Things went about as well as they could go Saturday for James. The Ducks had a bye week, but the top candidates for the Heisman stumbled, so he moves into the top spot as a result. Right now, he’s the nation’s leading rusher and he plays for the No. 1 team. This week, he can put an exclamation point on his front-runner status with a Thursday night game against UCLA that will get a lot of national attention. — Heisman Pundit, YardBarker.com
Denard Robinson, QB, Michigan
The updated rundown of top Heisman candidates from the Heisman Pundit at YardBarker.com: While Terrelle Pryor’s Heisman rationale was centered around his team's lofty ranking, Robinson's was centered around his incredible statistics. But after he was knocked out early in the second half against Iowa, Robinson's numbers have suffered a setback. Unless he can get back on the pace he set in the season's first half, he'll have to defer his Heisman hopes until next year.
Terrelle Pryor, QB, Ohio State
The rationale for Pryor’s candidacy always focused on the Buckeyes being prime contenders for the national title. The thinking was that Pryor couldn't do it on his numbers alone. With Ohio State losing to Wisconsin, it looks like Pryor’s only chance at the Heisman is if he finishes out on a torrid pace and the Buckeyes work their way back into title game contention.
Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State
Moore remains the candidate of last resort in that voters find him to be a perfectly acceptable choice but are not exactly rushing to proclaim him to be the most outstanding player just yet. His campaign for the Heisman mirrors his team’s quest for the BCS title. It will require the more exciting players ahead of him to falter a bit for him to have a shot.
Cameron Newton, QB, Auburn
Newton is flourishing in coordinator Gus Malzahn’s offense and seems to be single-handedly winning games for the Tigers. Last Saturday Auburn beat Arkansas, 65-43, behind Newton’s 188 rushing yards, 140 passing yards and four total TDs. It looks like Newton's Heisman candidacy could boil down to the showdown with Alabama at season's end.