Monday, November 3, 2008

Heisman Hopefuls VII - November 03, 2008

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10. Graham Harrell (QB - Texas Tech)- I despise having two candidates from the same team on the list at the same time. As stated before, Harrell was a fine receiving core lining up with him which includes Crabtree, Lewis and Britton. Harrell also plays in the pass first spread offense, but I am going to have to show some respect for the nation's leading passer and the man who is also number three on the passing touchdowns list. Harrell receives way too much credit from the media, but that is no reason for me to live him off the board.

9. Tim Tebow (QB - Florida) - Tebow finally returns to the candidacy after a 5 TD game the Georgia Bulldogs. As we all now Tebow is the reigning Heisman winner and with plenty of voters who believe that the same player shouldn't win the award twice, it will be difficult forTebow to win it; however, Tebow plays in the most respected conference in college football and with plenty of near-minded voters, this puts Tebow in position to put together a couple impressive against Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Florida St. (ACC rival), and potentially a SEC Championship opponent.

8. Javon Ringer (RB - Michigan St.) - Ringer was not as dominate for the Spartans as he needed to be in this past week against the Badgers. Ringer averaged only 2.7 yards per carry in a game that his team really needed to win. YesMSU won the game, and yes he helped punch in two TDs , but he has to help the team move the ball down the field when the rest of the offense is struggling early on in the game. Ringer is the nation's leading rusher but his inability to provide a bastion for his team during difficultmatchups puts his candidacy at risk.

7. Max Hall (QB - BYU) - Hall had a video game type performance against Colorado St. with 389 yards and 5 TDs. What was most impressive about his performance was that he finished with an 80% completion. BYU finishes the season against Utah, who is currently undefeated, giving Hall an opportunity to move up toward the top of the standing. Hall is toward the top of the nation both in passing yards and touchdowns, but after a fewslumpish performances it will be difficult for Hall to retain and presence in the race that he sustained earlier in the season.

6. Charles Scott (RB - LSU) - Scott ran for 114 yards along with a TD while splitting carries with Keiland Williams and Richard Murphy. Scott also went off for a big 56 yard run. The game was against Tulane, but for Scott to solidify himself to the Heisman voters he needs to have a big game against the number two ranked Crimson Tide. It is a make or break game for Scott, an hundred yard performance with a TD may push up the ladder, while a poor game where he is not a factor will cause him to slip.

5. Donald Brown (RB - Connecticut) -The Huskies went down to the Mountaineers this weekend, but Brown managed to rush for over 80 yards and a touchdown. D-Brown has been extremely consistent this season and hasn't stepped down whenUConn has faced its toughest opponents. This week D-Brown and the Huskies will face Syracuse, but to close up the season the Huskies play South Florida and then Pittsburgh (McCoy and Brown will be a greatmatchup to watch). If D-Brown can come up with big games against USF and Pitt, then he will validate that he is there for his team when it needs him most.

4. Chase Daniel (QB - Missouri) - Daniel had a fair game against Baylor, throwing 3 TDs and 2 picks for over 300 yards. Daniel is second in the nation for pass completion percentage and is also in the top ten for yards, touchdowns and passerefficency. Missouri's finale against the Jayhawks will play major implications for whether or not Daniel can be considered a front-runner for the trophy; the games in between against K St. and Iowa St. should be statpattering games; however, neither should be overlooked.

3. Sam Bradford (QB - Oklahoma) - Sam Bradford has the best stats in the nation. He is also throwing his numbers without a premiere wide receiver like Michael Crabtree (not that he doesn't have a solid core, it just doesn't include a receiver that makes up look like Montana or Marino). What Bradford doesn't have are wins against Texas or Texas Tech. With wins against each of Oklahoma's ranked opponents to finish the season (Texas Tech and Oklahoma St.) Bradford will leap McCoy andCrabtree to the top of the Heisman standings.

2. Colt McCoy (QB - Texas) - For the first three quarters of the Texas/Texas Tech game, it was hard to tell if it was actually Colt McCoy playing quarterback. He was sloppy andinefficient both in the air and on the ground. And then when his team needed him most in the fourth quarter the real Colt McCoy stood up. He lead his team down the field to score two touchdowns and take the lead away from Tech. McCoy was eight seconds and an interception away from winning the game. When I saw Harrell's pass toward the end of the drive I was almost certain that Blake Gideon had intercepted the pass and that Texas and Colt McCoy would remain atop theBCS Standings. And then the play occurred, McCoy's world shook and he fell from the peak of the mount to second place on my Heisman standings.

1. Michael Crabtree (WR - Texas Tech) - It is no coincidence that Michael Crabtree made the game winning catch to secure Texas Tech a win against the almighty Longhorns. Crabtree had 10 catches for 127 yards and a touchdown that will never be forgotten. It was also apparent that Texas was so occupied with Crabtree that Britton was able to sneak off for 10 receptions, most of which were uncontested. Crabtree is the best receiver in college football and is currently tied with Dez Bryant and Jarett Dillard for the TD lead. But what is most impressive about Crabtree is that he has his best games against the best teams. He is physical, he is fast, and he is astute - which will lead him to years of success.

Honorable Mention: Dez Bryant, Jarett Dillard, Shonn Greene, Percy Harvin, David Johnson, Jeremy Maclin, LeSean McCoy, Joe McKnight, Todd Reesing, Marc Sanchez, Matt Stafford, Chris Wells, Pat White, John Parker Wilson

Jarett Dillard has finally fallen off the board a decent game against UTEP. Dillard had 8 catches for 93 yards and a TD. Dillard had to reel in impressive numbers week after week just to stay in the race, but playing for the Owls in a non-BCS conference takes a serious toll on his prospectus.

As for Dez Bryant, he continues to have impressive games against unimpressive teams. Bryant pulled another fine game, but this time it was against Iowa St. This is part of the reason that I pulled Dillard out of the race: he isn't excelling against the top performers of the nation.

Knowshon Moreno has also fallen out of the top ten. Moreno is definitely one of the most dazzling players in college football. Moreno cannot keep up a consistent pace no matter who the opponent is. Moreno needed to put together a consistent stretch and with his fallout against Florida, he is no longer a serious candidate (unless he goes on an unprecedented tear).

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