Heisman Trophy 2011 Watch: Andrew Luck's Stock Rising As Stanford Wins

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 29: Quarterback Andrew Luck #12 of the Stanford Cardinal scrambles against the USC Trojans at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on October 29, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Andrew Luck's Heisman Trophy chances got better when Stanford beat USC over the weekend. Luck's clutch play in a dramatic victory probably made an impression on voters.

Andrew Luck's been the Heisman Trophy front-runner throughout the 2011 college football season, and nothing he has done so far has knocked him out of the race. Because of that, and because Stanford keeps winning, his Heisman Trophy stock is soaring.

Luck didn't compile a staggering line in Stanford's 56-48 triple overtime triumph over USC — he had 330 yards and three touchdowns, sure, but also an interception returned for a touchdown, which isn't far removed from Matt Barkley's 284 yards, three touchdowns, and a pick — but he made spectacular things happen time and again on the field. And making the sorts of throws Luck makes in primetime would be a boost to any candidacy.

But Luck being integral to Stanford's comeback probably made an impression, too. The Cardinal didn't lead in the fourth quarter, and, after his pick-six, Luck had to direct a touchdown drive just to get the game to overtime. No other Heisman contender had as big a stage or as clutch a performance in Week 9, and that's why no other Heisman Trophy candidate can touch Andrew Luck right now.

For more on Luck and the Cardinal, visit Stanford blog Rule of Tree; for more on the Heisman Trophy race, visit our 2011 Heisman Trophy watch section.

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