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October 21, 2008

Olin Buchanan's Week 8 Heisman ballot

VOTE: Who is the front-runner for the Heisman?

Texas quarterback Colt McCoy obviously has become the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy. With five regular-season games remaining, the bronze statue is McCoy's to lose.

Why wouldn't it be?

At this point, McCoy has all the credentials a Heisman recipient would need.

Looking for statistics? McCoy ranks fourth in the nation in passing efficiency, his 81.2 completion percentage is the best in the country and he's averaging more than 270 passing yards per game.

Looking for leadership in big games? McCoy led the Longhorns from a come-from-behind victory over archrival Oklahoma and guided them to a 56-31 thrashing of Missouri.

Looking for a winner? McCoy has led Texas to a 7-0 record and a No. 1 ranking. Texas is 27-6 in two-plus seasons with McCoy as the starting quarterback.

If he continues to play at his current level, he'll join Earl Campbell and Ricky Williams as Texas players to win the Heisman.

1. QB Colt McCoy, Texas: In consecutive weeks, McCoy has led the Longhorns to victories over Oklahoma and Missouri. In those games, he has completed better than 85 percent of his passing attempts for 614 yards with three touchdowns. He also rushed for two touchdowns in those games.

2. QB Sam Bradford, Oklahoma: He passed for 468 yards and three touchdowns in a 45-31 victory over Kansas. That marked the sixth consecutive game in which Bradford has exceeded 300 yards. He has thrown at least two touchdown passes in every game.

3. RB Shonn Greene, Iowa: He has exceeded 100 yards rushing in every game and is coming off a 217-yard outburst against Wisconsin in which he scored four touchdowns. Three weeks ago, he outplayed Michigan State's Javon Ringer in a 16-13 loss.

4. QB Daryll Clark, Penn State: Some instances require looking beyond stats. This certainly is one of those. Clark has been a major factor in Penn State being undefeated and emerging as a national championship contender. He is a solid runner and passer, and he has had his best outings in the biggest games. He threw two touchdown passes and ran for another against Illinois, threw two touchdown passes against Oregon State, passed for 244 yards against Wisconsin and rallied the Nittany Lions against Michigan.

5. WR Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech: How good is Crabtree? Well, he had an "off" game against Texas A&M and still had eight catches and scored two touchdowns. Crabtree has caught at least one touchdown pass in every game and has scored twice in each of the past three games. His 12 touchdown receptions are the second-most in the country.

VOTE: Who is the frontrunner for the Heisman?

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

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