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When picking Heisman candidates, one thing I do is picture each player's team without him. For example, I was a huge proponent of Vince Young over Reggie Bush because he was truly the difference between a 12-0 team and a 9-3 team (as opposed to Bush, whose team would have been playing for the title even without him). With that being said, here is my list:
1. Matt Ryan - He doesn't have the stats of a Brennan or Harrell, but there is no question that his team would not be undefeated without him. One of the things that impresses me is his intelligence. He seeks out the mismatches and distributes the ball evenly. With the meat of his schedule still ahead, he will have to keep it up to stay in the race. I think he will win the award if Boston College wins the ACC.
2. Tim Tebow - He might have the most unique skill set in the country. His efficiency ratings and ability to carry the rushing load for his team are definite pluses. However, the Gators have to win the SEC East for him to stay in the mix. His youth also hurts him the same way it did for Grossman in 2001.
3. Andre Woodson - Is there anyone who has carried his team more than Woodson? He doesn't seem to care how good the defense on the other side is, he just sticks to his gameplan and makes it work. With most of his big games out of the way, he would likely benefit from bad performances by the other candidates.
4. Dennis Dixon - I honestly think it is a case of "East Coast Bias" that he doesn't get more mention. His balance of running and passing is even better than Pat White's. If he can put together a good performance against USC this weekend, he might get pushed to the front.
5. Mike Hart - It really surprised me that he was the nation's leading rusher going into this weekend. It seems like there's always a Garrett Wolfe or DeAngelo Williams racking it up against weaker competition. Nonetheless, I think the loss to App State will leave a bad taste in voters' mouths. In order for him to have a chance, Michigan has to win out and several of the other guys have to fall down the list.