Most of the 2012 Heisman Trophy candidates had an opportunity to take the field in Week 1 of the college football season, so it's time to make some adjustments to my preseason Heisman Trophy watch list.
Let's see how things shake out now:
No. 10 - Christine Michael, RB, Texas A&M Aggies (Sr.)
Hurricane Isaac made a mess of portions of the Southeast and, as a very small footnote, forced the postponement of the game between Texas A&M and Louisiana Tech. So Michael won't see the field for the first time until Sept. 8 against Florida. I'll leave him on my list for now as a dark horse until I see what he can do for my alma mater.
No. 9 - De'Anthony Thomas, RB, Oregon Ducks (So.)
Thomas only carried the ball three times against Arkansas State, but those carries totaled 64 yards and a touchdown. He also hauled in four receptions for 55 yards and two more scores. Still, it was against Arkansas State. I want to see Thomas against a real opponent, but that won't happen for another month or so, thanks to Oregon's comically soft schedule to start the season.
No. 8 - T.J. Yeldon, RB, Alabama Crimson Tide (Fr.)
As a freshman, Yeldon doesn't have a prayer of actually winning the Heisman Trophy, but he sure was impressive against Michigan in the Tide's blowout win. The youngster trampled the Wolverines for 111 rushing yards and a touchdown on just 10 carries. He also added a 26-yard reception and looked far more impressive than teammate Eddie Lacy.
No. 7 - Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina Gamecocks (Jr.)
I watched Lattimore and the Gamecocks battle Vanderbilt on Aug. 30, and while Lattimore picked up 110 yards and two touchdowns on the ground to go along with three receptions for 21 yards, he didn't really "wow" me. I expected more from him. It took him 23 carries to get those 110 yards--a ho-hum 4.8 yards per carry. It was his first game back after blowing out his knee last year, though, so I'll keep him on the list and give him a chance to get in a groove.
No. 6 - Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma Sooners (Sr.)
Color me unimpressed with No. 4 Oklahoma only beating UTEP on the road 24-7. Equally unimpressive was Jones' stat line: 21 of 36 for 222 yards and two touchdowns. One of those scores was a 68-yarder, meaning that his other 20 completions only totaled 154 yards. Heisman Trophy candidates are supposed to destroy teams like UTEP, so Jones falls a couple of spots on my list.
No. 5 - Le'Veon Bell, RB, Michigan State Spartans (Jr.)
It's certainly hard to ignore 210 rushing yards, 55 receiving yards, and two touchdowns against No. 24 Boise State. Welcome to my Heisman Trophy watch list, Le'Veon.
No. 4 - Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas Razorbacks (Sr.)
Wilson passed for 367 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions, and he didn't even play the entire game. On the flip side, he did that against an FCS opponent, Jacksonville State, which tells me absolutely nothing about Wilson. He only moves up two spots on my list because Denard Robinson was so bad and Jones flopped in his creampuff game.
No. 3 - Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin Badgers (Sr.)
Ball picked up 120 rushing yards and a touchdown, but it took him 32 carries to do it, giving him an unimpressive 3.8-yards-per-carry average. He also had three receptions for 31 yards, as the No. 12 Badgers squeaked out a 26-21 home victory against "mighty" Northern Iowa. Ball slips a spot on my list with this uninspiring performance.
No. 2 - Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia Mountaineers (Sr.)
Smith single-handedly destroyed Marshall, completing 32 of 36 passes for 323 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions. He also ran for 65 yards and another score, as the Mountaineers obliterated the Thundering Herd 69-34. Landry Jones, take note: That's how you lay waste to a lesser opponent. Smith jumps three spots on my Heisman Trophy watch list.
No. 1 - Matt Barkley, QB, USC Trojans (Sr.)
Barkley wasted absolutely no time in demolishing Hawaii, connecting with Marqise Lee for a 75-yard touchdown on the very first play of the game. By the time he was done with the Warriors, Barkley had completed 23 of 38 passes for 372 yards and four touchdowns. He hangs on to the No. 1 spot on my list only because he was so far ahead of everyone else to start the season, but Smith is now nipping at his heels.
Say goodbye to...
Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama (Jr.)
Lacy drops off my list after managing just 35 rushing yards on nine carries in the Tide's blowout win against Michigan. He wasn't even his own team's featured back.
Denard Robinson, QB, Michigan (Sr.)
Robinson looked really bad against Alabama. 'Bama is a stout opponent, but that's the sort of game where Heisman Trophy candidates step up, and "Shoelace" didn't. He was horribly inaccurate with his throws and looked skittish all night. That debacle killed any chance that he had at the Heisman Trophy.