Entering 2011, Stanford Cardinal quarterback Andrew Luck was the far-and-away favorite to win the Heisman Trophy. But performances by Robert Griffin III and others have made his Saturday night just a little less expectant, as Luck is picked to finish second or third.
The exquisite Stanford Cardinal blog Rule of Tree runs down the case for Luck, starting with his mind over his numbers:
Andrew Luck should win the Heisman because he did something that no other quarterback did this season, or the last 10 seasons, or maybe ever. How's that for outstanding?
No, Luck didn't set an NCAA individual passing record like the remarkable Robert Griffin III, but he called his own plays at the line of scrimmage, which is unheard of in college football. He did a damn fine job of it, too.
Forget Luck's 35 touchdowns, 9 interceptions, and 70% completion rate, or that he managed to surpass last year's passing totals despite losing his top two receivers to the NFL. Marvel instead at Stanford's NCAA-best 98% success rate in the red zone and consider that the Cardinal finished with the fewest plays for negative yards of any FBS team. Both accomplishments were products of Luck's decision-making, athletic ability, and unrivaled ability to dissect a defense. Both accomplishments were products of college football's most outstanding player.
Luck's advancements throughout the season certainly helped solidify him as the No. 1 draft pick, but did they do enough to retain his Heisman spot?