Commentary

Projecting the Heisman finish

Denard Robinson is currently No. 1, but road ahead isn't favorable to his candidacy

Updated: October 11, 2011, 10:44 AM ET
By Ryan McCrystal | ESPN Insider
Andrew Luck Ezra Shaw/Getty ImagesAndrew Luck isn't the current favorite, but he has a good chance of raising his arms in New York.

With each of the top six contenders remaining undefeated this past weekend, the standings are relatively unchanged. So this week we are taking a slightly different approach with the Heisman Predictor.

The Predictor only gives us a view of what the voting would look like if the season ended today. As the undefeated quarterback of the Michigan Wolverines, Denard Robinson is the runaway favorite and would likely be the runaway winner should Michigan finish the season with an unblemished record.

But no one expects the Wolverines to run the table, and a more subjective ranking of the candidates would likely have another name at the top.

So using the Predictor's formula as a reference, let's rank the top six candidates based on their performance thus far and their expected performance down the stretch.

1. Andrew Luck, Stanford Cardinal

The most direct path to the Heisman Trophy is to quarterback a team to an undefeated record, and Luck appears to have the easiest path to perfection.

Luck and the Cardinal play host to the Oregon Ducks on Nov. 12, the only ranked opponent remaining on their schedule. Beating Oregon will be no small task, but a win could give Luck an advantage over his competitors in each of the most important categories:

• Quarterback of an undefeated team (35 points)

• Placed in top 10 of previous Heisman voting (10 points)

• Win against top-10 opponent (up to 10 points)

Only Robinson has the potential to match Luck in those three categories, but he must navigate a more difficult schedule to get there. As a result, even if other candidates were to run the table, Luck would likely be the one to come out on top.