Miller, Lee enter Heisman race

Ball, Wilson fall out of Predictor rankings; Barkley has comfortable lead

Updated: September 11, 2012, 10:47 AM ET
By Ryan McCrystal | ESPN Insider
Braxton MillerAP Photo/Jay LaPreteOhio State QB Braxton Miller has joined the Heisman race.

It's only Week 2, but Heisman candidates are already dropping like flies. Last week it was Michigan Wolverines quarterback Denard Robinson, this week it's Wisconsin Badgers running back Montee Ball and Arkansas Razorbacks quarterback Tyler Wilson.

For Ball, his quest for a second trip to New York City for the Heisman ceremony was all but ended when the Oregon State Beavers upset the Badgers on Saturday afternoon. Ball managed just 61 yards on 15 carries against a defense that ranked 101st against the run in 2011, and he was all but invisible in the second half of the game. Through two games, Ball is averaging 3.9 yards per carry and has reached the end zone only once. The Heisman Trophy is given almost exclusively to players who post career years, and Ball's sluggish start all but ensures he will fall short of his junior year numbers.

Wilson's situation is a little more complicated than Ball's. Obviously, the loss to the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks hurts his Heisman chances, but Wilson was knocked out of the game prior to Arkansas' collapse. As a result, if Wilson returns and the Razorbacks regroup and emerge as contenders in the SEC, voters might forgive this early season slipup.

In fact, this loss could work in Wilson's favor. If he returns in time to face the Alabama Crimson Tide on Saturday and leads the Razorbacks to an upset, he'll have one heck of an argument for being the most valuable player in the country. Without him, the Razorbacks lose to a Sun Belt opponent; with him, they knock off the nation's top-ranked team. So while Wilson is removed from our top 10 for now, he could be right back in the mix next week.

Here is a look at the standings after Week 2, with a front-runner extending his lead and a pair of sophomores joining the mix.