Missed the end by mistake. But it was a short one, so didn't miss much. Mel Kiper: (1:00 PM ET ) How you doing everybody? A lot of rumors and talk about coaching candidates and Hiesman hopefuls and personnel situations -- lots to cover! Let's go! Steve (Austin, Texas): Benson being left off the list of Heisman finalists is a travesty. What he did this year against 8 and 9 man fronts was unbelievable. Seems like more backlash against Texas for what they did to Cal in the BCS. Oh wait, Texas didn't do a damned thing to Cal. Mel Kiper: (1:03 PM ET ) Well Steve, basically, as far as Benson, that's a completely separate issue from the Cal-Texas debate. Make no mistake. What Cedric did this year WAS remarkable. Very few could even slow this guy down. Benson's reward will come on draft day when he is either the first or second pick overall. ... Do I think he should be in the Heisman top 5 ... well, had Texas beat Oklahoma ... maybe. But I think the fact that they struggled aginst Ark., Missouri and Kansas hurt Cedric. Not that that was his fault, but it certainly didn't help him. Kevin (Waterloo, ON): Is it okay for 4 heisman candidates to be from 2 schools? does this send the message that (once again) the college football system favours these Oklahoma and USC? Mel Kiper: (1:05 PM ET ) I don't think it's a case of favoring anybody. It's about the best players. That is where they are from. USC and Oklahoma are playing for the national championship because they are so balanced and so talented. This is no coincidence. Those guys are all getting what they deserve. An interesting thing here is that I think Oklahoma the most underrated offensive star in all of college football -- that's Mark Bradley. Kenneth (Santa cruz ca): How is Reggie Bush a heisman finalist? Some games he didn't even have an impact because of a lack of touches, while players who contribute every game consistently like Arrington, Benson, and Campbell can be left off the list. Hype is obviously more important than substance in terms of college football standings and awards. Would you agree with this assessment? Mel Kiper: (1:09 PM ET ) I personally think it's more about value to a team. You really can't look at every game and analyze and say He had to be great in EVERY game. That's asking an aweful lot. But, REggie Bush's value to USC is absolutely monumental. They don't beat VTech without Reggie Bush ... or UCLA and Oregon State. There are, I think five games where he averaged less than four yards per carry. That is disapointing. So, yes, you have a point. No, he should not WIN the Heisman, but his value makes him worthy to be in the top five, he is third on my list. Josh (Spokane): Does Alex Smith have any chance of getting the heisman? Mel Kiper: (1:10 PM ET ) Here's my Heisman ranking -- No. 1 Matt Leinart, 2 Peterson, 3 is Bush, 4 is Jason White, 5 is Campbell, 6 is Alex Smith, 7 is Arrington and 8 is Benson. Gene (Louisville, Ky): What about someone like J.J. Arrington who was the 2nd leading rusher in D1 and had over 100 yards in each game. Do you think it hurt him that Aaron Rodgers was Cal's initial Heisman push until Cal went mainly to the running game towards the end? Mel Kiper: (1:13 PM ET ) Yes, I agree. That's a very, very good point, Gene. The focus was on Rodgers and nobody was really looking at JJ. You have a QB and coach to be the tandem that beats everybody and then Cal wins a game big and all of a sudden people said, 'Oh, Aaron Rodgers!" No, JJ Arrington was the star out there. Another thing that hurt his cause was their schedule that wasn't so strong, but certainly the attention to Tedford and Rodgers was a diversion. I think JJ will go in the thrid round on draft day. Matt (Camden, NJ): Hey Mel could you give me your top 5 RB pro prospects regardless of what year they are? Mel Kiper: (1:16 PM ET ) I'd say Adrian Peterson is No. 1. 2 is Cedric Benson from Texas. Number 3 is Ronnie Brown from Auburn. Number 4 is DeAngelo Williams at Memphis and No. 5 I'll go with Cadillac Williams from Auburn. ....... 6 is Reggie Bush, 7 is Laurence Maroney from Minn., No. 8 Ciatrick Fason from Florida. No 9 I'd say Vernand Morency of Oklahoma STate and 10 is probably the freshman Mike Hart from Michigan. There you go. There's my top 10. Mike (Chicago): Mel, who are the top 5 safetys on your list? Do you think that Indiana Safety Herana Daze-Jones can go in the top 2 rounds? Mel Kiper: (1:20 PM ET ) Herana is certainly one of the top five or six senior safeties. He is a real gunner on special teams. He's a great tackler, I'd say he's a second DAY pick. ... TOp 5 safeties is No. 1 Thomas DAvis from Georgia. No 2 is Brodney Pool from Oklahoma, my number 3 is Anthony Reddick of Miami, 4 is Josh Bullocks from Nebraska and No. 5 is Vincent Fuller from Virginia Tech. Sam (Syracuse, NY): Mel, Which bowl game appears to be the biggest mismatch to you? Mel Kiper: (1:24 PM ET ) Probably UCLA over Wyoming. It's no guarentee with UCLA's questionable defense, at times, but UCLA deserves to be a significant favorite in that game. If Cal brings it's A-game, I'd say Cal over Texas Tech is something to consider. One more ... on paper, Louisville has to be a favorite over Boise State. Louisville played a less than demanding schedule but they did almost win at Miami. Sonny (Fort Collins, CO): Mel, did you ever think you'd see the day when the MWC conference champion would be a 17-point favorite over the Big East champion in the Fiesta Bowl? =) Mel Kiper: (1:28 PM ET ) That's a good point, but with the Big East -- we know what happened with that conference losing those powerhouse teams. The conference will improve down the road. The Mountain West just had all the makings this year. And Utah, with that kind of man power and coaching power and dominance and a Heisman candidate -- Utah is so commendable. Pitt has played their best football at the end of the year, and they do have a hot QB in Tyler Palco. So it's not a complete mismatch, I won't say that, but Utah's complete body of work this year was much more impressive that Pittsburgh's. John (Long Island): Hey Mel, I plan to go to the Matt Leinart chat room in a few minutes, got any questions I could stump him with? How about whos the better QB you or Carson Palmer?. What your opinion Mel? Leinart or Palmer? Mel Kiper: (1:31 PM ET ) That's a good one, John! It's interesting how those two compare. Carson won a Hesiman and was the No. 1 pick overall and Leinart could also have those two accolades in his arsenal. Norm Chow's influence on both of these guys was huge. Carson didn't get the chance to play for the national title, but Leinart will. We don't even know if Matt is coming out, but if he makes himself a part of this draft process, his grade will be very high. THere is a very good chance he could go No. 1 to San Francisco. He could follow in the footsteps of Steve YOung and Joe Montana and Matt Leinart could try to restore the storied history of that SF franchise. Mel Kiper: (1:32 PM ET ) I've always viewed Matt Leinart as kind of a left handed version of Chad Pennington. Good play action passer, stands in that pocket, has great accuracy.