Tebow reclaims top spot, while McCoy stumbles in Heisman race
Tim Tebow returns to the top after a stellar performance against Troy
Texas QB Colt McCoy dropped to No. 5 after his worst game since 2007
Jahvid Best and Jacquizz Rodgers continue to rule the west coast
After having one player's name atop The Heisman Watch for almost a year, the list has a new No. 1. Florida quarterback Tim Tebow returns to the top after torching Troy, but readers shouldn't take too much stock in these early season rankings. They will change drastically as candidates build up their Heisman résumés.
1. QB Tim Tebow, Sr., Florida
Last week: 15-of-24 passing, 237 yards, 4 TDs; 13 rushes, 71 yards, 1 TD in a 56-6 victory over Troy
Season: 25-of-39 passing, 425 yards, 5 TDs; 15 rushes, 72 yards, 2 TDs
Heisman-o-meter: Well, well, look who's back at No. 1. It took one quarter for him to really get going against the Trojans (he lost a fumble after being slapped in the back of the head), but once he did, he was deadly efficient. With three scoring passes of at least 32 yards apiece, the Heisman winner as a sophomore saved the best for last: Tebow took a hit but managed to place the ball in prime position for a diving catch by Brandon James. The only big Tebow miscue in two and a half quarters of work was poor clock management at the end of the half, which cost the Gators at least three points. On Saturday, it'll be interesting to see how long Tebow plays against the talkative Lane Kiffin and his Vols.
Up next: Saturday vs. Tennessee
2. RB Jahvid Best, Jr., Cal
Last week: 17 rushes, 144 yards, 1 TD; 2 receptions, 19 yards, 1 TD in a 59-7 victory over Eastern Washington
Season: 27 rushes, 281 yards, 3 TDs; 4 receptions, 42 yards, 1 TD; 1 kickoff return, 18 yards
Heisman-o-meter: The Bears' game-breaker was at his "Best" on Saturday, scoring on a 22-yard pass and a one-yard run. He proved he's got the smarts to match the athleticism when he grabbed a bouncing ball that quarterback Kevin Riley had thrown his way. Instead of assuming it was an incomplete pass, Best snatched the ball (good thing, because it was a lateral) and ran for a 15-yard gain. Despite his stellar play, though, this game against an FCS foe will have very little impact on Best's Heisman chances as the season ends.
Up next: Saturday at Minnesota
3. RB Jacquizz Rodgers, Soph., Oregon State
Last week: 26 rushes, 166 yards, 1 TD; 10 receptions, 65 yards in a 23-21 victory at UNLV
Season: 42 rushes, 269 yards, 4 TDs; 14 receptions, 97 yards
Heisman-o-meter: It was another big night for the Quizz Show. At the start of the second half, Rodgers took off for a 45-yard run, spun to avoid a tackler and finished off the Oregon State drive with a short touchdown run. Minutes later, he added another 45-yard run. Rodgers was also big out of the backfield, making two huge catches on the game-winning drive -- the first to convert a third down and the second, a 13-yarder, to set the Beavers up at UNLV's 16-yard line for the winning field goal. On Saturday, Quizz has a shot at greater recognition as the Beavers take on a tough Cincinnati team, which features a run defense that is ranked 15th in the country and a pair of Heisman Trophy candidates in quarterback Tony Pike and receiver Mardy Gilyard.
Up next: Saturday vs. No. 17 Cincinnati
4. QB Max Hall, Sr., BYU
Last week: 24-of-32 passing, 309 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT; 3 rushes, 15 yards in a 54-3 victory at Tulane
Season: 50-of-70 passing, 638 yards, 4 TDs, 3 INTs; 9 rushes, 7 yards
Heisman-o-meter: This was a complete victory by Hall and the Cougars, who passed, rushed and defended well. Hall's first touchdown pass came on a screen play that was nicely disguised by the offense. Credit for the QB's second scoring throw should go to receiver McKay Jacobson, who prevented an interception by wrestling the ball away from a defender. Hall also threw a pick on the first drive of the second half, and though he didn't come away with any Heisman highlights in three and a half quarters of work, he's definitely in this race.
Up next: Saturday vs. Florida State
5. QB Colt McCoy, Sr., Texas
Last week: 30-of-47 passing, 337 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT; 9 rushes, 44 yards, 1 TD in a 41-10 victory at Wyoming
Season: 51-of-76 passing, 654 yards, 5 TDs, 2 INTs; 16 rushes, 41 yards, 1 TD
Heisman-o-meter: The player who had been No. 1 on this list since the middle of last season takes a Texas-sized tumble after having his worst game since 2007. For the first half against the Cowboys, McCoy found every target except his receivers. Much of his yardage can be credited to the legs of his receivers, particularly James Kirkendoll. Despite his erratic first-half play, McCoy did have a highlight-reel moment in the third quarter when, under pressure, he spun 360 degrees to prevent a sack, kept his eyes looking downfield and found receiver Dan Buckner, who ran to the end zone for a 33-yard touchdown. McCoy fans shouldn't overreact; even though he dropped on The Watch, he's very much in this race. He just doesn't deserve to be near the top at this point.
Up next: Saturday against Texas Tech
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