Heres A Look At The Biggest One-Sided Rivalries In Sports Heisman Trophy – College Football’s Player of the Year Award – Week Six

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Heisman Trophy – College Football’s Player of the Year Award – Week Six

With each passing week the field of legitimate Heisman candidates comes

more clearly into focus. A high level of consistency becomes increasingly

important when competing at this level. Some of the players we have followed

up to this point in the season are worthy of recognition for their contributions to

their teams’ success, but they may be slipping slowly out of contention for the

Heisman. On the list of serious candidates we still find Ohio State’s Troy Smith,

Oklahoma’s Adrian Peterson, Northern Illinois’ Garrett Wolfe, West Virginia’s

Steve Slaton, and Notre Dame’s Brady Quinn. While there are others who

deserve a mention, they will need great personal performances and a little

luck now to catch those listed above. These players include Mike Hart of

Michigan, Kenny Irons of Auburn, Ray Rice of Rutgers, and perhaps a second

player from Michigan we are all hearing more about these days, Mario Manningham.

If you watched Ohio State play Bowling Green and kept a close eye on Troy Smith

you will have no doubt why he is currently considered the leader in the race for the

2006 Heisman Trophy. Troy possesses the rare ability to scramble for yards and

to throw pin-point accurate passes. His poise and maturity are on display every

snap of the ball. Troy sat out a few plays on Saturday with a minor injury, which

once again reminds us how fragile success at this level can be. One play can

change a game, a player’s season, his potential for the Heisman, and in some cases

his career. Let’s hope each of our Heisman candidates can stay healthy and

continue to play at the level we have come to expect, and enjoy.

Oklahoma’s loss to Texas will have an impact on Heisman voters’ perception of

Adrian Peterson. Winning records carry weight with Heisman voters. Although

Adrian’s play has been remarkable at times, there have been a few moments of

questionable play as well. Those who watched this week’s game will remember Adrian’s

dropped pass that was ruled a lateral allowing Texas to score a defensive touchdown.

Can a single moment like this take away Adrian’s chances of winning the Heisman?

Probably not, but he will need to keep his focus in upcoming games to elevate his game

and his chances of being our Heisman winner in New York.

There may not be enough superlatives to describe Northern Illinois’ Garrett Wolfe.

He continues to live up to pre-season expectations – and maybe then some. Garrett’s

stats speak for themselves. At the end of this season we won’t be surprised at all

if in addition to many school records Garrett enjoys a few NCAA Division 1-A records as

well. For his consistency and high output Garrett gets my vote as a clear second to

Troy Smith. For me it is hard not to like Garrett’s on-field performances and to be pulling

for him to score a Heisman upset.

Steve Slaton, West Virginia, rarely disappoints, and his 185 yards against Mississippi

State was another reason why. As long as Steve continues to put up big numbers

he will continue to be a serious candidate for this year’s Heisman. No doubt Steve is

a big part of the reason why West Virginia is 5-0 and highly ranked in the polls. Steve

has proven week in and week out that he deserves to be compared to the Troy Smiths,

Garrett Wolfes, and Adrian Petersons of the college football world.

What can be said about Notre Dame’s Brady Quinn? Just when you think he has done something

to take himself out of the running for the Heisman, he steps up and makes big plays or has

the kind of game that will keep him in the running. Playing quarterback for Notre Dame will

get you plenty of attention on its own, and having over 1,600 yards passing at the season’s

half-way point will keep that attention focused on you. Of all the players discussed up to this

point, Brady may have the most remote chance of winning the Heisman. His play has been

spotty at times this year, but like I said, he keeps making good things happen at the right times

and that will keep him on the Heisman short list.

Michigan currently has two players worth discussing here, Michael Hart and Mario Manningham.

Most college football experts expected Michael Hart to be a Heisman contender this year, but

his teammate, “Super Mario”, has somewhat come out of no where to light up the screens with

sensational catch after sensational catch. If Mario continues in this fashion, it is likely that in

several weeks we will be talking solely about Mario’s Heisman run and Michael Hart will be a

distant memory. Only time will tell, but for now Michael continues to play well enough to be

considered as having an outside chance of making it to New York.

Auburn’s loss significantly hurt their rankings and mediocre play by Kenny Irons certainly

did not help his chances to win the Heisman. In order to recover from this he will have to have

several huge performances to move himself back into contention. If Kenny has one thing

going for him it is that sports fans and writers have short memories. A few killer performances

at the right time of the season can launch a player or team back into the stratosphere of college

football’s elite.

Last week’s article mentioned Rutger’s Ray Rice. Rutgers remained in the top 25 of both

the AP and USA Today polls this week despite a scheduled week off. We will have to

see Ray’s next game to know which direction he will move in the race for the Heisman. At

this point, he has played well enough to get serious attention from many sports writers and

fans. Is the half-way point of the season too late for a player to mount an attack for the title

of college football’s premier player? In the coming weeks Ray will answer this question for us

all.

There is never a shortage of excitement, suspense, or upset in college football. Although any

player worthy of mention on this or any other list of Heisman hopefuls could triumph in New York

this year, any of them could just as quickly fade into the background due to injury, poor play, the

rise of an unexpected candidate, or myriad other reasons. As fans we are lucky enough to sit

back and enjoy the athleticism and excitement that makes this race worth watching. Personally,

I am looking forward to another great week of college football.

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