The 78th Annual Heisman Memorial Trophy Presentation is scheduled forSaturday, December 8, 2012. The trophy is presented to the college football player whose “performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity.” This season there are four players who personify the mission statement of the Heisman Trust. The four are ranked and discussed below based on their performance to date this season.
1) Geno Smith (QB – West Virginia Mountaineers)
2012 Statistics: 75 percent completion rate; 2271 yards passing; 25 TDs; 0 INTs
Smith was the prohibitive favorite to win the coveted Heisman Trophy going into the Texas Tech game on Saturday. Geno completed only 52 percent of his passes for 275 yards and one touchdown against the Red Raiders. Even in a lackluster performance this past week, Smith has yet to throw an interception this season and is still the favorite. However, the game next week against Kansas State will have a MAJOR impact on who wins the award.
2) Collin Klein (QB – Kansas State Wildcats)
2012 Passing Statistics: 67 percent completion rate; 1074 yards; 7TDs; 2 INTs
2012 Rushing Statistics: 110 attempts; 510 yards; 10 TDs
Klein is the most patient runner that I have ever seen in college football. He reads blocking well and always seems to make yards out of his rushing attempts. Some compare Klein to Tim Tebow. As a passer, Klein is more polished and effective than Tebow. Klein almost single-handedly beat Iowa State on Saturday. The indefatigable signal-caller had 187 yards passing and 105 yards rushing with three touchdowns. Next week Kansas State plays West Virginia. If the Wildcats can beat the Mountaineers in the black hole that is Mountaineer Stadium in Morgantown, West Virginia then Klein will be the leader in the race for the Heisman.
3) Matt Barkley (QB- University of Southern California)
2012 Statistics: 63 percent completion rate; 1475 yards; 16 TDs; 6 INTs
The back story to Matt Barkley has been well documented. He came back to the Trojans to win the Heisman, the national championship and to be the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft. Since USC lost to Stanford last month those goals seem unattainable. Nevertheless, Barkley has played well this season and deserves a seat at the Heisman table because of his talent and overall poise.
4) Manti Te’o (LB – Notre Dame University)
2012 Statistics: 57 tackles, 3 INTs
Te’o leads a Notre Dame defensive group that allows an average of 8.7 points per game, which ranks them 2nd nationally. A signature yet highly CONTROVERSIAL win over Stanford on Saturday has propelled Te’o into the Heisman conversation. In addition to his play on the field this season Te’o has be confronted with the death of both his grandmother and his girlfriend to cancer. If Te’o continues to play well this season look for him to be a Heisman finalist.