Everyone thinks they've got the Heisman Trophy race all figured out.
Andrew Luck in a walk.
No doubt the Stanford quarterback is the frontrunner — he could've been the NFL Rookie of the Year this season, for goodness sakes — but the past few Heisman winners have come out of nowhere. Cam Newton? Mark Ingram? Sam Bradford? You'd have to look high and low to find those names on a preseason Heisman list the year they won the little bronze statue.
So, who will win the Heisman this season? Here are five guys who could:
ANDREW LUCK, STANFORD
He finished second to Cam Newton a year ago, and after turning down NFL millions to return to Stanford, the prototypical prostyle quarterback is the favorite this year. His numbers a year ago (3,338 yards, 32 touchdowns, 8 interceptions) weren't other worldly, but because Luck's talent is so highly regarded, he likely will only need similar numbers to win the Heisman. What could really separate him? Stanford posting a double-digit win total.
LaMICHAEL JAMES, OREGON
Another Heisman finalist from 2010, the Ducks running back could swoop in if Luck struggles. James has a chance to make an early statement when Oregon faces LSU in the season opener. A head-to-head matchup against Luck on Nov. 12 could give James another chance to state his case for the Heisman. As the star on a team that has a chance to play for a national championship, James has a legitimate shot to push Luck in the voting.
KELLEN MOORE, BOISE STATE
Yes, Kellen Moore is still in college, and yes, he is still a Heisman candidate. It seems like this guy has been around forever, and the past two years, he's been a top-10 voter in the Heisman balloting. That gives him credibility with voters. So do his career stats — 99 touchdown passes to only 19 interceptions. But to win the little bronze statue, Moore has to lead Boise State to an undefeated season, then hope that other candidates and their teams stumble.