Posted: Sunday September 17, 2006 10:51PM; Updated: Monday September 18, 2006 12:50PM
Fresh off his strong performance against Nebraska's Blackshirts, USC QB John David Booty has ascended to new Heisman heights.
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I'm not saying that Brady Quinn won't win the Heisman. It's certainly unlikely at this point, but who knows? Maybe the guy the Watchman predicted back in April would win the stiff-armed statue will roll off nine sensational outings and make Peterson, Slaton, Smith and the boys sweat this one out.
However, no matter what Quinn does for the rest of the season, nothing can remove the image of the Michigan defense making him look silly on Saturday. And I'm sure when voters fill out their ballots, they'll remember Saturday as well.
John David Booty, USC, QB, Jr.
Last week: 25 of 36 passing, 257 yards, 3 TDs in a 28-10 victory against No. 19 Nebraska
Season: 49 of 71 passing, 518 yards, 6 TDs
Heisman-o-meter: Granted, the Trojans' pass offense has not looked like the touchdown-crazy unit it was last year, but Booty has been efficient and avoided big mistakes against two likely bowl teams. Even Matt Leinart (427 yards, 4 TDs, 3 INTs) did not have Booty's numbers through two games in his first year at the helm in 2003.
Up next: Saturday at Arizona
Mike Hart, Michigan, RB, Jr.
Last week: 31 rushes, 124 yards, 1 TD in a 47-21 victory at No. 2 Notre Dame
Season: 81 rushes, 386 yards, 4 TDs
Heisman-o-meter: Though quarterback Chad Henne was the lead Wolverine on Saturday, the Watchman still believes that Number 20 is the heart of this team and that on Saturday, Henne was the beneficiary of a suspect pass defense. Here's a stat: Michigan is 12-1 when Hart rushes for 100 yards, but the Wolverines are only 4-3 when Henne throws for at least 250 yards.
Up next: Saturday vs. Wisconsin
Chris Leak, Florida, QB, Sr.
Last week: 15 of 25 passing, 199 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT in a 21-20 victory at No. 13 Tennessee
Heisman-o-meter: He didn't have a huge statistical night, but he showed poise when needed and drove the Gators down the field for the game-winning touchdown when it mattered. What does it say about Leak, however, when coach Urban Meyer pulls Leak in favor of true freshman Tim Tebow on certain running plays?
Up next: Saturday vs. Kentucky
Adrian Peterson, Oklahoma, RB, Jr.
Last week: 34 rushes, 211 yards, 1 TD in a 34-33 loss at No. 18 Oregon
Heisman-o-meter: Peterson showed his considerable toughness against the Ducks, rushing for 145 yards in the fourth quarter alone, but even his heroics could not overcome two highly questionable calls that went against Oklahoma late in the game. Speaking of production and ability only, it would be difficult to find a better player in the country. But many voters consider team success as well.