Post-Week 12 Heisman Trophy Watch: Melvin Gordon, Amari Cooper Rise

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Nov 15, 2014; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver Amari Cooper (9) catches a touchdown pass defended by Mississippi State Bulldogs defensive back Jay Hughes (3) in the second quarter at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

2. Amari Cooper, Wide Receiver, Alabama Crimson Tide (9-1, 6-1 in SEC)

Last Game: 8 Receptions for 88 Yards and 1 Touchdown (Defeated Mississippi State Bulldogs 25-20)

For 2014 Season: 87 Receptions for 1,303 Yards and 11 Touchdowns

We just spent a while giving Marcus Mariota due credit for what he’d done at Oregon. Now lets go to Alabama, who also is in the College Football Playoff race, and point to the one guy that has saved this offense and Lane Kiffin’s credibility all season: Amari Cooper.

Cooper has turned Blake Sims into a very good quarterback, and he’s averaging an astounding 130 yards receiving a game. But he’s also coming through in huge moments, including against Mississippi State on Saturday.

The reason we have Cooper over Mariota is that while both are putting up ridiculous number at their respective positions, Cooper is doing it in the SEC. Outside of Utah, Stanford, and Washington, the Pac-12 has proven that it doesn’t play defense. The SEC defenses, though are as good as ever.

And Cooper has spent the entire season torching them. Because of that, as a wide receiver, he belongs extremely high on our Heisman Trophy watch list, and we our very happy to put him there. And watch out.

With big games against Auburn and possibly the SEC Championship coming up, there will be plenty of more chances for him to shine.

Next: Top Heisman Trophy Candidate