Heisman Watch: QBs jockey for early position

Heisman Watch: QBs jockey for early position

Published Sep. 17, 2009 5:24 p.m. ET

This isn't a ranking of the best players or the top NFL prospects. This is an attempt to put the finger on the pulse of the Heisman chase. So, without further ado, here are the current favorites at the moment (and this will change week after week with players moving in and out of the categories).

No current chance, but has finalist potential

QB Matt Barkley, Fr. USC

This week: at Washington.

Last week: 15-31, 195 yds, 1 INT, 8 rushing yards in win over Ohio State.

At the moment, boring stats and all, he's known as the guy who led USC to a win over Ohio State in the biggest non-conference game of the year. The numbers aren't going to be there to win the Heisman this season, but he's on the forefront of too many discussions to not be part of the mix. He announced his arrival to the college football world last week, and he'll have a chance to be a fringe ticket-puncher to New York if he can rock in a win over Notre Dame in a few weeks.

QB Todd Reesing, Sr. Kansas

This week: vs. Duke

Last week: 25-41, 260 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT in win over UTEP.

All that matters at this point is Big 12 play. He'll get his chances against Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Nebraska, Texas and Missouri, and if he can be the reason KU wins at least three of those, he could be this year's Chase Daniel and sneak into a finalist spot. His numbers will be too good to ignore.

On the radar, but the world is looking for more


RB Jahvid Best, Jr. California

This week: at Minnesota.

Last week: 17 carries for 144 yards and a touchdown, and two catches for 19 yards and a score in win over Eastern Washington.

It will all come down to the USC game on Oct. 3. West Coasters know all about Best, but no one else does because 1) Cal isn't a mainstream TV team and 2) the gross numbers aren't there. In blowouts over Maryland and Eastern Michigan, he has carried the ball only 27 times, but he's averaging a ridiculous 10.6 yards per carry with three touchdowns. He has also caught four passes for 42 yards and a score.

QB Jimmy Clausen, Jr. Notre Dame

This week: Michigan State.

Last week: 25 of 42 for 336 yards and three touchdowns in loss to Michigan.

It will all down to the USC game on Oct. 17. Pay no mind to the loss to Michigan. If Clausen can lead the Irish to a win over the Trojans and if he can take his team to the BCS, he'll be in New York. The numbers are fantastic. He's third in the nation in passing efficiency, having completed 40 of 60 passes for 651 yards and seven touchdowns with no interceptions in his first two games.

QB Tate Forcier, Fr. Michigan

This week: Home vs. Eastern Michigan.

Last week: 23 of 33 passes for 240 yards and two touchdowns with an interception, and 13 carries for 70 yards and a score in win over Notre Dame.

The numbers are fine, but being the face of a resurgent superpower will put him on the Heisman watch list as long as the Wolverines are winning. He showed stone-cold guts in calmly leading Michigan to a last-second win over the Irish, and the hype will grow more and more if the team keeps rolling along.

QB Jevan Snead, Jr. Ole Miss
This week: Home vs. SE Louisiana.

Last week: Didn't play. 12-22, 175 yds, 2 TD, 2 INT in win over Memphis two weeks ago.

Not enough people saw the Memphis game to take him out of the Heisman chase. Ole Miss is still ranked high, and now, with Alabama and Auburn playing extremely well, there will be enough high-profile games for Snead to shine and make his case.

The true favorites

QB Sam Bradford, Jr. Oklahoma

This week: Out injured. OU is at home vs. Tulsa.

Last week: Injured.

If he can come back for the Texas game and can take OU to a 12-1 season with a Big 12 championship win, he'll be a finalist. He might not have the huge overall numbers because of the injury, but voters will ignore that if he can return and play close to his 2008 level.