Texas' McCoy still Heisman leader despite Longhorns' near-hiccup
Even two turnovers and a near-loss couldn't unseat Colt McCoy from the top spot
Fellow Big 12 QBs Sam Bradford and Graham Harrell round out the top three
Despite being idle this week, Iowa’s Shonn Greene remains a top five contender
Last season The Watch was all Tim Tebow, all the time. Tebow claimed the top spot on this list after Week 3 and essentially remained No. 1 for the rest of the season on his way to winning the Heisman Trophy.
This year, with Florida's offensive line getting off to a slow start and other Gators contributing more, Tebow's production hasn't matched its 2007 pace, and he has fallen off this list. On Saturday, however, he has a chance to get back into the race with an enormous matchup against No. 8 Georgia. If Tebow hopes to become the second repeat Heisman winner, the comeback has to start Saturday. With the Big 12 quarterbacks playing like they are, Tebow's already a longshot.
1. Colt McCoy, Texas, QB, Jr.
Last week: 38-of-45 passing, 391 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT; 10 rushes, 41 yards, 1 TD in a 28-24 victory over No. 7 Oklahoma State.
Season: 198-of-242 passing, 2,285 yards, 21 TDs, 4 INTs; 80 rushes, 412 yards, 7 TDs; 1 punt, 44 yards.
Heisman-o-meter: We've become so accustomed to near perfection from McCoy this season that when he makes mistakes like he did on Saturday, it's shocking. He had two turnovers -- an interception that led to an OSU field goal and a fumble deep in OSU territory that cost the Horns a field goal -- that jeopardized Texas' victory. But McCoy still played like a Heisman frontrunner, moving the ball effectively against the nation's No. 7 team (passing for a career-high 391 yards) and was his same-old accurate self, completing 84.4 percent of his passes. Now comes McCoy's and Texas' most difficult true road game this season.
Up next: Saturday at No. 6 Texas Tech.
2. Sam Bradford, Oklahoma, QB, Soph.
Last week: 13-of-32 passing, 255 yards, 3 TDs; 1 rush, 1 yard, 1 TD in a 58-35 victory at Kansas State.
Season: 183-of-270 passing, 2,775 yards, 29 TDs, 5 INTs; 23 rushes, minus-13 yards, 3 TDs.
Heisman-o-meter: The Sooners quarterback finished with the worst completion rate of his career on Saturday, but The Watch counted at least four drops in the first half. And in the second half, when he was 1-for-9, Oklahoma already had the game well in hand. If facing Bradford isn't daunting enough for opponents, they must now worry about a rushing offense that has suddenly found life, running for 479 yards in the last two games.
Up next: Saturday vs. Nebraska.
3. Graham Harrell, Texas Tech, QB, Sr.
Last week: 34-of-42 passing, 386 yards, 5 TDs; 7 rushes, 14 yards, 1 TD in a 63-21 victory at No. 19 Kansas.
Season: 256-of-360 passing, 3,147 yards, 28 TDs, 5 INTs; 20 rushes, 14 yards, 6 TDs.
Heisman-o-meter: Harrell hit a wide open Edward Britton for a 55-yard touchdown on Tech's second play from scrimmage, and the rout was on. Kansas couldn't stop the Harrell-led Red Raiders' offense in the first half, as Tech scored touchdowns on its first five possessions. (The half ran out on its sixth.) Surprisingly, Kansas sacked Harrell twice (he had gone down only once this season), but both came at the end of the third quarter with the game's outcome decided. If he's able to beat the nation's top-ranked team on Saturday in the biggest game Lubbock has ever seen, Harrell may just be No. 1 on this list next week.
Up next: Saturday vs. No. 1 Texas.
4. Shonn Greene, Iowa, RB, Jr.
Last week: Idle.
Season: 177 rushes, 1,154 yards, 10 TDs; 6 rushes, 20 yards.
Heisman-o-meter: Greene's story is one of the best this season. The junior didn't play football last year while working on his academics at Kirkwood (Iowa) Community College, and a season later the bruising back is having one of the best seasons of any player in the nation. Can he win the Heisman? He'll need some help from the players above; a big game against Penn State on Nov. 8 wouldn't hurt, either.
Up next: Saturday at Illinois.
5. Kendall Hunter, Oklahoma State, RB, Soph.
Last week: 18 rushes, 161 yards, 1 TD; 1 reception, 31 yards in a 28-24 loss at No. 1 Texas.
Season: 169 rushes, 1,116 yards, 10 TDs; 8 receptions, 103 yards; 1 kickoff return, 13 yards.
Heisman-o-meter: Hunter ran wild against Texas, logging 161 yards against what had been the nation's second-best rushing defense (which was allowing just 48.1 yards per game). In the Horns' defense, they played with just six men in the box for the majority of the game. Unfortunately, just as Hunter was putting the Cowboys in position to pull off the upset, coach Mike Gundy went away from Hunter on three straight plays during the team's penultimate drive of the game, resulting in a loss of downs. With Hunter running like he was on Saturday, The Watch would've kept feeding him the ball.
Up next: Saturday vs. Iowa State.