McCoy leads Bradford by a nose
Colt McCoy beat Sam Bradford on the field, but who will win the Heisman?
Oklahoma's shellacking of Texas Tech knocked Graham Harrell out of race
Defending winner Tim Tebow is coming on strong and has two more games
In case the Texas-Oklahoma hatefest didn't already have enough lighter fluid, here's more: The top spot on the season-ending Heisman Watch, in two weeks, will come down to either Longhorns quarterback Colt McCoy or Sooners quarterback Sam Bradford. (Sorry, Tim Tebow. You may end up No. 1 on the majority of ballots come Dec. 13, but not this one.) And at this point the race between McCoy and Bradford is a virtual dead heat. Trying to pick between the two this week has turned The Watch's hair gray. In the end, the deciding factor could end up being which quarterback gets into the Big 12 championship game. That game will give a lucky quarterback one more chance to put up big numbers and impress voters while the other quarterback sits. But until then, The Watch has to make a call.
1. Colt McCoy, Texas, QB, Jr.
Last week: Idle.
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: McCoy and Bradford are in a photo finish at the Heisman wire, and in The Watch's opinion, the Texas quarterback is ahead by a short hair on a short nose. Just as college basketball pundits do every March in using RPIs, wins over top 25 teams and you-name-whatever-crazy stat in making an argument for a bubble team's case for inclusion in the NCAA tournament, The Watch could take selected stats to make a case for either McCoy (completion percentage, rushing yards, etc.) or Bradford (passing yards, touchdowns, etc.). In the end, the determining factor should be the eyeball test, and these eyeballs give McCoy a slight edge because of his ability to make plays with his feet, something Bradford rarely does. On Thursday, McCoy hopes to feast on a Texas A&M defense that knocked him out of the game two years ago.
Up next: Thursday vs. Texas A&M.
2. Sam Bradford, Oklahoma, QB, Soph.
Last week: 14-of-19 passing, 304 yards, 4 TDs; 5 rushes, 18 yards in a 65-21 victory over No. 2 Texas Tech.
Season: 238-of-349 passing, 3,710 yards, 42 TDs, 6 INTs; 35 rushes, 42 yards, 4 TDs.
Heisman-o-meter: If you think The Watch is crazy for not putting Bradford No. 1, you're not alone. Even The Watch's football-following girlfriend said on Sunday, "I don't know how you can't rank Bradford No. 1 this week." Indeed, the Oklahoma quarterback's performance against Texas Tech -- and more important, the whole season -- has made this a coin flip. Bradford's most impressive pass was the 66-yard bomb to Manny Johnson that made the score 58-14. (Credit for two of Bradford's other passing scores -- the one to Juaquin Iglesias and the one to Ryan Broyles -- should be given more to the receivers who zig-zagged through the Red Raiders' so-called secondary on the way to the end zone than to Bradford.) But this destruction of Tech was a team effort that was ignited not by Bradford, but by OU's defense and DeMarco Murray's dominant running (he was arguably the most impressive player on Saturday night). That said, this race is still too close to call, and Bradford could easily have been No. 1. He just may be next week.
Up next: Saturday at No. 11 Oklahoma State.
3. Graham Harrell, Texas Tech, QB, Sr.
Last week: 33-of-55 passing, 361 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT; 4 rushes, minus-38 yards in a 65-32 loss at No. 5 Oklahoma.
Season: 365-of-518 passing, 4,438 yards, 39 TDs, 6 INTs; 32 rushes, minus-43 yards, 6 TDs.
Heisman-o-meter: The Sooners wrecked Tech and Harrell's Heisman hopes, blanketing his receivers downfield, pressuring him relentlessly and effectively rendering him a non-factor. More than 200 of his passing yards and two of his touchdowns came in the second half after the outcome of the game had well been decided. Harrell also threw a bad interception right before the end of the first half, leading to an Oklahoma score, and fumbled the ball over to the Sooners, too. He may still be No. 1 on some ballots, but he can't be No. 1 on The Watch after being thoroughly dismantled in his team's biggest game. The Watch gave serious consideration to dropping him below Tebow.
Up next: Saturday vs. Baylor.
4. Tim Tebow, Florida, QB, Jr.
Last week: 9-of-11 passing, 201 yards, 3 TDs; 2 rushes, 34 yards in a 70-19 victory over The Citadel.
Season: 148-of-225 passing, 2,114 yards, 22 TDs, 2 INTs; 121 rushes, 427 yards, 11 TDs.
Heisman-o-meter: Was this Touchdown Tim's last game at The Swamp? If so, it wasn't a long goodbye, as Tebow played only a little more than a quarter against the overmatched Bulldogs. He, however, did have one of the plays of the game, connecting with Riley Cooper on a 43-yard touchdown pass that was more Cooper (his right arm was pinned by the defender so Cooper caught the ball with his left while falling down) than Tebow. On Saturday, he faces a Florida State defense ranked seventh overall and fourth against the pass.
Up next: Saturday at No. 23 Florida State.
5. Shonn Greene, Iowa, RB, Jr.
Last week: 22 rushes, 144 yards, 2 TDs in a 55-0 victory at Minnesota.
Season: 278 rushes, 1,729 yards, 17 TDs; 8 receptions, 49 yards.
Heisman-o-meter: One of this year's best stories came to an end on Saturday when Greene finished his regular season against the Gophers. Greene, who did not play football last year while attending a community college and working at a furniture store, ran for 144 yards (he ran for at least 100 yards in every game this season) and set Iowa's single-season rushing record. His chances of being invited to New York for the Heisman ceremony on Dec. 13 will depend on how many invites ESPN and the Heisman Trophy Trust decide to dole out, but he would be a more-than-worthy finalist.
Up next: Regular season complete.
6. Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech, WR, Soph.
Last week: 6 receptions, 62 yards; 1 rush, minus-2 yards in a 65-21 loss at No. 5 Oklahoma.
Season: 84 receptions, 1,072 yards, 18 TDs; 2 rushes, 1 yard; 1 kickoff return, 50 yards.
Heisman-o-meter: Oklahoma bottled up the nation's best receiver Saturday night. He only got loose for one big gain (on a screen pass) and the play was nullified because of a penalty. Entering the game, The Watch believed Crab had a puncher's chance to put himself near, if not at the top, of the list with a big performance against the Sooners. Now, he has to hope that voters remember his game-saving fourth-down catch against Nebraska and his earth-moving game-winner against Texas.
Up next: Saturday vs. Baylor.
7. Jacquizz Rodgers, Oregon State, RB, Fr.
Last week: 4 rushes, 20 yards; 1 reception, 3 yards in a 19-17 victory at Arizona.
Season: 259 rushes, 1,253 yards, 11 TDs; 29 receptions, 247 yards, 1 TD.
Heisman-o-meter: Chase Daniel, Kendall Hunter and Beanie Wells (who reemerged this week among the NCAA's statistical leaders after a lengthy absence because of the games he missed) were considered for the seventh spot, but The Quizz got the nod despite missing all but eight minutes of Saturday's game with a left shoulder injury. The injury-causing hit didn't initially seem to cause much damage -- Rodgers got off the ground as if nothing happened -- but he never returned to the game. Per The Watch's rules, a player is not penalized because of an injury, so Rodgers will keep his spot for at least another week. As of Sunday night, his status for Saturday's key game against the Ducks remained uncertain. But whether or not he plays, Rodgers should receive consideration for Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year.
Up next: Saturday vs. No. 19 Oregon.