richardson grabbed 256 points and Luck 182 points.
In reality, Griffin laid claim to this with a strong close to the season. He claimed the most votes in five of the six regions, with the Far West being the lone Luck holdout. Although it was not a blowout victory, this shows a fairly broad consensus for Griffin.
The 2011 Heisman Trophy was presented Saturday evening in New York City and as expected, Baylor Bears QB Robert Griffin III took home the award. Griffin was a deserving winner as he put together a thoroughly dominant 2011 campaign. He finished sixth in passing yards with 3,998 and fourth in passing touchdowns with 36. The dynamic athlete also rushed for 644 yards and nine touchdowns. he finished with 405 first place votes and 1,687 total points.
Stanford Cardinal QB Andrew Luck finished second in the balloting after opening the season as the odds-on favorite. He finished with 247 first place votes and 1,407 total points. Luck put together a very solid 2011 season, but it was marked more by excellent consistency rather than any specific truly dynamic moments. He is the first player since former Arkansas Razorbacks running back Darren McFadden to twice finish second in balloting.
Luck will likely end up the number one draft pick to cap a brilliant college career, but he came up just short in the Heisman Trophy balloting, a year after finishing second. Luck's cerebral nature and work as a field general is hard to quantify for Heisman voters. Add in the fact that Luck plays in an offense that is focused on the power rushing attack, and it is not surprising that he did not have quite the same numbers as RG3 or some of the other QBs in the nation. Nonetheless, it was a great 2011 campaign that he will look to cap with a Fiesta Bowl victory.
Editor's Note: Check out the full results of Robert Griffin III's Heisman victory. Andrew Luck finished second and Trent Richardson third.
The official Heisman Trophy voting for the 2011 has yet to be revealed, but thanks to Sports Illustrated, we have something of an idea what the public at large has to say about this year's candidates.
SI.com conducts a yearly poll called the People's Heisman Trophy. Over 34,000 people took the time to vote. Here's how the polls were set up, according to SI.com.
Ballots were tabulated using the traditional Heisman voting formula, which awards three points to first place, two to second and one to third. It should be stated that LSU's Tyrann Mathieu was egregiously omitted from the poll, which was posted on the Monday before the SEC Championship Game. But readers still made the Honey Badger's presence felt, pushing the "other" option to seventh-place overall, one spot behind Houston's Case Keenum and one ahead of Boise State's Kellen Moore.
Stanford Cardinal quarterback, who opened the season as the odds-on Heisman favorite, took third place overall in the People's Heisman, although SI.com noted that if voting is condensed to reflect the actual amount of available Heisman points for projection purposes, Luck would have finished in a tie with Alabama's Trent Richardson.
Most are expecting Robert Griffin III to walk away with the real Heisman Trophy on Saturday night.
Before the night of November 12, most viewed Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck as the clear-cut favorite to win the 2011 Heisman award. The best and most well-known QB in the nation, Luck had a chance to shine under the bright lights as the whole nation watched on ABC. Instead of sealing the award for himself, he struggled against an average Oregon defense and threw two interceptions in a blowout loss.
Jon Wilner has the story and he recently talked with a few voters who fell out of favor with Luck's candidacy after a rough finish to the season:
His candidacy took an even greater hit last weekend. With Luck sitting at home because Stanford didn't qualify for the league championship game, voters turned their focus to other top candidates. Baylor's Griffin sizzled in a victory over Texas, throwing a 59-yard touchdown pass on the second play of the game.
"If you're a voter, you came away impressed," Huston said. "(Luck) didn't have a chance to make one last impression."
"I was turned off by nine interceptions," said Bud Withers, who covers Pac-12 football for the Seattle Times and said he's voting for Griffin. "By my count, there are 51 guys in the NCAA top 100 passers who had fewer interceptions. It's not a deal-breaker, but not to be ignored, either."
What would have happened if Luck shined against the Ducks a few weekends ago? What if it was Stanford playing last weekend and it was Luck stealing all of the headlines instead of Robert Griffin III? He'd probably be leaving the Heisman ceremony with some hardware on Saturday night. Instead, it'll be another second place finish.
Another year of fantastic college football, another Heisman Trophy winner set to etch his name into the history books. The five candidates: Montee Ball of Wisconsin, Robert Griffin III of Baylor, Andrew Luck of Stanford, Tyrann Mathieu of LSU, and Trent Richardson of Alabama. Last year it was Cam Newton of Auburn taking home the trophy; who will it be in 2011?
Start Time: 8:00 p.m. ET / 5:00 p.m. PT
TV Coverage: ESPN will be airing the event live, with many of the former-winners in attendance. It will be a one hour event.
Who's Favored: Griffin III is now a huge favorite and the odds makers have given him an incredible 1/20 line to take home the award. Richardson is second at 9/2 and Andrew Luck came in at third with 11/2 odds. Ball is listed at 50/1, while Mathieu was set at 100/1.
Andrew Luck had an excellent season and was rewarded for his efforts on Thursday night at the College Football Awards Show. In an event that placed Luck against some of the nation's most talented collegiate athletes, the junior quarterback took home multiple awards.
Luck won the Walter Camp Player Of The Year Award, which is given to (you guessed it) the most outstanding player in the nation. The Stanford Cardinal standout beat out Baylor's Robert Griffin III, Houston's Case Keenum, Alabama's Trent Richardson and LSU's Tyrann Mathieu.
He won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which goes to the nation's most outstanding senior or fourth year quarterback, with candidates judged upon character, citizenship, scholastic achievement, leadership qualities, and athletic accomplishments. The other finalists for the award included Robert Griffin III, Landry Jones of Oklahoma, Kellen Moore of Boise State, and Brandon Weeden of Oklahoma State.
Luck also took home the Maxwell Award, where he beat out Trent Richardson and Kellen Moore once again. He is the second Stanford quarterback to win the award, joining the great Jim Plunkett.
The next (and final) award show is the big one: the Heisman Trophy Presentation. The event will take place on Saturday evening on ESPN and Luck is not the favorite to win the prestigious award.
Stay tuned to our StoryStream for full updates on Luck's quest to win the Heisman. For more on the Cardinal, head on over to Rule Of Tree.
The college football regular season is a wrap and the final awards were handed out Thursday night. Andrew Luck had a solid evening as he hauled in a pair of player of the year awards. Early in the evening he was named the 2011 Walter Camp Player of the Year. He closed the evening in victory as he was named the 2011 Maxwell Award winner. Luck beat out Trent Richardson and Kellen Moore for the award. He is the second Stanford quarterback to win the award, joining Jim Plunkett.
Andrew Luck finished fifth in the nation in quarterback rating (167.5) and fifth in touchdown passes (36), as he led the Cardinal to the most successful season in school history. His numbers were down from 2010, but his season was a mark of sustained success seen by few players in college football. He didn't have the crazy numbers of a Robert Griffin III, but he was as consistent as they come. Luck threw at least two touchdowns in every game he played and only threw two interceptions in a game once.
Now, Andrew Luck waits for Saturday and the Heisman Trophy presentation show. After opening the season as a heavy favorite, Luck is now a sizable underdog to Robert Griffin III and even behind Trent Richardson. Even if Luck does not win the Heisman, he will have completed a spectacular season that will likely result in his selection as the number one overall pick of the 2012 NFL Draft.
Stanford Cardinal quarterback continues to roll up the postseason honors as he was named the winner of the 2011 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award. The award goes to the nation's most outstanding senior or fourth year quarterback, with candidates judged upon character, citizenship, scholastic achievement, leadership qualities, and athletic accomplishments. The other finalists for the award included Robert Griffin, III (Baylor), Landry Jones (Oklahoma), Kellen Moore (Boise State), and Brandon Weeden (Oklahoma State).
Luck passed for 3,170 yards and 35 touchdowns for a 167.5 passer rating in leading fourth ranked Stanford to an 11-1 record. In his 37 career starts, Stanford compiled a 31-6 record (.838), the second highest winning percentage among active FBS quarterbacks. He quarterbacked the Cardinal to back-to-back seasons of at least 11 wins for the first time in school history, and now ranks first on Stanford's all-time career list for touchdown passes (80), total offense (10,043 yards), and completion percentage (.664).
The 2011 college football regular season has come to an end and the annual awards were presented Thursday evening on ESPN's 2011 College Football Awards Show. Andrew Luck entered the evening nominated for a variety of awards, including the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award. While Luck came up short in his bid for the Davey O'Brien QB Award, he did win the Walter Camp Award.
Luck was facing off against Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III, Houston quarterback Case Keenum, Alabama running back Trent Richardson and LSU defensive back Tyrann Mathieu. He will square off on Saturday against Griffin, Richardson and Mathieu (as well as Wisconsin running back Montee Ball) for the 2011 Heisman Trophy. Griffin is the heavy favorite at this point.
Luck is a Walter Camp First Team All-America selection following a season in which Stanford's offense ranks second in the Pac-12 and fifth in the country in scoring with 43.6 points per game. Through 12 games this season, Luck has completed 70 percent of his pass attempts (261-of-373) for 3,170 yards and a school-record 35 touchdowns. His 167.5 pass efficiency rating leads the Pac-12 and ranks fifth in the nation. He will wrap his season, and likely his college career in the 2012 Fiesta Bowl against Oklahoma State.
According to the folks over at Bodog Baylor Bears quarterback Robert Griffin III has taken a commanding lead in the odds to win the 2011 Heisman Trophy, with Stanford Cardinal quarterback Andrew Luck now coming it at a distant third.
Griffin comes in as a 1/5 favorite to win, and has earned the respect of Heisman voters across the country with his strong, consistent play throughout the season. He finished the year two yards shy of 4000 yards passing, along with 36 touchdowns and only six interceptions. Not only that, his mix of speed and accuracy makes him one of the most elite athletes in college football and likely the most valuable player to his squad.
As for Luck, he sits with 5/1 odds to take home the Heisman, while Alabama’s Trent Richardson has 11/4 odds of winning the award.
Odds to win the 2011 Heisman Trophy:
Robert Griffin III (QB Baylor) 1/5
Trent Richardson (RB Alabama) 11/4
Andrew Luck (QB Stanford) 5/1
Montee Ball (RB Wisconsin) 50/1
Tyrann Mathieu (LSU) 100/1
Stanford Cardinal quarterback Andrew Luck looked like the clear Heisman Trophy frontrunner when the season started. It's not looking like that way anymore, but he will make the trip to New York City for the second straight year
Luck had another remarkable season, completing 70% of his passes at 8.5 yards per attempt and 264.2 yards per game, but his team lost the biggest game of the year against the Oregon Ducks, knocking him out of the national championship game and probably jeopardizing Luck's chances to win it all. Other worthy contenders have popped up, all of whom have a great chance.
Luck might still win this one, but he has a formidable field to deal with. The winner will be announced Saturday night.
To discuss Luck and the Heisman, go to Rule of Tree.
Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck has won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, according to the Associated Press. The award is presented annually to the nation's top quarterback who best exemplifies character and scholastic and athletic achievement. Luck will accept the award at a dinner in Baltimore on Friday.
Luck ended the regular season with 3,170 yards and 35 touchdowns to lead the Cardinal to a 11-1 record and a berth in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 2 against Oklahoma State. Luck already has the Pac-12 offensive player of the year award under his belt already.
Later today, Luck will learn if he is among the finalists for the Heisman Trophy. Luck entered the season as the favorite to win the award but has competition from other hopefuls such as Baylor's Robert Griffin III, Alabama's Trent Richardson and USC's Matt Barkley, among others.
To keep in touch with news and information regarding Stanford, please visit Rule of Tree.
The Stanford Cardinal received news on Sunday night that they'll be facing the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl on January 2, 2012.
The announcement was only the very beginning of an extremely busy week for Stanford quarterback and Heisman Trophy contender Andrew Luck, according to Tom FitzGerald of the Chronicle. On Monday, he'll practice with the team before hopping on a plane for Orlando to attend the College Football Awards. He's also up for the Johnny Unitas Award this week, which is awarded to the nation's top collegiate quarterback. If he should be announced as the winner, he'll be expected to attend a dinner in Baltimore on Friday to accept the award.
And of course, the winner of the Heisman is set to be announced at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday. That ceremony takes place in New York, so it would at least be a short flight from Baltimore. Hopefully he'll find some time in there to study, since finals are the following week.
When asked about the Fiesta Bowl's perceived status as a battle of runners-up, Luck disagreed:
"I'll approach it like a championship game - two great teams going at it," he said. "Hopefully it will be a great game to cap off a good ride for all the seniors."
Stanford fans will also be hoping for a great game -- and one that ends Stanford's outstanding 2011 season on a winning note.
To keep in touch with news and information regarding Stanford, please visit Rule of Tree. Oklahoma State's home on the SB Nation network can be found at Cowboys Ride for Free. The full bowl pairings can be located right here.
The Andrew Luck Heisman Trophy campaign kept on rolling Saturday as the Stanford Cardinal quarterback led his No. 6 ranked team to their 11th win of the season over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and potentially earned one final rise in the BCS rankings.
Although Luck didn't have overly flashy numbers, and certainly did not deliver his most impressive game of the season, he set no fewer than three historical marks. He became only the third quarterback in history to defeat the Fighting Irish in three consecutive seasons. His second touchdown pass of the game broke John Elway's mark of 77 to become the new Cardinal record holder for career touchdown passes. That same pass would break Luck's own record of single-season touchdown passes. He would extend both records by tossing two more TD passes in the game en route to a 28-14 Stanford victory.
Overall, Luck finished the game going 20-for-30 with 233 passing yards and 20 rushing yards with four touchdowns and an interception. Again, the numbers aren't particularly flashy, especially considering that Luck and the Cardinal only scored once in the entire second half of the game. Perhaps Heisman voters will put a lot of stock into Luck's records and cumulative numbers. If nothing else, it ended up being another impressive week in a terrific collegiate career.
Feel free to discuss Heisman candidates and all things Stanford over at Rule of Tree.
Andrew Luck of the Stanford Cardinal might be struggling through his final weeks of the season, but he's still performing at a high level regardless, and it's no surprise he's in the running to win every major college football award that a quarterback can.
Luck is currently in the running for the Maxwell Award, being named a semifinalist along with Kellen Moore of the Boise St. Broncos and Trent Richardson of the Alabama Crimson Tide. The Maxwell Award is awarded to the most oustanding offensive football player in the country, and Luck certainly qualifies as one of the nation's best. He's should be the favorite to capture this award.
Luck also is a Davey O'Brien finalist, the award given to the best college quarterback. Luck is in contention with some solid competition from the state of Texas, as Case Keenum of the Houston Cougars and Robert Griffin III of the Baylor Bears. All of them should be in competition for the Heisman Trophy, so expect Luck not to easily capture this award either.
Saturday night's annual Big Game between arch-rivals the Stanford Cardinal and the California Golden Bears was something of a nail-biter. It ended up being another classic case of shaky first-half Andrew Luck being trundled off during halftime and replaced by collected, clutch Andrew Luck. It's a curious thing, but Luck has usually managed to make it work out in his favor most of the time.
Luck helped Stanford to a 31-28 victory which was closer than he or Stanford would have liked, but it was a much-needed victory and combined with an Oregon Ducks loss, kept the hopes of a Cardinal Rose Bowl alive for at least one more week.
Although Luck was held to just 81 yards and no touchdowns in the first half, he came alive in the third and fourth quarters. He finished the game 20-for-30 with 257 passing yards and touchdowns to Levine Toilolo and Ryan Hewitt. His leading receiver was Coby Fleener, who had 65 yards on four catches.
The bad news is that Luck had such a bad first half, which included an interception, making this the only time in his playing career that he has thrown an interception in four straight games. The good news is that he had such a turnaround second half, and was able to lead Stanford to a key victory. And any victory is definitely good news for Stanford fans.
To discuss Andrew luck's current Heisman chances, chew the fat with your fellow fans at Rule of Tree.
Andrew Luck and the Stanford Cardinal are coming off their worst performance of the season against the Oregon Ducks. While Stanford can recover, Luck's Heisman candidacy might have taken a huge blow. Tom Dienhart of the Big Ten Network just said that Heisman Trophy ballots are on their way, which means a lot of voters could cast their vote this week or next.
Why would this be bad for Luck? Well, the last memory for most Heisman Trophy voters will probably be that underwhelming game against Stanford. The Cardinal QB is playing as well as he can with a pretty flat hand (missing many of his receiving weapons), but big performances matter, and so far Luck only has the USC game to fall back on. This could open the door for Robert Griffin III of Baylor, Brandon Weeden of Oklahoma State, and Trent Richardson of Alabama to stage a big comeback and win the trophy if any of them have big performances the next few weeks, considering Luck doesn't have a real marquee game left on his schedule.
For more about Luck and Stanford football, check out Rule of Tree.
The Andrew Luck Heisman Trophy campaign took its first significant hit this week, as the Stanford Cardinal quarterback was unable to keep his team's undefeated streak going following a 53-30 loss to the Oregon Ducks on Saturday night.
Luck has a tendency to sometimes have a shaky first half before really finding his groove after halftime. In this game, however, Stanford never managed to start firing on all cylinders. Luck looked hurried by the pressure of the Oregon defensive line and several times had issues finding his footing on the grass of his home field.
Although Luck's numbers weren't horrible, he threw two costly interceptions. The first interception took the Ducks to Stanford's red zone and eventually led to an Oregon touchdown. His second interception, late in the fourth quarter, was a 40 yard pick-six by Bo Lokombo that proved to be the final score of the game. Luck's two interceptions, along with three lost fumbles, comprised Stanford's five surprising turnovers.
Luck finished the game 26-for-40 with 227 passing yards and three touchdowns. The first two touchdown passes were to Griff Whalen in the first half. He also connected with Jeremy Stewart for a short two-yard touchdown in the third quarter.
Overall, not a terrible game numbers-wise for Luck, but the voters will be sure to look at the two costly interceptions and the rough loss as negative marks on the quarterback's Heisman campaign.
To discuss all things Stanford, including Andrew Luck, please visit Rule of Tree.
The Andrew Luck Heisman campaign rolls on, and there might not be a more significant stop than his Saturday night matchup against the Oregon Ducks. Oregon is the best team remaining on the slate and the one demon he needs to conquer to get to the Pac-12 championship game.
Right now Luck stands firmly on top of the Heisman Trophy title race. ESPN's Heisman Watch has Luck capturing all but one of the first place votes (with the other one going to Trent Richardson), and Richardson and Kellen Moore being distant contenders. Of the three, the Stanford quarterback definitely has the most notable games to really solidify himself as the top candidate for the spot. Running through the rest of the Pac-12 slate undefeated should be enough to carry Luck to a Heisman Trophy many suspected he would win once he returned.
However, the edge is thin. A loss to Oregon could end up derailing his candidacy and bring Richardson or Moore right back into the race.
For more on Luck and the Cardinal, check out Rule of Tree.
Stanford Cardinal quarterback and Heisman hopeful Andrew Luck has played in some important games in his time down on the Farm, but faces his toughest challenge yet this Saturday as Stanford hosts the Oregon Ducks in Palo Alto for all the marbles in the Pac-12 North as well as a possible berth to the National Championship game.
"When you're thinking about the upcoming football season, you're thinking about Oregon. If you want to do something on the West Coast, you've got to beat Oregon. They've been the best team the last couple of years."
They are the top two offenses in the division at 48.2 and 46 points a game respectfully, while their defenses have played very similar as well, with the Cardinal with a slight edge in points against at 16.6 a game compared to Oregon's 20.8. But the only place where the Cardinal have a decided advantage is at quarterback as Andrew Luck tries to maestro his way to an undefeated season, though head coach David Shaw is stressing the importance of the team:
"The quarterback isn't playing defense," Shaw said. "He isn't playing special teams. He's not blocking anybody. He's got to play his role. Even though his role is probably the most important, it's still a team game."
If Luck wants a shot at a National Title and/or the Heisman Trophy then he has to go through Oregon. He couldn't top them last year, throwing two picks en route to a 52-31 loss, the last loss the Cardinals have suffered since. This time though Luck's embracing the challenge with open arms, and faces the Ducks on his turf this time around.
For more on the Cardinal, head over to Rule of Tree to get your fix.
Another Saturday has come and gone, and so too has another Stanford Cardinal victory. Stanford picked up their ninth win of the year in a 38-13 win over the Oregon State Beavers. The Cardinal undefeated streak is starting to bring with it a combined sense of inevitability and deep unease, but all in all it's a great time to be a Stanford fan.
Saturday's game was another patented example of the Cardinal allowing the game to stay close and competitive in the first half before breaking it open in the second. As the Andrew Luck Heisman Trophy campaign rolls along, it's time to check on his numbers.
Luck had a somewhat restrained game this week, and actually struggled a fair amount early on. He threw an early interception and had a couple other passes that could have easily been intercepted. After an early attempt to spread the field in the passing game, Stanford returned to their power rushing ways to take control of a game that was close early on. Luck was 20-for-30 and finished with 206 passing yards, three touchdowns and an interception. More importantly, Stanford remained undefeated, which might be a key part of the Andrew Luck Heisman campaign.
This week may have been without the sort of gaudy numbers the Luck Watch is accustomed to, but contributing to three of the five Stanford touchdowns shouldn't be overlooked. Of course, a win is a win, and on a tough, undefeated team in the top five of the national rankings, the field general will get a lot of the credit.
You can always keep the Andrew Luck train rolling at our Stanford blog, Rule Of Tree.
We break down Andrew Luck's performance against the USC Trojans in Stanford's crazy 56-48 victory. For more on Stanford, check out Rule of Tree.
Another week, another ho-hum lead for Andrew Luck in the ESPN 'Heisman Watch'. Luck had probably one of his most average and unremarkable performances as a college football quarterback, and there he was increasing his first place lead by another nine points.
Luck had a quiet and efficient 168 yards, two touchdown performance against the Washington Huskies in a 65-21 rout, but apparently Washington was so focused on shutting down Luck that they decided to give Stanford's running backs open running lanes ad infinitum. Or something like that. With a showdown coming up against Matt Barkley and the USC Trojans, he'll have an even better chance to cement his claim for the trophy.
Alabama tailback Trent Richardson is inching his way up the leaderboard, moving from third to second. He'll have a chance to make his statement for the award when Alabama plays LSU two weeks from now--a big performance is probably what he'll need to surpass Luck to nab the award.
For more on Luck, hit up Rule of Tree.
While the Heisman Trophy remains the biggest prize in the game, college football has numerous other awards that will be up for grabs heading into December. One such award is the Davey O'Brien Award, which is "presented annually to the nation's best college quarterback."
The O'Brien National Selection Committee has compiled a list of 16 semfinalists, which will eventually be narrowed down to three finalists on November 21. The winner will be announced on December 8 on ESPN's Home Depot College Awards Show. Fans can actually vote on the award and the fan vote will account for 5% of the final total vote.
The list of semifinalists includes:
Matt Barkley, JR, USC, Pac-12
Tajh Boyd, SO, Clemson, ACC
Kirk Cousins, SR, Michigan State, Big Ten
Seth Doege, JR, Texas Tech, Big 12
Robert Griffin III, JR, Baylor, Big 12
Landry Jones, JR, Oklahoma, Big 12
Case Keenum, SR, Houston, C-USA
Andrew Luck, SR, Stanford, Pac-12
Kellen Moore, SR, Boise St., MWC
Keith Price, SO, Washington, Pac-12
Denard Robinson, JR, Michigan, Big Ten
Ryan Tannehill, SR, Texas A&M, Big 12
Darron Thomas, JR, Oregon, Pac-12
Brandon Weeden, SR, Oklahoma State, Big 12
Russell Wilson, SR, Wisconsin, Big Ten
Tyler Wilson, JR, Arkanasas, SEC
There are no real surprises on the list. As it currently stands, the favorites for the award include Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson, Landry Jones, Robert Griffin III, and Kellen Moore. Case Keenum is a bit of a dark horse due to his crazy numbers, but he is fighting a bit of an uphill battle for the award.
Luck is arguably the highest profile candidate, but he will be facing quarterbacks with some significant numbers. Robert Griffin III leads the nation in QB rating, Case Keenum and Landry Jones are at the top in passing yards, and Kellen Moore is up top in touchdowns. This is one of the more intriguing years at the quarterback position, which should also make the 2012 NFL Draft interesting as teams try and figure out which player is going to be their franchise QB.
The Stanford Cardinal rolled to a 65-21 victory over the Washington Huskies on Saturday thanks to a dominant rushing performance by Stepfan Taylor, Tyler Gaffney and Jeremy Stewart, and effective field general-ing by Andrew Luck. While the Cardinal rushing attack continued to impress, Andrew Luck had to settle for slightly more modest stats on the day. Luck was pulled in the fourth quarter having completed 16 of 21 passes for 169 yards and two touchdowns.
Luck's performance was not a mind-blower for Heisman purposes, but he might have actually further improved his draft stock. Luck is already a favorite to go number one overall next April, and Saturday he showed why as he made a variety of NFL-caliber throws.
While Luck's Saturday numbers do appear a bit pedestrian at first glance, his season long totals are reaching Heisman-caliber levels. Through seven games, Luck has 1,888 passing yards, 20 touchdown passes and only two interceptions. Those numbers are good for a 180.0 QB rating, which ranks fifth in the country. Luck is currently tied for seventh in the country in completion percentage, 22nd in passing yards and eighth in touchdowns.
Luck's performance against Washington presents a bit of a conundrum for his Heisman Trophy chances. On the one hand, as long as Stanford keeps winning, he sticks in the Heisman race. On the other hand, if he does not put up the gaudy statistics favored by some voters, it could cost him some votes. As it currently stands he remains a favorite but other players are climbing in the rankings. Fortunately for Luck, he gets a high profile game against the Oregon Ducks in November. If both teams are ranked in the BCS Top Ten as they are now, that could put his Heisman "campaign" over the top.
Luck has been stellar this season remains the favorite for college football's most prestigious award, but a lack of exposure to the country almost makes it feel as is the quarterback has been underrated in 2011. That can all change this weekend; with the game being nationally televised on ESPN or ABC, as well as on ESPN3.com, every household, sports bar and Internet junkie will be able to watch Luck play.
Stanford has played most of their games on regional television stations this season and many across the nation do not get these channels and thus do not have the opportunity to watch Luck play on a weekly basis. That will change this weekend.
This can only mean good things for the star quarterback. To win a big award, a player must regularly be seen on television, regardless of what he has done in recent seasons. This will be the first primetime game for the Cardinal and all eyes will be on the likely No. 1 pick in next year's NFL draft. And with the game being played in Palo Alto, Luck should feel right at home under the bright lights.
Once Saturday night rolls around, get some food, maybe a beverage or two, and enjoy the show. If you're a fan of the Colts, Dolphins, Chiefs, or any other team in the running for the top-pick next March, you may just be watching your future quarterback in action. It truly is a sight to behold.
For more on Stanford, check out Rule of Tree.
Stanford Cardinal quarterback Andrew Luck is one of the best athletes in college football and has led his team to a 6-0 record. While Luck is focused on the team's upcoming games against No. 25 Washington and (a few weeks down the road) No. 9 Oregon, others are focusing on his Heisman potential. According to ESPN's ‘Heisman Watch,' Luck ranks first in this week's ESPN Experts' Poll.
The poll features the opinions of 15 ESPN analysts (from Rece Davis to Todd McShay) and compiles them into one compact ranking. Out of 15 votes, Luck received nine first-place votes, five second-place votes and one fourth-place vote. In other words, all but one analyst picked Luck as a top-two candidate for the Heisman.
Luck's total score checks in at 67, well above Wisconsin quarterback and second-place contender Russell Wilson (54 points). Alabama running back Trent Richardson (44 points), Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore (34 points) and Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III (14 points) round out the top five.
Luck and Wilson face tough teams this week, and big games by one or both of them could help their respective Heisman campaigns. Luck and the Cardinal play host to No. 25 Washington while Wilson and the Badgers travel to No. 16 Michigan State for their first road game of the season.
During the first half of Saturday's game against the WSU Cougars, Stanfrod Cardinal quarterback and Heisman Trophy candidate Andrew Luck was strangely subdued. His first pass attempt during the first possession of the game resulted in his third interception of the year. His completion rate in the first half left a lot to be desired, and he finished the first half without a touchdown.
In the second half, however, a markedly different Andrew Luck took the field. He began throwing bombs all over the place, and his receivers snagged them with ease. His first major drive in the second half culminated in three consecutive passes to tight ends: first a nine-yard pass to Coby Fleener, then a massive 62-yard heave to Fleener, and finally a 10-yard touchdown pass to Levine Toilolo.
Luck hooked up with Toilolo again for another score later in the third quarter, and added touchdown passes in the fourth quarter to Stepfan Taylor and Fleener. Luck finished the game 23-for-36 with four touchdowns and one interception. All told, he passed for 336 yards in his second consecutive game with over 300 passing yards. The lion's share of those incomplete passes came in the first half, as Luck could seemingly do no wrong in the third and fourth quarters.
These are the sort of repeated gaudy numbers that can only add to Luck's Heisman allure.
Although Luck wasn't credited with a touchdown until late in the second quarter when he hooked up with Ryan Hewitt on a one-yard pass, he came out firing right out of the gate. On Stanford's first possession, Luck racked up 72 passing yards on a sprint towards the Colorado end zone that took less than four minutes of game time.
When all was said and done, Luck was 26-for-33 with 370 passing yards, three TDs and an interception.He averaged just over 11 yards per pass, and Stanford was never in danger for the duration of the game. Although Luck was able to put up some fairly gaudy numbers, the game against Colorado was far from a true display of what Luck or Stanford were capable of.
The game has a restrained feel to it on Stanford's end, as though they were conserving themselves for the tougher games in the schedule yet to come. It didn't have the feel of an unchecked mauling, as Boise State recently exhibited with glee in their lopsided win over Fresno. This was a workmanlike performance for Luck and a workmanlike performance for Stanford in general. Nothing too flashy, just enough to establish their attitude as a dominant team.
Andrew Luck had three touchdown passes and four incompletions in Saturday's mauling by the Stanford Cardinal of the UCLA Bruins, well on his way to an incredible 85% completion rate. Luck took three-step drops and found his receivers in the flats, on short routes, and nailed them on anything well within the intermediate. It was the closest thing you'll see to an offensive scrimmage in a college football game, as the UCLA defense could only crumble at Luck's might. (That catch probably took a lot out of them too).
Luck threw only one real deep pattern, early in the third quarter on the tight end post pattern to Coby Fleener. Other than that, Luck kept everything short and manageable, exploiting mismatches and coverages well before Bruins defenders could recover. UCLA looked like they were determined to make Luck throw shallow and short and defend the deep ball, and Luck was up to the challenge. Everything was methodical and drive-sustaining, a slow death for a defense that was eventually worn down trying to prevent Luck.
If you're a football fan and enjoy process, nothing will please you more than these stats:
Luck has yet to face a real defense that can challenge his efficiency as a college football quarterback. It's uncertain if the Pac-12 will offer him any such challenge this season.
For more on Luck, go to Rule of Tree.
Andrew Luck has likely temporarily slipped behind Boise State's Kellen Moore in the Heisman Trophy race, but Saturday he made a modest statement for his own candidacy. Moore has been rock solid through two starts and has a "signature win" against Georgia to give him a modest boost. However, with conference play opening up, Andrew Luck (and other big conference players) will be in a position to gain back any ground lost to Moore.
Luck and the Cardinal battled for much of the first three quarters of the game as they simply could not shake loose a tough Arizona team. The Cardinal held a 16-10 lead midway through the third and had ridden their offensive line to that lead. The Wildcats missed a pair of field goals that could have tied the game and were threatening to spring an upset.
However, late in the third quarter the Stanford offense finally clicked and proceeded to roll through Arizona for the final twenty minutes of regulation. Luck took advantage of a lot of what the Wildcats gave him underneath and rolled up impressive stats doing so. He finished the day 20/31 for 325 yards and two touchdowns and more importantly, the Cardinal stayed unbeaten. It's kind of ridiculous to consider it, but an unbeaten record acts as a strong positive for Luck's candidacy. The rushing attack may be a key to that, but Luck will get additional bonus points from some voters even if that strikes some folks as utterly ridiculous.
For some voters, Luck still has to prove he can more consistently hit intermediate and long passes. He has been able to dink and dunk a fair amount through three games thanks to a strong rushing attack backing him. If he is going to secure the Heisman, and more importantly, the number one pick in the draft, he'll need to start hitting the deeper stuff a bit more.
The Cardinal have a bye this week and follow that with back-to-back home games against UCLA and Colorado. Washington State and Washington follow that. While USC and Oregon are viewed as Luck's biggest tests, the Cougars and Huskies might have something to say about it if they can show some consistency the next few weeks.
For more on Stanford, check out Rule of Tree.
A week after a fairly pedestrian performance against the San Jose State Spartans, Andrew Luck bounced back with a solid game against the Duke Blue Devils in Stanford's week two rout of the ACC doormat. Luck completed 20 of 28 passes for 290 yards, with four touchdowns and an interception and left early in the fourth quarter with the Cardinal leading 37-7. The Cardinal would go on to win 44-14.
In these first two games, Luck was looking at a situation where he wasn't going to pad his pre-season Heisman favorite status. Rather, he was simply looking to hold steady and hope some of his competition would falter. With Kellen Moore and Robert Griffin both taking full advantage of prime time audiences, the Heisman race tightened up last week.
Luck opened the game with a strong first drive as he was 4/4 for 61 yards and a touchdown as the Cardinal jumped on top 7-0 early. The offense then stalled out with a pair of three and outs followed by a field goal at the start of the second quarter. Duke made things interesting after that as a tipped Luck pass turned into a 60-yard interception return for the pick-six by Lee Butler.
Duke followed that by recovering an onside kick and they seemed ready to really rattle some cages. However, after Duke went three and out and punted, Luck completed four straight passes including a 10-yard touchdown pass to Chris Owusu to give Stanford the 17-7 lead.
The Cardinal did not look back from there as they scored touchdowns on their first three offensive drives of the second half. In the second half, Luck was 6/7 for 105 yards and two touchdowns and there was nothing Duke could do about it. Backup QB Brett Nottingham entered the game at this point and Luck now sits three touchdowns behind Jim Plunkett for third place all time at Stanford.
Luck's performance in week two was not flashy, but it was a strong showing against a weak team, which is all he can ask for in his Heisman bid. Andrew Luck and the Cardinal begin Pac-12 play next week as they travel to Tuscon to face the Arizona Wildcats. The game will air on ESPN at 7:45pm pacific next Saturday. The Wildcats were shredded this past Thursday by Oklahoma State QB Brandon Weeden to the tune of 397 yards.
Andrew Luck Touchdown Videos
Andrew Luck to Coby Fleener, 3-yard touchdown
Andrew Luck to Chris Owusu, 10-yard touchdown
Andrew Luck to Coby Fleener, 60-yard touchdown
Andrew Luck to Zach Ertz, 3-yard touchdown
The Andrew Luck Heisman Trophy campaign got off to a solid, albeit fairly low key start Saturday against the San Jose State Spartans. Luck threw for two touchdowns and rushed for a third in the Stanford Cardinal opener against the Spartans. Luck left after three quarters with a line of 17 of 26 for 175 yards, two passing touchdowns, 9 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown.
The Cardinal entered the game as heavy 30 point favorites and led the Spartans 43-3 when Luck left the game. The Spartans had a couple modest opportunities to stay in the game, but they made several mistakes to set up Luck and the Cardinal offense in prime position. The Cardinal rushing and passing attack does not need much in the way of opposing help and quickly took advantage each time.
Luck's performance wouldn't really qualify as "Heisman"-worthy, but given that it was the first game of the year, he really wasn't going to get many bonus points from a monster performance against the struggling Spartans. And considering the opposition, Luck didn't really have to exert himself too get his numbers. He compiled much of his stats on shorter underneath passes, with some end zone passes mixed in. He struggled a bit with anything intermediate or long, although he didn't have to air it out too frequently.
Andrew Luck is in an interesting position this year. He is the Heisman favorite and also the favorite to be the number one pick in the draft. He can roll up big numbers and win the Heisman Trophy, but if he struggles with some of the throws required at the NFL level, scouts and draft pundits could pick him apart as the draft approaches. As the strength of schedule increases, he'll need to show he can hit the tough throws further down the field to maintain his number one draft pick status.
With college football season so close you can taste it, the online gambling site Bodog has released it's final odds for the 2011 Heisman Award, and lo and behold, Stanford University's Andrew Luck is the hands down favorite. Luck won't simply be handed the Heisman though, he will have some stiff competition, needing to stay healthy and on his game every week to have a shot at the title.
Here's a look at the odds of the top five players:
That is a boat load of talent all vying for the same crown, though I believe that if Luck keeps doing his thing over the next few months he will ultimately be the best player in the college game, despite the fact that Landry Jones and LaMicheal James are both legitimate candidates in my mind as well. It's going to be interesting to see how it all pans out, can't wait.
Shocker of shockers to those who are easily shocked. Stanford Cardinal quarterback Andrew Luck, runner-up to the 2010 Heisman Trophy race, is considered the likeliest to take home this year's prize. ESPN has released their Heisman Watch preseason poll, and the prohibitive favorite to be the 2012 NFL number one draft pick is the man standing in front.
Of the 14 voters, Luck received 12 first-place votes and two second-place votes. The runners-up were scrunched together in a race for second, but quarterback Landry Jones from the Oklahoma Sooners received the majority of the second place votes, running back LaMichael James from the Oregon Ducks garnered third place ballots, and tailback Trent Richardson of the Alabama Crimson Tide gathered the remaining support. Quarterback Kellen Moore of the Boise St. Broncos rounded out the top 5, but it looks like they'll have to hope for Luck to trip up to get their chance.
Andrew Luck is a special person. We all know of his accolades and accomplishments on the field -- they are, after all, pretty incredible -- but it's his mental approach and work ethic to the game that has blown away coaches and scouts across the country.
Luck currently spends his days working out, participating at camp and preparing to complete his degree in a couple of months. He could have easily bolted to the NFL, but he refused to end his collegiate career finishing in second place.
From Bruce Feldman's great article that'll appear in the August 22 edition of ESPN The Magazine:
After last fall, most NFL scouts saw Luck as a finished product worthy of the top pick in the draft. Luck? He saw two pieces of unfinished business. He placed second in the Heisman voting, and one second-half letdown against Oregon in October kept the Cardinal from winning the Pac-10. To remedy those issues, Luck is zeroing in on an individual goal of boosting his pass accuracy from 70.7 percent to 75.7 percent. "Completion percentage is a big thing," Luck says. That would put him a few great catches away from Colt McCoy's 2008 FBS record of 76.7 percent. And that individual goal might help Luck power the Cardinal to a championship.
Whether the Cardinal struggle this season, win the first Pac 12 title game, appear in a BCS bowl, or take home the national championship, they will know they did so with a phenomenal leader both on and off the field in Andrew Luck. The quarterback truly is a once-in-a-generation talent and he will have his team ready to play. The article continues:
He still has work to do, he says, and has spent the off-season reminding young players that Stanford hasn't always been a top-10 team with Heisman finalists. Back in Luck's redshirt year, as Harbaugh was watching a future star emerge in practice, Luck spent Saturdays watching Stanford go 5-7, with four losses by 17-plus points. "It's understanding that anybody can beat you any day," the junior says. "You have to bring it every day."
Something tells me he won't have any trouble bringing it every day.
As the college football offseason progresses and brings us closer to the 2011 season, various awards are publishing their watch lists. The lists include a variety of players who are likely to have big seasons worthy of winning various player of the year awards. The watch lists are not final list because players do sometimes come out of nowhere to emerge throughout the season. However, it provides a solid list of players to keep an eye on when the season gets going.
The Walter Camp Player of the Year Award creates one such watch list. The 2011 watch list includes 40 players from across the country, including Stanford Cardinal quarterback and Heisman Trophy favorite Andrew Luck. Luck surprised many people when he decided to pass up NFL riches and return to college for his senior season. After finishing second in the 2010 Heisman Trophy balloting, Luck is a favorite to take home the Heisman in 2011. This also means he'll be among the favorites for a host of other awards, including the Walter Camp Award, won by Cam Newton in 2010.
This year's watch list features numerous Pac-12 players including Luck, USC QB Matt Barkley, Arizona State LB Vontaze Burfict, Oregon RB LaMichael James, Washington RB Chris Polk, and Oregon QB Darron Thomas. The various matchups during the 2011 season between these various schools should make for an interesting battle in positioning for the various national awards.
The watch list will be narrowed down to ten semi-finalists in mid-November, with a winner announced on December 8 on ESPN.
Stanford Cardinal QB Andrew Luck has emerged as an early favorite for the 2011 Heisman Trophy, leading primarily a pack of quarterbacks and running backs. Since Luck is the Heisman favorite, it should not be surprising that he is also on the watch list for the 2011 Davey O'Brien Award. Luck was a finalist in 2010, falling to Cam Newton just as he did in the Heisman balloting. Luck is back this year looking to become the first Pac-10 (now Pac-12) quarterback to win the award since Troy Aikman in 1988.
This year's watch list includes Luck and fellow finalist Kellen Moore. Additionally, the Pac-12 is represented by Luck, Matt Barkley (USC Trojans), Nick Foles (Arizona Wildcats), Darron Thomas (Oregon Ducks). While they likely won't all end up in a dead heat, their head-to-head matchups could help in eliminating one or more of them. 16 semfinalists for the award will be announced on October 24 and three finalists will be announced on November 21. The winner will be announced on The Home Depot College Football Awards Show on December 8.
The award goes to the nation's best quarterback based on a variety of criteria including quarterback skills/athletic ability, academics, reputation as a team player, character, leadership, and sportsmanship. The selection committee consists of former award winners as well as a host of media members from across the country. Additionally, the fans will have a say in the voting with a Fan Vote counting for 5% during each round of the voting process.
Although Stanford doesn't begin their 2011 football season until September 3, the Heisman Trophy hype season has already begun for Cardinal quarterback Andrew Luck. As the season approaches, the hype will shift into overdrive for Luck. Each game will come under the media microscope like nothing Luck has ever seen before. Big things were expected of Luck heading into 2010 but the media focus was on guys like Terrelle Pryor, Andre Ingram and Kellen Moore.
Now we enter 2011 and Andrew Luck has quickly emerged as arguably the favorite to win the trophy after his strong second place showing last season. Cam Newton won the award running away but Luck was a solid second easily securing the second most first place votes. In 2010 Luck completed 70.7% of his passes with 3,338 passing yards, 32 touchdowns, 8 interceptions and 453 rushing yards, averaging 8.2 yards per rush.
As we head into the 2011 season, Luck will likely face some questions as to how much of his success was Harbaugh's coaching and how much was his own talent. We'll be here over the course of the season to follow Andrew Luck as he attempts to join Jim Plunkett as the second Stanford Cardinal to win the Heisman Trophy. He faces a tough run through the Pac-12 as the Cardinal look to follow up on their 2011 Orange Bowl victory.
The Heisman Trophy will be presented on Saturday December 10 on ESPN. Luck has twelve games to prove he is worthy of the most prestigious award in college football. We'll be here through the big day and you can read more about Stanford football at Rule of Tree.
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