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August 18, 2006
Heisman trends point to Quinn as early favorite
What appears hot in August might sour before December. So, whether the subject is Merrill Lynch or Marshawn Lynch, the smart forecaster looks for more than recent performance as reason to invest capital or credibility.
That's why Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn's stock should take off like Dell in the '90s.
Last season the 6-foot-4, 227-pounder with a rifle arm completed 64.9 percent of his passes for 3,919 yards and 32 touchdowns.
Quinn has more than recent performance going for him. Current trends and history seem to point his way, too.
Although the Heisman Trophy has been won by running backs most often, five of the last six recipients were quarterbacks. Had last year's vote been taken after the Rose Bowl, Texas quarterback Vince Young very well could have outpolled USC running back Reggie Bush to make it six-for-six.
That's a powerful trend, but maybe not as powerful as Heisman history.
Only one player has won the Heisman Trophy from a losing team – Paul Hornung of Notre Dame. Only three receivers have won the Heisman since 1972. One of them was Tim Brown of Notre Dame. The only true lineman to win the Heisman was Leon Hart of Notre Dame.
Two schools have produced seven Heisman recipients – USC and Notre Dame, and the Trojans don't have a top candidate. Well, not yet, anyway.
Performance, trends and history all indicate Quinn is the best bet to win the Heisman. Of course, there was a time when Enron looked like a good stock, too.
Entering my 14th season as a Heisman voter, it is important to note this is how I think the race might turn out – not necessarily how I would vote. Although Heisman voters list only three players on the final ballot, I'll feature my top 10 list regularly throughout the college football season.
The Heisman Trophy will be awarded on Saturday, Dec. 9. Rivals.com national football writer Olin Buchanan is a Heisman voter, and we'll feature his top 10 list regularly throughout the college football season. For more information on the most prestigious award in college football, visit Heisman.com.