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Halfway there

Eclectic group of candidates at midway point of 2007

Posted: Monday October 8, 2007 3:27PM; Updated: Monday October 8, 2007 3:56PM
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While Florida picked up its second loss of the season at LSU, it wasn't because of Tim Tebow's play.
While Florida picked up its second loss of the season at LSU, it wasn't because of Tim Tebow's play.
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Six games into the season, it's time to crown your Halfway Heisman winner. Sorry, no all-expenses paid trips to New York, no late-night partying at The Box for the finalists, no painfully long ESPN programming for a 10-second announcement. Let's just cut to the chase.

The ballot if the season ended today:

1. Tim Tebow, Florida, QB, Soph.

Last week: 12-of-26 passing, 158 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT; 16 rushes, 67 yards, 1 TD in a 28-24 loss at No. 1 LSU
Season: 97-of-148 passing, 1,455 yards, 13 TDs, 3 INTs; 105 rushes, 500 yards, 9 TDs
Heisman-o-meter: No. 1 LSU was on the ropes for three quarters, and the main reason was Tebow, who frustrated the Tigers with his ability to make plays on the run and was brilliant in defeat. What was most impressive was his ability to turn broken plays into positive ones (see: TD run) against one of the nation's best defenses. He had a little bad luck on that interception off Cornelius Ingram's helmet, otherwise he did everything possible to put the Gators in position to win, except lining up on defense on LSU's final drive, which come to think of it, may not have been a bad idea. He's your Halfway Heisman winner.
Up next: Oct. 20 at Kentucky

2. Darren McFadden, Arkansas, RB, Jr.

Last week: 25 rushes, 122 yards, 1 TD in a 34-15 victory over Tennessee-Chattanooga
Season: 130 rushes, 779 yards, 7 TDs; 7 receptions, 56 yards; 4 kickoff returns, 93 yards, 1-of-2 passing, 42 yards, 1 TD
Heisman-o-meter: For the second straight week, our frontrunner played in relative obscurity. Maybe that was a blessing because reports across-the-board say that it was a very un-McFaddenlike performance. Though he finished with 122 yards, he fumbled twice and was held to three yards or less on 13 carries. He ended his night leaving the game one play into the fourth quarter with sore ribs, an injury which forced him out of practice on Sunday but isn't serious enough to keep him out of Saturday's game against Auburn.
Up next: Saturday vs. No. 22 Auburn

3. Mike Hart, Michigan, RB, Sr.

Last week: 22 rushes, 215 yards, 3 TDs; 3 receptions, 18 yards in a 33-22 victory over Eastern Michigan
Season: 179 rushes, 976 yards, 10 TDs; 6 receptions, 36 yards
Heisman-o-meter: Who knew that this mighty mite would be near the top of the list after his team started the season 0-2? Hart became Michigan's all-time leading rusher on Saturday, and he could become No. 1 on this list too if he keeps grinding out yards. One shouldn't forget though that his numbers have benefited greatly from: 1) having no capable backup; 2) play-calling that has steered away from an ineffective passing game; and 3) a Michigan defense that keeps games interesting well into the fourth quarter.
Up next: Saturday vs. Purdue

4. Matt Ryan, Boston College, QB, Sr.

Last week: 24-of-32 passing, 312 yards, 4 TDs; 1 rush, 8 yards in a 55-24 victory over Bowling Green
Season: 160-of-255 passing, 1,857 yards, 15 TDs, 5 INTs; 17 rushes, 28 yards, 1 TD; 1 reception, 1 yard
Heisman-o-meter: Ryan made it look easy against the Falcons in just three quarters, completing 13 of his first 14 passes (and the incompletion was a deep ball down the right side that was barely overthrown) and, most importantly, avoiding interceptions. Now he faces a Fighting Irish defense that ranks a deceiving fourth against the pass, largely because Notre Dame's opponents haven't needed to do anything but run run run the ball.
Up next: Saturday at Notre Dame

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