Commentary

Richardson climbs Heisman rankings

Alabama's star RB is a legit contender, while Luck takes over the Predictor's top spot

Updated: October 18, 2011, 10:10 AM ET
By Ryan McCrystal | ESPN Insider
Trent RichardsonAP Photo/Butch DillTrent Richardson (3) is making a strong Heisman case with the undefeated Crimson Tide.

One of the most crucial components to the Predictor formula is the BCS standings, which were released for the first time this week. Heisman candidates from the top two teams in the BCS are awarded 10 Predictor points, while everyone else in the top 10 gets a five-point bonus.

The big winner from the release of the BCS was Trent Richardson of the Alabama Crimson Tide. The Tide's second-place position in the BCS standings allowed Richardson to climb into third place in the Predictor, within two points of the top spot.

Richardson's position in this week's standings makes it clear that he is a legitimate contender.

It's not easy for a running back to compete for the Heisman, an award that has become increasingly quarterback-centric, but Richardson has the right balance of team and individual success to make it happen.

While Richardson still has ground to make up, he is closing in on a five-point bonus for reaching 20 total touchdowns. It isn't an overwhelming number, but since none of the top quarterback candidates are posting eye-popping stats, it may be enough to swing some votes his direction.

At the very least, Richardson is now in excellent position to earn an invite to New York City should Alabama run the table.

Luck leads the way