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November 11, 2008

Olin Buchanan's Week 11 Heisman ballot

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

Perhaps the only criticism that Tim Tebow detractors can dream up is that he has yet to rally Florida to victory in the second half.

That's a difficult chore, primarily because the Gators are rarely behind at halftime.

Last week's 42-14 victory over Vanderbilt was a prime example. Tebow rushed for 74 yards and two touchdowns and passed for 152 yards and three touchdowns in leading Florida to a 35-0 halftime lead.

See, he can't bring the Gators back from a deficit.

But he might be able to score a come-from-behind victory in the Heisman Trophy race if he continues to play at his current level. In the last month Tebow has performed very much like he did en route to winning the Heisman a year ago.

He has accounted for at least three touchdowns in each of the last four games. Florida has scored at least 42 points in all of them.

THE RIVALS VOTERS
We asked our seven Heisman voters how they would vote if their ballots were due today. Each first-place vote is worth three points, each second-place vote two points, each third-place vote one point.
OLIN BUCHANAN - Rivals.com Senior Writer
1. Graham Harrell, QB, Texas Tech
2. Colt McCoy, QB, Texas
3. Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
TOM DIENHART - Rivals.com Senior Writer
1. Graham Harrell, QB, Texas Tech
2. Colt McCoy, QB, Texas
3. Tim Tebow, QB, Florida
TERRY BOWDEN - Rivals.com Analyst
1. Graham Harrell, QB, Texas Tech
2. Colt McCoy, QB, Texas
3. Tim Tebow, QB, Florida
BILL KING- Rivals Radio Host
1. Graham Harrell, QB, Texas Tech
2. Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
3. Colt McCoy, QB, Texas
CHIP BROWN - Rivals.com Staff Writer
1. Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech
2. Colt McCoy, QB, Texas
3. Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
BRENT HUBBS - VolQuest.com Publisher
1. Graham Harrell, QB, Texas Tech
2. Colt McCoy, QB, Texas
3. Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech
NEAL McCREADY - RebelSports.net Writer
1. Graham Harrell, QB, Texas Tech
2. Colt McCoy, QB, Texas
3. Tim Tebow, QB, Florida
RIVALS.COM PANEL RESULTS
Player Points
1. Graham Harrell, QB, Texas Tech18
2. Colt McCoy, QB, Texas13
3t. Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech4
3t. Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma4
5. Tim Tebow, QB, Florida3

Tebow's 88-yard rushing performance against Vanderbilt was his best of the season.

"He's extremely aggressive running," Florida coach Urban Meyer said. "We run something called a zone read and (defenses) have a choice: (key) the running back, slow play or (key) the quarterback. (Vanderbilt) made the decision to (key) the running back and have Tim pull it."

Can Tebow pull out in front in the Heisman race and join Archie Griffin as the only two-time recipient? Probably not.

That would require Texas Tech's Graham Harrell, Texas' Colt McCoy and Oklahoma's Sam Bradford all to have at least one poor outing.

1. Graham Harrell, Texas Tech, QB: Perhaps the most important element in winning the Heisman Trophy is performance in big games. In the last three weeks Harrell has been at his best in victories over Kansas, Texas and Oklahoma State, which were all ranked at the time. In those games Harrell has completed 76 percent of his passes and averaged 438.6 yards while throwing 13 touchdown passes and no interceptions.

2. Colt McCoy, Texas, QB: He had another impressive showing in last week's win over Baylor. McCoy passed for at least 300 yards for the fourth time and completed at least 70 percent of his attempts for eighth time. He also threw five touchdown passes.

3. Sam Bradford, Oklahoma, QB: Bradford has thrown for more touchdown passes than Harrell (38-36). That should be sufficient to validate his candidacy. Bradford has thrown at least three touchdown passes in eight games.

4. Tim Tebow, Florida, QB: Last year's Heisman winner has accounted for five touchdowns in the last two games and at least three in each of the last four.

5. Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech, WR: He leads the nation with 18 touchdown receptions. He's not only the best receiver in the nation, but his mere presence makes the other Texas Tech receivers better. It makes Tech's quarterback better, too.

VOTE: Who is the front-runner 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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