LaMichael James' Heisman hopes falter in wake of elbow injury
LaMichael James' Heisman campaign may be ending just as it appeared he ran his way back into the race.
Statistically speaking, the Oregon junior has bounced back after his 54-yard game against LSU in the opener. He has run for over 200 yards in each of the last three outings, including 239 in Week 5 against Cal, and is averaging an FBS-best 170.4 yards per game.
But those numbers alone, as grandiose as they are, hadn't been enough to help James reclaim his preseason buzz. What he has needed is to deliver in the spotlight.
The Nov. 12 duel with No. 7 Stanford and Andrew Luck was always the key date in getting James back in voters' minds, but another opportunity has presented itself in Saturday's matchup with No. 18 Arizona State. But will James even be on the field?
He is listed as questionable after dislocating his right elbow against the Bears. Despite James' insistence that "I'm a warrior and I'm not going to quit on my team," it would be stunning to think he doesn't miss at least some time, and that might be the final blow to a campaign that already had little margin for error.
In the modern era, only two Heisman winners have missed a game, Charles White (1979) and Charlie Ward (1993). Third behind Cam Newton and Luck in 2010, James is in danger of becoming the third player since 1976 to finish in the top three in voting one year and fail to follow it up, joining Marshall Faulk in 1993, Rex Grossman in 2002 and Mark Ingram last season.
As far as James' place on this list is concerned, the Heisman Watch has officially become the Health Watch.
Before I unveil, this week's top 10, which includes a push from Oklahoma's Landry Jones after his dissection of Texas' secondary, here's a look at the rankings
John Elway was on present. But the main attraction at Palo Alto was again Luck, who threw for the second-most yardage of his career. His most impressive moment came on third-and-26, when he rolled to his left and threw across his body for a 27-yard gain to keep the scoring drive alive. He may not lead the nation in passing yards or TDs, but arguably no single player is more important to his team's success than Luck, who pushed the Cardinal to their 13th straight win, equaling a school record set between 1939-41.
Wilson got the week off, but he did take over as the FBS leader in pass efficiency with a 216.9 rating, 4.75 ahead of the previous No. 1, Baylor's Robert Griffin III. The senior will take on 1-4 Indiana and its 97th-ranked defense this week at Camp Randall, and if the first five games are any indication, we can expect plenty of fireworks early on. Wilson has thrown for 1,042 yards, 10 touchdowns and no interceptions over the first two quarters of play.
Will Oklahoma's sports information department look any further when compiling clips for Jones' Heisman highlight package? Heading into the Red River Rivalry game, Texas had allowed all of two passing TDs, but Jones had three
He threw for a season-low 212 yards, but RG3 proved he's still capable of taking over a game with his legs. The former track star ran a career-high 24 times in going over 100 yards for the first time since Oct. 16, 2010, ending a 10-game drought. He faces what figured to be the first of tough back-to-back road games this vs. No. 21 Texas A&M, though the matchup seems more troubling for the Aggies now. In the past three games, A&M was torched by Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden (438 yards), Arkansas' Tyler Wilson (510 yards) and Texas Tech's Seth Doege (391 yards).
He might have been overshadowed by A.J. McCarron as the Crimson Tide QB broke out with a four-TD day, but Richardson continued to be impressively consistent. He posted his fifth consecutive game with at least 100 yards, tying him with Miami's Lamar Miller for the nation's longest streak. That run is two games longer than Richardson's predecessor Mark Ingram had in his Heisman season. The smart money is on Richardson keeping it alive through Week 7 as he faces Ole Miss, which ranks 95th against the run, giving up 193 yards per game.
One week after the shakiest performance of his Boise State career, Moore was back to his efficient self. He found a season-high 10 different receivers in posting his fourth game of the season with a completion percentage of 74.2 or higher. He also earned the 43rd win of his career, breaking a tie with David Greene and Andy Dalton for sole possession of second on the alltime list. Moore now trails only Colt McCoy, whose record of 45 he will have two more shots at equaling before the calendar turns to November.
If ever they erect a roller coaster in Ann Arbor, they should just call it Shoelace. After throwing three first-half interceptions, Robinson passed for two TDs and ran for two more as the Wolverines rallied to stay perfect. He finished one yard behind the career-high 338 passing yards he had in Week 2 and went over 350 yards of offense for the eighth time in the past two seasons. Things figure to get a little more difficult this week as Michigan faces its first ranked opponent in No. 23 Michigan State, whose defense leads the nation, allowing a mere 173.4 yards per game.
The word is officially out on the Honey Badger. ESPN profiled the LSU star, which included Les Miles comparing Mathieu to the fearsome member of weasel family, and you can buy your own
He was kept out of the end zone for the first time this season, but Lattimore still ended a string of two games without 100 yards to stay 11 ahead of Richardson for the SEC rushing lead. That, no doubt, had something to do with a passing offense that -- under the direction of Connor Shaw -- finally kept a defense from keying on Lattimore. It's debatable if that was the best thing to happen to Lattimore this weekend. During a Friday concert at the Carolina Coliseum,
James continued his torrid run despite his day being cut short by injury early in the fourth quarter. He ran for a 53-yard touchdown on his first carry of the game en route to becoming the first Ducks player to run for at least 200 yards in three consecutive games. He also passed Napoleon Kaufmann for fifth on the Pac-12 rushing list with 4,129 yards. The junior, who had four runs of 20 yards or more in the win over the Bears, now has an FBS-best 11 this season.