Bradford to strike another pose?
Much has happened in college football since Oklahoma junior quarterback Sam Bradford went down with a shoulder injury in the season opener. What has not happened is a clear-cut leader in the Heisman Trophy race.
IF Bradford somehow can return in time for the Miami game in 11 days, and IF the Sooners can win the rest of their regular-season games, and IF Bradford can post efficiency numbers similar to a year ago, we could end up with an unprecedented result.
Bradford has become a monstrous long shot for a second straight Heisman, but the notion isn’t nearly as farfetched as originally portrayed after he injured his right (throwing) shoulder late in the first half against Brigham Young on Sept. 5 in Arlington, Texas.
This year’s Heisman race is off to a slow start, which is to Bradford’s benefit. Statistically, no one has taken a commanding lead.
Arkansas sophomore quarterback Ryan Mallett leads the nation in passing efficiency, and is followed by Notre Dame junior Jimmy Clausen, both of whom have already lost.
Florida quarterback and 2007 winner Tim Tebow is unbeaten, but has modest numbers (five TD passes; one interception) and ranks No. 7 nationally in passing efficiency. In the eyes of many Heisman voters — particularly in the Southeast — his leadership qualities again will garner heavy consideration.
All season, locals have wondered what’s wrong with Oklahoma State senior quarterback Zac Robinson, but Robinson (34th) ranks three spots ahead of Texas senior quarterback and preseason Heisman pick Colt McCoy (37th), who battled the flu last week against Texas Tech. Mississippi junior quarterback Jevan Snead, another preseason favorite, ranks 36th in passing efficiency.
Two new candidates to watch: Houston junior quarterback Case Keenum and Miami sophomore quarterback Jacory Harris are off to impressive starts and could quickly become contenders.
California junior Jahvid Best leads the running back candidates. He is averaging 7.8 yards-per-carry, but a hardly overwhelming 137.3 yards-per-game. Oregon State’s Jacquizz Rodgers is at 114.0 yards-per-game, USC junior Joe McKnight is at 101.7 yards and Georgia Tech junior Jonathan Dwyer is at a measly 56.0 yards-per-game.
Oklahoma State junior receiver/returner Dez Bryant is a big-name, big-gain candidate, but he already has dropped at least five passes and made poor decisions.
Ohio State’s Archie Griffin (1974-75) remains the only person to win consecutive Heismans and no player has ever won a Heisman after missing 2 1/2 games that season. For some voters, Bradford’s injury will eliminate him from consideration no matter what he does after his return.
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