Heisman race tightens up at the top

Steve Murray
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Wednesday - October 24, 2008
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1) Sam Bradford, Oklahoma, QB, So., 6-1. No. 4 AP. Last week: No. 1.

Last week: 36-53 passing, 468 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT, QB rating: 114.3; in a 45-31 win against Kansas. Season: 170-238 passing, 2,520 yards,26 TDs,5 INTs,QB rating: 133.4.

Bradford lost his favorite target, wide receiver Manuel Johnson, in the first quarter and still managed a school-record passing performance against a porous (No. 9 vs the pass in Big 12) yet opportunistic (No. 2 in INTs) defense. How long he can hold off McCoy remains to be seen.

Sam Bradford

2) Colt McCoy, Texas, QB, Jr., 7-0. No. 1 AP. Last Week: No. 3.

Last week: 29-32 passing, 337 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs; QB rating: 131.4; 2 rushing touchdowns in a 56-31 win over Missouri.

Season: 160-197 passing, 1,894 yards, 19 TDs, 3 INT, QB rating: 132.5; 70 rushes, 371 yards, 6 TDs.

Texas didn’t need a near-perfect performance by McCoy to defeat a tumbling Missouri team, but his 90.6 completion percentage and 17 straight connections put huge pressure on Bradford and Heisman voters looking to cast their ballots beyond the Texas border.

3) Chase Daniel,Missouri, QB, Sr., 5-2. No. 16 AP. Last week: No. 2.

Last week: 31-41 passing, 318 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INTs, QB rating: 103.5; in a 56-31 loss at Texas.

Season: 189-249 passing, 2,373 yards, 18 TDs, 5 INT; 26 rushes, 112 yards, QB rating: 120.8

Even with two straight losses, Daniel will be headed for New York come January. However, he’s not getting any closer to winning the heavy bronze sculpture. The schedule works out for the Tigers with Kansas (19) the only ranked team remaining.

4) Graham Harrell. Texas Tech, Sr., 7-0. No. 8 AP. Last week: No. 4.

Last Week: 44-56, 450 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INTs, QB rating: 103.1; 2 rushing touchdown in a 43-25 win at Texas A&M.

Season: 222-318, 2,761 yards, 23 TDs,5 INTs,QB rating: 114.; 5 rushing touchdowns.

Herrell remains solidly just outside of bronze contention even though his rating took a hit with the two picks. With four of their final five games against ranked teams - including upcoming losses to Texas and Oklahoma - he won’t go any higher.

5) Max Hall, BYU, QB, Jr. 6-1. No. 18 AP. Last week: No. 5.

Last week: 22-42 passing, 274 yards, 0 TDs, 2 INTs, QB rating: 53.1.; 1 rushing touchdown in a 32-7 loss at TCU.

Season: 174-257 passing, 2,119 yards, 20 TDs, 6 INTs, QB rating: 109.1.

The crushing loss not only cost BYU a BCS invitation, it also ensured that Hall will be shut out of the NYC festivities.A top 10 finish for both is still possible, but no longer is anyone paying attention.

6) Javon Ringer, Michigan State, RB, Sr., 6-2. Unranked. Last week: No. 6.

Last week: 16 rushes, 67 yards, 0 TDs; 6 receptions, 19 yards in a 45-7 loss to Ohio State.

Season: 263 rushes, 1,179 yards, 14 TDs; 15 receptions, 95 yards; 11 kickoff returns, 224 yards.

A day after the school launched a website touting his Heisman credentials, Ringer is held to his lowest rushing total of the season. Still, in a down year for running backs, the senior finds himself atop the rushing list for total yards.

7) Donald Brown, Connecticut, RB, Jr. 5-2.

Unranked. Last week: No. 7.

Last week: 27 rushes, 107 yards in a 12-10 loss at Rutgers.

Season: 206 rushes, 1,174 yards, 12 TDs; 14 receptions, 54 yards.

Running for an average gain of 3.9 yards against the conference’s second-worst run defense does-n’t help a second-tier candidate jump into the top five. A big finish is needed to keep him from drifting downward. Still No. 1 in per game rushing average.

Colt McCoy

8) Daryll Clark, Penn State, QB, Jr., 8-0. No. 3 AP. Last week: No. 8.

Last week: 18-31 passing, 171 yards, 1 TDs, 0 INTs, QB rating: 84.2; 9 rushes, 45 yards, 2 TDs in a 46-17 win against Michigan.

Season: 114-180 passing, 1,531 yards, 11 TDs, 2 INT, QB rating: 106.; 47 rushes, 190 yards, 8 TDs.

That Penn State can pummel Michigan with an ordinary performance by its QB is perhaps a bigger indictment against the Wolverines than it is a plus for the Nittany Lions.

9) Tim Tebow, Florida, QB, Jr., 5-1. No. 5 AP. Last week: No. 10.

Last week: No game.

Season: 93-149 passing, 1,235 yards, 10 TDs, 1 INTs, QB rating: 108.2; 73 rushes, 179 yards, 3 TDs.

The week off may have come at a perfect time. Florida plays Kentucky (11.9 points per game allowed and 14 picks) before road games against Georgia and Vandy.

10) David Johnson,Tulsa QB,Sr., 7-0.No.22 AP.Last week: unranked.

Last Week: 21-27 passing, 434 yards,5 TDs,1 Int.,QB rating: 142.9. 77-35 win against UTEP.

Season 138-200 passing, 2,397 yards, 31 TDs, 8 INTs, QB rating: 132.4.

Pummeling UTEPs defense is not the biggest chore there is, but Johnson still deserves praise for his performance.

*Earlier weeks can be found at foxsports.com community webpage under the title, “411 from the 808.”

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