2003 HEISMAN WATCH
COLLEGESPORTS.COM FRONTRUNNER: LARRY FITZGERALD, WR, PITTSBURGH
HEISMAN HYPE: Move over Jason White. Oklahoma's shocking letdown to Kansas State in the Big 12 title game not only changed the landscape of the BCS, but shook up the Heisman race. While White appeared to be a lock heading into the game, he opened the door for others with his poor play, and Larry Fitzgerald is the primary benefactor. Sure, he stumbled in the biggest game of the season against Miami, but all of the finalists are flawed. Fitzgerald is clearly the best player in college football and was trailing White only because of his and the Sooners' consistent dominance of their opponents in what looked like sure national title run. Now all that has changed.
2003 STATISTICS
G Rec Yds Avg TD
12 87 1,595 18.3 22
THANKS FOR THE INVITATION
JASON WHITE, QB, OKLAHOMA
HEISMAN HYPE: See above. Two interceptions in an embarrassing 35-7 loss to the Wildcats left White sitting on the bench and put an end to the magic surrounding the Sooners and their field leader. While he is sure to be in the running on Saturday, he doesn't have that intangible over Fitzgerald that he did before Kansas State.
2003 STATISTICS
G Comp Att Yds TD INT Rush Yds TD
13 265 414 3,744 40 8 35 -104 1
CHRIS PERRY, RB, MICHIGAN
HEISMAN HYPE: Chris Perry was the driving force for Michigan's recovery after two early-season losses and played a huge role in the Wolverines' Big Ten championship victory over archrival Ohio State. But he was nowhere to be found in Michigan's early loss to Oregon, which kept the Wolverines out of the national title picture and doesn't bode well for Perry's chances to take home the hardware.
2003 STATISTICS
G Att Yds Avg TD Rec Yds TD
12 315 1,589 5 17 42 366 2
ELI MANNING, QB, OLE MISS
HEISMAN HYPE: Manning missed his Heisman moment when he tripped over an offensive lineman on the final drive the Rebels' finale loss to LSU. But that's no knock against this great quarterback. He won't win the Heisman, but he will certainly be a high draft pick next spring.
2003 STATISTICS
G Comp Att Yds TD INT Rush Yds TD
11 234 383 3,089 24 9 45 -30 2