Roughly five weeks remain in the 2010 college football season and the Heisman Trophy and national championship races are as tight as ever.
A competition is brewing for college football’s highest individual honor. Auburn’s Cameron Newton was a lock to take home the trophy, but recent allegations of academic cheating and improper recruiting practices have turned a one-horse race into a four-way contest.
Another four-way struggle is taking place for the two spots in January’s national championship game, with Auburn and Oregon currently holding on for dear life. If either slips up, expect to see the first non-automatic qualifier school in NCAA history to be playing for the national title.
1. Cameron Newton
Newton has been nearly flawless, racking up more than 3,000 yards of total offense and 34 touchdowns in the rough-and-tumble SEC. But will the recent allegations cause voters to rethink their choice?
2. LaMichael James
Next to Newton, James has been the most impressive player in college football. He’s averaged 6.8 yards per carry and two touchdowns this season for the top-ranked offense in the country.
3. Kellen Moore
QB, Boise State
Moore has been putting up video-game numbers this season. He threw for 507 yards last week against Hawaii, and currently leads the country with a 192.4 passer rating.
4. Andrew Luck
Luck has been posting rock-solid numbers all season, averaging more than two passing touchdowns per game. He’ll need a big push to get an invite to the Heisman presentation in New York City.
BCS National Championship contenders
1. Oregon (9-0)
The top-ranked team in college football has been dominating opponents this season with an unstoppable offense that’s average 54.7 points. Arizona, ranked No. 18, and in-state rival Oregon State are the toughest games left on the Ducks’ schedule.
2. Auburn (10-0)
Auburn’s undefeated run through the always-difficult SEC has been just as impressive – if not more – than Oregon’s in the Pac-10. The season finale against Alabama will make or break the Tigers’ championship hopes.
3. TCU (10-0)
It could be argued that Texas Christian has the nation’s most complete team, throttling opponents with a dominant defense and potent offense. But unless Auburn or Oregon loses in the coming weeks, the Horned Frogs will be on the outside looking in.
4. Boise State (8-0)
Like TCU, the Broncos need to finish the season undefeated and hope for a little bit of luck to reach the championship game. Hard as it is to believe, beating teams by an average of 34 points doesn’t give you a free pass to the title game.