Everything You Need To Know About Heisman `07

Is another Trojan set to take home the hardware?

May 17, 2007

By Chris Huston

Special to CSTV.com from HeismanPundit.com

Chris Huston

The Heisman Pundit breaks down the top players for CSTV.com.
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Summer is fast approaching, which means that college football preview magazines will soon be hot off the presses.


Every one of those publications will put out a Heisman list. Before you take them to heart, though, be sure to check out my Heisman primer for 2007.


What's In A Name?: This is the 50th anniversary of John David Crow's Heisman year for Texas A&M. If USC's John David Booty makes a serious run for the trophy, expect these two to be linked in a story or two.




Bo Never Knew: The last 20 years has seen a ton of great SEC running backs, but Arkansas's Darren McFadden could become the first back from that league to win the Heisman since Bo Jackson did it at Auburn in 1985.


It's A Quarterback's Game: Running backs won every Heisman from 1972 to 1983, but this decade has been dominated by the quarterback position. Five of the last six Heismans have been won by signal callers. 


Tradition Counts: Ten of the last 12 Heisman winners (and 13 of the last 16) have come from the following schools--USC, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Florida State, Miami, Texas and Michigan. There is a good chance that the next Heisman will also come from this group.


Multi-Purpose Anniversary: Twenty years ago, Tim Brown ran, caught and returned his way to Notre Dame's seventh Heisman. Ten years ago, Charles Woodson showed his versatility on both sides of the ball and won Michigan's third Heisman. This year, the No. 1 all-purpose candidate is Cal's exciting playmaker DeSean Jackson, who is more than a little like the last wide receiver to win the Heisman, Michigan's Desmond Howard. 


What's In A Name, Pt. 2:  Two quarterbacks named Colt are expected to make a run at this year's Heisman. However, both will have to overcome serious obstacles to succeed. Colt McCoy of Texas is just a sophomore and no player from that class has ever won the trophy. Colt Brennan, a senior, might have a better shot. However, he plays for Hawai'i and the last player from a non-BCS school to win the Heisman was BYU's Ty Detmer in 1990. Unfortunately, the Heisman has a lot of bias against underclassmen and non-traditional powers.


Close Race?  The last two Heisman races have been blowouts, with Reggie Bush and Troy Smith winning by record margins. This year's race promises to be a bit closer, as there is no overwhelming preseason favorite. McFadden was last year's runner-up and would normally be the next in line, but the troubles at Arkansas in the off-season don't exactly bode well for his chances this time around. Booty will be the quarterback for the No. 1 team, but are voters ready to pick another USC player so soon after Bush and Matt Leinart? Steve Slaton could be a solid pick, but will his teammate Pat White steal some of his thunder?  Stay tuned, it could be a tight race.


Dark Horses: If you want to find a Heisman dark horse, look no further than the Big 12. Texas running back Jamaal Charles didn't have a huge year in 2006 while sharing time, but he appears to have the tailback position to himself in 2007. He's the fastest running back in college football and he'll have a lot of highlight runs while playing for a marquee team. The darkest of the darkhorses may be Nebraska quarterback Sam Keller, who transferred from Arizona State. Keller is not even a sure bet to win the starting job, but if he does, he certainly has the talent and experience to have a great season. He has an early-season game with USC to stake his claim, too.


Best Candidates By League: 


SEC: Darren McFadden

Big East: Steve Slaton

Pac-10: John David Booty

Big Ten: Mike Hart

Big 12: Jamaal Charles

ACC: C.J. Spiller

WAC: Colt Brennan


Completely Superficial Coincidence:  The last three running backs to win the Heisman--and four of the last five--had first names beginning with the letter R.  So...Ray Rice, come on down!


Heisman Count By School


7--USC, Ohio State, Notre Dame


3--Army, Michigan, Nebraska

2--FSU, Navy, Georgia, Yale, Auburn, Texas, Miami, Florida, Wisconsin


School that will most likely get to eight Heismans first: USC. The Trojans have recruited better than anyone of late. Their roster is loaded with potential candidates in the coming years.


Non-Traditional Power Most Likely To Produce A Heisman in the Near Future:  West Virginia. The Mountaineer offense is exciting and allows its players to put up impressive numbers. If Slaton doesn't win it, White might.


Unlikeliest School To Never Win A Heisman: Alabama. For some reason, it just hasn't happened for the Tide. Can Nick Saban change that?


Mark `Em Down:

These games will determine the Heisman winner in '07...


Sept. 1--Tennessee at Cal

Sept. 8--Oregon at Michigan

Sept. 15--USC at Nebraska

                   Notre Dame at Michigan

Oct. 6--Texas vs. Oklahoma

Oct. 20--USC at Notre Dame

Oct. 27--West Virginia at Rutgers

                Nebraska at Texas

Nov. 8--Louisville at West Virginia

Nov. 10--Arkansas at Tennessee

Nov. 17--Ohio State at Michigan

Nov. 23--Boise State at Hawai'i

Nov. 24--Arkansas at LSU

Dec. 1--UCLA at USC

              Hawai'i at Washington


Players Who Will Be Best Set Up For A Heisman Run in '08: 

(This list assumes that both Darren McFadden and Steve Slaton will go pro following this season)


Tim Tebow, Florida

Pat White, West Virginia

Jamaal Charles, Texas

Colt McCoy, Texas

Chris Wells, Ohio State

Percy Harvin, Florida

C.J. Spiller, Clemson