Heismanpundit/CBSSports.com Heisman Straw Poll: Matt Barkley leads again; new faces emerge

Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein made his straw poll debut this week. (US Presswire)

USC quarterback Matt Barkley continued to hold a strong lead in the latest edition of the Heismanpundit/CBSSports.com Heisman Straw Poll released on Tuesday.

Barkley collected nine of 11 first-place votes from the weekly panel of Heisman voters and totaled 28 points. That doubled the score of West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith, who was second with 14 points.

It's the third week in a row that Barkley has received nine first-place votes, suggesting voters hold a very stable view of the race, at least at the top.

"Although Barkley didn't have a big yardage game versus Syracuse, he still threw six touchdown passes," one voter said. "He's done nothing to lose his spot atop my list."

Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein made his first appearance in the poll thanks to his performance in the Wildcats' 52-13 shellacking of Miami. He picked up one first-place vote to tie for third (six points) with Oregon running back De'Anthony Thomas.

"I don't think any player in the country is as valuable to his team as Klein," one voter said.

USC receiver Marqise Lee garnered the panel's other first-place vote to land in the fifth spot with four points. Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones made his debut in sixth place with three points, and Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson bounced back from an opening weekend loss to Alabama to place seventh with two points.

UCLA running back Johnathan Franklin, who leads the nation in rushing, and Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller each picked up a third-place vote to tie with South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore in eighth place.

Heading into its seventh season, the former Heismanpundit.com Heisman Straw Poll has been reborn as the HeismanPundit/CBSSports.com Heisman Straw Poll. It has been the most accurate Heisman poll in the country the last five seasons, with the final 2011 poll correctly picking the top seven finishers. It is made up of 11 Heisman voters from across the country. They vote for three players each week. Tabulations are made on a 3-2-1 basis (just like a real Heisman ballot), with three points awarded for a first-place vote, two points for a second-place vote and one point for a third-place vote.

Each week's poll will be released on Tuesdays throughout the season at CBSSports.com and at HeismanPundit.com. Check out previous polls for this season here.

The HeismanPundit/CBSSports.com Heisman Straw Poll, 9-11-2012
Player, total points (first-place votes in parentheses)

1. Matt Barkley, QB, USC -- 28 (9)

2. Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia -- 14

3. (tie) Collin Klein, QB, Kansas State -- 6 (1)

De'Anthony Thomas, RB, Oregon -- 6

5. Marqise Lee, WR, USC -- 4 (1)

6. Jarvis Jones, LB, Georgia -- 3

7. Denard Robinson, QB, Michigan -- 2

8. (tie) Johnathan Franklin, RB, UCLA -- 1

Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina -- 1

Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State -- 1

About the Voting Panel

The 11 members of the panel include: Mike Bianchi of the Orlando SentinelTom Dienhart of The Big Ten NetworkMichael Lev of the Orange County RegisterBruce FeldmanDennis Dodd and Bryan Fischer of CBSSports.comDick Weiss of the New York Daily NewsLenn Robbins of the New York PostJenni Carlson of The Oklahoman and Dave Hackenberg of The Toledo BladeChris Huston, CBSSports.com Heisman analyst and publisher of HeismanPundit.com, coordinates and also votes in the weekly poll.

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