NEW YORK - Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck entered the season as the overwhelming favorite to win the Heisman Trophy.
He will head to New York for the presentation of college football's most famous player-of-the-year award having relinquished front-runner status to another quarterback - one known as RG3.
Luck, Robert Griffin III, Trent Richardson, Tyrann Mathieu, and Montee Ball are the Heisman finalists. The group, announced Monday, will be at the presentation Saturday night in Manhattan.
It's a return trip for Luck, the only repeat finalist this season, while Griffin is the first Baylor player to get an invite to the ceremony. The school has never had a player finish better than fourth in the Heisman voting, but now it seems to have the favorite.
"I'm sure it will be a really close vote," Griffin told reporters in Waco, Texas, after watching the announcement with teammates and coaches.
Richardson is the second Alabama running back to be a finalist in the last three years. Former teammate Mark Ingram won the Heisman in 2009.
Ball has scored 38 touchdowns for Wisconsin and needs one more to match Barry Sanders' NCAA record.
Mathieu, the Louisiana State defensive back nicknamed "Honey Badger," has made numerous game-changing plays for the top-ranked Tigers.
The field was deep this season, and several deserving players didn't make the cut. Most notable, Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore, a finalist last season; Southern California quarterback Matt Barkley; and Houston's record-breaking passer, Case Keenum, did not receive enough votes to be among the final five.
Ballots from the 926 voters, mostly media members and former winners, were due Monday evening.
Luck was the Heisman runner-up to Auburn's Cam Newton last year and passed up a chance to be the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft to return to Stanford for his senior season. He passed for 3,170 yards with 35 touchdowns while leading the Cardinals to an 11-1 record and a second consecutive BCS bid.
On Monday, he won the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, presented to the nation's top quarterback who best exemplifies character and scholastic and athletic achievement.
Griffin leads the nation in passer rating (192.3), with 3,998 yards and 36 touchdowns. He also has run for 644 yards and nine TDs.
Pelini replaces Schnellenberger. Carl Pelini helped turn around Nebraska's defense. He's now taking on a significantly bigger challenge.
Pelini was hired by Florida Atlantic, where he will become the second coach in program history and is replacing the now-retired Howard Schnellenberger.
Duck dismissed. All-American cornerback Cliff Harris was dismissed from the Oregon Ducks for violating team rules.
Hawaii coach retires. Hawaii's Greg McMackin retired after a disappointing 6-7 season and missing the postseason for the second time in his four years of coaching the Warriors.
These are the five finalists for the Heisman Trophy, awarded to college football's best player. The winner will be named Saturday night in New York (Story, D3):
Andrew Luck, Stanford, senior, quarterback
Robert Griffin III, Baylor, junior, quarterback
Trent Richardson, Alabama, junior, running back
Tyrann Mathieu, LSU, sophomore, defensive back
Montee Ball, Wisconsin, junior, running back