The Heisman Run Down  

Posted by Walter

Frazier, you and I are watching the same games but we ain't seeing the same things. Look, I respect your Heisman list because, frankly, that's probably what its going to look like at the end of the year. But I hate to break it to you, it's fucking September. There's a reason they don't give out the award until the end of the year (as one glimpse at my ballot will make abundantly clear). I can't see into the future. Maybe you can, but I can't. If you are in fact clairvoyant, then this feature is gonna get real old, real quick. I, on the other hand, am all about the moment. Living in the here and now. So while my ballot today may look nothing like the eventual Downtown Athletic Club guest list, just remember your ballot doesn't reflect who'd get those exclusive invitations if the award was given out today.

1) Tim Tebow

The true sophomore has been nothing short of electric to start the season and his play is one of the major reasons
the Gators are amongst the best teams in the nation. In three games this season the Florida offense has put up 49, 59 and 59 points, simply staggering numbers no matter who the opponents are. I resisted Tebow as much as possible, but even I can't ignore the numbers: 74% completion rate, 835 yards, 8 TD against only 1 pick, and that's before you even consider his contributions to the running game (182 yards 5 TD). Look all you need to know about Tebow is that he has personally accounted for 13 touchdowns in 3 games. While lots of guys have great numbers early in the year, what separates Tebow from the rest of the list is that he already has a signature win. In leading Florida to its route over Tennessee, Tebow was almost perfect accounting for 360 total yards and 4 touchdowns against one of the few veteran defenses in the SEC.

2) Sam Bradford

If you are looking at straight numbers, Bradford is the only guy in the nation who can come close to matching
Tebow. Bradford actually has a higher completion percentage than Tebow (79% to 74%) and more touchdown passes (11 to 8). What is most impressive about Bradford, though, is his poise as a Freshman leading a veteran laden Sooner offense. Bradford has been a perfect signal caller so far, spreading the ball around when he needs to but also leaning heavily on star wideout Malcolm Kelly when he needs. Also, like Tebow, the Bradford led Sooner offense has been other worldly putting up 79, 51 and 54 points in its three games. What gets Bradford the nod in the #2 spot was his surgical dissection of a star studded Miami defense in week 2. Bradford picked on all american Kenny Phillips and company in his coming out party to the tune of 255 yards and 3 TD.

3) Dennix Dixon

You like numbers? How bout these numbers. In three games (including an absolutely stunning blowout of Michigan in Ann Arbor) Dixon has ammassed 565 yards passing, 276 yards rushing, and 11 total touchdowns without a single turnover. Dixon has delivered big play after big play for the Ducks, in leading them to a superb 3-0 start. I mean seriously, who thought Oregon would be 3-0 with a game at Michigan and at home against Fresno State on the slate? Even scarier, Dixon hasn't even gotten star wide receiver Jaison Williams going yet (154 yards, 2 TD). Imagine what this offense will look like once Dixon and Williams rekindle the magic that led to 984 yard 2006.

4) Andre Woodson

Like the other guys on this list, Woodson has an early season signature win to his resume. Woodson was nothing
short of spectacular in the Wildcats' win over Louisville, proving to everyone that he, and not Brian Brohm, might be the best QB in the state of Kentucky. What is most impressive about Woodson's start, however, is just how explosive he and the Kentucky offense has been. Albeit against weak defenses, Woodson has put up a play of 50 yards or more in each of his first three games. How's that for consistency? Speaking of consistency, Woodson has completed between 68% and 69% of his passes in each game, and has yet to throw an interception (against 9 TD). More than anything though, you simply have to be impressed with how the man just does NOT make mistakes. He hasn't thrown an interception in 2007, only threw 7 in 2006, and has only thrown 14 in his entire Kentucky career. If these trends continue, we're not only talking about the Heisman Trophy, we're talking about the number 1 overall draft pick.

5) Cullen Harper

Wait, what? Who? Don't you mean Darren McFadden? Nope, Cullen Harper you heard me right. As great as McFadden is (and he is great) he can't be on the list right now mostly because he sat on the sidelines while his team lost a winnable game against Alabama. Harper, on the other hand, has been a revelation for the surprisingly
3-0 Clemson Tigers. In fact it's been his play, and his alone, that has gotten the Tigers to 3 wins in 3 chances. Yes we all know about James Davis and CJ Spiller, but frankly those guys have been pedestrian thus far. It's been Harper's play that has lifted the team. In three games Harper's numbers are every bit as gaudy as his better known counterparts. Harper has put up 696 yards, while completing over 70% of his passes, with 10 TD and 0 picks. Harper also has "it". That magical, yet indescribable thing that separates quarterbacks from passers. Harper commands the respect of his team, and has the poise of a seasoned veteran. None of this was more evident than in his first start of his career. Against Florida State, with his star running back tandem held in check, Harper delivered two touchdowns in the first 15 minutes to put the game out of reach before the Seminoles knew what hit them. Chances are he won't be on this list at the end of the year, but we'd all be remiss if we didn't acknowledge him now.


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