Brutally Honest Heisman Breakdown - Week 8
Oregon QB Dennis Dixon
Oregon QB Dennis Dixon
Posted Oct 22, 2007

Who's still in the Heisman chase? It's as open a race as ever with the big prize there for the taking. It'll all come down to the big games coming up.

2007 Brutally Honest Heisman Breakdown

Week Nine

By Pete Fiutak   

- Heisman Rankings Week 1 | Wee
k 2 | Week 3 | Week 4
Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7

Let's cut through the garbage, the pomp, the circumstance, the PR BS, and the hype surrounding the greatest individual award in all of sports. The Heisman Trophy goes to the most celebrated quarterback or running back from a top BCS team or a top 25 non-BCS program, and while others will be acknowledged here if they have any prayer of potentially finishing in the top five, it'll take something extraordinary to get on this list. Let's not pretend the hot Sun Belt back or the dual threat MAC quarterback has an honest chance.

This isn't a ranking of the best players or top NFL prospects. This is an attempt to put the finger on the pulse of the Heisman chase. So without further ado, here are the current favorites AT THE MOMENT (and this will changed week after week with players moving in and out of categories

No Current Chance To Win It, But Deserves To Be In The Discussion

Five players who should be in the race, but aren't even on the radar ...
1) Chase Daniel, QB Missouri; 2) Matt Forte, QB Tulane; 3) Kevin Smith, RB UCF; 4) P.J. Hill, RB Wisconsin; 5) Sam Bradford, QB Oklahoma

WR Michael Crabtree, RFr. Texas Tech
Last Week:
Crabtree caught ten passes for 76 yards in the loss to Missouri.
How good a season is the nation's leading receiver having? He's had two "off" games in a row, catching a mere 18 passes for 246 yards. If he explodes again in the next few weeks, he'll be back on the radar, mostly for 2008.

RB Steve Slaton, Jr. West Virginia

Last Week: Slaton ran 23 times for 127 yards and a touchdown, and caught four passes for 36 yards, in the win over Mississippi State
While not necessarily back on track in the Heisman race, he had a nice day against the Bulldogs to get on the radar. As the big games against the top teams in the Big East kick in, on name recognition alone, he'll be back in the hunt.

QB Pat White, Jr. West Virginia

Last Week: White completed eight of 12 passes for 61 yards and two touchdowns with an interception and ran five times for 89 yards and a score.
Back to being Pat White again against Mississippi State, if he leads the Mountaineers to wins over Louisville, Cincinnati, Connecticut and Pitt, he'll get the Heisman credit over Steve Slaton.

On The Radar, But The World Is Looking For More

QB Graham Harrell, Jr. Texas Tech

Last Week: Harrell completed 44 of 69 passes for 397 yards and a touchdown with four interceptions in the loss to Missouri.
He's allowed one dud game, but he'd better come back roaring against Colorado, and he needs to come up with a win over either Texas or Oklahoma to be in the finalist hunt. If the Red Raiders beat both the Sooners and Longhorns, he's in New York.

RB Darren McFadden, Jr. Arkansas

Last Week: McFadden ran 15 times for 101 yards in the win over Ole Miss
At the moment, it's over. Arkansas isn't doing much, he's being overshadowed a little bit by Felix Jones, and the buzz isn't there. That can all change in the final few weeks against South Carolina, Tennessee and LSU. He's still the SEC's leading rusher.

RB Ray Rice, Jr. Rutgers
Last Week: R
ice ran 39 times for 181 yards in the win over South Florida
From being out of the race to a fringe favorite in just two games, his 181-yard workmanlike day in the win over South Florida on national TV put him back on the map. Now he has to do it again in a win over West Virginia to really be a candidate again.

The True Favorites

QB Colt Brennan, Sr. Hawaii

TWO WEEKS AGO: Brennan completed 44 of 75 passes for 545 yards and four touchdowns with four interceptions, and ran for a touchdown, in the 42-35 win over San Jose State.
As long as Hawaii is unbeaten, and as long as the numbers keep rolling in, Brennan will be a favorite. With a certain shootout this week against New Mexico State, he needs to put up the gaudy stats to get back in the picture. Mostly, it'll come down to the Fresno State, Boise State and Washington dates in the final month.

QB Dennis Dixon, Sr. Oregon

Last Week: Dixon completed 19 of 30 passes for 196 yards and a touchdown with an interception, and ran 12 times for 99 yards and a score in the win over Washington
It's all there for Dixon to make a ton of Heisman noise over the next few weeks. With 16 touchdown passes, three interceptions, 416 rushing yards and seven scores running one of the nation's most lethal attack, the publicity is starting to come. If he has a huge game in a win over USC, then look out for the hype to explode.

QB Matt Ryan, Sr. Boston College

TWO WEEKS AGO: Ryan completed 32 of 49 passes for 291 yards and two touchdowns with an interception in the 27-14 win over Notre Dame two weeks ago. He faces Virginia Tech this week.
With South Florida's loss to Rutgers, BC is now the nation's number two team with the spotlight squarely on. Ryan is the face of the team, and if he can come up with a brilliant performance in a win over Virginia Tech when the whole world is watching, he's guaranteed a spot in New York.

QB Tim Tebow, Soph. Florida

Last Week: Tebow completed 18 of 26 passes for 256 yards and four touchdowns and ran 20 times for 78 yards and a touchdown in the win over Kentucky
He seems to run non-Gator fans the wrong way with his rah-rah style, but he's proving to be every bit the star he was hyped up to be with 17 touchdown passes and just three interceptions, to go along with ten touchdown runs and 578 rushing yards. Quick, name a Florida running back. Exactly.

QB Andre Woodson, Sr. Kentucky

Last Week: Woodson completed 35 of 50 passes for 415 yards and five touchdowns in the loss to Florida
Even though Kentucky lost to Florida, Woodson's monster day against the defending national champions is enough to get him in the thick of the hunt. If he pulls off wins over Georgia and Tennessee late in the year, he might be a lock for the top thee.

And The Current Leader In The Clubhouse Is ...

RB Mike Hart, Sr. Michigan

Last Week: Hart ran 21 times for 102 yards and a touchdown before injuring his ankle in the 48-21 win over Purdue two weeks ago, but missed the Illinois game with an ankle injury
And he's hanging in this spot by a threat. He's here mainly because there's no one else out there to take the top spot by the horns. After missing the Illinois game hurt, he needs to come back and carry the attack against soon or else he'll start to fall for a few weeks. It all comes down to Ohio State. If Michigan ends up winning the Big Ten title, and does it with Hart running well against the Buckeyes, it might be over.