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Brutally Honest Heisman Breakdown - Oct. 28
Posted Oct 28, 2009

This was supposed to be one of the best Heisman chases ever, and not it might be one of the worst. Is there anyone worthy of the thing? The prize is there for the taking, and here's the brutally honest look at who's in the hunt.

2009 Brutally Honest Heisman Breakdown

October 28

- Brutally Heisman Breakdowns
Preseason | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5

By Pete Fiutak 

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  (but some might have finalist potential). Remember, Tulane's Matt Forte and UCF's Kevin Smith each ran for over 2,000 yards two years and weren't within 5,000 yards of winning the Heisman. (They had to settle for becoming great NFL players and the money that comes with it.)

This isn't a ranking of the best players or the 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 change week after week with players moving in and out of the categories).

Players You Probably Think Are In The Heisman Race, But Aren't ... Noel Devine, RB, West Virginia; Ryan Mathews, RB, Fresno State; Jacquizz Rodgers, RB, Oregon State; C.J. Spiller, RB Clemson; Golden Tate, WR Notre Dame

No Current Chance To Win It, But Has Finalist Potential

QB Matt Barkley, Fr. USC
This Week:
At Oregon
Last Week: 15-of-25, 202 yds, 2 TD, 2 INT, 5 carries, 16 yards, one TD in the win over Oregon State

If USC beats Oregon convincingly, Barkley will have a chance to make a late run into the race. He only has seven touchdown passes with five interceptions on the year, and his stats aren't going to be that great when the season comes to a close, but he's the star quarterback at USC. If he catches fire and USC is in the national title hunt until the end, he will get a little bit of consideration for a finalists spot.

QB Kellen Moore, Soph. Boise State
This Week:
San Jose State
Last Week: 18-of-30, 223 yds, 5 TD in the win over Hawaii

Moore has no chance whatsoever to win the Heisman, Boise State's highest profile game from here on is against Nevada, but there could be grass roots element of voters that will push the Bronco star just outside of a finalist spot. Moore leads the nation in passing efficiency. On the year Moore he has thrown 21 touchdown passes and just two interceptions.

On The Radar, But The World Is Looking For More

QB Case Keenum, Jr. Houston

This Week:
Southern Miss
Last Week: 25-of-36 for 233 yards and a touchdown in the win over SMU.

Keenum leads the nation in total offense, has thrown 20 touchdown passes and just four interceptions, and is averaging 390 passing yards per game. He'll get more and more credit for the wins over Oklahoma State and Texas Tech as the season goes on, and if he keeps Houston on the right track and on the way to a 13-1 regular season and a Conference USA title, he'll be in the top three on several ballots.

QB Dan LeFevour, Sr. Central Michigan
This Week:
at Boston College
Last Week: 16-of-22 passes for 147 yards and two touchdowns, and he ran 22 times fro 128 yards in the win over Bowling Green.

As the final month of the season kicks in and as Central Michigan continues to steamroll to the MAC title, watch out for more and more Lifetime Achievement Award articles to be written and pieces to be aired about the Chiippewa star. Going into this week, LeFevour has thrown for 11,163 yards with 90 career touchdown passes with 33 interceptions, run for 2,757 yards and 41 scores, and has two MAC championships and is on the verge of a third. CMU's one loss this year was in the opener against Arizona, and LeFevour was brilliant in the win over Michigan State. He doesn't have any chance of winning the Heisman, but he could end up being No. 3 on a bunch of ballots.

The True Favorites

QB Jimmy Clausen, Jr. Notre Dame

This Week:
Washington State (in San Antonio)
Last Week: 26-of-39 for 246 yards and two touchdowns in the win over Boston College.

Second in the nation in passing efficiency behind Boise State's Kellen Moore, and first in leading a team in thrilling wins, Clausen has come up with an undeniably strong junior campaign 2,050 yards, 16 touchdown passes, and two interceptions so far. If he had come up with the one big final throw to beat USC, the race would be over, but he still has plenty of high-profile games on the slate to assure himself of a top three spot.
QB Colt McCoy, Sr. Texas

This Week:
At Oklahoma State
Last Week: 26-of-31 passes for 269 yards and three touchdowns with an interception in the win over Missouri.

It's almost like the Heisman voters want the story to be easy to write. McCoy hasn't had a Heisman-worthy season so far, throwing an interception in every game with just 14 touchdowns passes, 104 rushing yards, and a score, but he's coming off his best game of the season and he has the win over Oklahoma under his belt. If he rocks in a win over Oklahoma State, he's No. 2 at worst. If he's great over the second half of the season and it phenomenal in the Big 12 title game, it's over.

QB Tim Tebow, Sr. Florida
This Week:
Last Week: 12-of-22 for 127 yards and two interceptions, and he ran 22 times for 88 yards and a score in the win over Mississippi State.

Remember, this piece is on who is in the Heisman race and not who should be in the Heisman race. If Florida No. 2 quarterback John Brantley was having this king of a year, with 1,159 yards and eight touchdowns and four interceptions, along with six touchdown runs, he wouldn't be within 50 miles of the Heisman. Yeah, yeah, yeah, Tebow is a leader, but it's not like he's willing this year's team to wins; the defense and the offensive line are doing that. Even so, if Tebow is fantastic against Georgia and he has an SEC Championship over Alabama like he did last year, he'll have his second Heisman.

And The Current Leader In The Clubhouse Is ... 

RB Mark Ingram,  Soph. Alabama

This Week:
Last Week: 18 carries for 99 yards in the win over Tennessee.

And it's by default. He's having a nice year, but it's not exactly a Heisman-worthy one. Yeah, there was the 246-yard rushing day against South Carolina, and the résumé is helped by the 150-yard day against Virginia Tech and the 172 yards against South Carolina, but the defense deserves just as much credit for Alabama's hot start and he's fifth in the nation in rushing. Even so, there's no one else stepping to the front of the Heisman race, and if he rocks against LSU this week, he's a lock to be a finalist.