This season was billed as the Year of the Running Back, but so far quarterbacks have ruled. It's still very early, but Darren McFadden, Steve Slaton, et al. have high standards to meet when even quarterbacks such as Oklahoma freshman Sam Bradford are looking like Heisman candidates.
For the second straight week, we have to sift through a bunch of players who have piled up big numbers against a slew of softies so this list could very well be turned upside down once the real season begins.
The ballot if the season ended today:
1. Brian Brohm, Louisville, QB, Sr.
Last week: 25-of-39 passing, 401 yards, 5 TDs; 6 rushes 25 yards in a 58-42 victory over Middle Tennessee State
Season: 41-of-60 passing, 776 yards, 9 TDs; 7 rushes, 26 yards
Heisman-o-meter: Brohm just doesn't hit receivers; he always seems to hit them in stride. (See: Brohm's 71-yard TD pass between three defenders to receiver/physical freak Mario Urrutia on a slant.) The biggest development in last Thursday's game, however, was the play of Louisville's defense. If the Cards' matador-like ways from last week persist, Brohm's deadly accurate right arm may be called upon more than expected.
Up next: Saturday at Kentucky
2. Colt Brennan, Hawaii, QB, Sr.
Last week: 43-of-61 passing, 548 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT; 11 rushes, minus-8 yards, 1 TD in a 45-44 overtime victory at Louisiana Tech
Season: 77-of-101 passing, 964 yards, 10 TDs, 1 INT; 14 rushes, 15 yards, 1 TD
Heisman-o-meter: Brennan nickel-and-dimed last year's worst-rated defense to death in the first half before finally going downfield in a game that should not have been as close as it was. But this wasn't Grade A Brennan. A fumble and an interception led to two Bulldogs' touchdowns, the second of which put Louisiana Tech up 38-35 with three minutes left and Hawaii.
Up next: Saturday at UNLV
3. Pat White, West Virginia, QB, Jr.
Last week: 13-of-18 passing, 149 yards, 2 TDs; 18 rushes, 125 yards, 1 TD in a 48-23 victory at Marshall
Season: 23-of-36 passing, 341 yards, 4 TDs; 27 rushes, 222 yards, 3 TDs
Heisman-o-meter: His over-the-top throwing delivery isn't pretty, but it's getting the job done. And his fleet feet, which scored on a pretty QB sweep around the right side against Marshall, remain nonpareil among college quarterbacks. Stock's rising by the day.
Up next: Thursday at Maryland
4. Darren McFadden, Arkansas, RB, Jr.
Last week: Idle
Season: 24 rushes, 151 yards, 1 TD; 1-of-1 passing, 42 yards, 1 TD; 2 receptions, 30 yards; 1 kickoff return, 19 yards
Heisman-o-meter: A few people wondered last week how McFadden, my No. 1 preseason Heisman candidate, could be so low on my list after Week 1 at No. 4. The answer: He didn't have one of the top three performances in the opening weekend, and it can be argued that he was the second-best running back on his team (to Felix Jones) against Troy. Both he and Jones face an improved Alabama defense that's allowing just 2.05 yards per carry.
Up next: Saturday at Alabama
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