Does Ray Graham have a shot at the Heisman? (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
A Heisman site has some projections on potential finalists with its preseason watch list. Predictably, the Big East was shut out.
The site Heisman Pundit has released their watch list for 2012 and the Big East has a total of zero players on it. Yes, this is some random site, but it's also run by a voter for the award, so there is a degree of credibility.
As Andrea Adelson of ESPN points out, Pitt's Ray Graham is probably the closest thing the conference has to a candidate for the award. Though he has little hope of actually winning it, I'd probably put Graham on a watch list that consisted of about 20 players or so. He was leading the nation in rushing for a time last year and many folks outside of Pittsburgh forgot all about him after the small amount of momentum he had built up.
Heading into last year, I took a look at Graham's chances at the award. Those chances went up significantly with the monster start he had, but in reality, Graham still had a way to go to compete for the Heisman.
Graham's problem is that he'll need Pitt to have significant success. Barring a 2,000-yard season or something obscene, Graham won't even get a sniff for the award unless Pitt wins nine games, at the very least. In the Big East, a good season is within reach, but the odds of Graham contending for the Heisman don't look all that great.