10/30/09 — Opinion -- Heisman race is interesting

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Opinion -- Heisman race is interesting

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on October 30, 2009 1:46 PM

A year ago, the Heisman Trophy race was compelling and competitive as three of the best quarterbacks in recent memory battled to be named the best player in college football.

This year, the Heisman race seems to have more of the feel of an over-hyped movie sequel that fails miserably to live up to its expectations. There has been no early plot-twisting hook, no development of attention-grabbing characters and no jaw dropping moments that have left fans in awe.

Instead, we've been given a list of guys who have put up decent numbers while working their way into Heisman contention almost by default.

The following is a breakdown of current Heisman front-runners:

* Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama: Ingram was at the front of the Heisman conversation before his fumble against Tennessee last Saturday nearly ruined the Crimson Tide's national title hopes.

The shifty, yet powerful Ingram is third in the nation in rushing with 1,004 yards and eight touchdowns. With a matchup against LSU looming next Saturday as well as a potential SEC title game appearance, Ingram will continue to have opportunities to display his talents on a national stage.

* Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame: Clausen's fourth-quarter heroics have kept Irish fans on the edge of their seats all season. The Notre Dame signal caller has engineered game-winning drives on three different occasions.

Clausen has completed 65 percent of his passes while throwing for 2,050 yards and 16 touchdowns with just two interceptions. If this California kid hopes to take home college football's most coveted hardware, the Fighting Irish need to win out and reach a BCS bowl.

* Tim Tebow, QB, Florida: While Tebow's numbers have dropped significantly this season he's stayed in the Heisman race by helping his Gators (7-0) stay undefeated. After throwing for 30 or more touchdowns in each of the last two seasons, Tebow has just eight TD passes this season and has been picked off four times.

He's on pace to throw just 14 touchdown passes all year and has already been sacked 14 times. There's no question the talent around Tebow is good enough to take Florida to a third national title game in last four years. Having the numbers to win a second Heisman trophy may be another story.

* Colt McCoy, QB, Texas: McCoy has struggled in two of the Longhorns' biggest profile games of the season. He was picked off twice in a 34-24 win over Texas Tech and threw for just 127 yards to go with an interception in a 16-13 victory over rival Oklahoma.

McCoy's eight interceptions already match his total from last season and he has just two 300-plus yard games. Like Tebow, McCoy still has a legit shot at the Heisman if he can guide the Longhorns (7-0) to the national title game.