5. Matt Ryan, Boston College, QB, Sr.
Thanks to three interceptions, Matt Ryan's Heisman hopes took a hit, just as Boston College's national title hopes did.
Last week: 26-of-53 passing, 415 yards, 2 TDs, 3 INTs; 9 rushes, 30 yards in a 27-17 loss against Florida State
Season: 243-of-409 passing, 2,848 yards, 21 TDs, 11 INTs; 33 rushes, 46 yards, 1 TD; 1 reception, 1 yard
Heisman-o-meter: One week after rising to No. 1 on this list, Ryan most likely cost himself the Heisman with a three-pick performance in a loss to the 'Noles. Saturday's game was a microcosm of Ryan's season and showed both Ryan's good and bad sides: the big arm that makes big plays downfield, nice touch on his first touchdown pass and, unfortunately for him and the Eagles, some poor decision-making on the interceptions (particularly the first two). He's still my quarterback in the 2008 NFL Draft, but, barring some unforeseen collapses by all of the above, he's not my Heisman winner.
Up next: Saturday at Maryland
6. Chase Daniel, Missouri, QB, Jr.
Last week: 26-of-44 passing, 421 yards, 5 TDs, 1 INT; 6 rushes, 24 yards in a 55-10 victory at Colorado
Season: 254-of-370 passing, 2,954 yards, 23 TDs, 9 INTs; 69 rushes, 233 yards, 3 TDs
Heisman-o-meter: Daniel threw an interception on his first pass and then proceeded to have the best game, arguably, of his career, passing for a career-high 421 yards. (The five TDs tied a career best.) And these weren't just a bunch of underneath dump-offs either; he averaged 16.2 yards per completion. After the game Buffaloes coach Dan Hawkins said, "Chase Daniel is pretty darn good." Agreed.
Up next: Saturday vs. Texas A&M
7. Jonathan Stewart, Oregon, RB, Jr.
Last week: 21 rushes, 99 yards, 1 TD; 2 receptions, 26 yards, 1 TD; 5 kickoff returns, 122 yards in a 35-23 victory against No. 6 Arizona State
Season: 177 rushes, 1,142 yards, 10 TDs; 16 receptions, 98 yards, 1 TD; 19 kickoff returns, 527 yards
Heisman-o-meter: Stewart played wingman to his running mate and was pretty much a non-factor on the ground until breaking off a nice touchdown run in the second half as he sidestepped two potential tacklers and then plowed through two more. Dixon's still the catalyst for the offense, but if Stewart keeps playing well, there's the possibility he could steal some votes away from his backfield partner.
Up next: Nov. 15 at Arizona
8. Pat White, West Virginia, QB, Jr.
Last week: Idle
Season: 91-of-130 passing, 1,070 yards, 9 TDs, 2 INTs; 96 rushes, 656 yards, 9 TDs
Heisman-o-meter: "How can you have Pat White on the list??!! His stats are terrible!!" is something I've read a few times recently. But you must remember that he was hurt against South Florida and Syracuse, and players get a pass here for injuries so long as they don't sit out too long. On Thursday we may see White air it out a bit more considering he's facing a Cardinals pass defense ranked 96th in the country.
Up next: Thursday vs. Louisville
9. Jordy Nelson, Kansas State, WR/PR, Sr.
Last week: 14 receptions, 214 yards, 1 TD; 1 rush, minus-9 yards, 0-of-1 passing in a 31-20 loss at Iowa State
Season: 90 receptions, 1,222 yards, 8 TDs; 5 punt returns, 264 yards, 2 TDs; 3 rushes, minus-7 yards; 2-of-4 passing, 45 yards, 2 TDs
Heisman-o-meter: His team may be 5-4 and may have just lost to Iowa State (Iowa State?), but it's not because of Nelson. He ranks second in the nation in both receptions and receiving yards, and regular Watch readers already know I think the leader in both of those categories, Texas Tech's Michael Crabtree, is not the catalyst for that offense. (Quarterback Graham Harrell is.) In addition, Nelson's averaging an unbelievable 52.8 yards per punt return.
Up next: Saturday at Nebraska
10. James Laurinaitis, Ohio State, LB, Jr.
Last week: 9 solo tackles, 19 total tackles, 2.0 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 1 fumble recovered in a 38-17 victory against Wisconsin
Season: 34 solo tackles, 85 total tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, 5.0 sacks, 2 interceptions, 1 pass broken up, 1 fumble recovered
Heisman-o-meter: Three weeks ago, before the Michigan State game, Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel was asked whether he believed any of his players deserved Heisman consideration. He said no. I'm wondering if Tressel feels the same way this week after Laurinaitis had a career-high 19 tackles and stopped Wisconsin's punter on a fake when the outcome was still in doubt. Some may believe running back Chris (Beanie) Wells or quarterback Todd Boeckman belong here, but Ohio State has been winning behind its No. 1-ranked defense and this linebacking animal has been the best player on that defense this year.
Up next: Saturday vs. Illinois