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September 30, 2008

Olin Buchanan's Week 5 Heisman Ballot

VOTE: Who is the front-runner for the Heisman?

Oklahoma sophomore quarterback Sam Bradford seemed unimpressed by his play against TCU last Saturday. That puts him among the minority on that issue.

Bradford passed for a career-best 411 yards and four touchdowns in a 35-10 victory over TCU, which came in with the nation's highest-ranked defense. That victory, combined with losses by USC and Georgia, propelled the Sooners to the top of the national rankings.

When asked what his latest outstanding performance meant, Bradford gave a blunt response. "Absolutely nothing," he said.

Well, not quite.

It means Bradford should be the leader in the Heisman Trophy race, just an iota ahead of fellow Big 12 quarterback Chase Daniel of Missouri.

Bradford is just one-third of the way through his regular-season schedule, but he if continues to play at his current level, he will be difficult to beat. And so will Oklahoma.

1. Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford: He has thrown for more than 300 yards in each of his last three games. He has 14 touchdown passes in that span and has 16 for season. Through four games, Bradford has thrown just two interceptions.

2. Missouri QB Chase Daniel: Daniel was off last week. He has thrown for 1,412 yards and 12 touchdowns with just one interception, and has completed 76 percent of his passes.

3. LSU RB Charles Scott: He has exceeded 100 yards rushing in all four games despite minimal carries in some. Scott is averaging 7.5 yards per carry and ranks fifth in the nation in rushing.

4. Michigan State RB Javon Ringer: Last Saturday he failed to reach 200 yards rushing for the first time in three weeks; instead, he was held to 198. Ringer has 187 carries and he has turned those into 897 rushing yards, the second-highest total in the nation. He leads the country with 12 rushing touchdowns.

5. BYU QB Max Hall: Hall also was off last week. Through four games, he has completed 74.3 percent of his attempts for 1,284 yards and 15 touchdowns and two interceptions. His seven-touchdown performance against UCLA remains one of the better individual performances of the season. He edges Texas' Colt McCoy for the final spot on this week's list.

VOTE: Who is the frontrunner for the Heisman?

Olin Buchanan is a Heisman voter and a senior college football writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at olin@rivals.com.

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