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November 11, 2008
Olin Buchanan's Week 11 Heisman ballot
VOTE: Who is the front-runner for the Heisman?
That's a difficult chore, primarily because the Gators are rarely behind at halftime.
Last week's 42-14 victory over Vanderbilt was a prime example. Tebow rushed for 74 yards and two touchdowns and passed for 152 yards and three touchdowns in leading Florida to a 35-0 halftime lead.
See, he can't bring the Gators back from a deficit.
But he might be able to score a come-from-behind victory in the Heisman Trophy race if he continues to play at his current level. In the last month Tebow has performed very much like he did en route to winning the Heisman a year ago.
He has accounted for at least three touchdowns in each of the last four games. Florida has scored at least 42 points in all of them.
Tebow's 88-yard rushing performance against Vanderbilt was his best of the season.
"He's extremely aggressive running," Florida coach Urban Meyer said. "We run something called a zone read and (defenses) have a choice: (key) the running back, slow play or (key) the quarterback. (Vanderbilt) made the decision to (key) the running back and have Tim pull it."
Can Tebow pull out in front in the Heisman race and join Archie Griffin as the only two-time recipient? Probably not.
1. Graham Harrell, Texas Tech, QB: Perhaps the most important element in winning the Heisman Trophy is performance in big games. In the last three weeks Harrell has been at his best in victories over Kansas, Texas and Oklahoma State, which were all ranked at the time. In those games Harrell has completed 76 percent of his passes and averaged 438.6 yards while throwing 13 touchdown passes and no interceptions.
2. Colt McCoy, Texas, QB: He had another impressive showing in last week's win over Baylor. McCoy passed for at least 300 yards for the fourth time and completed at least 70 percent of his attempts for eighth time. He also threw five touchdown passes.
3. Sam Bradford, Oklahoma, QB: Bradford has thrown for more touchdown passes than Harrell (38-36). That should be sufficient to validate his candidacy. Bradford has thrown at least three touchdown passes in eight games.
5. Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech, WR: He leads the nation with 18 touchdown receptions. He's not only the best receiver in the nation, but his mere presence makes the other Texas Tech receivers better. It makes Tech's quarterback better, too.
Olin Buchanan is a Heisman voter and a senior college football writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.