I have no idea if Tim Tebow clinched the Heisman last week. It's hard enough keeping track of this ballot, much less 924 others. However, Dennis Dixon's season-ending knee injury and another solid running-and-passing effort from Tebow has put him on the verge of earning this vote. Consider this: He has 3,619 yards of total offense and 46 touchdowns this season, meaning he has virtually matched the output of Oregon's dynamic Duck duo of Dixon and Jonathan Stewart (3,992 yards of total offense, 40 touchdowns).
Only two spectacular performances from Chase Daniel could, at this point, make me think twice of putting the Gator No. 1.
The ballot if the season ended today:
1. Tim Tebow, Florida, QB, Soph.
Last week: 25-of-34 passing, 338 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT; 11 rushes, 31 yards, 1 TD in a 59-20 victory over Florida Atlantic
Season: 198-of-289 passing, 2,870 yards, 26 TDs, 6 INTs; 181 rushes, 749 yards, 20 TDs
Heisman-o-meter: After Tebow became the only player in Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly I-A) history with 20 passing and rushing touchdowns in a season, coach Urban Meyer said, "Tim didn't play his best game." True, Tebow threw his sixth interception, the result of an overthrow, and got away with a risky touchdown pass to tight end Aaron Hernandez, who wrestled the ball away from a defender. But I'll cut Tebow a break for not being flawless. In a little more than three quarters of play he was still very good, as he has been all season. Saturday should be his coronation.
Up next: Saturday against Florida State
2. Chase Daniel, Missouri, QB, Jr.
Last week: 28-of-41 passing, 284 yards, 4 TDs; 7 rushes, 4 yards in a 49-32 victory at Kansas State
Season: 309-of-446 passing, 3,590 yards, 30 TDs, 9 INTs; 86 rushes, 252 yards, 3 TDs
Heisman-o-meter: Saturday was Jeremy Maclin's day, but lost in the Maclin love were several good plays from Daniel, including his first touchdown pass in which he fired a low and hard fastball while he drifting to his left and found Maclin for a score. (An aside: Does any team have better receivers than Mizzou's combo of Maclin, Martin Rucker and Chase Coffman?) Tebow has virtually locked up this vote, but Daniel could make a compelling case for himself with lotterylike numbers the next two weeks.
Up next: Saturday vs. No. 2 Kansas in Kansas City.
3. Dennis Dixon, Oregon, QB, Sr.
Last week: 5-of-8 passing, 62 yards, 1 INT; 2 rushes, 34 yards, 1 TD in a 34-24 loss at Arizona
Season: 172-of-254 passing, 2,136 yards, 20 TDs, 4 INTs; 105 rushes, 583 yards, 9 TDs
Heisman-o-meter: Some will say that Dixon getting hurt against Arizona and being lost for the season should automatically eliminate him from consideration. Regular readers know that I don't subscribe to that theory. In fact, you can argue that Thursday's game is more evidence that Dixon should deserve the Heisman. The Ducks looked lost after he went down. In addition, even with the injury, Dixon has been splendid in nine games this season. Even Darren McFadden cannot say that.
Up next: Out for the season
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