12.06.2011

Heisman Finalists Announced, Who Should Win?

The race for the Heisman trophy this year has been as good as it has ever been. All five finalists could make valid cases for why they should win the Heisman trophy. Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Trent Richardson, Montee Ball and Tyrann Mathieu are the five finalists that will be in New York Saturday when the trophy winner is announced. Sure, it is a great honor to be one of the finalists, but each of these athletes want to win.

I'm here to break down how the Heisman trophy winner should be determined. First you have to break down the positions. You have two quarterbacks in Stanford's Andrew Luck and Baylor's Robert Griffin III. Two running backs in Alabama's Trent Richardson and Wisconsin's Montee Ball. The fifth is Tyrann Mathieu, the electrifying safety for LSU.

Let's start with the quarterbacks. Both Luck and Griffin III are worthy of winning the trophy, but I am going to go strictly with the numbers here. Stanford is the No. 4 team in the country, so I like to give the nod to Luck in that regard, but Griffin III has been a stud all season for Baylor. Griffin threw for 3,998 yards and 36 touchdowns to only six interceptions. Griffin III also rushed for 644 yards and nine touchdowns. Let's face it, the Bears were able to finish 9-3 only because of Griffin III. Luck on the other hand also had a good year for Stanford. The Cardinal finished the year 11-1 and Luck was a main reason why. Luck threw for 3,170 and 35 touchdowns to only nine interceptions. Despite not being a running quarterback, Luck ran in two scored and added 153 yards on the ground.

This is a tough one because Luck is quarterbacking the better team with more support and Griffin III was the do it all person for the Baylor offense. Given this is the Heisman trophy, which goes to the most outstanding player for his team, I have to give the quarterback nod to Griffin III.

Now it's on to the running backs. Alabama junior Trent Richardson has been a wrecking crew for the Crimson Tide running game. There isn't a more developed running back in college football than No. 3 for Alabama. Richardson ran for 1,583 yards and 20 touchdowns. He also added three scores in the air and 327 yards. Wisconsin's Montee Ball was solid as a rock this season. The junior ran for 32 scores on 1,759 yards. He also added six touchdowns through the air on 255 yards.

Richardson is probably the most polished running back in college football and is sure to be the top running back taken in the upcoming NFL draft. He has meant a ton to the Alabama offense, but what Ball has done this season is simply remarkable. Ball's 38 touchdowns only trail Barry Sanders' NCAA record of 39 scores he had as a member of Oklahoma State. It's hard to argue against Ball here.

Last but not least we have LSU sophomore safety Tyrann Mathieu. Mathieu has been electric this year. He is the do it all player for the nation's No. 1 team. Whether is is breaking up passes, making key stops, forcing fumbles, intercepting passes, returning punts, Mathieu is involved in big plays. Mathieu has forced five fumbles, grabbed two interceptions and scored four touchdowns on the year, making him one of the most electrifying defensive players in college football today. However with this stud class of Heisman candidates, I just don't see it going to a defensive player this year.

If you look at everything I just talked about, I feel like Baylor's Robert Griffin III should be the 2011 Heisman trophy winner. It's not a tough call and I could see each of these tremendous athletes winning the trophy. I just feel that what Griffin III meant to his team was indescribable this year. Nobody had Baylor on the map this year, but with big wins against Oklahoma, TCU and Texas, Griffin III made sure the Bears were a team to be feared. The main reason was because he was quarterbacking them.

The Knox Animal Heisman vote:

1. Robert Griffin III
2. Montee Ball
3. Andrew Luck
4. Trent Richardson
5. Tyrann Mathieu

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