As Texas Tech passes Texas in polls, Harrell passes McCoy
Texas Tech QB Graham Harrell takes the top spot after beating No. 1 Texas
Teammate Michael Crabtree shoots into the top five after his game-winning catch
Colt McCoy falls to No. 2, but could still easily win the Heisman with a solid finish
One play could determine who walks up to the podium to accept the Heisman Trophy in New York City on Dec. 13. Graham Harrell's 28-yard touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree against Texas with one second remaining not only put both Texas Tech stars in the thick of the race, but it also prevented Texas quarterback Colt McCoy from holding onto his spot as the Heisman clubhouse leader.
Much football remains, but that pass (possibly college football's play of the year) has made the race for the stiff armed statuette more interesting.
1. Graham Harrell, Texas Tech, QB, Sr.
Last week: 36-of-53 passing, 474 yards, 2 TDs; 3 rushes, minus-17 yards in a 39-33 victory over No. 1 Texas.
Season: 292-of-413 passing, 3,621 yards, 30 TDs, 5 INTs; 23 rushes, minus-3 yards, 6 TDs.
Heisman-o-meter: With Tech up 19 on Saturday night, a friend turned to The Watch and said, "I still think Texas wins because I don't think Harrell is a big-game quarterback." He was wrong on both counts. Standing behind an offensive line that gave him forever to throw, Harrell picked apart the Horns' defense with a lot of vertical passes. And when the pressure was highest and Tech needed a score to win the game, Harrell drove the Red Raiders down the field and put his final throw in the perfect spot. He's No. 1 for now, but he's nowhere close to the finish line.
Up next: Saturday vs. No. 8 Oklahoma State.
2. Colt McCoy, Texas, QB, Jr.
Last week: 20-of-34 passing, 294 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT; 13 rushes, 16 yards; 1 punt, 25 yards in a 39-33 loss at No. 6 Texas Tech.
Season: 218-of-276 passing, 2,579 yards, 23 TDs, 5 INTs; 93 rushes, 428 yards, 7 TDs.
Heisman-o-meter: McCoy would've been very difficult to beat for the Heisman had he played well against Texas Tech and pulled out a victory, but Harrell and the Red Raiders had other ideas, and now it is anyone's trophy. Tech pounded and harassed McCoy all night (causing him to bleed from the mouth at one point) and when he did have time to throw, he was uncharacteristically off target or his receivers dropped the ball. A case can easily be made for McCoy still being No. 1 (he has beaten three ranked teams, more than Harrell) or for McCoy being behind both Harrell and Sam Bradford (from a purely statistical perspective). Though he's dropping one spot here, we'll still say he may end up the winner on Dec. 13.
Up next: Saturday against Baylor.
3. Sam Bradford, Oklahoma, QB, Soph.
Last week: 19-of-27 passing, 311 yards, 5 TDs, 1 INT; 2 rushes, 14 yards in a 62-28 victory over Nebraska.
Season: 202-of-297 passing, 3,086 yards, 34 TDs, 6 INTs; 25 rushes, 1 yard, 3 TDs.
Heisman-o-meter: Bradford zipped a nice 48-yard touchdown pass to Quentin Chaney running the seam, but he had an even better scoring strike on an 11-yarder to Jermaine Gresham, who caught a Sunday-caliber Bradford fastball. With high-profile games remaining against Texas Tech and Oklahoma State, Bradford still has a legitimate chance to pull this off.
Up next: Saturday at Texas A&M.
4. Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech, WR, Soph.
Last week: 10 receptions, 127 yards, 1 TD in a 39-33 victory over No. 1 Texas.
Season: 70 receptions, 921 yards, 15 TDs; 1 rush, 3 yards; 1 kickoff return, 50 yards.
Heisman-o-meter: The Watch enjoys Crabtree's game. He attacks defenses and plays with an attitude. While this list has been high on Missouri's Jeremy Maclin and Oklahoma State's Dez Bryant for much of the season, neither Maclin nor Bryant went off on Texas the way Crabtree did on Saturday. The game-winning catch on which he set up cornerback Curtis Brown and then fought him off on his way to the end zone could end up winning him the Biletnikoff Award.
Up next: Saturday vs. No. 8 Oklahoma State.
5. Shonn Greene, Iowa, RB, Jr.
Last week: 21 rushes, 103 yards, 1 TD; 1 reception, 23 yards in a 27-24 loss at Illinois.
Season: 198 rushes, 1,257 yards, 11 TDs; 7 receptions, 43 yards.
Heisman-o-meter: Greene, who was stuffed on third-and-goal from the 1-yard line at one point, did his best running in the fourth quarter (five rushes, 35 yards, including a five-yard touchdown run on which he went untouched). He said of the Illini's defense: "They had a lot of guys in the box, and they were able to slow me down." Greene could make a great case for the Doak Walker Award with a big performance against Penn State on Saturday.
Up next: Saturday vs. No. 3 Penn State.