Running back Charles Scott has been a workhorse for unbeaten LSU.
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Gene Menez's Mailbag
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Last week's slate of upsets left a black eye on the Heisman Watch as well, knocking USC quarterback Mark Sanchez, Georgia running back Knowshon Moreno and even reigning Heisman winner Tim Tebow into the equivalent of Others Receiving Votes. While those three dropped from the rankings, no one has made a faster rise up the chart over the last two weeks than Texas quarterback Colt McCoy.
1. Chase Daniel, Missouri, QB, Sr.
Last week: Idle.
Season: 101-of-133 passing, 1,412 yards, 12 TDs, 1 INT; 14 rushes, 74 yards.
Heisman-o-meter: Daniel and the Tigers didn't play anybody Saturday (SEC fans and Missouri haters can insert their own jokes here), but now they face a task they haven't pulled off since 1978: beating Nebraska in Lincoln. The undertaking, however, isn't what it used to be. Daniel will face an unranked Huskers team that just gave up 377 yards in a 35-30 home loss to Virginia Tech, which ranked 112th in total offense entering the game.
Up next: Saturday at Nebraska.
2. Sam Bradford, Oklahoma, QB, Soph.
Last week: 19-of-34 passing, 411 yards, 4 TDs; 4 rushes, minus-31 yards in a 35-10 victory over No. 24 TCU.
Season: 83-of-115 passing, 1,293 yards, 16 TDs, 2 INTs; 8 rushes, minus-27 yards, 1 TD.
Heisman-o-meter: Bradford has enjoyed great protection this season, but the Horned Frogs' defense actually introduced the Sooners' quarterback to the grass. (He was sacked three times and knocked down several more.) The result? TCU, which left its defensive backs in single coverage, got burned by Bradford and Oklahoma's receivers, particularly Manuel Johnson. Though the Sooners didn't run the ball all that effectively, The Watch believes this is the most balanced and explosive offense in the country, and Bradford is the main reason.
Up next: Saturday at Baylor.
3. Charles Scott, LSU, RB, Jr.
Last week: 27 rushes, 141 yards, 2 TDs in a 34-24 victory over Mississippi State.
Season: 71 rushes, 535 yards, 6 TDs; 4 receptions, 37 yards.
Heisman-o-meter: In a season where the top preseason running back candidates (Beanie Wells, Moreno, Joe McKnight and LeSean McCoy) have all dropped off the list for one reason or another, Scott has been a big, bruising, bulldozing surprise with his physical running style. He did it again Saturday by getting 99 of his rushing yards in the second half, dragging Bulldogs defenders on his way. The catalyst for the Tigers' offense, Scott has been what we thought Wells would be for Ohio State.
Up next: Oct. 11 at Florida.
4. Colt McCoy, Texas, QB, Jr.
Last week: 17-of-19 passing, 185 yards, 3 TDs; 9 rushes, 84 yards, 2 TDs in a 52-10 victory over Arkansas.
Season: 80-of-100 passing, 1,018 yards, 14 TDs, 1 INT; 34 rushes, 278 yards, 4 TDs; 1 punt, 44 yards.
Heisman-o-meter: A strong, burnt orange case can be made for the Texas triggerman's being No. 1. No other quarterback has been as deadly efficient through the air while also moving the chains on the ground. Against the Razorbacks, McCoy dashed for a 35-yard touchdown and later in the game found Quan Cosby for a 13-yard touchdown on a slant where there was virtually no passing window. McCoy has 14 passing TDs and just 20 incompletions. So why isn't he higher? The Longhorns haven't played anyone yet; their best win is against Rice (3-2). At least Daniel, Bradford and Scott have beaten ranked teams. With Big 12 play starting, McCoy and Texas will finally be tested.
Up next: Saturday at Colorado.
5. Jeremy Maclin, Missouri, WR, Soph.
Last week: Idle.
Season: 26 receptions, 391 yards, 4 TDs; 8 rushes, 43 yards, 1 TD; 12 punt returns, 123 yards; 7 kickoff returns, 217 yards, 1 TD.
Heisman-o-meter: It's interesting that Missouri has pumped up the Heisman publicity for Daniel (distributing 3D Daniel ViewFinders to the media and operating ChaseTheHeisman.com) but hasn't done the same promotion for Maclin, calling him instead a "Biletnikoff Award candidate." In Missouri's defense, Daniel is obviously the team's more likely winner, but this is just one more reason why it would be better if schools killed those silly "campaigns."
Up next: Saturday at Nebraska.
6. Javon Ringer, Michigan State, RB, Sr.
Last week: 44 rushes, 198 yards, 1 TD; 2 receptions, 20 yards; 2 kickoff returns, 24 yards in a 42-29 victory at Indiana.
Season: 187 rushes, 897 yards, 12 TDs; 6 receptions, 57 yards; 11 kickoff returns, 224 yards.
Heisman-o-meter: Ringer scores points for his durability and for breaking a fourth-quarter run in each of the last two games (the latest a 33-yarder) to help seal a victory, but we need to see more Heisman-caliber moments. Of his 44 carries against the Hoosiers, 22 were for three yards or fewer. He's averaging just 4.8 yards a carry, which is fourth worst among the top 30 rushers. It makes one wonder what another running back, say Georgia's Moreno, would do if he got 37 carries a game as Ringer does.
Up next: Saturday vs. Iowa.
7. Max Hall, BYU, QB, Jr.
Last week: Idle.
Season: 107-of-144 passing, 1,284 yards, 15 TDs, 2 INTs; 6 rushes, 16 yards, 1 TD.
Heisman-o-meter: While Hall has deservedly earned his place in the Heisman discussion, will games against Utah, TCU, Air Force and UNLV be enough for him to win the award while his main competitors -- Daniel, Bradford, et al. -- will have chances to build their résumés against much more formidable foes?
Up next: Friday at Utah State.
8. Daryll Clark, Penn State, QB, Sr.
Last week: 14-of-20 passing, 181 yards, 2 TDs; 11 rushes, 50 yards, 1 TD in a 38-24 victory over No. 22 Illinois.
Season: 62-of-98 passing, 896 yards, 9 TDs, 1 INT; 23 rushes, 131 yards, 3 TDs.
Heisman-o-meter: Penn State running back Evan Royster has been on the verge of breaking into this list and could easily be here instead. Teammate Derrick Williams had a sensational all-around night Saturday. But Clark is the choice. While he ran more against the Illini than he ever has in college, Clark is a capable passing quarterback who just happens to have the ability to tuck the ball and take off. With him, the Nittany Lions have found balance on offense, averaging 267.6 yards on the ground and 247.6 through the air, while becoming the team to beat in the Big Ten.
Up next: Saturday at Purdue.
9. Matt Grothe, South Florida, QB, Jr.
Last week: 20-of-29 passing, 259 yards, 1 TD; 9 rushes, 68 yards in a 41-10 victory at North Carolina State.
Season: 95-of-144 passing, 1,175 yards, 8 TDs, 2 INTs; 55 rushes, 219 yards, 1 TD.
Heisman-o-meter: The Bulls' dual-threat quarterback appeared on the list two weeks ago but was bumped off after an uneven effort against a Florida International team he should've lit up. Grothe returns to the The Watch after completing his first 11 passes against the Wolfpack, and now he has a chance to disprove the comment he made to The Tampa Tribune two weeks ago: "Honestly, I don't have a chance in hell to win the Heisman. Not just this year, any year. It's politics. We've been around for 11 years; the Heisman will go to a school that's been around forever."
Up next: Thursday vs. Pittsburgh.
10. Donald Brown, Connecticut, RB, Jr.
Last week: 33 rushes, 190 yards, 1 TD; 1 reception, 6 yards in a 26-21 victory at Louisville
Season: 146 rushes, 906 yards, 11 TDs; 9 receptions, 50 yards
Heisman-o-meter: The nation's leading rusher makes his debut on the list after the Huskies' comeback victory at Louisville, against whom Brown showed on several carries his customary patient running style followed by an exceptional burst of quickness. He also has surprising durability for a running back listed at 5-foot-10 and 210 pounds. Next week he meets a Tar Heels team that's better than any foe he's faced this season.
Up next: Saturday at North Carolina.