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The Latest HP Heisman Poll

The Heismanpundit Heisman Poll, Sept. 22

1. Tim Tebow, QB, Florida–55 (7)
 
2. Jahvid Best, RB, California–53 (5)
 
3. Colt McCoy, QB, Texas–43 (1)
 
4. Jacory Harris, QB, Miami–17
 
5. Case Keenum, QB, Houston–8
 
6. Eric Berry, DB, Tennessee–5
 
7. Daryll Clark, QB, Penn State–4
 
Jake Locker, QB, Washington–4
 
Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State–4
 
10. Jevan Snead, QB, Mississippi–2
 
About the Poll
 
The HeismanPundit.com Heisman Poll is made up of 13 Heisman voters from across the country. They vote for five players each week. Tabulations are made on a 5-4-3-2-1 basis, with five points awarded for a first-place vote, four points for a second-place vote and so on.  Last year’s final Heismanpundit poll was the most accurate in the country, picking five of the top six finishers in the Heisman vote.

Members of the panel include: Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel, Teddy Greenstein and Brian Hamilton of the Chicago Tribune, Olin Buchanan and Tom Dienhart of Rivals.com, Jenni Carlson of The Oklahoman, Bruce Feldman of ESPN.com, J.B. Morris of ESPN the Magazine, Austin Murphy, B.J. Schecter and Stewart Mandel of Sports Illustrated, plus Dick Weiss of the New York Daily News.

Chris Huston, owner of Heismanpundit.com, coordinates and also votes in the weekly poll.
 
HP’s Thoughts
 
Cal running back Jahvid Best is surging in this race now and it’s no wonder after scoring five touchdowns against Minnesota.  While Tebow and McCoy are obviously great players, Best provides a lot of the razzle dazzle that the voters crave and that has perhaps been lacking from the venerable quarterback duo in the early going.  If Best can keep it up these next two weeks against Oregon and USC, he might take over this race.  Keep an eye on Miami’s Jacory Harris, the latest dark horse to emerge.

From a Voter

“For me, this was the week preseason preconceptions gave way to what’s actually happening on the field. In the wake of an inspiring but workmanlike afternoon from Tebow; and another halting first half from McCoy, it was a no-brainer  to elevate the sensational Jahvid Best to the top of my ballot after his five-TD performance on the road against much-improved Minnesota.”– Austin Murphy, Sports Illustrated
 
Heisman Game of the Week
 
No. 6 Cal at Oregon.  This game would have a higher profile if the Ducks hadn’t flopped against Boise State in week one, but it is a possible trap game for the Bears, who could be looking ahead to USC the following week.  The good news for Best: No rain in the forecast and a chance to fly on field turf against a suspect defense.  Fun note: Best has scored more touchdowns this season than 40 teams in the FBS.
 
Player to Watch

Jacory Harris, Miami.  Harris and the Hurricanes head to Blacksburg to take on Virginia Tech this Saturday.  He’s one of the hottest players in the country right now, but playing in this venue will be a challenge.  Voters will be keeping a close eye on this game and Harris has a chance to make a big impression by leading Miami to a win.  If that happens, he’ll have no time to rest on his laurels as Oklahoma is up next.
 
This Week in Heisman History

Eddie George rushed for 207 yards and two touchdowns on 32 carries to lead No. 7 Ohio State to a 45-26 win over Notre Dame in 1995.  “All I know is I played a game against Notre Dame to the best of my ability,” said George afterward.  “If I’m up for Heisman consideration, that’s great.”  He went on to win the trophy that year, beating out Nebraska’s Tommy Frazier and Florida’s Danny Wuerffel.

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The Latest Heismanpundit.com Heisman Poll

This Week’s Poll Results, 9/15
 (first place votes in parantheses)

1. Tim Tebow, QB, Florida–59 (9)

2. Colt McCoy, QB, Texas–52 (3)

3. Jahvid Best, RB, Cal–41 (1)

4. Max Hall, QB, BYU–19

5. Case Keenum, QB, Houston–8

6. Daryll Clark, QB, Penn State–7

7. Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Oregon State–3

8. Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State–2

     Jevan Snead, QB, Mississsippi–2

10. Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame–1

       Joe McKnight, RB, USC–1

About the Poll
 
The HeismanPundit.com Heisman Poll is made up of 13 Heisman voters from across the country. They vote for five players each week. Tabulations are made on a 5-4-3-2-1 basis, with five points awarded for a first-place vote, four points for a second-place vote and so on.  Last year’s Heismanpundit poll was the most accurate in the country, picking five of the top six finishers in the Heisman vote.

Members of the panel include: Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel, Teddy Greenstein and Brian Hamilton of the Chicago Tribune, Olin Buchanan and Tom Dienhart of Rivals.com, Jenni Carlson of The Oklahoman, Bruce Feldman of ESPN.com, J.B. Morris of ESPN the Magazine, Austin Murphy, B.J. Schecter and Stewart Mandel of Sports Illustrated, plus Dick Weiss of the New York Daily News.

Chris Huston, owner of Heismanpundit.com, coordinates and also votes in the weekly poll.

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The Latest Heismanpundit.com Heisman Poll

Hot off the presses…

This week’s poll (first place votes in parantheses):

1. Tim Tebow, QB, Florida–60 (8)

2. Colt McCoy, QB, Texas–57 (5)

3. Jahvid Best, RB, Cal–35

4. Dez Bryant, WR, Oklahoma State–10

5. Max Hall, QB, BYU–9

6. Daryll Clark, QB, Penn State–7

7. Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame–5

8. Joe McKnight, RB, USC–4

9. Jevan Snead, QB, Mississippi–3

      Eric Berry, DB, Tennessee–3

11. Taylor Mays, DB, USC–1

      Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama–1

About the Poll

The HeismanPundit.com Heisman Poll is made up of 13 Heisman voters from across the country. They vote for five players each week. Tabulations are made on a 5-4-3-2-1 basis, with five points awarded for a first-place vote, four points for a second-place vote and so on.  Last year’s Heismanpundit poll was the most accurate in the country, picking five of the top six finishers in the Heisman vote.

Members of the panel include: Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel, Teddy Greenstein and Brian Hamilton of the Chicago Tribune, Olin Buchanan and Tom Dienhart of Rivals.com, Jenni Carlson of The Oklahoman, Bruce Feldman of ESPN.com, J.B. Morris of ESPN the Magazine, Austin Murphy, B.J. Schecter and Stewart Mandel of Sports Illustrated, plus Dick Weiss of the New York Daily News.

Chris Huston, owner of Heismanpundit.com, coordinates and also votes in the weekly poll.
 
HP’s Thoughts

The injury to Sam Bradford jumbles the race quite a bit.  Tebow and McCoy are a solid 1-2, with Best, Bryant and Hall gaining strength.   The top five should be unchanged after this weekend, but don’t be surprised if Clausen or McKnight surges into contention after high profile games against Michigan and Ohio State, respectively.
 
From a Voter

“Even though I voted Tebow first and McCoy second, I really don’t see much separating those two right now. It’s more like 1A and 1B. I don’t see that changing much in coming weeks. The rest of my ballot, though, was in complete turmoil. Bradford’s injury bounced him entirely, and I had a hard time deciding who to put where. Best? Snead? Clausen? I even gave Case Keenum a look. If Week One is any indication of what the season will be like, it’s going to be crazy.– Jenni Carlson, The Oklahoman
 
Heisman Game of the Week
 
No. 3 USC at No. 8 Ohio State.  These two elite programs have won 14 Heismans between them, including four of the last seven.  If Buckeye quarterback Terrelle Pryor can engineer the upset in the Horseshoe, he’ll immediately pop up on every voter’s short list.  Meanwhile, USC’s McKnight has a chance to prove that he really is the next great Trojan tailback (it’s a position Heisman voters love).  Rain could be a factor in this one.  
 
Player to Watch

Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame.  Clausen has been on fire lately, throwing for 716 yards and nine touchdowns in his last two games.  It looks like he’s finally living up to the considerable hype that surrounded him coming out of high school.  This week, the Irish take on a much-improved Michigan squad and if he performs well, he’ll be set up for serious Heisman run.  Never underestimate the power of the Notre Dame quarterback mystique.
 
This Week in Heisman History

UCLA’s Gary Beban–dubbed “The Great One” by coach Tommy Prothro–went just 9 of 20 for 109 yards though the air, but turned a key 4th and 2 into a tackle-breaking 27-yard touchdown run with four minutes left to lead the No. 6 Bruins to a 20-16 win over No. 9 Tennessee in 1967.  Beban would go on to edge O.J. Simpson for the Heisman Trophy.

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Another Exit…

…and this is a big one.

As everyone knows by now, Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford suffered a shoulder injury in Oklahoma’s loss to BYU on Saturday.

Not only did Bradford get hurt, but the Sooners lost the game and now the trajectory of this year’s Heisman race has been altered.

For those of you who read this site regularly, you already know that Bradford was not included on my preseason Heisman Watch list.  The Heisman Watch is my personal gauge of who has the best shot of actually winning the Heisman.  Based on the circumstances, I found Bradford’s chances to be very slim and so he was not included. 

He is the latest victim of Heismandment No. 9, which states that there will never be another two-time winner.  Whether that prophecy holds true this year or not in regards to Tebow, there is little doubt that the following applies in Bradford’s case:

…it is also hard for a player to have Heisman-worthy seasons two years in a row. Both of those seasons must be arguably better than each of the other candidates in the running. So there are a lot of factors working against a would-be repeat winner.

Besides all that, there is also that mysterious Heisman karma that seems to take hold of a race every year. In the end, everything has to fall perfectly in place for someone to win the Heisman just once. So in order to win it again, things have to fall perfectly in place twice.

Can it happen? Sure.

Is it likely? No.

Having everything fall perfectly into place also requires staying healthy while playing a violent sport.  Unfortunately for Bradford, his injury will sink his Heisman hopes.  The 9th Heismandment wasted little time in getting to work in 2009.

Bradford’s official exit also affects the rest of the Heisman field, not to mention the national title race.  One would assume that Texas now has an easier path to the Big 12 title.  That means Colt McCoy’s chances at the Heisman have increased, as an undefeated Longhorns season now seems to be a stronger possibility.  Also, McCoy no longer has to share the Big 12 spotlight with Bradford and much of the support in that region will move his way.  One less big-time passing quarterback in the race also increases the odds of a running back or mult-purpose athlete gaining some traction.

Condolences to Bradford and Sooner fans.  A great player has been sidelined.  On a positive note, maybe this makes him come back in 2010 for another shot at it.

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The 2009 Preseason HP All-American Team, Offense

Quarterback

Colt McCoy, Texas–With so many great quarterbacks returning in 2009, this wasn’t an easy choice.  But McCoy is coming off a record-setting season where he completed 77 percent of his passes and was just a last-second Texas Tech upset away from clinching the Heisman and a berth in the national title game.  I think it’s time to give him his due.

colt

Running Back

Jahvid Best, California–Best is the closest anyone has come to being the next Reggie Bush.  He rushed for 1,580 yards and 15 touchdowns as a true sophomore and averaged an amazing 8.14 yards per carry.  He’s a classic breakaway back with angle-crushing speed.  If he can stay healthy, he’ll flirt with the 2,000-yard mark.

jahvid best

Fullback

William Rose, Florida Atlantic–At HP, we recognize that there is still such a thing as a fullback in football and so therefore there must be an All-American at this spot.  Rose, a senior, rushed for 307 yards and caught 23 passes for 168 yards in 2008. 

rose

Tight End

Jermaine Gresham, Oklahoma–The best college tight end since Kellen Winslow, Jr.  He should’ve won the Mackey Award last season, when he caught 66 passes for 950 yards and 14 touchdowns.  A superior talent.

jermaine-gresham-p1

Wide Receivers

Dez Bryant, Oklahoma State–The most dominating wide out in college football.  He can take over a game.  Also a brilliant return specialist.  A dark horse Heisman candidate who caught 87 passes for 1,480 yards and 19 touchdowns as a sophomore.

Kansas St Oklahoma St Football

Arrelious Benn, Illinois–A long-time HP favorite (he was an HP preseason AA last year), he has the best combination of size, speed and strength of any receiver in college football.  Should have huge year with continued improvement by his quarterback, Juice Williams.

ArreliousBenn_001

Offensive Line Unit

Per HP tradition, we will not choose individual All-Americans on the offensive line.

We refuse to do so because, unlike other people who pick All-Americans, we admit that we have no idea who really are the best offensive linemen.

There are no individual stats to go by. Highlights rarely show what they do. We could go off of hearsay, but wouldn’t that be dishonest? What’s more, there are 585 starting offensive linemen in Division One. It’s almost impossible to have seen enough of them to know who is really the best.  Did anyone pick Baylor’s Jason Smith–the second pick in the draft–on their preseason team last year?  I don’t think so.  So, while other All-American teams choose linemen almost solely based on reputation, we will not.

However, we will choose the best line unit in the country, since this is a bit easier to quantify. That honor goes to USC, which returns five starters plus two part-time starters–including three seniors–from a group that went 12-1 and paved the way to 195 rushing yards per game while allowing only 18 sacks.  Congrats Trojans.

O-LINE

We’ll have our preseason HP All-American defensive team tomorrow…

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