In the latest Heisman Poll on
I'm not sure why.
Nearly halfway through the regular season, Tebow has thrown for a whopping 777 yards. McCoy has thrown nearly as many interceptions (six) as he did all of last year (eight). Tebow ranks fifth in his own conference in total offense, one spot behind Auburn's
"The race has been pretty lackluster," said
Perhaps the plot will thicken this weekend. Perhaps McCoy will once again shine during Saturday's Red River duel against Oklahoma. Perhaps Tebow, having survived the scare of his concussion, will go back to being the one-man wrecking crew of old against Arkansas. Or perhaps Notre Dame's
But what if none of those things happen? What if Tebow puts together another 172-yard day while Florida's running backs and defense carry the load against Arkansas? What if Oklahoma beats Texas? (Is it too late for
Perhaps it's time for the nation's Heisman electorate to start prepping itself for the reality that the nation's best player
"Of course you have Tebow and McCoy, but neither one has lit up the college football world so far," said ESPN analyst
All but five winners in the award's 74-year history have been quarterbacks or running backs, with quarterbacks claiming eight of the past nine. The rare exceptions like Michigan's Howard, fellow Wolverine
On that note, I'd like to introduce my fellow Heisman voters to
Shipley, Texas' sixth-year senior receiver, has managed to upstage best buddy McCoy with his penchant for breathtaking plays. The all-purpose threat ranks seventh nationally in receiving yards (116.6 per game), fourth in punt returns (18.9 per kick, including two touchdowns) and last week added kick-return duties to his repertoire. On Saturday, he returns to the scene of his game-changing 96-yard kick return in last year's Oklahoma game.
"Jordan Shipley is amazing," said Texas coach
Gilyard has done much the same thing for 5-0 Cincinnati, averaging 166.4 all-purpose yards. While Bearcats quarterback
"Mardy has made himself a complete player," said Cincinnati coach
Moving to the other side of the ball, no player has received more national acclaim over the past week than Nebraska defensive tackle
"Being an ESPN game, being the only show in town, a lot of people got to see what he can do [last Thursday]," said Nebraska coach
Suh, quite simply, is doing things unheard of for an interior lineman. He leads the Huskers in tackles (32) to go with three sack and seven tackles for loss. Most impressive, however, is that he's tied for sixth in the country with eight passes defended (seven pass break-ups and one interception). No other defensive lineman ranks in the top 100.
"Did you ever think you would see a defensive tackle have as much impact as he does?" defensive coordinator
Suh may have a hard time maintaining his spot in the limelight as the season progresses, however. No defensive tackle has finished among the top five Heisman vote-getters since Washington's
"It's a sign of some dissatisfaction with the status quo candidates," said Huston. "People are shopping around, and some people are saying 'Why not someone like Suh?' His chances of actually winning are 0.0 percent, but he has chance of finishing in the top five."
Suh's biggest problem could be the fact that there's not a consensus he's the top defensive player in the country. Tennessee safety
There's also been a budding push lately for Alabama linebacker
"Suh is not the only defensive player getting pub," said Huston. "For him to finish in
Maybe that's the case. Maybe we should just sit back and wait for the inevitable late-season push by a Tebow or McCoy -- or a Clausen, Pike,
Or maybe the voters should start taking a look around the landscape to realize this isn't necessarily another Year of the Quarterback. Right now, only two of the aforementioned quarterbacks, Cincinnati's Pike and Houston's Keenum, are on pace to reach 30 passing touchdowns, a mark Bradford (50), McCoy (34) and Tebow (30) all achieved last season, as has every Heisman-winning quarterback since 1996 (with the exception of option QB
Rushing statistics are down even further. Among BCS-conference running backs, only West Virginia's
Heisman voters have softened several historic barriers in recent years. They crowned the first-ever sophomore winners, Tebow (2007) and Bradford (2008), the past two seasons. They came darn close to crowning the first freshman (runner-up
But are they ready to crown the first defensive tackle or safety? Or restore glamour to the lost art of the punt return? It would certainly be something if it happened in a year that was supposed to belong to Tebow, Bradford and McCoy.