The aforementioned Separation Saturday may have helped to shake out the Rankings and conference standings, but they didn’t do much to help illuminate the Maxwell Pundit picture, except to remove Brady Quinn from contention for awhile. Troy Smith’s a strong QB on a potentially great team, who has some tough games immediately in front of it. Steve Slaton is running wild over some patsies, but he’s so good and so fast, it sure seems like he could do it against anyone. Adrian Peterson looks like he did in 2004. John David Booty looks strong leading the Trojans — but has bigger challenges ahead on his schedule as well.
1.) Troy Smith (Ohio State)
He’s damn good, there’s no question about that. As someone (sorry, we’ve read a lot of college football coverage in the wake of — say it with me — Separation Saturday) pointed out, he hasn’t even started showing off his out-of-pocket skills yet.
2.) Steve Slaton (West Virginia)
We tried to put him after J.D. Booty at #4, but he ran past him and into 3nd place. Then he did the same thing to Adrian Peterson to get to #2, before getting stopped by the Ohio State offensive line as he tried to get to Troy Smith. True story. And with East Carolina, Mississippi State, Syracuse, and UConn on the slate for his next four games, Slaton is a runaway truck with no brakes. Louisville, November 2nd. If he manages to keep up the pace he’s on now (and seriously, who is going to slow him down?), then runs well/beats Louisville, he’d have a good case for the hardware (as a sophomore no less) — even with the ‘Eers Charmin-soft schedule.
3.) Adrian Peterson (Oklahoma)
Ran all over a pretty tough Ducks defense for 211 yards and what probably should have been a win. Looks superhuman right now. Seriously, at one point his eyes caught the camera and we thought we saw one of those red lasers (a la Arnold in T2 when his head’s been smashed up). His big national showcase, and chance to make a play for #1 — the Longhorns and the Red River Showdown — waits for him in a fortnight. That’s right, a fortnight.
4.) John David Booty (USC)
Big mouth Andre Jones and Company weren’t exactly formidable competition for Booty — but he looked confident and will continue to benefit immensely from the best receiving corps in the nation.
5.) Prescott Burgess (Michigan)
If we’re going to give Zbikowski a nod for a badass pick-and-runback, we can’t ignore the 2 picks and subsequent returns by Burgess (one for a TD on the second play of the game), who, along with the rest of the Wolverines, made Saturday morning as delightful as any in recent memory for us.
Others Possibly Up For Some Form of Consideration
Kenny Irons (Auburn)
Rudy Carpenter (Arizona State)
Mario Manningham (Michigan)
Chris Leak (Florida)
Dwayne Jarrett (USC)
James Laurinitis (Ohio State)
Drew Tate (Iowa)