Breaking down the Heisman race

Dan Daly of the Washington Times attempts to do the seemingly impossible: determine which candidate is most deserving of the 2008 Heisman Trophy.

Colt McCoyIf you went purely by passing statistics, Bradford would be your man. He threw for 1,000 more yards than McCoy and almost 2,000 more than Tebow. He also did it against a schedule that included five teams ranked in the BCS top 25 (Texas, Texas Tech, TCU, Oklahoma State and Missouri) plus the Big East champ (Cincinnati). Here’s something else I found out: Only six of his 48 touchdown passes came in the fourth quarter, so he wasn’t padding his stats in all those blowouts.

Tebow and McCoy are much different quarterbacks, though. Both rushed for more than 500 yards this season (compared with Bradford’s 65), so there’s another dimension to them. Colt actually led the Longhorns in rushing, much of it gained on scrambles. Many of Tim’s runs, on the other hand, are by design. The Gators run a kind of souped-up version of the old single wing, with him as the tailback.
How do I break this tie? By reminding everybody that McCoy’s team beat Bradford’s 45-35, and Colt had a terrific game (28-for-25 for 277 yards and a touchdown). Sam also played well that day (28-for-39 for 387 yards and five touchdowns, with two interceptions), but it was Colt who made more big plays in the second half, when Texas rallied to win. That’s how I separate them, arbitrary as it may seem.

That and the fact that Bradford has a better supporting cast. Not only does Oklahoma have two 1,000-yard rushers (Chris Brown and DeMarco Murray) it also has a tight end who could well be a first-round NFL pick (Jermaine Gresham). And that Sooners line … let’s face it, the OU offense is one of the greatest in college football history. It’s AVERAGING 54 points a game. McCoy is more of a one-man show than Sam is.

Tebow, too, is surrounded by more talent. None of the Longhorns, for instance, does the things Percy Harvin does (8.8 yards a carry, 17 yards a catch, 16 touchdowns). Indeed, the Florida attack is almost perfectly balanced between the run (229.8 yards a game) and the pass (212.6). And let’s not forget: Tim had a better year last year, when he had a hand in 15 more touchdowns and was the Gators’ top rusher with 895 yards (331 more than this year).

It’s an incredibly close call, admittedly, but my ballot read: McCoy, then Tebow, then Bradford. If it were up to me, the trophy would go to Colt – not a bad consolation prize for getting chop-blocked by the BCS computers. Tim and Sam, meanwhile, get to play in the national championship game … and prove me wrong.

In efforts to not sound like a broken record, here’s my opinion on who should take home the prestigious award this season.

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