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Heisman Trophy Watch 2010: Is Cam Newton Righting His Hardware Ship?

Examining the 2010 Heisman Trophy race, ordering the potential candidates by threat level. This week: Cam Newton runs silent and deep, but can Kellen Moore still make a run at the shiny hardware?

Auburn quarterback Cam Newton will get another shot to impress voters on a national stage as the Tigers take on Alabama in the Iron Bowl on Friday.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Auburn quarterback Cam Newton will get another shot to impress voters on a national stage as the Tigers take on Alabama in the Iron Bowl on Friday. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
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The top two candidates in the 2010 Heisman Trophy race have daunting Black Friday tasks ahead of them, and LaMichael James at their heels. All that and more in today's Heisman Trophy Threat Levels.

RED

Cam "Cameron" Newton, QB, Auburn
Here's another top-flight candidate who's toeing the right line. Last week we said:

[A] week away from the spotlight (sort of) may be just what Newton's candidacy needs. Nobody knows with any sort of certainty what the eligibility investigation will do to his Heisman Trophy chances, but lying low and then busting loose in the Iron Bowl will give him his best shot at the metal stiffarm.

Now, about that Iron Bowl ...

Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State
Moore threw his fifth (!) interception of the season against Fresno State in Week 12, but made up for what would have amounted to an off day for him by torching the Bulldogs for 333 yards and four touchdowns. Moore is doing exactly what he needs to be doing right now, and he's got another high-profile game versus Nevada this Friday night in which to make the case for his Heisman Trophy candidacy.

LaMichael James, RB, Oregon
Also coming off a bye week, and also needing a strong performance against a ranked opponent. Lucky for James: Arizona comes to Eugene this Friday night.

ORANGE

Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
Saturday's mauling of the Golden Bears was a textbook performance from Luck, and maybe did as much for his draft stock as any game has all season. Luck completed 16 of 20 pass attempts for 235 yards, rushed for 72 more, threw two touchdown passes and no interceptions, and took out a pesky encroaching defender with a mere flick of his elbow.

Terrelle Pryor, QB, Ohio State
Is still trading on early-season hype to an extent, and was far from a world-beater against the stalwart Hawkeyes' defense in Week 12. The Buckeyes won, but Pryor barely completed half his passes and was picked off twice.

YELLOW

Andy Dalton, QB, TCU
Dalton's candidacy is about to hit a visibility hurdle thanks to yet another Week 12 bye and the Horned Frogs' only remaining regular-season game involving the hapless New Mexico Lobos. Dalton and his receivers are going to lay waste to Fightin' Mike Locksley's band of misfit toys, but who's going to notice?

Denard Robinson, QB, Michigan
Was back to his old tricks and putting on a valiant performance in the Wolverines' brutal loss to Wisconsin. Robinson managed 239 yards on 16 completions, rushed for an additional 121 yards, and accounted for all four of Michigan's touchdowns.

GREEN

Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas
Showed up big for the Hogs' hard-fought, double-overtime win at Mississippi State, and blew past the 3,000-yard mark for 2010 with a 305-yard, three-touchdown performance. In any year that wasn't so heavily populated with ruthlessly effective spread quarterbacks, he'd be a Heisman frontrunner.

BLUE

Colin Kaepernick, QB, Nevada
Cruised to a 251-yard, three-touchdown performance against New Mexico State, and has one more chance for some decisive mettle-proving this Friday night when the 'Pack hosts Boise State.

Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
Will pick up some sentiment votes this week if he turns in a strong performance against an Auburn defense that still boasts plenty of holes.

COME AND GONE

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, Tyrod Taylor, Robert Griffin