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Posted at 11:16 AM ET, 12/06/2011

Heisman finalists: Will Luck, Griffin, Richardson, Mathieu or Ball win? (poll)

Andrew Luck was the Heisman Trophy runner-up a year ago to Cam Newton. The Stanford quarterback, who’s likely to be the top pick in the NFL draft, will join finalists Robert Griffin III, Trent Richardson, Tyrann Mathieu and Montee Ball on Saturday night in New York for this year’s ceremony.

But will his luck improve?

Most pundits don’t like his chances, but Luck told ESPN that winning “would mean a lot. It woud mean a great deal for the university. Mean a lot to me and a great deal to the football program as well.”

Luck entered this season as the odds-on favorite to win the award after his stellar sophomore season. He passed up the NFL Draft in April in order to return to Stanford — and he promptly saw his coach leave for the San Francisco 49ers. Still, he passed for 3,170 yards with 35 touchdowns for the 11-1 Cardinal. The last Stanford player won the Heisman was quarterback Jim Plunkett in 1970.

Griffin, the other quarterback finalist, leads the nation with a 192.3 passer rating (192.3) and has thrown for 3,998 yards and 36 touchdowns. The first Baylor player to be invited to the Heisman dinner, he also has run for 644 yards and has scored nine TDs..

Richardson is the second Alabama running back to be a finalist in the last three years, with Mark Ingram, now with the New Orleans Saints, the winner in 2009. Richardson is fifth in the nation with a 131.9 yards-per-game average and is tied for fifth with 23 touchdowns.

Ball is the other running back on the finalists’ list; he has scored 38 touchdowns for Wisconsin and, with two more in the Rose Bowl, can break Barry Sanders’s NCAA record.

And then there’s the Honey Badger, hands-down winner if the Heisman went to the player with the best nickname. That’s Mathieu, the sophomore who is a key player on the stifling defense of LSU’s undefeated, No. 1-ranked Tigers. He has forced five fumbles, intercepted two passes and scored four touchdowns. In addition, he was suspended for a game for violating the team’s drug policy.

Who do you think should win the Heisman Trophy?

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By  |  11:16 AM ET, 12/06/2011

 
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