Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Spring Practice Leaves us Wondering About the Heisman

Spring is here and college football is gone until August. Every year we are teased by our teams getting 15 practices and scrimmages. It’s just enough to wet our appetites and make us hungry for more. We get to learn new names and see new players replace old ones, and just as we get adjusted to the new faces, they disappear for four months. Each team does their spring season in their own unique way, but they all end with some sort of spring game. Fans pay a discounted price for tickets and get to watch a tenth of their teams offensive package, then they leave bragging on how spectacular their defense was, only to be awakened by the harsh reality in the fall.

For most of us we leave the final spring game with more questions than answers. Our question after this Spring is, who is going to win the Heisman? Keep in mind that this is just off-season speculation, but here are our top five Heisman candidates going into the fall.

1. You have to start with last year’s winner Matt Leinart of USC. The Trojans had a mass exodus of coaches after winning the Orange Bowl, most notably offensive coordinator Norm Chow. Leinart will have to prove his leadership in a new way this season if he has desires of being only the second player to win two Heisman Trophies.
2. Last sason’s Heisman runner up Adrian Peterson is bound to have another record breaking season. With the departure of 2003 Heisman winner Jason White and receivers Mark Clayton, Brandon Jones, and Mark Bradly the Oklahoma’s offence will rely heavily on the legs of the sophomore running back. Defenses will key on him, but he is bound to get more carries which means that he could set the all time NCAA single season rushing record. If he does, he wins the Heisman.
3. Texas QB Vince Young. He stole the show in the Rose Bowl, putting on one of the best performances ever, passing for 180 yards and one score, while rushing for 192 yards and four TD’s. Young’s Heisman campaign will depend on his passing consistency and beating Oklahoma.
4. USC tailback Reggie Bush. He could be the most explosive player in all of college football. Bush can run right by you from the tailback position, or he can line up as a receiver and burn you deep. Look for him to not only compete with Leinart for the Heisman, but also to be the first overall draft pick in next year's NFL draft.
5. Boise State QB Jared Zabransky. The Broncos are poised to be this season’s Utah. They have 17 returning starters from last year's team that went 11-1. A difficult schedule will either put Zabransky in the race for the Heisman or take him out of it.