In closest Trophy race in years, Stanford's RB leads the way
Before we get to the top five Heisman candidates, let's take a timeout for a public service announcement. Many of you have written in this year to state your disagreement with The Watch's rankings. Well, now you have a chance to have your voice heard.
For the first time, The Watch is giving readers a chance to vote. Call it the Citizen Watch Heisman. Beginning today and continuing through Sunday night, readers can submit their choices for the "trophy" via Twitter. Just send a tweet to
Now, let's get to the race for the real trophy. After a year in which no candidate seemed to want the coveted award, the Heisman race fittingly comes down to the final week as anyone's to win. After hitting the statistical lottery against Texas A&M on Thanksgiving night (479 total yards and five TDs), Texas quarterback Colt McCoy has likely taken over the Heisman driver's seat in the national race over Alabama running back Mark Ingram, who had his worst outing of the season on Saturday, and Stanford running back Toby Gerhart, who leads the nation in rushing yards and TDs, but trails McCoy's Longhorns and Ingram's Tide on the AP Top 25.
The Watch sees the race a little differently, but anything can happen in the last week of what has been the most wide-open Heisman race in years.
No, Gerhart is the one to catch because of his season-long excellence, which culminated with a Heisman-worthy performance against Notre Dame. He hammered the Irish defense (to be fair, Notre Dame ranked 80th against the run) and even threw an 18-yard TD pass on fourth down to help tie the game at 38. His most impressive play, however, came on the game-winning drive when he destroyed cornerbacks
The result of Gerhart's work is this: He is the clubhouse leader on this ballot. (Though my gut tells me that Colt McCoy leads the race for all the votes.) Unfortunately for the Cardinal back, he does not have a 13th game to try to sway voters while his main competition for the trophy -- Ingram, McCoy and perhaps Florida's
No matter how a Heisman voter looks at Friday's game, Ingram's chances to win the stiff-armed statuette took a major hit. Luckily for him, he still has 1) a Heisman résumé filled with three months of excellence against top competition (178 yard rushing average in four games against ranked teams) and 2) one more chance to sway voters' minds. If he is somehow able to gash the nation's No. 1 ranked team
Now, with McCoy possibly one good game away from winning the Heisman, he gets a Huskers defense with a great line and a great reputation, but one that had some breakdowns in the secondary against Colorado on Saturday. "Defensively we left a lot of receivers open," Nebraska safety
On Saturday, Suh faces his toughest test yet: a Texas offense with a scorching-hot quarterback who gets rid of the ball so quickly that defensive linemen often don't have enough time to apply pressure. Even if Suh somehow comes up with another heroic effort, the guess here is that he still would be a long shot to even make it to New York next week, given Heisman voters' history favoring offensive players.
Tate's haters make a big deal about his team's record (6-6), and, while that is a valid point, he had at least 113 receiving yards and one score in each of those losses, giving the Irish a fighting chance in those games. Barring some strange, unforeseen events this weekend, this will be the last you will see Tate on The Watch, which is a shame because we've enjoyed watching him during this breakout season.