I'm not just writing this because SI's college football editor is a Missouri grad, but Chase Daniel should be getting serious consideration for the stiff-armed statuette. He's the ringmaster of one of the nation's most prolific offenses, his numbers rival those of any other candidate and he has the 9-1 Tigers in national title contention.
It has been a big year for Big 12 quarterbacks (Daniel, Sam Bradford, Graham Harrell and Todd Reesing), but Daniel has been the best. And with potentially two high-profile games remaining (Kansas and a Big 12 championship contest), he just might pull this off.
The ballot if the season ended today:
Last week: 22-of-32 passing, 304 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT; 26 rushes, 120 yards, 5 TDs in a 51-31 victory at South CarolinaSeason: 173-of-255 passing, 2,532 yards, 23 TDs, 5 INTs; 170 rushes, 718 yards, 19 TDsHeisman-o-meter: Wow. I guess that right shoulder is feeling OK. After two weeks in which it seemed that the bum shoulder would affect Tebow's running, the quarterback/fullback had arguably the best effort of his season, accounting for seven touchdowns and always looking in control of the game. My favorite play was when he destroyed linebackers Melvin Ingram and Cody Wells at the goal line for his fifth rushing touchdown. The performance was even more remarkable considering Tebow had two easily catchable touchdown passes dropped in the end zone. After the game coach Urban Meyer called it "a Heisman performance." He'll get no argument here.Up next: Saturday vs. Florida Atlantic
Last week: IdleSeason: 167-of-246 passing, 2,074 yards, 20 TDs, 3 INTs; 103 rushes, 549 yards, 8 TDsHeisman-o-meter: Tebow's effort on Saturday raised the bar for Dixon, who seems to be the public's frontrunner but was second on this list by a nose going into last week. It'll be interesting to see if the sprained left knee from the Arizona State game will affect him and how he will respond playing in front of a national audience with the Heisman Trophy possibly at stake.Up next: Thursday at Arizona
Last week: 27-of-35 passing, 352 yards, 3 TDs; 10 rushes, 15 yards in a 40-26 victory over Texas A&MSeason: 281-of-405 passing, 3,306 yards, 26 TDs, 9 INTs; 79 rushes, 248 yards, 3 TDsHeisman-o-meter: Texas A&M predominantly rushed just three and dropped eight all day, and while that scheme somehow kept this dual threat quarterback from breaking long runs, it did not slow down Daniel through the air. (Granted, 82 of his passing yards came on speedy Jeremy Maclin's catch-and-run that was more the product of Maclin and a poor A&M defense than Daniel.) He keeps moving up the Watch because he keeps producing and winning while others keep stumbling and losing, and after this performance the school has decided to start a Heisman campaign for him.Up next: Saturday at Kansas State
Last week: 22 rushes, 117 yards; 0-of-1 passing; 3 receptions, 17 yards; 2 kickoff returns, 39 yards in a 34-13 loss at No. 22 TennesseeSeason: 244 rushes, 1,431 yards, 12 TDs; 2-of-4 passing, 65 yards, 2 TDs; 17 receptions, 114 yards; 11 kickoff returns, 210 yardsHeisman-o-meter: That stuff last week about McFadden being back in the Heisman hunt, maybe even leading the race? Well, Tennessee's (that's not a misprint) defense pretty much stuffed McFadden and maybe even his chances to win the trophy. Ninety-eight of McFadden's 117 yards came in the second half when the outcome of the game was not in question. And, unlike in previous weeks, he did not have to share the ball with Felix Jones, who missed three quarters of the game with a deep thigh bruise. In this opinion, McFadden would need to hit the statistical lottery the next two games to earn this vote.Up next: Saturday vs. Mississippi State
Last week: Did not play in a 37-21 loss at WisconsinSeason: 215 rushes, 1,188 yards, 12 TDs; 7 receptions, 43 yardsHeisman-o-meter: This mighty mite could have played on that gimpy ankle, but coach Lloyd Carr decided to let him heal one more week so that he can be ready for Saturday's showdown against Ohio State. Per Watch policy, Hart has not been penalized for sitting out with injury, but it gets harder each week to make a case for a guy who has not played in a little more than three games this season. Because of the missed games, Hart doesn't even show up in the latest NCAA rankings. He can make up for his lost time with a huge effort on Saturday.Up next: Saturday vs. No. 7 Ohio State
Last week: 16-of-25 passing, 181 yards, 2 TDs; 24 rushes, 147 yards, 1 TD in a 38-31 victory over LouisvilleSeason: 107-of-155 passing, 1,251 yards, 11 TDs, 2 INTs; 120 rushes, 803 yards, 10 TDsHeisman-o-meter: It was an up-and-down game against Louisville for White, who ran well at the start and then lost two fumbles before closing it out with a 50-yard sprint that broke a 31-31 tie with 1:36 remaining to keep the Mountaineers with one loss. I bet he's the only Heisman candidate who will do a flip on the sideline this season to prove he's OK to re-enter the game (which he felt compelled to do after losing a fumble on a hard hit by the Cardinals). His numbers don't match others on this list, but he's as just as important as many on here.Up next: Saturday at No. 21 Cincinnati
Last week: IdleSeason: 177 rushes, 1,142 yards, 10 TDs; 16 receptions, 98 yards, 1 TD; 19 kickoff returns, 527 yardsHeisman-o-meter: Because of his dual-threat teammate Dixon, Stewart has been getting very little publicity, but there's no denying he's one of the best running backs in the country. His 6.45 yards per carry is second best among running backs in the top 40. And he does more than just run the ball. He has 19 kickoff returns this season, even more than the multitalented Darren McFadden.Up next: Thursday at Arizona
Last week: 33-of-56 passing, 421 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INTs; 7 rushes, minus-23 yards in a 42-35 loss at MarylandSeason: 276-of-465 passing, 3,269 yards, 24 TDs, 13 INTs; 40 rushes, 23 yards, 1 TD; 1 reception, 1 yardHeisman-o-meter: Oh, how the Eagle has crash landed. Atop this list just two weeks ago, Ryan was hit by the interception bug again (he has only three interception-free games this season) as BC lost to Maryland, thus pretty much costing him any hopes on this ballot. His skills may be tantalizing (that's why I'm keeping him on the list), but they can't make up for all of the picks.Up next: Saturday at No. 15 Clemson
Last week: 27-of-40 passing, 318 yards, 3 TDs; 2 rushes, minus-6 yards in a 43-28 victory at Oklahoma StateSeason: 207-of-334 passing, 2,657 yards, 26 TDs, 4 INTs; 72 rushes, 197 yards, 1 TDHeisman-o-meter: Listed (emphasis on the word listed) at just 5-foot-10 and 200 pounds, Reesing makes his debut on the Watch. As he showed on Saturday, Reesing is the triggerman of the Jayhawks' spread attack, able to hit short passes while also having the mobility to keep plays alive. (See: second-quarter pass to Dexton Fields.) He also rarely makes a mistake. (He has thrown just four interceptions all season and none in his last 179 attempts.) Oh, and he wins.Up next: Saturday vs. Iowa State
Last week: 9 receptions, 195 yards, 2 TDs in a 59-43 loss at No. 15 TexasSeason: 113 receptions, 1,707 yards, 20 TDs; 1 kickoff return, 16 yardsHeisman-o-meter: Regular Watch readers know that I've hesitated on bringing Crabtree back to this list since I think quarterback Graham Harrell, not Crabtree, is the catalyst for the Red Raiders' offense. But there's no denying what this freshman and his fleet feet have done this season. On his 69-yard touchdown against the Longhorns, he simply dusted the Texas defensive backs to the end zone. The problem was, as has been the case with many of Crabtree's scores this season, that touchdown came with less than a minute left in the game and meant nothing except to the final score.Up next: Saturday vs. No. 3 Oklahoma
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