Each week, I'll break down who I think are the top 10 contenders for the Heisman and let you know who may have fallen out of contention.
I base my rankings on what the Heisman Committee tends to value when honoring their winner, so I'll be ranking based on what I think they are leaning towards. (See previous ranking in parentheses.)
1. (3) Tim Tebow—QB, Florida
There is no denying that when the committee watched the Florida game, they didn't see the offense struggle to hold onto the ball or score on a very suspect defense. They saw Tebow lead a 69-yard drive to win the game. Those kind of drives garner Heisman votes, especially if you're a media darling like Tebow. He made the plays when it mattered and finished with 255 yards through the air, plus another 69 on the ground.
2. (6) Mark Ingram—RB, Alabama
For what it's worth, I have Clausen and Ingram as 2(a) and (b), but the committee tends to favor players on the stronger teams and right now 'Bama is giving Florida a run for that No. 1 spot. Plus, you've gotta love the way Ingram put his team on his back and carried them to victory with 246 yards and a TD. He's the nation's fourth leading rusher and ninth leading point scorer. That's a good resume.
3. (5) Jimmy Clausen—QB, Notre Dame
Saturday turned out to be a statement game for Clausen, even though ND couldn't finish the job. He brought his team back against a team with far more talent and almost pushed that game into OT. He was a few big plays short, but with 260 yards and two TDs—plus another TD on the ground—you can't fault him for the loss.
4. (2) Tony Pike—QB, Cincinnati
Pike stays here for now, but if that wrist injury causes him to miss any time, he could be in serious jeopardy of slipping fast. He doesn't play for a big enough school to make up ground while missing weeks. That said, his team is still undefeated, he threw for two TDs against a tough defense and he's in the top 25 in passing yards and top 10 in passing TDs. A healthy performance next week to pad the stats again could go a long way.
5. (1) Colt McCoy—QB, Texas
Some other bi- name players finally came up with big games, and Colt kept doing what he's been doing all year: playing very mediocre football. Oklahoma's D hasn't exactly been a power thus far and Colt made them look sensational, completing just over 50 percent of his passes for 127 yards, with only a 3.3 average to go along with an INT and a TD. Not a good showing.
6. (4) Ryan Williams—RB, Virginia Tech
The loss really hurts the freshman's chances, but what hurt more was the lack of touches he got. On only 14 carries, he was able to rattle off 100 yards and a TD, but wasn't given the chance to do much more. Still ranks sixth in the nation in rushing yards and has 10 TDs to go along with them. Virginia Tech will stay near the top 10, which will keep Williams in the picture.
7. (7) Jaquizz Rodgers- RB, Oregon State
Oregon State was idle this week, so The Quizz Show stays where he is, but he's started to find himself on some people's radars. he is a massive part of the passing game and running game and is helping Oregon State establish itself as a talented team. He currently sits at 12th in the nation in rushing yards and third in points scored.
8. (8) Max Hall- QB, BYU
Now the two small-school QBs who just keep hanging around. Hall cut down on the INTs this week and helped BYU avoid a disastrous loss by throwing for 346 yards and three TDs. He's third in the nation in passing yards and second in passing TDs. He's got a huge win on his resume and could add another next week when BYU takes on TCU.
9. (9) Case Keenum—QB, Houston
If Houston keeps winning, they are gonna give Case an outside shot at an invite. He completed 30 of 43 passes for 334 yards and two TDs in the win against a mediocre Tulane team. However, his seasonal stats keep him in this thing. He tops the nation in both passing TDs and yards, plus he's punched a few across with his legs.
10. (NR) Dion Lewis—RB, Pittsburgh
Lewis makes his second appearance on this list after his 180-yard, two-TD performance against a solid Rutgers team put Pitt in a great position to claim a Big East crown. He's another freshman RB, which hurts his chances, but he's also the nation's second leading rusher and will have a few more chances to prove his worth.
Dropped out: (10) Reesing
Ben Tate—RB, Auburn
Auburn is quietly having a pretty good football season, and a lot of that has to do with Tate. The senior is fifth in the nation with 856 yards rushing to go along with five TDs and 90 yards in the receiving game.
Freddie Barnes—WR, Bowling Green
A guy with no chance to get an invite, but deserving of a shout-out. The 6'0", 210-pound senior leads the nation with 882 yards on 85 receptions! He's also crossed the goal line eight times. Pretty impressive numbers for a team that is in position to go bowling.