Not much going on here, except that the picture just keeps getting clearer and clearer about finalists and the eventual winner. My list here is a combination of how I'd choose the candidates, and what I perceive to be the reality. There's no real formula here, it's just a list.
- Reggie Bush, USC-Has a good lead right now. Had a fine punt return touchdown against Washington, which is the icing on the cake for his candidacy. Plus, in coverage all over the country this week, announcers were comparing other game situations to the "Bush Push"---you can't put a dollar (or vote) amount of the positive name recognition value associated with Bush's role in that play. It just further burns his name and image in the minds of media members and the Heisman voters.
- Vince Young, Texas-By a narrow margin, here. Threw two early picks but otherwise excelled against Texas Tech. Is credited with being the identity of this Texas team, one that is getting talk as the #1 team in the land and overcoming its past demons.
- Matt Leinart, USC-Rebounded quite nicely with four touchdown passes against Washington. Had another typical effortless performance before giving way to backup John David Booty.
- Brady Quinn, Notre Dame-There's a bit of a gap here between Brady and the other three, but if he keeps improving upon his previous weeks' numbers, who knows. Set a Notre Dame record with six touchdown passes against Bringham Young and will soon eclipse every Notre Dame single-season and career passing numbers. Of late, USC player have had tremendous boosts from playing Notre Dame. This time, the benefit is mutual, as Quinn is getting a lot of Heisman attention since the game.
- Maurice Drew, UCLA-I think he deserves to be in New York City. He has scored five touchdowns in a game for a second consecutive season, and although his rushing numbers aren't great, he's absolutely propelled the UCLA offense. Will be seen as responsible for a 9 or 10 win team's success.
- Marcus Vick, Virginia Tech-Finally took advantage of the family wheels, although it's pretty clear he's more comfortable being a quarterback. Its not likely he can put up the numbers to be anything more than a "best of the rest" type candidate. There's also the perception that VT has a tough schedule up ahead, one that they won't survive.
- Laurence Maroney, Minnesota-Kind of a quiet weekend in a wild game. His backup's getting more and more carries of late, and excelling. Because Bush and Drew are considered athletes, will hang around as the tried-and-true durable, yardage back in the race.
- D.J. Shockley, Georgia-It's not fair to get injured like that, but his candidacy was slipping anyway. Missing any kind of game action is a death sentence for Heisman candidacies, particularly when you won't be able to suit up against rival Florida in a highly anticipated game.
- Drew Stanton-His team collapsed, and thus, so has his candidacy. He was having a fine season, too.