October 7, 2008

Olin Buchanan's Week 6 Heisman ballot

VOTE: Who is the front-runner for the Heisman?

The Heisman Trophy won't be awarded until December, but it might be won in the next two weeks.

As the halfway point of the season approaches, the top three contenders are Big 12 quarterbacks Chase Daniel of Missouri, Sam Bradford of Oklahoma and Colt McCoy of Texas. Oklahoma and Texas play Saturday, while Missouri faces the Longhorns next week.

Daniel and Bradford are basically even. Both are leading undefeated, top-five teams and both have passed for 1,665 yards. Bradford has three more touchdown passes, but Daniel has two fewer interceptions. So, with all things being equal, voters could compare their performances against Texas to determine who has the edge.

Of course, if McCoy who also is leading an undefeated, top-five team outplays them and leads the Longhorns to wins in those games, he likely would vault to the front of the race.

McCoy has passed for 1,280 yards and 16 touchdowns, but is a greater rushing threat than Daniel or Bradford. He leads the Longhorns in rushing with 317 yards and four scores.

1. Missouri QB Chase Daniel: Remember how Nebraska's defense was supposed to be better because of coach Bo Pelini's influence? Well, it didn't matter against Daniel, who was at his precise best against the Huskers. He completed 78 percent of his attempts for 253 yards and three touchdowns. He has gone four games without an interception.

2. Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford: Excellent as usual, Bradford exceeded 300 passing yards for the fourth consecutive game in a 49-17 victory over grossly overmatched Baylor. He threw two touchdown passes and an interception, only his third of the season.

3. Texas QB Colt McCoy: He has been remarkably consistent and had another dominant performance in last week's victory over Colorado. McCoy passed 262 yards and two touchdowns, but his season completion percentage dipped below 80 percent to 79.2.

4. USC QB Mark Sanchez: Sanchez returns to the leaders list after a big-play performance in a 44-10 victory over Oregon. Sanchez passed for 332 yards and three touchdowns. He has thrown at least three touchdown passes in every game.

5. LSU RB Charles Scott: He has exceeded 100 yards rushing in all four games despite minimal carries in some. Scott is averaging 7.5 yards per carry and ranks fifth in the nation in rushing.

VOTE: Who is the frontrunner for the Heisman?

Olin Buchanan is a Heisman voter and a senior college football writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at olin@rivals.com.



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