UNSUPPORTED BROWSER
More Sports

A Heisman showdown in Norman

Much is at stake in Saturday's showdown between No. 2 Texas Tech and No. 5 Oklahoma in Norman: Big 12 South title aspirations, BCS championship game hopes and, what The Watch is most concerned with, Heisman Trophy candidacies.

Will Graham Harrell effectively clinch the stiff armed statuette if he leads the Red Raiders to victory? Will Sam Bradford leap both Harrell and Colt McCoy if he directs the Sooners to a win? There are so many storylines regarding this down-to-the-wire Heisman race that Sports Illustrated college football writer and all-around good guy Austin Murphy decided to tackle them in a great story in this week's issue of SI. Check it out.

Next week, The Watch begins its annual end-of-the-year elimination process (think Survivor, with multiple castoffs a week), cutting the list from 10 to seven. The list will go down to five on Dec. 1 before ending with its top three choices on Dec. 8, the Monday before the Heisman Trophy ceremony in New York City.

Last week: Idle

Season: 332-of-463 passing, 4,077 yards, 36 TDs, 5 INTs; 28 rushes, minus-5 yards, 6 TDs

Heisman-o-meter: The most popular question The Watch has been receiving is: Will Harrell clinch the Heisman with a win on Saturday? In this opinion, no, but he would be the equivalent of first-and-goal at the 1. Remember, Harrell would still have games against Baylor and, most importantly, Missouri in the Big 12 championship game. While Bradford would likely be out of Heisman consideration, McCoy already beat the Tigers handily in one of the most impressive offensive performances this season. Also, much depends on how well Michael Crabtree plays against the Sooners and down the stretch.

Up next: Saturday at No. 5 Oklahoma

Last week: 24-of-34 passing, 255 yards, 2 TDs; 16 rushes, 78 yards, 1 TD in a 35-7 victory at Kansas

Season: 268-of-347 passing, 3,134 yards, 30 TDs, 7 INTs; 117 rushes, 527 yards, 8 TDs; 2 punts, 69 yards

Heisman-o-meter: Don't let the pedestrian numbers fool you. Chilly winds gusting at more than 30 mph made the aerial game difficult for both teams, yet McCoy completed 70.6 percent of his passes, including a strike to BrandonCollins for a touchdown. In addition McCoy, who had been banged up recently, had his best running game since late September. Perhaps no other observer of Saturday's game between the Red Raiders and Sooners will be more impacted than McCoy.

Up next: Nov. 27 vs. Texas A&M

Last week: Idle

Season: 224-of-330 passing, 3,406 yards, 38 TDs, 6 INTs; 5 rushes, 23 yards, 1 TD

Heisman-o-meter: Bradford has been flying under the radar since that loss to Texas, and now he can place himself squarely in Heisman consideration with a big game and victory against Texas Tech. What has been particularly impressive with Bradford is that he has hit the statistical lottery seemingly every game this season, even recently when the Sooners' running game has picked up speed. With an Oklahoma victory on Saturday, there's no telling what the top of this list will look like next week.

Up next: Saturday vs. No. 2 Texas Tech

Last week: Idle

Season: 78 receptions, 1,010 yards, 18 TDs; 1 rush, 3 yards; 1 kickoff return, 50 yards

Heisman-o-meter: The Watch didn't get any response from last week's question on the Crabtree-Harrell debate (While Harrell is without question the more valuable of the two because of the position he plays, who is better at what he does, Harrell or Crabtree?), which may mean that Tech followers are as torn between Harrell and Crabtree as The Watch is. While The Watch is still weighing the merits of both, this much seems certain: If a voter is unimpressed with all of the quarterback candidates this year, Crabtree is the most likely beneficiary of that vote as the best non-quarterback selection on the board.

Up next: Saturday at No. 5 Oklahoma

Last week: 30 rushes, 211 yards, 2 TDs in a 22-17 victory over Purdue

Season: 256 rushes, 1585 yards, 15 TDs; 8 receptions, 49 yards

Heisman-o-meter: Greene has some great wiggle for a 235-pound back, and he showed off those moves on his 75-yard touchdown run against the Boilermakers, spinning 360-degrees and leaving a hopeless Purdue defender two fists full of cold Iowa air. Greene's out-of-nowhere season ends against Minnesota, and it would be a major oversight if he did not win the Doak Walker award as the nation's best running back.

Up next: Saturday at Minnesota

Last week: 13-of-20 passing, 173 yards, 2 TDs; 14 rushes, 39 yards, 1 TD in a 56-6 victory over No. 24 South Carolina

Season: 139-of-214 passing, 1,913 yards, 19 TDs, 2 INTs; 119 rushes, 393 yards, 11 TDs

Heisman-o-meter: Three early South Carolina turnovers turned into 21 quick Florida points, making this a relatively stress-free game for Tebow and the Gators. Touchdown Tim connected with Deonte Thompson with a perfectly thrown ball for a 46-yard score down the right sideline in the second quarter, but this was another game in which all of the Gators' stars -- Percy Harvin, JeffreyDemps, Chris Rainey -- played well. Any voters who subscribe to the Best Player on the Best Team voting theory (The Watch is not one) probably has their choice in Tebow.

Up next: Saturday vs. The Citadel

Last week: 27 rushes, 144 yards, 1 TD; 1 reception, 5 yards in a 34-21 victory over Cal

Season: 255 rushes, 1,233 yards, 11 TDs; 28 receptions, 244 yards, 1 TD

Heisman-o-meter: After a slow first half, the Quizz got rolling in the third quarter with a 31-yard run after a buttery-smooth cutback move. An underrated part of Rodgers' game is that he, at 5-foot-7, 193 pounds, stays in the game to block on passing downs. Speaking of blocks, the Quizz destroyed some unfortunate Cal defender on a reverse, another reason that makes the Quizz so much fun to watch.

Up next: Saturday at Arizona

Last week: 11 rushes, 102 yards, 1 TD; 3 receptions, 30 yards in a 30-17 victory at Colorado

Season: 210 rushes, 1,434 yards, 14 TDs; 15 receptions, 140 yards; 1 kickoff return, 13 yards

Heisman-o-meter: Hunter had trouble punching the ball into the end zone from inside the 5-yard line on a couple occasions, but he didn't have trouble on a nice 43-yard touchdown run on which he turned the play upfield so quickly, the linebackers had no chance. He hobbled off the field after planting his left knee awkwardly in the third quarter and did not return, but luckily for Cowboys fans, he has two weeks to heal before bedlam ensues in Stillwater.

Up next: Nov. 29 vs. Oklahoma

Last week: 32-of-40 passing, 328 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT; 1 rush, minus-1 yard in a 52-20 victory at Iowa State

Season: 306-of-400 passing, 3,592 yards, 30 TDs, 11 INTs; 41 rushes, 136 yards, 1 TD

Heisman-o-meter: One week after saying he was "hurting the team" with his play, the Tigers' triggerman responded with a typical Daniel-like outing, completing his first 16 passes (later he hit Jeremy Maclin on a slant for a 43-yard touchdown) to help Missouri clinch the Big 12 North title. For the sixth straight game he did throw at least one interception, but this one was the fault of the stone hands of freshman tight end Michael Egnew, who let the ball bounce off him and into the arms of Allen Bell.

Up next: Nov. 29 vs. Kansas in Kansas City, Mo.

Last week: Idle

Season: 210 rushes, 1,043 yards, 16 TDs; 20 receptions, 234 yards; 1-of-1 passing, 14 yards

Heisman-o-meter: Maclin, Dez Bryant, Harvin and even Beanie Wells received consideration for the 10 spot, but the idle McCoy hangs onto the list. But with The Watch set to narrow the list of candidates to seven next week, this may be the last we see of Shady, barring some miraculous effort against the Bearcats.

Up next: Saturday at Cincinnati

SI.com

Drag this icon to your bookmark bar.
Then delete your old SI.com bookmark.

SI.com

Click the share icon to bookmark us.