The HP Heisman Watch

We are two weeks in and the Heisman race is starting to whittle down somewhat.  Remember, this list is of those who have a shot to actually win the trophy, so others who will get Heisman votes in the end may not be here:

1. Colt McCoy, Texas–McCoy threw for 337 yards and three touchdowns against Wyoming and added an interception, plus 44 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown.  On the year, he is 51 of 76 (67 percent) for 654 yards, 5 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, with 41 rushing yards and 1 rushing touchdown.  He won’t face legitimate competition until mid-October and so his position on top of this list is unlikely to budge until then.  For now, he remains the player most likely to win the Heisman.

2. Tim Tebow, Florida–He had a Tebow-esque game against Troy, throwing for 237 yards on 15 of 24 passing, with 4 touchdown passes and no interceptions.  He also ran for 71 yards and a score.  On the year, he is 25 of 39 (64 percent) for 425 yards, 5 touchdowns and no interceptions, to go with 72 yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground.  He’ll get a chance to show off this weekend against Tennessee in a game no one would care about if it weren’t for Lane Kiffin’s big mouth.  As with McCoy, his real tests come starting in October and so his position here is unlikely to change until then. 

3. Jahvid Best, Cal–Best ran for 144 yards on 17 carries against Eastern Washington.  He had a touchdown rushing and a touchdown receiving.  On the year, he has 281 yards on 27 carries (10.4 average), 3 rushing touchdowns and 4 catches for 42 yards and 1 receiving score.  While McCoy and Tebow won’t be focused upon until mid-October, Best has a chance to stick out a bit in the next three weeks, as he has games at Minnesota, at Oregon and then the big one versus USC.  If he turns up the production a bit in these next three games, he’ll be in pretty good shape, especially if Cal remains undefeated.

4. Daryll Clark, Penn State–Had another nice game this past week, throwing for 240 yards and 3 touchdowns (with one pick) on 20 of 31 passing against Syracuse.  For the season, he is 49 of 71 for 593 yards with 6 passing touchdowns and 2 interceptions.  His schedule isn’t especially conducive to a Heisman run, but if he keeps playing well and Penn State remains undefeated, he’ll be a viable option if any of the others in front of him screw up.

5. Max Hall, BYU–Hall went 24 of 32 for 309 yards, with 2 touchdowns and 1 interception against Tulane.  On the year, he is 50 of 70 for 638 yards, with 4 touchdowns and 3 picks.  Hall gets Florida State this week and it’s a shame for him that the Seminoles looked so bad against Jackson State, as he won’t get as much credit if the Cougars win this one.  If BYU gets through the season undefeated and Hall’s numbers look good, he’ll have a shot at the Heisman if the others ahead of him falter.

6. Joe McKnight, USC–McKnight didn’t do well enough against Ohio State to catapult himself into the upper echelon of Heisman contenders, but he did do enough to stick around for a possible late-season run.  He rushed for 60 yards on 16 carries and caught 2 passes for 45 yards, but many of those yards were clutch in the final minutes of USC’s dramatic win, so he did well when everyone was watching.  On the year, he has 205 rushing yards on 30 carries (6.8 ypc), and 3 catches for 66 yards.  He needs to get to 1,500 yards on the season to make a legitimate case for the Heisman.

7. Dez Bryant, Oklahoma State–Bryant played well in OSU’s lost to Houston, catching 5 passes for 75 yards and returning a punt 82 yards for a touchdown.  Unfortunately, he couldn’t make the plays needed to save the Cowboys and so he takes a hit in the Heisman race.  However, this is where being a receiver in the race is beneficial, as he won’t take as much blame for the loss as he would if he were a quarterback.  On the year, he has 8 catches for 162 yards and 2 touchdowns and has 3 punt returns for 111 yards and 1 score.  If he can be the catalyst for a Cowboy run at the Big 12 title, he will start to jump back up in this race.

8. Jevan Snead, Ole Miss–Bye.  Snead is barely hanging on this list.  I doubt whether he will put up the numbers he needs to compete with the other quarterbacks, but as long as Ole Miss is undefeated and he performs well, we’ll keep him here.

Dropped Out:  Jimmy Clausen, Terrelle Pryor–Both these guys can still have great seasons and even get some Heisman votes, but anything they do will mostly serve to set them up for a run at the 2010 Heisman. 

If the Vote Were Held Today

1. Colt McCoy

2. Tim Tebow

3. Jahvid Best

4. Max Hall

5. Dez Bryant

6. Joe McKnight

7. Case Keenum

8. Eric Berry

9. Tate Forcier

10. Jimmy Clausen

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Kyle Bunch

Partnerships for R/GA Ventures. Raised in California, adopted by Texas. Opinions expressed here are mine and they are fantastic.

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