The most tumultuous weekend in college football in years also shook up the Heisman Watch. Three candidates (Steve Slaton, Colt Brennan and Brian Brohm) got bumped while three others made huge gains in the top 10. One of those players who did not make the cut, but was close, was Cal's DeSean Jackson. The reasoning for that is below.
But most importantly, we have a familiar face back on top of a race that, in these eyes, couldn't be any closer between Nos. 1 and 2.
The ballot if the season ended today:
1. Darren McFadden, Arkansas, RB, Jr.
Last week: 19 rushes, 138 yards, 2 TDs in a 66-7 victory over North Texas
Season: 105 rushes, 657 yards, 6 TDs; 1-of-2 passing, 42 yards, 1 TD; 7 receptions, 56 yards; 4 kickoff returns, 93 yards
Heisman-o-meter: After a brief stay at No. 2, the preseason favorite reclaimed the top spot despite being only playing one half in the rout of North Texas. On one run Saturday McFadden displayed a stiff arm that was so filthy it knocked the helmet off a potential tackler. On Sunday, Razorbacks coach Houston Nutt said of McFadden, "There's no reason for him not to be leading [the Heisman race] right now." Nutt's right.
Up next: Saturday vs. Tennessee-Chattanooga
2. Tim Tebow, Florida, QB, Soph.
Last week: 20-of-27 passing, 201 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT; 19 rushes, 75 yards, 1 TD in a 20-17 loss to Auburn
Season: 85-of-122 passing, 1,297 yards, 11 TDs, 2 INTs; 89 rushes, 433 yards, 8 TDs
Heisman-o-meter: The player known as Superman in Gainesville couldn't overcome a fast and aggressive Auburn defense that harassed him all night and made him earn every one of his 75 rushing yards. The downfield passing attack wasn't there, and miscommunication between Tebow and receiver Riley Cooper led to his one interception. Even though he drops to No. 2 this week, he is still in the thick of the race, and there's not another game in which he can make a bigger statement for the Heisman than Saturday's showdown in Baton Rouge.
Up next: Saturday at No. 1 LSU
3. Mike Hart, Michigan, RB, Sr.
Last week: 30 rushes, 106 yards, 1 TD; 1 reception, 4 yards in a 28-16 victory at Northwestern
Season: 157 rushes, 761 yards, 7 TDs; 3 receptions, 18 yards
Heisman-o-meter: Who wants to be No. 3? After a week in which all the top candidates -- Pat White, Ray Rice, Steve Slaton, Matt Ryan, etc. -- weren't No. 3-worthy, I moved Hart all the way up from just outside the top 10 to this spot. Many of you ripped me for not having him on the list in the first place, but many longtime readers know that I've been high on Hart for years. He produces every week, which is the main reason he passed the guys below. He blocks. He's a leader. I just wish he would break off more explosive runs.
Up next: Saturday vs. Eastern Michigan
4. Andre' Woodson, Kentucky, QB, Sr.
Last week: 26-of-33 passing, 301 yards, 5 TDs, 1 INT; 2 rushes, 4 yards in a 45-17 victory over Florida Atlantic
Season: 112-of-167 passing, 1,309 yards, 16 TDs, 1 INT; 20 rushes, minus-52 yards, 2 TDs
Heisman-o-meter: Everyone's favorite write-in candidate the last two weeks has finally cracked the list thanks to some steady play by him and questionable play by others below. He's not asked to do as much in his balanced offense as others on this list, but when he has been asked, he has produced (see: Louisville and Arkansas). He's patient in the pocket (on one second-quarter TD pass on Saturday, he looked off the coverage to the left, then threw back to the right) and accurate (his NCAA-record interception-free streak ended at 325 passes), and you'd be hard pressed to find a player who has been more clutch this season.
Up next: Thursday at No. 11 South Carolina
5. P.J. Hill, Wisconsin, RB, Soph.
Last week: 34 rushes, 155 yards, 2 TDs; 2 receptions, 4 yards in a 37-34 victory over Michigan State
Season: 139 rushes, 667 yards, 9 TDs; 8 receptions, 52 yards, 1 TD
Heisman-o-meter: Here's another player who jumped into the top 10. Hill had his fourth straight 100-yard game, and it's that week-to-week consistency that gives him an edge over the players below. You have to love the fact that when the Badgers got the ball up 27-24 in the third quarter, they fed the ball six straight times to Hill, who responded with 31 yards a touchdown.
Up next: Saturday at Illinois
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