This Weekend’s Games and the Top 10 Heisman Candidates

The rundown:

Matt Leinart and USC take on BYU in Provo, in a game shown Saturday night on ESPN. Leinart’s exposure is to the point where it gets noticed if he doesn’t say “God Bless You” after someone nearby sneezes, as evidenced by this ESPN story on his ‘T-Shirt-Gate’ scandal here.

Norm Chow quarterbacks tend to do well in Cougar Stadium, so look for Leinart to have a good stat night, though that 3-3-5 BYU defense might give him his first interception of the year. He’s had only 2 picks in his last 312 throws dating back to last season, but before that stretch he had 3 interceptions against the Cougars in a somewhat-close win at the Coliseum.

Cedric Benson and Texas are off this week, but interestingly enough, Benson mentioned on ESPN Radio that he would rather win the Heisman than beat Oklahoma — check this out.

Guess what, Ced? If Texas doesn’t beat OU, you probably won’t win the Heisman.

Brock Berlin and Miami take on Louisiana Tech at home. Doesn’t it seem weird that La. Tech is a WAC team?…Anyway, look for Berlin to make like a rajin’ cajun and lead a healthy stomping of the Bulldogs. Not that anyone will notice much since it isn’t on TV.

Vernand Morency and Oklahoma State take on SMU. Doesn’t matter where this is played. It should be another 200+ yard game for Morency. I wonder if the Oklahoma State coaches are going to start to leave him in longer in blowouts to boost his numbers? Do they know he has a chance (albeit small) to win the Heisman? This game may be a good gauge of their awareness of that.

Kyle Orton and Purdue are off. He can start getting ready for that Notre Dame trip, since he has a really bad Illinois team coming up next anyway.

Darren Sproles and K-State try to rebound against Louisiana-Lafayette. Methinks Mr. Sproles will have no problem ripping off 250-plus yards. Believe it or not, if he does that and then approaches those numbers in games against A&M and Kansas, he’ll be right back in the mix, with Oklahoma being his showcase game.

Quick Note: Looks like Oklahoma will play a major role in at least THREE Heisman campaigns–Benson’s, Morency’s and Sproles’.

Aaron Rodgers and Cal will not play due to Ivan. No, not Maisel, I mean the Hurricane. This could hurt him in that he will be underground for the next three weeks.

Kay-Jay Harris and West Virginia host Maryland on ESPN in their biggest early-season matchup. It looks like Harris is slowed with a hamstring, but word on campus is that he is going to play (much thanks to that guy who hangs out by the library). I hope he shows his stuff–by all accounts he has a good personality and is an entertaining interview. He could help spice up the Heisman race.

Witness this quote here by Harris after he ran for 7 yards the week after gaining 337: “That has to be some kind of record for going backwards, doesn’t it?” Harris asked.

Carnell Williams and Auburn host LSU on CBS. This could be Cadillac’s big moment to show his stuff. I think he should mix some soap in Ronnie Brown’s pre-game meal or put some icy-hot in his jock strap so that Brown doesn’t take his carries.

Marion Barber and Minnesota are at Colorado State on ESPN 2. CSU gave up 322 rushing yards to USC last week. Minnesota might put up 400+. That’s why Barber doesn’t need to put soap in Lawrence Maroney’s pre-game meal–there’s plenty of yards to go around in that offense.

Should be a great weekend!

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About Heismanpundit

Chris Huston, A.K.A. ‘The Heisman Pundit‘, is a Heisman voter and the creator and publisher of, a site dedicated to analysis of the Heisman Trophy and college football. Dubbed “the foremost authority on the Heisman” by Sports Illustrated, HP is regularly quoted or cited during football season in newspapers across the country. He is also a regular contributor on sports talk radio and television.

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