Thursday, October 29, 2009

Heisman Ballot: Week 9

By Mark J. Zavodnyik

1. Colt McCoy, Quarterback, Texas Longhorns

Last Game:
26-of-31 passing, 269 yards, three touchdowns, one interception in a 41-7 victory over Missouri

Analysis: In a season where no one seems ready to make a strong claim for the Heisman, McCoy, the best player on a surprisingly under-appreciated Texas team, is the current leader. This year’s Heisman Trophy will likely go to the player who dominates in November and McCoy’s great game against Missouri comes at just the right time. The Longhorns face Oklahoma State this week in a game that is sure to be a display of offensive firepower. McCoy will remain in the driver’s seat if he can come close his performance in last year’s victory over the Cowboys when he threw for 391 yards and two touchdowns.

2. Jimmy Clausen, Quarterback, Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Last Game:
26-of-39 passing, 246 yards, two touchdowns in a 20-16 victory over Boston College

Analysis: Not Clausen's most impressive performance from a statistical perspective, but another solid game that included two great touchdown passes to wide receiver Golden Tate. Clausen will need big games against Washington State and Navy in the coming weeks to stay in the race.

3. Mark Ingram, Running Back, Alabama Crimson Tide

Last game:
18 rushes for 99 yards in a 12-10 victory over Tennessee.

Analysis: In today’s SEC, it is probably impossible for a running back to continuously put up monster yardage as Ingram did in his previous performance against South Carolina (246 rushing yards). However, Ingram falls from the top spot due to a key fumble with the Crimson Tide leading Tennessee 12-3 and just over three minutes remaining in the game. The critical turnover allowed the Vols to get within a field goal of de-railing Alabama’s perfect season.

4. Tim Tebow, Quarterback, Florida Gators

Last Game:
12-of-22 passing, 127 yards, two interceptions; 22 rushes for 88 yards, 1 touchdown in 29-19 victory over Mississippi State

Analysis: With his 26-yard scamper for a score in the second quarter, Tebow tied Herschel Walker for the most rushing touchdowns in SEC history. One the other hand, Tebow had two interceptions returned for touchdowns. His 127 passing yards are not that of a Heisman winning quarterback. Tebow is not having the same statistical year as he had in his Heisman winning campaign of 2007. Nonetheless, he still has plenty of chances to re-claim the top spot, particularly with the game-formerly-known-as-the-world’s-largest-outdoor-cocktail-party against Georgia on the horizon this Saturday.

5. CJ Spiller, Running Back, Clemson Tigers

Last Game:
14 rushes, 81 yards; 6 receptions, 104 yards, one touchdown; three kick returns 125 yards, 1 kickoff return for touchdown in a 40-37 victory over Miami.

Analysis: Spiller’s presence on the list is an indication of the fluid nature of this year’s Heisman race. Like Ingram the week before, Spiller was not on many Heisman ballots prior to his game against Miami. That all changed with an electric performance that included a 90-yard kick return for touchdown and 56-yard touchdown catch. His 310 all-purpose yards were a school record. Spiller is now the nation’s leader in all-purpose yards per game at 207.86. He will need to keep up this impressive pace to offset Clemson’s three losses which likely will hurt him in the eyes of some voters.

Photo Courtesy of College Press Box