Heisman Watch: Top 100 candidates

Discussion in 'Sports Zone' started by TxStar61, Aug 31, 2005.

  1. TxStar61

    TxStar61 New Member

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    A full century of Heisman candidates for the upcoming 2005 season might look like a cop out to the cynic. However, in this era of out-of-the-blue finalists, such as Alex Smith, Adrian Peterson, Brad Banks and Carson Palmer, you almost have to go that deep in order to include all viable contenders.
    That said, if USC can navigate unscathed through a manageable schedule, is there a player on the planet that can keep Matt Leinart from joining Archie Griffin as the only two-time Heisman winners in collegiate history? Here we go with 1 through 20. Heisman candidates: 1-20 | 21-40 | 41-60 | 61-80 | 81-100

    1. QB Matt Leinart, USC — Unlike Jason White in 2004, Leinart will defend his Heisman crown with a full head of steam and the unanimous respect of the voters. The loss of offensive coordinator Norm Chow will be offset by a receiving corps that's light years better than it was nine months ago.

    2. QB Vince Young, Texas — Young's Heisman campaign began in Pasadena three months ago, when he authored one of the great individual efforts in ‘Horn history. Early season encounters with Ohio State and Oklahoma afford him the platform to go toe-to-toe with Leinart.

    3. RB Adrian Peterson, Oklahoma — Peterson is already the most complete back in the college game, but a reshuffled line and an inexperienced quarterback could make yards a wee bit tougher to come by this fall.

    4. RB Reggie Bush, USC — If the Heisman championed college football's Most Entertaining or Most Dangerous player, some ballots might already be cast. Bush is college football's ultimate weapon, who can do everything, except, perhaps, convince Heisman voters he's the most valuable player on his own team.

    5. QB Chris Leak, Florida — Leak is not the letter-perfect quarterback to run Urban Meyer's read-option attack, but the coach is wise enough to install a playbook that'll get the most out of his junior's deep reservoir of talent. Meyer was a starmaker for his last two quarterbacks, and Leak was already on the All-American doorstep.

    6. WR Ted Ginn, Jr., Ohio State — The mercurial and multi-faceted Ginn is on the tarmac, and preparing for lift-off in 2005. He'll challenge Bush as the most electrifying player in America.

    7. QB Drew Tate, Iowa — Tate was thrust into an impossible situation in 2004, and he responded by being named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year. With a running game to balance the offense and a Top 10 team to attract attention, the Hawkeyes could have their second Heisman finalist in four years. 8. QB Reggie McNeal, Texas A&M — To the dismay of the rest of the Big XII, McNeal keeps maturing into a complete quarterback. If he can continue honing his passing skills and engineer an upset of either Oklahoma or Texas in November, he'll mount a stiff challenge.

    9. RB DeAngelo Williams, Memphis — Assuming the broken leg he suffered in the GMAC Bowl heals fine, Williams should be a fixture in the Heisman race right through November. He'll have the numbers and the national recognition, however, all bets are off if he sputters in Knoxville on Nov. 12.

    10. RB Laurence Maroney, Minnesota — Marion Barber's early departure to the NFL opens the door for Maroney to make a push for All-American honors. He's a tremendous combination of power and breakaway speed, who'll put up Heisman caliber numbers in 2005.

    11. QB Chad Henne, Michigan — Henne's physical gifts were well-documented, but it was his uncommon poise as a true freshman starter, which already has him among the top quarterbacks in the nation. Even without Braylon Edwards, he has no shortage of quality pass-catchers.

    12. RB Michael Hart, Michigan — Hart silenced the questions about Chris Perry's successor last year, leading the Big Ten in rushing as a true freshman. Expect more of the same, but also expect heralded recruit Kevin Grady, who's already in Ann Arbor, to steal some carries in September.

    13. QB Tyler Palko, Pittsburgh — Even more is expected of Palko in 2005 after last year's 24-touchdown, 3,067-yard opening act. He and Greg Lee form one of the most lethal pitch-and-catch combos in the country.

    14. RB Gerald Riggs Jr., Tennessee — It's taken four years, but now that he's finally the workhorse, Riggs figures to have a monster season for a Vol team that'll be contending for more than one title.

    15. QB Omar Jacobs, Bowling Green — If 41 touchdowns to just four interceptions couldn't get Jacobs on the radar, you kind of assume he's fighting an uphill battle for national awards. At least this season, he won't have to introduce himself to the major media before the start of the season.

    16. QB Marcus Vick, Virginia Tech — Vick is the great unknown on a Hokie team that's a consistent quarterback away from being a bona fide Rose Bowl contender. His talent is unquestioned, but he still needs to prove he can get it done in a big spot.

    17. CB Devin Hester, Miami — Hester's one of those rare athletes that's so explosive, he compels coaches to invent ways to get the ball in his hands. He played on offense, defense and special teams, picked off four passes and scored on a handoff, punt return, kickoff return and a blocked field goal.

    18. QB Erik Ainge or Rick Clausen, Tennessee — Morph these two challengers into one uniform and you've got a heck of a starter. Each offers something a little unique to the Vol offense, but Ainge is the star.

    19. RB Leon Washington, Florida State — The ‘Noles have big question marks on offense, but the running game isn't one of them. Washington has first-round NFL talent, but as long as Lorenzo Booker is healthy, it's doubtful he can accumulate Heisman-type numbers.

    20. QB Brad Smith, Missouri — With expectations for him and his Tigers substantially more realistic than last year, Smith should bounce back with a season that's more commensurate with his skills. The offense, which was roundly criticized in 2004, has been tinkered with to allow Smith more latitude to make plays.




  2. royhitshard

    royhitshard New Member

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    I think it will be tough for Leinert and Bush to win simply because they will have to share votes, similar to what Jason White and A. Perterson did last year. It will interesting to watch! Football is back!!!!!!!

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