Here’s our Heisman preview for this weekend:
1. Matt Leinart and USC host Arizona in a game that should be over by halftime. With Reggie Bush slowed by a sore wrist, Leinart could have the spotlight all to himself in this one. I think he’ll have his best game to date, throwing for a high percentage, for over 300 yards and 3 touchdowns. Offensive coordinator Norm Chow might even throw a little razzle-dazzle into the equation. This game will set Leinart up for his big Heisman spotlight matchup against Notre Dame in two weeks.
2. Adrian Peterson and OU host Nebraska. This used to be a great rivalry. Now, it’s just another blowout for Oklahoma. The biggest suspense in this game will be who comes out with the best statistics between Jason White and Peterson. Perhaps they will give the first half to White and the second half to Peterson. You KNOW this is a game where Stoops will pull out all the stops and pile up the score, if he can (especially with Auburn breathing down his neck in the polls). That means another 3 TD passes for White and a huge game for Peterson–over 150 yards and a couple long touchdown runs. If that happens, I think Peterson moves back ahead of White and once again challenges for the top spot.
However, if the Scripps Howard Poll has Leinart ahead of Peterson this week, that will be an indicator that Peterson is finished as a candidate. Then, the real battle will be between Leinart and White. Given that they are both basically mundane guys in their style, I think Leinart wins that battle, since voters just don’t like to vote for a guy twice.
If Peterson is ahead, I think that a big game against Baylor will seal the deal, unless Leinart just goes off against Notre Dame and UCLA.
But, a lot can happen. Stay tuned.