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November 13, 2007

Olin Buchanan's Week 11 Heisman ballot

It has taken until mid-November, but there finally is some significant separation in the Heisman Trophy race.

Oregon quarterback Dennis Dixon and Florida quarterback Tim Tebow are definite front-runners.

Dixon has led the Ducks to an 8-1 record and a No. 2 ranking in the BCS standings. Tebow, who is just a sophomore, has accounted for 42 touchdowns.

Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel, Arkansas running back Darren McFadden and West Virginia quarterback Pat White - as well as a few others - still have outside shots. But it's now a two-man race unless Dixon or Tebow falter.

1. Dennis Dixon, Oregon, QB: Dixon has been consistent, played well in big games and his touchdown run on a fake Statue of Liberty play against Michigan is the signature-type play every Heisman winner seems to have. He also plays quarterback for a team that might win the national championship. What else do you need? Dixon has passed for 2,074 yards and 20 touchdowns and has rushed for 549 yards and eight touchdowns.

2. Tim Tebow, Florida, QB: He's coming off a seven-touchdown performance (five rushing, two passing) in a victory over South Carolina, which was his seventh game in which he's accounted for at least four TDs. He has passed for 2,532 yards and 23 touchdowns and rushed for 718 yards and 19 touchdowns the third most rushing TDs in the country.

3. Chase Daniel, Missouri, QB: Missouri has scored at least 31 points in every game, and Daniel is the main reason why. He passed for 352 yards and three touchdowns in last week's victory over Texas A&M. He has thrown for 3,306 yards and 26 touchdowns with only nine interceptions.

4. Darren McFadden, Arkansas, RB: He has accumulated 1,431 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns, but the Razorbacks have four losses - and more may be coming with games against Mississippi State and LSU still on the schedule. No Heisman winner has played on a team with more than four losses since Notre Dame's Paul Hornung in 1956.

5. Pat White, West Virginia, QB: Since an upset loss to South Florida on Sept. 28, White has taken over as the Moutaineers' dominant player, a role he had shared with running back Steve Slaton. White has rushed for at least 89 yards in each of the last four games and passed for at least 144 yards in three of them. In that span he's accounted for nine touchdowns, including last week's game-winning 50-yard run against Louisville. On the season he has passed for 1,251 yards and 11 touchdowns with only two interceptions. He has also rushed for 803 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Olin Buchanan is a Heisman trophy voter and the senior college football writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at olin@rivals.com.

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