Commentary

Richardson takes Heisman lead

Luck and Griffin III are still in the hunt, but the Alabama RB takes the top spot

Updated: November 22, 2011, 11:25 AM ET
By Ryan McCrystal | ESPN Insider
TBDAP Photo/Dave MartinTrent Richardson has put himself in position to win the Heisman with a strong finish.

There are no sure things in college football, and this past weekend made that brutally clear. With that in mind, the Heisman race is still a very fluid situation, but the race appears to have been narrowed to three strong candidates heading into the final two weeks of the season.

Alabama Crimson Tide running back Trent Richardson has taken his first lead of the season, clinging to a four-point advantage over Andrew Luck of the Stanford Cardinal. Joining Richardson and Luck atop the Predictor standings is Baylor Bears quarterback Robert Griffin III, who moves into the top three for the first time since debuting at No. 2 way back in Week 1.

The three top contenders are separated by just 4.5 points, leaving plenty of opportunities for each to finish atop the standings.

If Richardson wins the Heisman, he'll owe a big thanks to the Iowa State Cyclones. His current four-point lead can be attributed primarily to a five-point edge he holds over Luck due to Alabama's placement in the top two of the BCS standings -- made possible by Iowa State's upset of the Oklahoma State Cowboys.

If Alabama takes care of business against the Auburn Tigers on Saturday, and the Crimson Tide maintain their slot in the national championship game, it will be difficult -- but certainly not impossible -- for Luck or Griffin to rise to No. 1.