Heisman Trophy Watch 2010: Cam Newton Might As Well Take It Home

TUSCALOOSA AL - NOVEMBER 26: Quarterback Cam Newton #2 of the Auburn Tigers reacts after a touchdown against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 26 2010 in Tuscaloosa Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Examining the 2010 Heisman Trophy race, ordering the potential candidates by threat level. This week: Cam Newton makes Iron Bowl history.

Cam Newton conquers his off-field demons with an unforgettable Iron Bowl performance, and with a little help from Boise State, he appears to have his foot firmly planted atop his opponents in the hardware race. All that and more in today's Heisman Trophy Threat Levels.

RED

Cam "Cameron" Newton, QB, Auburn
All the investigation distractions aside, we feel pretty comfy calling this one for Auburn's mammoth spread monster. He was responsible for all four of his team's touchdowns Friday. The Tigers' Iron Bowl comeback was one for the ages, and it was orchestrated by big No. 2.

Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State
When is 348 yards only your third highest passing output of the season and still not enough to win the game for your team? When your defense and special teams come completely unglued and allow an overtime loss in your highest-profile game of the year.

LaMichael James, RB, Oregon
In a similar vein here: What kind of year is it for quality Heisman Trophy candidates when a guy who's had five 100-yard games and three 200-yard games can't get any love above the three-spot? The national title game awaits James, but it'll be too late for the hardware when he's carving up Auburn's line in Glendale.

ORANGE

Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
Luck notched his third 300-yard passing game of the season Saturday against Oregon State. He hasn't thrown for less than 190 yards all season, and he's recorded 28 touchdowns to just seven interceptions. He's a lock for a high draft pick, and in any other year but this spread-dominated one, he'd be holding a stiffarm trophy in December.

Terrelle Pryor, QB, Ohio State
Cracked the 2500-yard mark against Michigan but will finish the season as only the second of the year's great spread triumvirate. At least he came out ahead of the Wolverines, and there's always next year.

YELLOW

Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas
Made a serious statement in Week 13. Even completing only 56.5% of his passes, the Arkansas Ent still threw 320 yards on LSU's ballyhooed defense. The Tigers grabbed two balls from him, but the damage was done and the Razorbacks are in the Sugar Bowl.

Andy Dalton, QB, TCU
Didn't even make it a full half against New Mexico before exiting the scene with an elbow injury. Reportedly not serious, it won't keep him out of a plum bowl, but it will keep him off the stage in December.

GREEN

Denard Robinson, QB, Michigan
A once-in-a-generation talent with both hands and feet. The guy has no help, however, and until he gets some, he's going to keep missing quarters with injuries that could have been prevented if there were anybody but him capable of moving the ball on offense and cutting him a breather on defense.

Colin Kaepernick, QB, Nevada
Ho-hum. Just another 2800-yard season for Kaepernick. We refuse to let go of this admittedly sentimental choice, particularly after the events of a certain 'Pack-Broncos game. Everybody gets a favorite.

BLUE

Tyrod Taylor, QB, Virginia Tech
Has traveled well beneath our radar for most of the season thanks to early-season struggles and a quarterbacks class packed with quality candidates. We wrote him off early on, and again after Miami, but he finished strong-ish in a conference-leading team, and voters will like that.

COME AND GONE

Mark Ingram, Daniel Thomas, Christian Ponder, Trent Richardson, Patrick Peterson, Jacory Harris, DeMarco Murray, Jake Locker, Blaine Gabbert, John Clay, Matt Barkley, Justin Blackmon, Nick Fairley, Marcus Lattimore, Jacquizz Rodgers, Taylor Martinez, Kendall Hunter, Robert Griffin

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