Heisman Trophy Watch: Matt Barkley Favored, De'Anthony Thomas Top Ten Candidate

July 24, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; University of Southern California Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley talks to the media at PAC-12 Media Day at Universal Studios Hollywood. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

You might know Chris Huston as the founder of HeismanPundit, your source for all knowledge on all things Heisman-like in college football. The battle for who should win college's most prestigious trophy has always been a place where hotly contested debates ignite and often overshadows who ends up winning the award itself. Ask Andrew Luck, who despite being considered the greatest player in the college ranks the last two years ended up with no Heismans.

This year, there appear to be only two realistic contenders to win the Pac-12: Matt Barkley of the USC Trojans and De'Anthony Thomas of the Oregon Ducks. Huston lists both of them in his top ten.

Barkley has everything going for him. He's becoming one of the most popular college football players out there with his wit and his natural conversational skills, and he carries all the natural quirks that would make him a solid Heisman Trophy contender. If anything goes against him, it's his actual incumbency as the Heisman favorite, something that caused Luck problems in trying to win his own Heisman.

Huston further explains the Barkley candidacy.

He'll need to manage the pressure of being the front-runner and the expectations that go with it, and USC will have to make sure voters don't take him for granted the way they did Andrew Luck last year. Like Luck, he may lack in the excitement category, but the significance of the Trojans putting forth a viable candidate so soon after the Heisman Trust vacated Reggie Bush's award won't be lost on many voters.

Thomas is the dynamic weapon that can really shake things up. It would be weird seeing a player who touches the football only a handful of times a game win this award, but Thomas can be that dynamic and that explosive if you check out his split stats. A great season could land him a huge all-purpose yard season akin to that of Reggie Bush, and he did manage to get some hardware for a certain period of time.

Huston on Thomas's chances.

Instead, they will keep an eye out for him on the highlight reels. A punt return here, a kick return there and he could be at the forefront of the Heisman race. He had 2,235 total yards and scored 18 touchdowns on just 140 touches as a true freshman, so he's got the numbers, too.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Pacific Takes

You must be a member of Pacific Takes to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Pacific Takes. You should read them.

Join Pacific Takes

You must be a member of Pacific Takes to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Pacific Takes. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker