Posted by TheBigLead on August 30th, 2006
With so many upper-echelon teams having two Heisman Trophy candidates, who gets the shaft, and who’s the favorite? Our breakdown of who is in contention to collect hardware at the Downtown Athletic Club in December.
West Virginia - RB Steve Slaton and QB Pat White: Fine, so Pat White is a stretch to make an appearance on this list, but he was pretty darn good last year, and the schedule is full of jokers, so why not? The thing is, these guys will remain on the list at least until the Nov. 2 trip to Louisville. If WVU wins, it’s smooth sailing to the BCS. But even if White were to pass for 2,500 yards and rush for 1,000, he’d still be a longshot to win the Heisman. Slaton might need an epic rushing season – 2,000 yards, 30 touchdowns – to warrant a trip to the downtown athletic club.
Louisville - QB Brian Brohm and RB Michael Bush: Extremely fun offense to watch. Brohm will have the stats, but will register enough impressive victories to get him to NYC? Bush reminds us some of Eddie George. Expect gaudy stats. But the league is weak, and barring an undefeated run and a trip BCS, it probably won’t be enough. And even then …
Ohio State – WR Ted Ginn and QB Troy Smith: Road trips to Texas and Iowa could trip up either one of these players. Ginn, this year’s must-watch player now that Reggie Bush is in
purgatory New Orleans, is a longshot at best because most of his scores will be courtesy of Smith. If Smith can stay eligible, and guide this team to an unbeaten mark, he should be a top 3 candidate. But two late-season wins last year – while impressive – still leaves us needing to see more before actively backing his 2006 Heisman campaign.
Michigan – QB Chad Henne and RB Michael Hart: Ummmm, no. Very good college players, but shot at the Heisman. Too many difficult games on the road. Notre Dame, Penn State, and Ohio State? No BCS for these guys, and thus, no Heisman Trophy.
Chris Leak, QB, Florida: – It’s laughable that he’s a contender. He’s just lucky five of his first six are at home, including Alabama and LSU. Our guess? He lays an egg against the Bayou Bengals, and the people’s choice, freshman Tim Tebow, will somehow get into the game against Auburn and create a quarterback controversy. Video killed the radio star? Hype killed Chris Leak. Not exactly Ron Powlus-like in the magnitude of his letdown, but major disappointing.
Kenny Irons, RB, Auburn: With the only tough road trips being South Carolina, Mississippi, and Alabama, it’s feasible Auburn could go unbeaten. When was the last time you heard anyone mention Carnell Williams or Ronnie Brown? Irons – 1,293 yards, 13 touchdowns last year - made the Tiger faithful forget about the duo, and we expect in the ballpark of 1,700 yards this season. He should finish in the top 3. If he’s eligible as a darkhorse, we’re going with him.
Brady Quinn, QB, Notre Dame: Clear cut favorite. He’s ours, too. Tremendous arm strength … ah, hell … if we list all the qualities he’s got, this will turn into a 5,000 word Bill Simmons piece. The only way Quinn doesn’t win the Heisman is if he gets injured or the ND defense collapses and the Irish win fewer than eight games. We’re reluctant to use the word lock in regards to Quinn capturing the Heisman. But he’s close.
Adrian Peterson, RB, Oklahoma: Blue chip NFL prospect? Sure. Breakaway speed? Yup. An impressive physical specimen? Damn right. Won’t finish in the top 3 simple because he’s got no quarterback. Enjoy the eight man fronts, AP.
Dwayne Jarrett, WR, USC: Clearly the best receiver in the college game, but unless he doubles up at safety or returns punts or kickoffs (none of which is happening), he cannot win this title. Period. Twenty-five touchdown catches will not win him the award. Sorry. Reminds us of Keyshawn Johnson, minus the attitude.