The Heismanpundit Top 10 as of Sept. 12–
Remember, this is NOT the predicted order of the voting. These are the candidates who have the best chance to actually win.
1. Matt Leinart, USC–Held serve with 20 of 31 passing and 231 yards, 2 TDs and 0 interceptions in a 49-0 win over Colorado State. Has a firm lead in this race as of now.
2. Cedric Benson, Texas–Followed up 181 yard effort with 188 yards and 2 TDs in tough win over Arkansas. Has Rice up next and could, with another good effort, make this a two-man race.
3. Brock Berlin, Miami–He’s a fragile No. 3 as of now, but if his statistics continue to improve, he’ll be stronger.
4. Vernand Morency, Oklahoma State–Had 269 yards in game 1 and 184 yards in game 2. Will now have 5 games against soft competition before taking on Oklahoma. It is possible that he will have 1,500 yards or so by that time. If he shows he is for real against the Sooners, the talk will be about his march towards 2,000 yards and comparisons to Barry Sanders’ 1988 run.
5. Kyle Orton, Purdue–Has 606 yards passing and 9 TDs (and no interceptions) in his first two games. If he keeps it up, and Purdue sneaks into the top 5 by season’s end, he has a solid shot at the trophy should others slip up.
6. Darren Sproles, Kansas State–Just 37 yards in a loss to Fresno State. This hurts big time, but he has the ability to rattle off three 200-yard games in a row, which would make people regard this game as a brief hiccup. Still, if K-State loses again soon, he’ll just become this year’s version of Ladanian Tomlinson–a highly-regarded back playing for a team that no one respects.
7. Aaron Rodgers, California–He is now the West Coast alternative to Matt Leinart. He was 19 of 26 for 260 yards and 2 TDs this week. All signs point to a huge matchup against USC on Oct. 9, when the Heisman race could really come into clear focus. We may even get an answer to the riddle on that ESPN Game Day commercial.
8. Kay-Jay Harris, West Virginia–Just 7 yards because of injury this week, but his first week was so herculean that he could afford to have a game like this early. Needs to bounce back strong next week against Maryland.
9. Carnell Williams, Auburn–Gained 122 yards and scored 2 TDs, but was outrushed by his teammate Ronnie Brown. His campaign really starts this week against LSU.
10. Marion Barber, Minnesota–Had 143 yards rushing. Keeps losing carries to Lawrence Maroney. But Minnesota could be on a nice run here and Barber will still get his numbers in that Gopher offense.
Dropped Out: David Greene, Georgia–Sorry, but 213 yards following 161 yards ain’t going to cut it. He also has threw a bad interception against South Carolina which went back for a score. Was never convinced of his worthiness and the first two games confirm that.