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The players speak

Weighing in on the Heisman, national champ, more

Posted: Tuesday August 7, 2007 10:57AM; Updated: Tuesday August 7, 2007 1:00PM
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John David Booty
USC QB John David Booty is the leader of the best team in America and a Hesiman candidate, according to his peers.
Robert Beck/SI
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Compiled by Greg Beaton and Mallory Rubin, SI.com

We asked one starter from each of the 119 Division I-A teams the following questions about college football and the upcoming season. Here's how they responded:

1. Who is your preseason favorite to win the national championship?

USC: 49.5%
Florida: 17.6%
LSU: 8.4%
West Virginia: 5.9%
Michigan: 5.0%
Texas: 4.2%
Others receiving votes: 7.6%
Declined to respond: 1.8%

Notes: Players were asked not to vote for their own school... The top six schools in SI.com's survey are the exact same, in a slightly different order, as the teams in the preseason coaches' poll... Arkansas, Ohio State and Miami each received two votes... All but one eligible Pac-10 school voted for USC.

Quotable: A Pac-10 player on why USC will win the national championship: "Every year they're stacked, and with everyone they have coming in, they're going to be stacked for the next five years." ... Said an ACC player, who voted for LSU, in support of the SEC: "They're very talented on both sides of the ball, the only downfall is they play in a very difficult conference, so it's difficult not to lose more than one game."

2. Who is your preseason favorite to win the Heisman?

Darren McFadden, Arkansas: 58.0%
John David Booty, USC: 10.1%
Steve Slaton, West Virginia: 8.4%
Brian Brohm, Louisville: 4.2%
Colt Brennan, Hawaii: 3.4%
Others receiving votes: 11.7%
Declined to respond: 4.2%

Notes: Players were asked not to vote for teammates... McFadden's support was unilateral: 35 votes were from BCS schools, 34 were from others... Other quarterbacks receiving votes were Michigan's Chad Henne (2), Florida's Tim Tebow (2) and West Virginia's Pat White (1)... Florida's Percy Harvin was the only wide receiver to receive a vote.

Quotable: One Big 12 player wasn't ready to hand the Heisman to McFadden just yet: "You can't really fly under the radar out there at USC. A lot of people are talking about the kid at Arkansas, McFadden, but [John David] Booty has as good a shot as anyone." ... One Big Ten player said Slaton's superior team will help him win the trophy: "Slaton and McFadden both showed they can handle a lot last year, and they'll only get better. Slaton has a little more around him, though."

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