With five TDs against Minnesota, Cal's Best overtakes Tebow
Cal's star running back Jahvid Best takes the top spot with his five-TD showing
Tim Tebow dropped to No. 2 after a not-so-clean performance against Tennessee
Miami QB Jacory Harris could be New York-bound if maintains current level of play
Cal's score-from-anywhere running back Jahvid Best rushed for five touchdowns against Minnesota on Saturday, meaning an onslaught of puns will surely consume headlines if he makes it to New York in December: Best of the Best; Best is Best; Good (picture of Colt McCoy), Better (shot of Tim Tebow), Best (photo of you-know-who). For your sake, The Watch will try to avoid them, but after Best's performance on Saturday, my guess is that they're only going to proliferate.
1. RB Jahvid Best, Jr., Cal
Last week: 26 rushes, 131 yards, 5 TDs; 3 receptions, 17 yards in a 35-21 victory at Minnesota
Season: 53 rushes, 412 yards, 8 TDs; 7 receptions, 59 yards, 1 TD; 1 kickoff return, 18 yards
Heisman-o-meter: For the second straight week, The Watch has a new No. 1. Cal's electric gamebreaker squeezes into the top spot after scoring and scoring and scoring against Minnesota. His first touchdown was capped by a flying finish, and will probably be replayed a time or three if he makes it to New York. And he wasn't even touched on his last three scoring runs. Best, however, was stuffed a bit in the second half (he had just 17 yards on 13 carries), and quarterback Kevin Riley was able to come up with some big plays through the air. I'm sure Best moving to the top spot will generate much debate, but his ability combined with his production in just eight quarters warrant the move -- for now. Over the next two weeks, Best will play in two games that will have the biggest impact on his Heisman candidacy: at Oregon and at home against USC.
Up next: Saturday at Oregon
2. QB Tim Tebow, Sr., Florida
Last week: 14-of-19 passing, 115 yards, 1 INT; 24 rushes 76 yards, 1 TD in a 23-13 victory over Tennessee
Season: 39-of-58 passing, 540 yards, 5 TDs, 1 INT; 39 rushes, 148 yards, 3 TDs
Heisman-o-meter: Before all you Tebow backers ask, "How can you drop Tebow behind Best? Best hasn't played anybody!" let me ask you, Who has Tebow played? And before you cite Tennessee, let me remind you that the Vols lost to UCLA in Knoxville last week. Tennessee does have a very good defense, one that ended Tebow's streak of games with a touchdown pass at 30, that intercepted Tebow and that forced him to fumble the ball deep in Vols territory. After Best's performance, Tebow needed to be clean against the Vols to stay on top, and he wasn't. If forced to choose today between Tebow and Best in December, The Watch would pick Tebow. But through three games, Best has been the better of the two.
Up next: Saturday at Kentucky
3. QB Jacory Harris, Soph., Miami
Last week: 20-of-25 passing, 270 yards, 3 TDs; 1 rush, 0 yards in a 33-17 victory over No. 14 Georgia Tech
Season: 41-of-59 passing, 656 yards, 5 TDs, 2 INTs; 4 rushes, minus-3 yards, 1 TD
Heisman-o-meter: Harris said in the offseason that if he made it to the Heisman ceremony, he would attend wearing a pink suit, "pimp cup and all." Well, if the first two games are any indication, then it's time to think pink. At this point, there's no player who can claim the scalps that he can (victories over No. 18 Florida State and, last week, No. 14 Georgia Tech), he was sensational in both games, and that's why he's this high. In the blowout of Georgia Tech, he showed poise in the pocket and set the tone with his passing on first down. This weekend he faces his third consecutive tough test, with the Hokies in Blacksburg.
Up next: Saturday at No. 11 Virginia Tech
4. QB Jimmy Clausen, Jr., Notre Dame
Last week: 22-of-31 passing, 300 yards, 2 TDs; 7 rushes, minus-1 yard in a 33-30 victory over Michigan State
Season: 62-of-91 passing, 951 yards, 9 TDs; 11 rushes, 0 yards
Heisman-o-meter: Clausen was not on the list last week, and that was a mistake. A deeper look at the Michigan-Notre Dame game, revealed that Clausen played well. The Watch was just too quick to drop him after his team had lost. (Although he did have a chance to seal the game with one or two more first downs on that drive before the Wolverines' last score, and you would think that Heisman candidates would make those crucial plays.) So his ranking this week has been calibrated with The Watch's error in mind. On Saturday, Clausen was crisp and clean for the third straight game, and perhaps his most impressive throw was when he hit Golden Tate perfectly in stride for a touchdown that also struck up the Michigan State band. Now, with star receiver Michael Floyd likely out for the rest of the season, it'll be interesting to see how that affects Clausen's performance.
Up next: Saturday at Purdue
5. QB Colt McCoy, Sr., Texas
Last week: 24-of-34 passing, 205 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs; 8 rushes, minus-5 yards in a 34-24 victory over Texas Tech
Season: 75-of-110 passing, 859 yards, 6 TDs, 4 INTs; 24 rushes, 46 yards, 1 TD
Heisman-o-meter: For the second straight game, McCoy was strangely off. He was high on many of his throws, including both interceptions, which deflected off his receivers' hands. (To be fair, on the second pick, Malcolm Williams should've caught the pass.) After the game, it was revealed that McCoy had battled the flu last week, possibly as early as the Wyoming game, and missed practice on Tuesday. But there's no way to know how much that affected his performance on Saturday. (He played better in the second half.) But with or without the flu, he has mysteriously gotten off to slow starts in the first halves this season. After dropping him from first to fifth last week, The Watch is tempted to move him down again, but the reality is this: He's just too good for this malaise to continue, and, come Oct. 17 against Oklahoma in Dallas, what he did or didn't do against Louisiana-Monroe, Wyoming and Texas Tech will have little bearing on his Heisman hopes.
Up next: Saturday vs. UTEP
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