Posted: Sunday September 25, 2005 5:20PM; Updated: Monday September 26, 2005 1:37PM
Reggie Bush lost his shoe on this run against Oregon, but still ran for 122 yards on 20 carries.
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images
I have a friend named Kathryn who can persuade me to do things I wouldn't do even if I had a gat pointed at my head: Stay out until 3:30 a.m. on a work night; Try on a stranger's pink hat; Watch Gilmore Girls (and enjoy it). But when it comes to this column, the Heisman Watchman cannot be coerced.
Nonetheless on Saturday night Kathryn, a University of Texas graduate, tried her best. "You need to make Vince Young No. 1 on your list," she said. I thought about it for about two seconds. "Hmmm, um, yeah ..."
But before I could give her the disappointing news that Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush have a stranglehold on the top two spots, she stopped me. "Or," she said, "you could mention me in the column." Now that I can do.
1. Matt Leinart, QB, USC, Sr.
Last week: 23-of-39, 315 yards, 3 touchdowns, 1 interception in a 45-13 victory at No. 24 Oregon Season: 57-of-89 passing, 1,028 yards, 10 touchdowns, 2 interceptions
The lowdown: The Heisman frontrunner actually looked rattled for a half against Oregon. (Oh the humanity.) And he blamed his poor throws on -- are you ready for this? -- dry footballs. We'll take him for his word and bet that he finds the right grip against an Arizona State pass defense that ranks 94th in the nation.
Up next: Saturday at No. 14 Arizona State
2. Reggie Bush, RB, USC, Jr.
Last week: 20 rushes, 122 yards, 1 touchdown; 3 receptions, 43 yards, 1 touchdown; 4 punt returns, 27 yards; 3 kickoff returns, 75 yards in a 45-13 victory at No. 24 Oregon Season: 40 rushes, 333 yards, 4 touchdowns; 10 receptions, 171 yards, 2 touchdowns; 4 punt returns, 27 yards; 6 kickoff returns, 105 yards
The lowdown: Bush narrowed the gap on Leinart, taking advantage of a Ducks defense that played to slow the USC passing game. And if you didn't see Bush's reverse field 11-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, don't worry. It will appear on highlight reels the rest of the season.
The lowdown: Kathryn's man had the easiest week among the top contenders -- with the exception of Drew Stanton against Illinois. This week Young faces a possible trap game against Missouri with the annual showdown against Oklahoma looming on Oct. 8.
Up next: Saturday at Missouri
4. Laurence Maroney, RB, Minnesota, Jr.
Last week: 46 rushes, 217 yards; 5 receptions, 59 yards in a 42-35 double-overtime victory against No. 11 Purdue Season: 113 rushes, 698 yards, 6 touchdowns; 9 receptions, 128 yards, 1 touchdown
The lowdown: Prior to last week Maroney had the numbers but not the breakout victory usually seen on the résumé of a Heisman winner. Against Purdue Maroney got that win, and now the nation's rushing leader enters a four-game stretch (at Penn State, at Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio State) that will determine his chances.