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Updated: October 23, 2007, 6:25 AM ET

ESPN's Take

Editor's note: Each week, ESPN.com asks one of its Heisman Watch voters to explain his picks. Here are Chris Spielman's Oct. 23 selections.

1. Matt Ryan, Boston College
Ryan is the major reason for Boston College's success this season. When you take into account the fact that he's putting up career numbers with a new coach, a new offensive system and a number of new receivers, Ryan has shown that he's close to being the best there is in college football.

2. Dennis Dixon, Oregon
Dixon has put up huge numbers in a tough conference -- 1,728 passing yards, 16 TDs; 416 rushing yards, 7 TDs -- and he leads the Pac-10 in passing efficiency. The improvement he's made this year is outstanding, and his ability to both run and throw the ball effectively has Oregon challenging for conference and national titles.

3. Colt Brennan, Hawaii
Not many people are high on Brennan, but I like him. He's certainly done enough to be mentioned in the discussion. He is second only to Texas Tech's Graham Harrell in total offense, and he displayed poise and leadership ability in directing Hawaii to a come-from-behind, overtime win at San Jose State in Week 9. He's a very, very talented football player.

4. Tim Tebow, Florida
Tebow is Florida's offense, and he's proven he can do anything. He's the Gators' bruising, short-yardage back. He can break long runs. He can throw for four touchdowns. Each week, he proves he's among the best players in the country.

5. Mike Hart, Michigan
Hart didn't play in Week 9 because of an ankle injury, but he's still the main reason Michigan is firmly in the Big Ten race after starting the season 0-2 with disappointing losses to Appalachian State and Oregon. Without his determination, ability and love for the game, the Wolverines could still be in the tank.

Although all of these players have established themselves as playmakers, the Heisman race is wide open. Just like the BCS, we could see a whole different top five in a few weeks. That's what makes this so much fun.

ESPN Experts Poll

Each week, ESPN.com's panel of experts casts its votes for the top Heisman candidates. The panel consists of analysts, former players, former coaches and ESPN.com's college football staff.

A week after Matt Ryan knocked Darren McFadden from the top spot, Tim Tebow has replaced Boston College's signal-caller as the front-runner in the race to New York. The Eagles were off in Week 9, and Tebow used that to his advantage, willing Florida to a win against Kentucky and boosting his Heisman r�sum� in the process.

Week 9 also saw a whittling of the Heisman field. While Rutgers' Ray Rice and Cal's DeSean Jackson climbed back onto the board, a bevy of candidates did not receive votes from our panel this week. That list includes Texas Tech's Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree; South Florida's Matt Grothe; Louisville's Brian Brohm; Oklahoma's Sam Bradford; and West Virginia's Patrick White.

The Heisman Watch will be updated each Tuesday. The next update will take place on Oct. 30.

Name Position School Year 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th Total
Tim Tebow QB Florida So. 6 5 1 2 0 57
Matt Ryan QB Boston College Sr. 7 4 0 2 0 55
Andre' Woodson QB Kentucky Sr. 1 2 6 3 2 39
Dennis Dixon QB Oregon Sr. 1 3 0 2 4 25
Mike Hart RB Michigan Sr. 0 1 3 3 5 24
Darren McFadden RB Arkansas Jr. 0 1 3 5 0 23
Colt Brennan QB Hawaii Sr. 0 0 2 0 0 6
Ray Rice RB Rutgers Jr. 0 0 1 0 2 5
Chase Daniel QB Missouri Jr. 0 0 1 0 0 3
DeSean Jackson WR Cal Jr. 0 0 0 1 0 2
Glenn Dorsey DT LSU Sr. 0 0 0 0 1 1

Heisman Trophy Winners

Year Players School
2006 Troy Smith Ohio State
2005 Reggie Bush USC
2004 Matt Leinart USC
2003 Jason White Oklahoma
2002 Carson Palmer USC
2001 Eric Crouch Nebraska
2000 Chris Weinke Florida State
1999 Ron Dayne Wisconsin
1998 Ricky Williams Texas
1997 Charles Woodson Michigan
1996 Danny Wuerffel Florida

For the complete list of Heisman winners, click here.

Ranking the Top 5

Tim Tebow | QB | Florida

up Tebow might not have won the Heisman this week, but he couldn't have been more impressive against Kentucky. He simply does it all. He threw for 256 yards (69 percent completion) for four touchdowns, and rushed for 78 yards and another score.

description 2007 Season Stats:
Passing: 1,711 YDS | 17 TD
3 INT | 66.1 CMP%
Rushing: 578 YDS | 10 TD


Next: Florida at Georgia

Oct. 27 | 3:30 p.m. ET

Matt Ryan | QB | Boston College

up Ryan's overall numbers (22-52 for 285 yards with two TDs and two interceptions) against Virginia Tech weren't great, but the senior certainly has his Heisman moment. Ryan tossed two TDs in the final 2:11 to rally the Eagles to a 14-10 win over the Hokies at Lane Stadium. It was the kind of performance that is remembered in December.

description 2007 Season Stats:
Passing: 2,469 YDS | 19 TD
8 INT | 61 CMP%
Rushing: 5 YDS | 1 TD


Next: Florida State at Boston College

Nov. 3 | TBD

Andre' Woodson | QB | Kentucky

up Woodson did everything he could to will Kentucky to a win, even after getting banged up in the first half. He completed 35-of-50 passes for 415 yards and five touchdowns in the loss.

description 2007 Season Stats:
Passing: 2,200 YDS | 26 TD
4 INT | 64.7 CMP%
Rushing: -123 YDS | 3 TD


Next: Mississippi State at Kentucky

Oct. 27 | 12:30 p.m. ET | ESPN360.com

Dennis Dixon | QB | Oregon

up Dixon has slowly been building his Heisman résumé, and his two-touchdown, 295-yard performance against Washington on Saturday catapulted him into the top five. Dixon is a dual-threat quarterback who has the Ducks in a great position for the home stretch.

description 2007 Season Stats:
Passing: 1,728 YDS | 16 TD
3 INT | 69.3 CMP%
Rushing: 416 YDS | 7 TD


Next: USC at Oregon

Oct. 27 | 3 p.m. ET

Mike Hart | RB | Michigan

neutral Hart wasn't able to go against Illinois because of a high ankle sprain, but Michigan proved it could still beat a quality opponent without him. The win kept Michigan in the Big Ten title race and Hart in Heisman contention.

description 2007 Season Stats:
200 ATT | 1,078 YDS | 12 TD
5.4 AVG | 61 LNG
7 REC | 43 YDS | 0 TD


Next: Minnesota at Michigan

Oct. 27 | 3:30 p.m. ET | ESPN Classic