Maybe I was a little dismissive a week and a half ago when I said that Bernard Pierce has absolutely no chance of winning the Heisman Trophy. I should have said that anyone can win the Heisman with the proper season. Pierce has an uphill battle, especially because of the fact that in 2007, Central Florida running back Kevin Smith ran for 2,567 yards and 29 touchdowns and didn't even receive an invite to New York (he finished eighth in voting.) Smith only had one game in 2007 where he didn't run for 100 yards and only three games the entire season where he didn't score a touchdown. This was all while playing in Conference USA, a conference with a better reputation than the MAC.
Below are what I think are the prerequisites for Pierce to win the Heisman
Temple can only afford to lose to Penn State- If Temple loses a game to any team other than Penn State it will do irreparable damage to Pierce's Heisman hopes. I think that even a blowout loss to the Nittany Lions will probably derail his chances.
Pierce must do something remarkable- Winning the Heisman Trophy is hard enough when you play in a BCS conference, but it is just about impossible if you don't. 2,500 regular season yards and 30 regular season touchdowns plus a blockbuster performance on national television are probably the bare minimum in this case.
Preseason favorites will need down years- Guys like Mark Ingram, Terrelle Pryor, Dion Lewis, and Jake Locker will have to disappoint for Pierce to get legitimate consideration. When you have so many talented players in the minds of the voters, you have to hope for poor play or injury in order to get past them, because big numbers and a well performing team won't do it alone (see: Ian Johnson, 2006.)