Best of the Best: A Look at the Heisman Race

Loren JonesContributor IDecember 3, 2008

It’s that time of year again, the time of the year college football fans look forward to...yes, I’m talking about the Heisman Trophy race. This year, like every year, there are five great prospects to win, but as you may or may not know only the top three vote getters are invited to the ceremony, which will take place on Monday, Dec. 15.


The race for college footballs most coveted award this year is probably one of the closest races in the awards history. Among the five finalists are four outstanding quarterbacks in Tim Tebow of Florida, Colt McCoy of Texas, Graham Harrell of Texas Tech, and Sam Bradford of Oklahoma, and a running back from Iowa by the name of Shonn Greene.


As of now, it looks like Sam Bradford has a slight edge over the other candidates, but close behind are Harrell and McCoy. All three of these outstanding quarterbacks play for teams in the Big 12, an offensive powerhouse of a conference this year.


Last year's award went to none other than Florida quarterback Tim Tebow. Tebow, who is on the ballet this year, has a chance to become only the second ever two time Heisman trophy winner, joining former Ohio State running back Archie Griffin.


But with as much talent that is in this year’s race, it will be very difficult for Tebow to win the award back to back, seeing as how his numbers aren’t quite as good as last years.


Tebow with 2,299 passing yards, 25 TDs, two interceptions, and a 65 percent completion percentage is a great quarterback, but his numbers just aren’t that of other quarterbacks in the race for the Heisman.


But, Tebow does have 507 yards on the ground with 12 TDs. The hype at the beginning of the season about Tebow repeating his Heisman run has been slowed down due to the fact that his numbers just aren’t as good as last year or as good as other quarterbacks in the race.


With 4,080 passing yards, 46 passing touchdowns, only six interceptions, and a 68.2 percent completion rating, Sam Bradford heads up the finalists. But what some of the other candidates have that give them an edge over Bradford are better ability to run the ball. With just five rushing TDs, Bradford has had the least amount of success running the ball.


Graham Harrell can do it all, he can run and pass, and doesn’t have very many interceptions. With 4,747 passing yards, 41 passing TDs, just seven interceptions, and a 71.5 percent completion percentage, Harrell is nearly mistake free even though he throws the ball a lot.


The only thing that could possibly get in the way of Harrell is the fact that fellow Big 12 teams Texas and Oklahoma may overshadow Texas Tech. Without a shot to go to the Big 12 championship game, and therefore probably not going to a BCS bowl game, Harrell may be forgotten in a sense when it comes to Heisman voting.


When it comes to the overall picture who is better than Texas quarterback Colt McCoy? He really came into his own this year, even though he doesn’t have an outstanding receiving core. When he throws the ball he’s great, 3,445 passing yards, 32 TDs, seven interceptions, and an outstanding 77.5 percent completion percentage.


When McCoy has a chance to run the ball he’s even better though, with 576 rushing yards and 10 TDs, not many quarterbacks, or running backs are much better.


Some may think that Michael Crabtree wide receiver from Texas Tech deserves a spot on the ballot before Iowa running back Shonn Greene but, even though not much attention has been paid to Greene’s stats this season, he is well deserving of being on the ballot.


Yeah, Crabtree had an outstanding season, but Greene was the No. 1 rusher in the country with 1,729 yards and 17 touchdowns. Another amazing feat Greene achieved this year is the nations only player to have over 100 yards rushing every game this season with at least 103 yards per game.


Greene probably won’t make it to the ceremony, but it is an amazing story seeing as how he wasn’t even on the Hawkeye’s team last year and in 2006 played on the Hawkeye’s practice squad as a defensive back.


Now, there will be a bunch of different opinions on who should and who shouldn’t win the Heisman trophy this year. In my opinion, the winner should be Colt McCoy. McCoy went from an okay season last year to an outstanding season this year. Out of all the finalists, McCoy had the highest completion percentage, threw for well over 3,000 yards, and rushed for the most yards by a quarterback on the list.


If this doesn’t show that he is the best player in college football right now, then I don’t know what does.