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The race is on

New season means new look for Heisman Watch

Posted: Monday August 28, 2006 12:28PM; Updated: Tuesday August 29, 2006 1:10PM
Brady Quinn may be the early Heisman favorite, but he'll have to prove it on the field before he's No. 1 on our list.
Brady Quinn may be the early Heisman favorite, but he'll have to prove it on the field before he's No. 1 on our list.
Heinz Kluetmeier/SI

The Watchman believes that if you're not improving yourself, you're getting worse. With that in mind, we've incorporated a change to the Watch this year: Just like the BCS standings, the Heisman candidates will not be ranked until mid-October. Seriously, how silly is it to have players listed 1 through 10 after Week 1? That's not to say that the Watchman doesn't have a prediction as to who will win (Quinn, Quinn, Quinn). But under the new format neither he nor anyone else will receive what some have perceived (incorrectly, it should be said) as a head start.

So, in alphabetical order, here are the 10 leading candidates for the stiff-armed statuette.

Brian Brohm, QB, Louisville, Jr.

Heisman-o-meter: He's the triggerman of a prolific offense that knows the joy of six, but there is still doubt as to whether his surgically repaired right knee is fully healed. And playing in the Big East, he'll likely need great performances (can you say wins?) against Miami and West Virginia to be in the hunt.

Up next: Sunday vs. Kentucky

Michael Bush, RB, Louisville, Sr.

Heisman-o-meter: A tank (6-foot-3, 247 pounds) with surprising speed, Bush has proven to be an unstoppable goal-line force (23 rushing touchdowns in '05). But playing alongside quarterback Brohm, Bush may not even be the best player in his own backfield.

Up next: Sunday vs. Kentucky

Jamaal Charles, RB, Texas, Soph.

Heisman-o-meter: His chances looked much better before senior running back Selvin Young dropped 16 pounds in the offseason and turned the Longhorns' tailback situation into a time-share, but Charles still has absurd speed, an ability to bounce off tacklers and one of the nastiest offensive lines in the country blocking for him.

Up next: Saturday vs. North Texas

Ted Ginn Jr., WR, Ohio State, Jr.

Heisman-o-meter: A receiver has not won the Heisman since Desmond Howard in 1991. But if one is to win it this year, it likely will be Ginn, who, like Howard, is a receiving-returning wonder. Of course, the Watchman said the same thing about Ginn last year before watching him disappear in the middle of the season.

Up next: Saturday vs. Northern Illinois