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Heisman Watch

Heupel wins, but will probably lose out

Updated: Sunday December 03, 2000 1:48 AM

  Josh Heupel Josh Heupel threw a season-high three interceptions in the season finale. AP

By Marc Lancaster,

Josh Heupel had his chance for a closing argument, but it didn't go quite as well as he might have liked.

Battling a sore arm, Oklahoma's QB threw three interceptions and didn't look particularly sharp for the third consecutive game, but once again he led his team to victory. His problem is this: Every Heisman voter in America was watching Saturday's game, and it seemed the consensus going in was that he needed a spectacular showing to overtake Chris Weinke. He didn't get it.

Still, some may be swayed by his position as the clear leader of the only unbeaten team in the country. Plus, any anti-Weinke ageism would help Heupel. The junior college transfer says team goals are his only concern, and he has put the Sooners in position to snare the ultimate prize. It just looks right now that Heupel will come up just a bit short for the top individual honor.

Here's our breakdown on how the contenders stand after the final week:

Ranking the Candidates
Through Dec. 2 games
No.  Player  Season Stats  Comments 
1.  Chris Weinke, QB, Florida State   Passing: 266-431-11 (61.7 percent), 4,167 yards, 33 TDs  His stock only rose while sitting out the last two weeks.  
2.  Josh Heupel, QB, Oklahoma  Passing: 280-433-14 (64.6 percent), 3,392 yards, 20 TDs  Intercepted three times, but his is the only undefeated team left. 
Just Looking for an Invite
  Drew Brees, QB, Purdue   Passing: 286-473-12 (60.4 percent), 3,393 yards, 24 TDs; Rushing: 91 carries, 546 yards, 5 TDs  Riding momentum of Rose Bowl-clinching win in season finale. 
  LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, TCU  Rushing: 369 carries, 2,158 yards (5.8 ypc), 22 TDs  Rousing final game put him over 2,000 for the year. 
  Damien Anderson, RB, Northwestern  Rushing: 293 carries, 1,914 yards (6.5 ypc), 22 TDs  The Big 'Cat fell just shy of 2,000 himself this season.  
  Eric Crouch, QB, Nebraska  Passing: 75-156-7 (48.0 percent), 1,101 yards, 11 TDs; Rushing: 170 carries, 973 yards, 20 TDs  A little low on the radar at season's end to make serious bid.  

Who do you think should be booted out of contention for the trophy? Weigh in with your opinion on Heisman Island.

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