Luck among Heisman finalists for 2nd time

Staying in school didn't earn Andrew Luck a chance to play for the national title, but it did give him another shot to win college football's top individual award.

The Stanford quarterback was named a finalist for the Heisman Trophy for the second year in a row Monday, leading a list of five players with no clear front-runner.

Also nominated were Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III, running backs Trent Richardson of Alabama and Montee Ball of Wisconsin, and LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu.

Luck finished second to Auburn's Cam Newton in last year's Heisman voting and could have been the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft had he not elected to remain in school for his senior season.

Earlier Monday, Luck won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award as the nation's top quarterback. He passed for 3,170 yards and 35 touchdowns this season for No. 4 Stanford (11-1), which suffered its only loss to Oregon on November 12 and will play third-ranked Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl.

Griffin, a junior, has had the type of electric season that won Newton the award last year, throwing for 3,998 yards and 36 touchdowns while running for 644 yards and nine more scores for the 15th-ranked Bears (9-3).

In a win over Texas on Saturday, he passed for 320 yards and two touchdowns and scored twice on the ground for Baylor, which will play Washington in the Alamo Bowl later this month.

Richardson has rushed for 1,583 yards and 20 touchdowns with 27 catches for 327 yards and three scores for No. 2 Alabama (11-1), which was idle this past week but will play top-ranked LSU in the BCS National Championship Game next month in New Orleans.

The junior running back will try to become the third straight Heisman winner from the state of Alabama, following 2009 honoree Mark Ingram of Alabama and Newton.

Ball, also a junior, led the country in rushing with 1,759 yards and scored 38 total touchdowns -- 32 rushing, six receiving -- to move within one of Barry Sanders' FBS record.

He even threw a touchdown pass for the No. 9 Badgers. But more important was how Ball finished the regular season -- with four touchdowns in Wisconsin's 42-39 win over Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship game on Saturday, which earned the Badgers a trip to the Rose Bowl to face Oregon.