Top Five Heisman Trophy Candidates After Week Three

Ben WeixlmannSenior Writer ISeptember 16, 2008

So after three weeks, who stands at the top of the Heisman totem pole? In my estimation it's pretty clear: Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel.


1) Chase Daniel, QB, Missouri

Instead of asking what he's done, it's more of what he hasn't done. About the only thing Daniel hasn't accomplished is rushing for a touchdown. Otherwise, his cannon right arm has led Mizzou to a 3-0 record behind 10 touchdowns against just one interception.

As one columnist noted, "Daniel could have 15 touchdowns if he wanted, but the games have been blowouts thus far, save for Illinois."

That statement has some merit—it just isn't logical to keep your star player in a game that winds up being 52-3. Oh, and they just happened to clobber the Nevada Wolf Pack to the tune of 69-17.

Daniel has a 72.2 percent completion percentage and a 197.5 QB rating. Not much to argue with here, he's a beast.


2) Mark Sanchez, QB, USC

For those of you who thought I might vault Sanchez to the top after an impressive performance against a highly-acclaimed Ohio State defense, it just wasn't to be.

Sanchez has been stellar this year, though, nonetheless. Any time you're the nucleus of the top team in the nation, you're obviously doing a good job. Sanchez doesn't have the gaudy numbers that Daniel possesses, but he's played just two games.

After two games, he has thrown for 510 yards, seven touchdowns, and just two picks. He's just the next in the line of great quarterbacks to wear the Trojan jersey since Pete Carroll took the reins.


3) Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma

Think Daniel's quarterback rating of 197.5 was impressive? Try 214.4.

Bradford is following up his exceptional freshman campaign with another equally as impressive sophomore year. He has tossed twelve touchdown passes against just two interceptions, while throwing for 882 yards.

As has been the case with Daniel, and Sanchez during Week One, Bradford hasn't had to play the entire game because his team was obliterating the opponents. He heads up and offense that has scored fifty or more points in each of its' ballgames. This kid is absolutely dynamite.


4) Max Hall, QB, BYU

I'm not a Cougar fan, but the things that Hall can do allow me to make him the fourth most likely candidate for the Heisman Trophy. He threw for seven touchdowns against UCLA in a 59-0 rout of the Bruins. Oh, and he did it all in three quarters.

The two other wins haven't been sluggish starts by Hall, either. He has passed for over 1,000 yards already, while matching Bradford's touchdown and interception numbers. The only reason he isn't ahead of Bradford is because I don't think his team will either hold up their undefeated season nor get enough credit for playing in the Mountain West.

Steve Young comparison, anyone?


5) Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri

Daniel has to have someone to catch the ball, right? Maclin is one of the most explosive targets in the entire country, and his stats back it up, too. He is the focal point of every opposing defense, but has still managed to average 74.3 yards per game, despite limiting playing time.

Not to mention, Maclin leads the team with four touchdowns catches, including a breathtaking 80-yard burst away from the defense last week. Don't think he's just a one-dimensional player, either. Maclin has averaged over 36 yards per kickoff return, which has already made the media draw comparisons to Chicago Bears Pro Bowler Devin Hester.

If the Tigers keep winning, watch for Maclin's name to fly up this list.