SI.com's Heisman Trophy Ballots
Here are the three-deep ballots of SI's eight voters, who will help select the 74th Heisman Trophy winner on Saturday night.
 
STEWART MANDEL
First Second Third
Tim Tebow
Tim Tebow
Colt McCoy
Colt McCoy
Sam Bradford
Sam Bradford
Explanation: Everything the Gators do, they do because of Tebow. It's not just his razor-sharp passes. It's not just his relentless, fullback-style running. It's all the little things in between -- the play-fakes, the precise option pitches and, most importantly, his emotional leadership -- that make him the most dominant player in the sport. Put it this way: Tebow was the most outstanding player a year ago, and he's only gotten better. All three quarterbacks are phenomenal players, but if you asked me to choose one to build a team around, I would choose Tebow in a heartbeat -- which is why I voted for him.
 
AUSTIN MURPHY
First Second Third
Sam Bradford
Sam Bradford
Tim Tebow
Tim Tebow
Colt McCoy
Colt McCoy
Explanation: Last year Tebow won it on the strength of some sick stats. This year, his advocates want to change the definition of the award. Forget the numbers, they urge us. See how No. 15 inspires the team by getting up in its face! News flash: Bradford can lead a little, too. When his D gives up a score he?s been know to tell the guys, "Don?t worry about. You?ll be back out there in two minutes." I enjoyed the watching Tebow beat 'Bama last Saturday, and cast my vote for the Sooner two days later. Bradford (4,464 yards passing and 48 TDs) won it fair and square -- by the standard Tebow set a year ago.
 
CORY McCARTNEY
First Second Third
Tim Tebow
Tim Tebow
Colt McCoy
Colt McCoy
Sam Bradford
Sam Bradford
Explanation: Bradford and McCoy were the best players in a conference that was the national darling this season, but what Tebow did in willing his team to the BCS title game earns my vote. His numbers were down from last year (3,079 total yards to 4,181 in 2007 and 40 combined touchdowns to 55 a season ago), but he proved himself the game's most outstanding player -- and a man of his word -- after the Ole Miss loss, coming up big vs. the SEC's best defenses (five total TDs vs. Georgia, three against LSU, South Carolina, Florida State and Alabama).
 
GENE MENEZ
First Second Third
Colt McCoy
Colt McCoy
Sam Bradford
Sam Bradford
Tim Tebow
Tim Tebow
Explanation: Why does McCoy deserve the Heisman over Bradford? There are a few reasons, the main one being that McCoy regularly makes plays with his feet, while Bradford rarely does. Unlike the Oklahoma quarterback, McCoy doesn't have a consistent running game to help him out; he is the running game. (He led Texas in rushing this year.) The second reason behind the McCoy choice is that his offensive line is far inferior to Bradford's. McCoy has been hit plenty of time's this season, while the Sooners have allowed just 11 sacks, giving Bradford time to stand in the pocket and pick out his receivers. The third and final reason: Bradford is the kind of quarterback who throws to talented receivers who make plays with their feet for touchdowns; McCoy is the kind of quarterback who makes plays with his feet and then throws to his receivers for touchdowns.
 
MARK BEECH
First Second Third
Colt McCoy
Colt McCoy
Tim Tebow
Tim Tebow
Sam Bradford
Sam Bradford
Explanation: Any of these three could win without complaint from me, but I ranked McCoy first mostly because he was college football's ultimate one-man show in 2008, leading his team in both rushing and passing. In comparison with Tebow, McCoy was better in almost every significant passing category. He also wasn't on the field when his team lost to Texas Tech, whereas Tebow was stopped on fourth-and-one in the deciding play of Florida's defeat against Ole Miss. As for ranking Bradford third: The Heisman has come to be dominated more and more by quarterbacks, and I find I have a preference for multidimensional players over pure passers. Plus, I feel the Longhorns belong in the BCS title game over Oklahoma. Head-to-head, McCoy beat Bradford.
 
LUKE WINN
First Second Third
Colt McCoy
Colt McCoy
Sam Bradford
Sam Bradford
Tim Tebow
Tim Tebow
Explanation: Every quarterback in this race did something exceptional: Bradford threw for 48 touchdowns, Tebow had a 14-to-1 touchdown-to-INT ratio and McCoy had a 77.6 percent completion percentage. To me, it's the last one that jumps off the page the most. McCoy is hardly a dink-and-dunk passer, and he blew away the completion percentages of the past two Heisman winners (Tebow's 66.7 and Troy Smith's 65.3) out of the water. McCoy's supreme accuracy -- plus the facts that he beat Bradford head-to-head and actually out-rushed Tebow (576 yards to 564) on the season -- sealed the deal for me.
 
B.J. SCHECTER
First Second Third
Tim Tebow
Tim Tebow
Colt McCoy
Colt McCoy
Sam Bradford
Sam Bradford
Explanation: There is no player more versatile than Tim Tebow. He can throw with the accuracy of Peyton Manning and run with the brute power of Adrian Peterson. He's a natural leader who takes responsibility for his actions on and off the field and willed Florida to the national title game. After losing to Ole Miss and September, Tebow put it all on his shoulders, saying: "You will never see any player in the entire country play as hard as I will play the rest of the season. You will never see another player push his team as hard as I will push everybody the rest of the season. You will never see a team play harder than we will the rest of the season." Tebow's numbers may not be as eye-popping as McCoy's or Bradford's, but he epitomizes "outstanding." Without him, Florida would be playing in the Capital One Bowl.
 
MARK GODICH
First Second Third
Colt McCoy
Colt McCoy
Tim Tebow
Tim Tebow
Sam Bradford
Sam Bradford
Explanation: How do you break a tie among three players who happen to quarterback the best three teams in the country? Quite simply, McCoy accomplished the most with the least. Of the three finalists, he played behind the most suspect offensive line (and took some beatings in the process) and the weakest set of skill-position players. Yet he completed a Division I-A record 77.6 percent of his passes and accounted for 44 touchdowns. Everyone talks about Tebow's all-around game, but McCoy, despite playing one fewer game, rushed for more yards (on 26 fewer attempts), threw for 930 more yards and had four more total touchdowns. As for Bradford, while the statistics are jaw-dropping, let's not forget that he played with two 1,000-yard rushers, a Mackey Award finalist at tight end, a trio of electric wideouts and a brick wall of an offensive line (the best in the land). Oh, and how did that head-to-head meeting between McCoy and Bradford at a neutral site in Dallas turn out?
 

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