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Posted: Monday November 17, 2008 3:47PM; Updated: Tuesday November 18, 2008 9:38PM
Gene Menez Gene Menez >
HEISMAN WATCH

A Heisman showdown in Norman

Story Highlights

Texas Tech at Oklahoma could decide who walks away with this year's award

Graham Harrell could clinch the Heisman unless Sam Bradford shows him up

Texas QB Colt McCoy will be highly impacted by Texas Tech vs. Oklahoma

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Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford might be able to place himself atop the Heisman list with a big game and victory against Texas Tech.
John Biever/SI

Much is at stake in Saturday's showdown between No. 2 Texas Tech and No. 5 Oklahoma in Norman: Big 12 South title aspirations, BCS championship game hopes and, what The Watch is most concerned with, Heisman Trophy candidacies.

Will Graham Harrell effectively clinch the stiff armed statuette if he leads the Red Raiders to victory? Will Sam Bradford leap both Harrell and Colt McCoy if he directs the Sooners to a win? There are so many storylines regarding this down-to-the-wire Heisman race that Sports Illustrated college football writer and all-around good guy Austin Murphy decided to tackle them in a great story in this week's issue of SI. Check it out.

Next week, The Watch begins its annual end-of-the-year elimination process (think Survivor, with multiple castoffs a week), cutting the list from 10 to seven. The list will go down to five on Dec. 1 before ending with its top three choices on Dec. 8, the Monday before the Heisman Trophy ceremony in New York City.

1. Graham Harrell, Texas Tech, QB, Sr.

Last week: Idle

Season: 332-of-463 passing, 4,077 yards, 36 TDs, 5 INTs; 28 rushes, minus-5 yards, 6 TDs

Heisman-o-meter: The most popular question The Watch has been receiving is: Will Harrell clinch the Heisman with a win on Saturday? In this opinion, no, but he would be the equivalent of first-and-goal at the 1. Remember, Harrell would still have games against Baylor and, most importantly, Missouri in the Big 12 championship game. While Bradford would likely be out of Heisman consideration, McCoy already beat the Tigers handily in one of the most impressive offensive performances this season. Also, much depends on how well Michael Crabtree plays against the Sooners and down the stretch.

Up next: Saturday at No. 5 Oklahoma

2. Colt McCoy, Texas, QB, Jr.

Last week: 24-of-34 passing, 255 yards, 2 TDs; 16 rushes, 78 yards, 1 TD in a 35-7 victory at Kansas

Season: 268-of-347 passing, 3,134 yards, 30 TDs, 7 INTs; 117 rushes, 527 yards, 8 TDs; 2 punts, 69 yards

Heisman-o-meter: Don't let the pedestrian numbers fool you. Chilly winds gusting at more than 30 mph made the aerial game difficult for both teams, yet McCoy completed 70.6 percent of his passes, including a strike to Brandon Collins for a touchdown. In addition McCoy, who had been banged up recently, had his best running game since late September. Perhaps no other observer of Saturday's game between the Red Raiders and Sooners will be more impacted than McCoy.

Up next: Nov. 27 vs. Texas A&M

3. Sam Bradford, Oklahoma, QB, Soph.

Last week: Idle

Season: 224-of-330 passing, 3,406 yards, 38 TDs, 6 INTs; 5 rushes, 23 yards, 1 TD

Heisman-o-meter: Bradford has been flying under the radar since that loss to Texas, and now he can place himself squarely in Heisman consideration with a big game and victory against Texas Tech. What has been particularly impressive with Bradford is that he has hit the statistical lottery seemingly every game this season, even recently when the Sooners' running game has picked up speed. With an Oklahoma victory on Saturday, there's no telling what the top of this list will look like next week.

Up next: Saturday vs. No. 2 Texas Tech

4. Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech, WR, Soph.

Last week: Idle

Season: 78 receptions, 1,010 yards, 18 TDs; 1 rush, 3 yards; 1 kickoff return, 50 yards

Heisman-o-meter: The Watch didn't get any response from last week's question on the Crabtree-Harrell debate (While Harrell is without question the more valuable of the two because of the position he plays, who is better at what he does, Harrell or Crabtree?), which may mean that Tech followers are as torn between Harrell and Crabtree as The Watch is. While The Watch is still weighing the merits of both, this much seems certain: If a voter is unimpressed with all of the quarterback candidates this year, Crabtree is the most likely beneficiary of that vote as the best non-quarterback selection on the board.

Up next: Saturday at No. 5 Oklahoma

5. Shonn Greene, Iowa, RB, Jr.

Last week: 30 rushes, 211 yards, 2 TDs in a 22-17 victory over Purdue

Season: 256 rushes, 1585 yards, 15 TDs; 8 receptions, 49 yards

Heisman-o-meter: Greene has some great wiggle for a 235-pound back, and he showed off those moves on his 75-yard touchdown run against the Boilermakers, spinning 360-degrees and leaving a hopeless Purdue defender two fists full of cold Iowa air. Greene's out-of-nowhere season ends against Minnesota, and it would be a major oversight if he did not win the Doak Walker award as the nation's best running back.

Up next: Saturday at Minnesota

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