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OSU quarterback Brandon Weeden goes from Heisman front-runner to hopeful

BY GINA MIZELL, Staff Writer, gmizell@opubco.com Published: November 22, 2011

/articleid/3625708/1/pictures/1570549">Photo - Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden (3) throws a pass during a college football game between the Oklahoma State University Cowboys (OSU) and the Iowa State University Cyclones (ISU) at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa, Friday, Nov. 18, 2011. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden (3) throws a pass during a college football game between the Oklahoma State University Cowboys (OSU) and the Iowa State University Cyclones (ISU) at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa, Friday, Nov. 18, 2011. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

“They'll still acknowledge that it was a great season and he's a great quarterback, but boy, it's just that opportunity was kind of frittered away. I think that's kind of what hurts him the most.”

The following night, Griffin turned in a brilliant performance in Baylor's upset of Oklahoma, accounting for 551 of the Bears' 616 total offensive yards and leading them on an 80-yard game-winning touchdown drive in the final minute. That vaulted Griffin, who was an early Heisman frontrunner before Baylor lost three of four games in October, right back into serious contention.

Another indicator of Weeden's quick fall? He was not named a finalist for the Davey O'Brien award given annually to the nation's top quarterback. Luck, Griffin and Houston's Case Keenum are still in contention for that award.

Huston said Luck and Griffin are locks to get invited to New York, with Alabama running back Trent Richardson close behind. The Heisman Trust will invite up to five finalists, and who could fill those last two spots will be determined over the next two weeks.

OSU has a bye this weekend, which Huston said actually benefits Weeden because of the other marquee games being played that will likely have the voters' attention. Weeden will get his stage next Saturday night, when the Cowboys try to clinch the Big 12 title outright and their first trip to a BCS bowl game with a Bedlam victory against OU.

“If he has a massive game…he's got a chance to get to get back in there,” Huston said. “You never know how the race can shake out.”


HEISMAN STOCK REPORT

A wild weekend of college football means the Heisman race is still wide open. A look at who is rising, who is falling and the top 5 candidates right now.

RISING

Robert Griffin III, quarterback, Baylor

Griffin had the epitome of a Heisman moment Saturday night against Oklahoma when he led Baylor on a game-winning, 80-yard touchdown drive in the game's final minute and capped it with a perfect 34-yard strike to Terrance Williams in the back of the end zone. RG3 is right back in the race, despite his team's three losses, because there's no player in college football with more ‘wow' factor.

Montee Ball, running back, Wisconsin

Ball had another monster game against Illinois, racking up 224 yards and three total touchdowns. He's got 30 touchdowns (25 rushing, five receiving) this season, but his Heisman chances have been hurt by the fact that his quarterback, Russell Wilson, has been regarded as the Badgers' candidate for the award for most of the season. He sits just outside the top 5 right now.

FALLING

Brandon Weeden, quarterback, Oklahoma State

Weeden, a Heisman frontrunner just a week ago, passed for 476 yards and three touchdowns against Iowa State. But voters will remember his three interceptions, especially the one that came on his first pass of double overtime, which helped the Cyclones pull off the 37-31 upset. Weeden will have a chance to make a strong final statement when the Cowboys face OU in two weeks.

Kellen Moore, quarterback, Boise State

Moore was great in Boise State's win against San Diego State, throwing for 366 yards and four touchdowns. But the Broncos' loss to TCU is starting to have an effect. Moore just doesn't have any buzz for the award right now, and Boise State doesn't have any high-profile games remaining to give him a boost.

UPDATED HEISMAN TOP 5

1. Andrew Luck, quarterback, Stanford

2. Robert Griffin III, quarterback, Baylor

3. Trent Richardson, running back, Alabama

4. Brandon Weeden, quarterback, Oklahoma State

5. Case Keenum, quarterback, Houston

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