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Soaring to the top


Fatal laptop issues and a business trip to Nicaragua (yes, I know there's no college football in Nicaragua) have conspired to produce an abridged Heisman Watch this week. Some of you may think it's an improvement.

The ballot if the season ended today:

Last week: 25-of-52 passing, 285 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs; 4 rushes, minus-22 yards in a 14-10 victory at No. 8 Virginia TechSeason: 217-of-356 passing, 2,433 yards, 19 TDs, 8 INTs; 24 rushes, 16 yards, 1 TD; 1 reception, 1 yardHeisman-o-meter: Terrible for 55 minutes. Terrific for five. Our new leader after Florida's Tim Tebow faltered Saturday.Up next: Saturday vs. Florida State

Last week: 14-of-22 passing, 236 yards, 1 TD; 13 rushes, minus-15 yards, 2 TDs in a 42-30 loss to No. 20 GeorgiaSeason: 129-of-196 passing, 1,947 yards, 18 TDs, 3 INTs; 138 rushes, 563 yards, 12 TDsHeisman-o-meter: Though he denied it affected his play, Tebow played like a different quarterback with the bum right shoulder. He's still in the hunt, though.Up next: Saturday vs. Vanderbilt

Last week: 16-of-25 passing, 157 yards; 17 rushes, 76 yards, 1 TD in a 24-17 win over No. 9 USCSeason: 154-of-224 passing, 1,885 yards, 16 TDs, 3 INTs; 92 rushes, 492 yards, 8 TDsHeisman-o-meter: Do-it-all Dixon didn't pass for a touchdown for the first time in nine games, but he still looks like Vince Young-Lite running the Ducks' spread. Unlike Young, he may actually win the stiff-arm statuette.Up next: Saturday vs. No. 6 Arizona State

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Last week: Did not play in a 34-10 victory over MinnesotaSeason: 200 rushes, 1,078 yards, 12 TDs; 7 receptions, 43 yardsHeisman-o-meter: He has now missed 2½ games because of a bad ankle. He's not being dropped because of injury. He's being dropped because others have been more productive.Up next: Saturday at Michigan State

Last week: 25 rushes, 103 yards, 2 TDs; 2 receptions, 21 yards; 1 kickoff return for 17 yards in a 24-17 win over No. 9 USCSeason: 156 rushes, 1,043 yards, 9 TDs; 14 receptions, 72 yards; 14 kickoff returns, 405 yardsHeisman-o-meter: I'm still sticking to the theory that Dixon, not Stewart, makes the Ducks offense run as smoothly as it does, but after Saturday's 103-yard, two-touchdown effort, I'm starting to come around to Stewart's side.Up next: Saturday vs. No. 6 Arizona State

Last week: 19 carries, 61 yards, 4 TDs; 3 receptions, 22 yards in a 58-10 win over Florida InternationalSeason: 188 rushes, 1,036 yards, 11 TDs; 13 receptions, 93 yards; 1-of-2 passing, 42 yards, 1 TDHeisman-o-meter: He's still uber-talented, but after a 61-yard day against Florida International he's only this high because of his sick ability and the failures of those below him.Up next: Saturday vs. No. 23 South Carolina

Last week: 28-of-37 passing, 250 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT; 4 rushes, 11 yards in 42-28 win over Iowa StateSeason: 228-of-326 passing, 2,533 yards, 18 TDs, 8 INTs; 63 rushes, 209 yards, 3 TDsHeisman-o-meter: He started off hot against Iowa State, and his team won, which is more than many others on this list can say. Also I was wrong last week to question his credentials just because the circumstances of the Texas Tech game took the ball out of his hands. Hey, everyone makes mistakes.Up next: Saturday at Colorado

Last week: 10-of-16 passing, 144 yards; 22 rushes, 156 yards, 1 TD in 31-3 win at No. 25 RutgersSeason: 91-of-130 passing, 1,070 yards, 9 TDs, 2 INTs; 96 rushes, 656 yards, 9 TDsHeisman-o-meter: A mainstay of this list the last two years, White returns after a stellar dual-threat performance. Like Hart, he's another who will not be penalized because of injury.Up next: Nov. 8 vs. Louisville

Last week: 24-of-42 passing, 230 yards, 2 TDs, 3 INTs; 5 rushes, 0 yards in 31-14 loss to Mississippi StateSeason: 215-of-337 passing, 2,431 yards, 28 TDs, 7 INTs; 40 rushes, -123 yards, 3 TDsHeisman-o-meter: First South Carolina, now Mississippi State? I can't see any circumstance under which I would include him in my top three.Up next: Nov. 10 at Vanderbilt

Last week: 30 rushes, 142 yards; 1 reception, 6 yards in 31-3 loss to No. 6 West VirginiaSeason: 234 rushes, 1,141 yards, 13 TDs; 18 receptions, 181 yards, 1 TDHeisman-o-meter: The Scarlet Knights got another huge day out of this power-running workhorse. He's a favorite of this Heisman follower, but I'm guessing that his team's three losses have put him off the radar of other voters.Up next: Saturday at No. 16 Connecticut