By MARK ZAVODNYIK
This week’s ballot is undergoing a philosophical change. No longer will it be a projection of how a typical Heisman voter may cast his/her ballot. Instead it will be our determination of the five best players in college football:
1. Jimmy Clausen, Quarterback, Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Last Game: 22-of-27 passing, 268 yards, two touchdowns in a 40-14 victory over Washington State.
Analysis: Clausen continues to be one of the most impressive quarterbacks in college football. He has led his team to multiple fourth-quarter-comeback victories while battling a season-long case of turf toe. Clausen is very accurate, completing 66.9 percent of his passes against just two interceptions. He is second in the nation in passing efficiency and eighth in passing yards per game. Clausen needs another great performance against Navy this week to hold on to the top spot.
2. Case Keenum, Quarterback, Houston Cougars
Last Game: 44-of-54 passing, 559 yards, five touchdowns, one interception in a 50-43 victory over Southern Miss.
Analysis: Keenum’s statistics have been so impressive this season that he deserves a spot in the top two despite his perceived disadvantage of playing for a one-loss Conference USA team. Currently Keenum leads the country in completions per game (35.6), passing yards per game (411.63), total offense per game (420.9), points responsible for per game (21.5), touchdown passes (25) and total passing yards (3293).
3. Tim Tebow, Quarterback, Florida Gators
Last Game: 15-of-21 passing, 164 yards, two touchdowns; 18 rushes, 85 yards, 2 touchdowns in a 41-17 victory over Georgia.
Analysis: Florida fans finally got the Heisman-type game they want from Tebow. The senior from Jacksonville was very impressive with over 200 yards of offense and four total touchdowns as the Gators demolished Georgia. In addition to his passing duties at quarterback, Tebow is Florida’s leading rusher with 551 yards on the season.
4. Colt McCoy, Quarterback, Texas Longhorns
Last Game: 16-of-21 passing, 171 yards, one touchdown; 11 rushes for 34 yards in a 41-14 victory over Oklahoma State.
Analysis: McCoy was efficient in a game where the Texas defense suffocated the Oklahoma State offense. Nonetheless, “efficient” is not a word that McCoy needs to describe his performances if he going to stay on the ballot. McCoy has the opportunity to be spectacular with a home game against UCF coming this week. He could be in line for big day as his best statistical performances of the year have come against non-Big 12 opponents
5. Golden Tate, Wide Receiver, Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Last Game: Four receptions for 80 yards, one touchdown; 4 rushes for 61 yards, 1 touchdown in a 40-14 victory over Washington State.
Analysis: Tate is a dynamic threat in the passing game as well as in Notre Dame’s wildcat offense. His acrobatic catches have become a common occurrence. In this week’s victory over Washington State, Tate made an incredible catch on a Hail Mary pass over three Cougar defenders as the first half expired. Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis was impressed, “It was probably one of the most phenomenal catches I've seen anyone make, ever," Weis said after the game.
Outside Looking In: RB Mark Ingram (Alabama), RB CJ Spiller (Clemson), RB Ryan Matthews (Fresno State), QB Kellen Moore (Boise State), DT Ndamukong Suh (Nebraska)
Thursday, November 5, 2009
By MARK ZAVODNYIK