Heisman Predictor: 18 candidates

Scenarios for what 18 hopefuls need in production to take home the trophy

Updated: August 21, 2012, 12:05 PM ET
By Ryan McCrystal | ESPN Insider
Montee Ball Gregory Shamus/Getty ImagesFor Montee Ball to win the Heisman, he'll have to put the Badgers in the BCS title game.

The past two seasons, Cam Newton and Robert Griffin III have laughed at our preseason predictions on their way to hoisting the Heisman in New York City. So to cover all the bases, we've come up with a list of 18 potential candidates this year. These preseason contenders are broken down into three categories -- front-runners, contenders and dark horses -- with a look at what each player needs in terms of individual and team success in order take home the hardware, using the Heisman Predictor formula as a guide.

FRONT-RUNNERS

Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin Badgers

Needed to win: 25+ TDs, national championship game berth

In 2011, voters made it painfully clear to Ball that stats will get you only so far in the Heisman race. So the key to his 2012 campaign will be team success. With Russell Wilson now in the NFL, it's up to Ball to carry the Badgers. If he comes anywhere close to his 2012 numbers and carries Wisconsin to another BCS bowl berth, he'll be in the mix. But to win, he may need to take the Badgers to the national title game.