1. Kellen Moore , QB, Boise State
Moore leads the nation in passing efficiency and touchdown passes, is 10th in completion percentage, threw for five touchdowns in his last game, and has five games of three touchdown passes or more. And hey, his team’s undefeated and in the top five.
I’m no Boise State bandwagon rider, but when no one from one of the BCS schools is separating themselves from the pack, his chances are (or should be) as good as anyone else’s.
Last Week (54-9 W at Hawaii): 18-for-30, 222 yards, 5 TD
Season Stats: 132-for-195, 1,627 yards, 21 TD, 2 INT
2. Mark Ingram , RB, Alabama
Thanks to a certain field-goal blocking man mountain, Alabama’s SEC and national title hopes are alive and well. But am I going to dock Ingram a few points for his late fumble that let Tennessee back in a game that was on the verge of being done and dusted? Yes.
Take out the fumble, and he did have a solid day even without a touchdown, coming just short of a 100-yard day against a tough Tennessee defense.
Just for his sake though, Greg McElroy needs to start playing a little more like he did before he came face-to-face against some grown-man defenses.
Last Week (12-10 W vs. Tennessee): 18 carries, 99 yards
Season Stats: 153 carries, 1,004 yards, 8 TD; 19 catches, 186 yards, 3 TD
3. Jimmy Clausen , QB, Notre Dame
Is he up this high because he plays for Notre Dame or because he’s earned it? For me, it’s the latter. If not for Clausen stepping up time and again in the late stages, it’s fair to say that the Irish could well be 2-5 instead of 5-2.
Last Week (20-16 W vs. Boston College): 26-for-39, 246 yards, 2 TD
Season Stats: 150-for-230, 2,050 yards, 16 TD, 2 INT; rush TD
4. Case Keenum , QB, Houston
Keenum didn’t have a prolific outing against SMU, but as long as the Cougars keep winning, Keenum’s chances to be high in the Heisman voting look good.
Last Week (38-15 W vs. SMU): 25-36, 233 yards, TD
Season Stats: 241-344, 2,734 yards, 20 TD, 4 INT; 3 rush TD
5. Dan LeFevour , QB, Central Michigan
Central Michigan takes their seven-game win streak to Boston College this weekend. If LeFevour can lead the Chippewas to their second win over a BCS opponent this season, it would not only vault CMU into the Top 25, but it’d also put LeFevour in an excellent position to be a Heisman finalist.
Last Week (24-10 at Bowling Green): 16-for-22, 147 yards, 2 TD passing, 22 carries, 128 yards rushing
Season Stats: 156-for-223, 1,696 yards, 16 TD, 4 INT passing; 112 carries, 522 yards, 9 TD rushing
6. Colt McCoy, QB, Texas
Now that’s a little more like the Colt we’re supposed to see. The Longhorns have their most important game of the season on Saturday when they visit Oklahoma State, and not only could it be a make-or-break game for Texas’ national title hopes, but it could also be the same for McCoy’s Heisman hopes.
Last Week (41-7 W at Missouri): 26-31, 269 yards, 3 TD, INT
Season Stats: 182-254, 1,806 yards, 14 TD, 8 INT, rush TD
7. Tim Tebow , QB, Florida
Florida‘s futility in the red zone wasn‘t helping Tebow‘s numbers as it was, but another inept night inside the 20, plus two pick-sixes put Timmy in a must-perform position from here on out. But hey, at least he doesn’t have to worry about facing Johnthan Banks again.
Last Week (29-19 W at Mississippi State): 12-for-22, 127 yards, 2 INT passing; 22 carries, 88 yards rushing
Season Stats: 84-for-132, 1,159 yards, 8 TD, 4 INT; 121 carries, 466 yards, 6 TD rushing
8. Bill Stull , QB, Pittsburgh
Dion Lewis is having a fantastic freshman campaign, but Pittsburgh wouldn’t be 7-1 overall and 4-0 in Big East play if Stull hadn’t made such a big leap from last year to this year.
Last season, his first two-touchdown pass game came in the Panthers’ regular-season finale at Connecticut. This season, he already has six games with multiple touchdown passes.
Last Week (41-14 W vs. South Florida): 18-for-25, 245 yards, 2 TD, INT
Season Stats: 132-for-196, 1,654 yards, 16 TD, 4 INT; rush TD
9. Dion Lewis , RB, Pittsburgh
LeSean who? Lewis has run for 444 yards in his last three games, and with Stull playing as well as he has all season, Pittsburgh’s offense is a force to be reckoned with.
Last Week (41-14 W vs. South Florida): 23 carries, 111 yards, 2 TD; 2 catches, 10 yards
Season Stats: 185 carries, 1,029 yards, 11 TD; 14 catches, 92 yards, TD
10. C.J. Spiller, RB, Clemson
It’s no secret what Spiller can do at any given moment, and he showed it in Clemson’s road upset of Miami, logging 310 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns.
Last Week (40-37 W at Miami): 23 touches, 310 all-purpose yards, 2 TD—14 carries, 81 yards; 6 catches, 104 yards, TD; 90-yard kick return TD (three kick returns, 125 yards)
Season Stats: rushing—108 carries, 547 yards, 3 TD; receiving—18 catches, 267 yards, 2 TD; kick returns—38.3 yards per return, 3 TD; punt returns—36.4 yards per return, TD
11. Noel Devine , RB, West Virginia
Devine’s gaining some steam and could really throw himself into the thick of the conversation in November if the Mountaineers can remain unbeaten in the Big East heading into the home stretch.
Last Week (28-24 W vs. Connecticut): 23 carries, 178 yards, TD; 1 catch, 10 yards
Season Stats: 137 carries, 912 yards, 10 TD; 13 catches, 105 yards, TD
12. Ryan Mathews , RB, Fresno State
Mathews has run for 100 yards in all seven of Fresno State’s games this season, and he’s run for at least 145 yards in each of the last five. At the very least, he’s helping his draft stock tremendously to where it’d be pretty hard to return for his senior season.
He hasn’t become the nation’s leading rusher (by yardage) by beating up on patsies either. He had 486 rushing yards total against Wisconsin, Boise State, and Cincinnati.
Last Week (34-3 W at New Mexico State): 25 carries, 157 yards, 2 TD; 1 catch, 27 yards
Season Stats: 156 carries, 1,131 yards, 9 TD; 5 catches, 68 yards
13. Christian Ponder , QB, Florida State
FSU can go into November with a realistic chance to win the Atlantic Division, and it’ll be because of Ponder, who’s posted career highs in back-to-back-to-back games. If he can keep it up through the end of the season, he’ll go into 2010 as a Heisman frontrunner—if he doesn’t elect to jump ship to the pros.
Last Week (30-27 W at North Carolina): 33-for-40, 395 yards, 3 TD
Season Stats: 180-for-257, 2,176 yards, 12 TD, INT passing; 137 yards, 2 TD rushing
14. Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame:
In the past three games, Tate has 28 catches for 489 yards and five touchdowns. Not bad at all.
Last Week (20-16 W vs. Boston College): 11 catches, 128 yards, 2 TD;
1 carry, minus-2 yards
Season Stats: 52 catches, 847 yards, 8 TD; 15 carries, 94 yards, TD
t15. Jacquizz Rodgers , RB, Oregon State
Rodgers wasn’t able to replicate last season’s heroics against USC, but he did a lot more against the Trojans than many a running back has during the Pete Carroll era.
Last Week (42-36 L at USC): 20 carries, 113 yards, TD; 4 catches, 10 yards, TD
Season Stats: 148 carries, 810 yards, 14 TD; 42 catches, 279 yards, TD
t15. Toby Gerhart , RB, Stanford
So far, so good, but with the Cardinal’s final four opponents all being teams who are currently ranked (Oregon, USC, Cal, Notre Dame), Gerhart can really earn himself some votes if he can produce.
Last Week (33-14 W vs. Arizona State): 27 carries, 125 yards, 2 TD; 1 catch, 5 yards
Season Stats: 195 carries, 994 yards, 13 TD; 7 catches, 78 yards
Jahvid Best, RB, Cal
After knocking himself out of the race with back-to-back bad performances against Oregon and USC, Best has rebounded with back-to-back good days against UCLA and Washington State. Too little, too late?
Last Week (49-17 W vs. Washington State): 13 carries, 159 yards, 2 TD; 1 catch, 27 yards, TD
Season Stats: 114 carries, 775 yards, 11 TD; 14 catches, 156 yards, 3 TD
Thaddeus Lewis, QB, Duke
Lewis definitely deserves at least a little mention due to his play over the last few weeks. Lewis has thrown for 1,174 yards and nine touchdowns with only one interception in his last three games, and the Blue Devils are 4-3 overall and 2-1 in the ACC.
In case you didn’t know already, David Cutcliffe knows a thing or two about quarterbacks.
Last Week (17-13 W vs. Maryland): 30-for-43, 371 yards, 2 TD, INT
Season Stats: 164-for-256, 1,972 yards, 14 TD, 3 INT; 3 rush TD
Tony Pike , QB, Cincinnati
It looks like Pike is going to miss his second straight game when the Bearcats visit Syracuse, but if he wasn’t injured, he’d likely be at the top of the Heisman heap right now.
Last Week (41-10 W vs. Louisville): DNP (wrist)
Season Stats: 128-for-199, 1,633 yards, 15 TD, 3 INT; 2 rush TD
Zac Robinson , QB, Oklahoma State
Robinson will get his chance to really impress voters come Saturday when the Cowboys host Texas. The last time the Longhorns came to Stillwater, Robinson set career highs in completions (30) and yards (430) and threw for two touchdowns in a near-upset.
He won’t have Adarius Bowman, Dez Bryant, and Brandon Pettigrew to throw to on Saturday like he did that day, but perhaps the Longhorns will get to know Hubert Anyiam more than they’d like to.
Last Week (34-7 W at Baylor): 23-for-27, 250 yards, 3 TD
Season Stats: 115-for-176, 1,547 yards, 12 TD, 3 INT; 4 rush TD