College Football How Long To Play To Count As Game Heisman Trophy – The Race to Claim the Title of College Football’s Premier Player is Heating Up

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Heisman Trophy – The Race to Claim the Title of College Football’s Premier Player is Heating Up

As conference play approaches, each preseason Heisman hopeful either lives up to our expectations for them or begins their slow slide toward obscurity. The player who emerges as the ultimate winner will depend not only on outstanding individual performances but also on their team’s ability to consistently win football games – especially important games on their schedule. Ohio State’s Troy Smith and Ted Ginn, Jr., Oklahoma’s Adrian Peterson, West Virginia’s Steve Slaton, Florida’s Chris Leake, Auburn’s Kenny Irons, Notre Dame’s Brady Quinn, Michigan’s Michael Hart and Northern Iron’s Wartin Warden. A few names.

Let’s see how the first three weeks went for these notable candidates. Many sportswriters have identified Ohio State’s Troy Smith as the man to beat for the 2006 Heisman Award. Not only does Troy Smith have poise and accuracy from the pocket, but he also has lethal running ability when the heat is on. This rare ability often leaves opponents wondering how to defend against the Buckeyes’ versatile offense. With Ohio State currently ranked #1 in both the Associated Press and USA Today polls, the spotlight will remain on Troy as the season progresses.

Oklahoma’s Adrian Peterson and West Virginia’s Steve Slaton are running backs. Although Oklahoma lost the last game, Adrian Peterson put in a respectable day’s work at the office. With 515 yards in three games, he has proven himself a worthy candidate for this year’s poll. West Virginia’s Steve Slaton showed us he has all the right moves as he rushed for 195 yards and two touchdowns against Maryland in a nationally televised game. Keep a close eye on both of these backs for Heisman voting points in the coming weeks.

If you want to take note of the reporters and former Heisman Trophy winners who voted for the Heisman, a great comeback against a major rival on their home field. Chris Leake didn’t exactly slow down against rival Tennessee when he came back from 10 points down to lead Florida to a 21-20 win over the Volunteers. 199 yards passing and 3 touchdowns on 15 completions in that game gave Chris strong Heisman consideration this season.

Ohio State’s Ted Ginn, Jr. and Auburn’s Kenny Irons are two preseason favorites who have struggled to make the big plays needed to stay in the race for college football’s Player of the Year title. That’s not to say they haven’t contributed significantly to their teams’ success, because they certainly have, but to win the Heisman, you have to outshine the other candidates with highlight reel performances that put you ahead of the pack. So far this season, Ted Ginn, Jr. hasn’t lived up to his reputation as a show-stopping kick-off and punt return specialist, and Kenny Irons hasn’t churned out the big yards needed to keep up with the other top running backs. the country

Michigan’s Michael Hart has consistently given Michigan fans something to cheer about this season. Hart’s third straight 100+ yard rushing performance has helped Michigan get off to an enviable start in 2006. If Michigan and Michael Hart continue their winning ways, watch for the final season Heisman matchup between Hart and OSU’s Troy Smith on Nov. 18 at Ohio Stadium.

On the other side of Michigan’s last win was Notre Dame. Brady Quinn’s sub-par performance in that loss has taken some of the steam out of his run for the Heisman. Getting back into the running this year will require significantly better play from Brady. Only Notre Dame’s strength of schedule could provide the platform for Brady to play catch-up for the rest of the season.

If you thought a small conference couldn’t produce a Heisman winner, don’t tell Northern Illinois’ Garrett Wolf. He leads the nation in rushing all-time in 2006 and showed signs of greatness against Ohio State’s stingy defense. If Garrett can stay healthy and continue to put up big numbers and dazzling individual performances week in and week out, he could surprise this year’s other Heisman hopefuls.

With only three games played so far in 2006, it’s too early to know for sure who will walk away as this year’s Heisman Trophy winner. Rest assured that every contender with Heisman dreams will continue to play his heart out to hear his name announced from the hallowed podium in New York on December 9th. We’re all for a great performance! Enjoy the action.

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