As the regular season winds down and three SEC West teams are still fighting for a berth in Atlanta and the BCS championship, the Heisman race has come down to three players in the SEC. No surprise, these standouts also represent the top three teams in the current BCS standings.
1. Trent Richardson, Alabama, RB: He’ll get an invite to New York by default. The Crimson Tide will be 11-1 without having to play in Atlanta and Richardson will be the SEC’s leading rusher. Richardson has been Mr. Reliable for Alabama this season with eight 100-yard games and 20 touchdowns. The workhorse on a boring offense, Richardson gets the nod as the SEC’s favorite to win the bronze statue. He would join former Tide back Mark Ingram as a recent winner.
2. Tyler Wilson, Arkansas, QB: A darkhorse player of the year candidate in the preseason, Wilson has solidified his name in Heisman talks with impressive numbers since a Week 4 loss at Alabama. Wilson utilizes his talent at wide receiver with pinpoint accuracy and finds the end zone on well-placed fade routes. Wilson gets an opportunity this week against the country’s best defense to win the award outright. A 400-yard, four-touchdown tally against LSU would have a handful of wealthy Razorback fans booking flights to the Big Apple.
3. Eric Reid, Tyrann Mathieu, Brandon Taylor, Morris Claiborne, DB : LSU’s Heisman candidate(s) can’t be a player on offense because no one jumps out at writers as the Tigers’ go-to playmaker. Besides, LSU’s best talent, perhaps the most impressive in the country, is on the other side of the ball. Reid, Mathieu, Taylor and Claiborne have anchored a dominant Tigers’ secondary, combining for 217 tackles, 14 TFL, 11 INT, 6 FF and 3 TD. Since only one of these players would get an invite, I’d give the nod to Claiborne who also returns punts for the Tigers. It’ll be interesting to see how this four-headed monster performs against pass-happy Arkansas Friday afternoon.