Top 10 Heisman Hopefuls after Week 4
Adrian Peterson - Imagine the numbers he could have put up if he was left in the entire game against Middle Tennessee State. He had 128 yards and 3 touchdowns in just about a half of play. Peterson is on pace to gain 1900 yards and score 21 touchdowns. Those sound like Heisman numbers to me. This week he has a week to rest before the Red River Shootout.
2. Troy Smith - Smith didn't have a stellar game against Penn State, but he did everything that was needed to lead his team to victory. The game in Iowa this week is an important one as he will go head to head against another good QB in Drew Tate. Smith needs a better showing or he will see himself slipping down the list further.
3. Brady Quinn - I found myself wondering during the first half how far I was going to drop Quinn down my Heisman list but his second half play canceled those thoughts. The second half was a true Heisman performance as he put the team on his back and showed some great leadership. Throwing for 319 yards and 5 touchdowns also helped his cause.
4. Steve Slaton - For the first time all year he was held below 100 yards and without a touchdown as West Virginia had a rough time against East Carolina. For Slaton to win this award he has to do above and beyond the likes of Quinn, Peterson, and Smith because he is only a Sophomore. I agree it is not logical but we are dealing with Heisman voters.
5. Chris Leak - Leak had another strong showing against the Wildcats throwing for 267 yards and 2 touchdowns. Leak is showing a lot of poise that he lacked in his previous years and the Gators will need that because their next 4 (Alabama, LSU, Auburn, Georgia) games are brutal. If they win all four three things will happen: The Gators will be in the top 3; they will be in the SEC Title game; and Leak will stamp his ticket for New York in December.
6. Michael Hart - Hart was held under 100 yards for the first time all year. It will be interesting to see if Hart still can put up impressive numbers against Big Ten quality defenses. The emergence of Chad Henne and Mario Manningham will also help Hart.
7. Dennis Dixon - Dixon stayed the same since he had a bye week. We can't hurt him by not playing but as Cal showed last week, the Ducks should be able to put up some nice passing numbers against the Sun Devils.
8. Garrett Wolfe - Wolfe had another great week rushing for 198 yards and 4 touchdowns, too bad it was against Division 1aa Indiana State. Wolfe is projected to run for 2400 yards and have 24 touchdowns, but holding him down is the quality of his opponents. I can say this, if he keeps at this pace he will get an invite to New York.
9. Calvin Johnson - If Johnson had a quarterback that could throw the ball with any consistency he would be in the top 5, but Reggie Ball is definitely putting a hamper in Johnson's Heisman chances. Last week Johnson caught 6 passes for 165 yards and 2 touchdowns, an astounding 71% of Georgia Tech's passing game.
10. Marshawn Lynch - Lynch reemerges on my list and it should not be a surprise. He quickly fell off everyone's Heisman list after his lackluster performance against Tennessee but has anyone noticed him since? Marshawn has had 3 games over 100 yards and is averaging 7.2 yards per carry. He should be able to pad those stats against the teams in Washington in the upcoming weeks.
Right now there are three players who seem to be way ahead of the pack. The fourth has the numbers to win the Heisman but as we all know the voters don't like choosing a freshman or sophomore to win the award. There weren't a lot of marquee games last week but there was some movement on my list. I did get a comment about leaving Will Proctor out of my list last week. My response to that is he has had one game where he threw for over 300 yds, the rest he has been below the 200 yard mark. Unless a QB gets pulled in the first half or is a dual threat QB, he should be able to at least get over 200 yards a week through the air if he wants Heisman consideration.