Top Five Heisman Candidates and Five Others You Should Care About

A.J. MealorCorrespondent IJuly 16, 2008

This is a list of the top Heisman candidates for 2008. Some of these guys you should know by now and I'm sure you can figure out why they will be Heisman candidates so you'll have to excuse me if I don't care to write too much about people who you have been hearing about all summer long (Tebow, Wells).


Top Five Heisman Trophy Candidates

1. Tim Tebow, QB, Florida: What to say here? Last year's Heisman winner should be the top Heisman candidate going into this season. He beat the same guys last year so why shouldn't he start out at number one this year? Also, look for Tebow to be better because of Emmanuel Moody, RB, taking off some of the load, and the return of Percy Harvin. He will help Tebow more than hurt him, in Tebow's try to win another Heisman.

2. Bennie Wells, RB, Ohio State: Tons of yards last year, something like 1,600. Look for more of the same from Wells this season because of their schedule.

They only have two difficult games all season, USC and Wisconsin. They will lose to USC. He will run for 150 yards or more in every game except for these two. He has the best chance to beat Tebow because there is a good chance he will rush for over 2000 yards this season, which is almost an automatic Heisman in college, that is unless Tebow is around.

3. Chase Daniels, QB, Missouri: Chase Daniels is a phenomenal player for Missouri, and all eyes will be on him this season to repeat his season from a year ago. Missouri has the best chance out of these five to be undefeated at the end of the regular season. His chances will come down to the championship game against Oklahoma. Beating Oklahoma plus undefeated season equal Heisman Trophy.

4. Knowshon Moreno, RB, Georgia: Knowshon is the best RB in the SEC. He is the second best RB in America. For him to have a chance at winning the Heisman he must rush for over 1500 yards this season because Wells will rush for more.

He will be playing against stiffer competition than Wells and yards will be harder to come by for Moreno. Also, Caleb King will take away some of his touches this season. However, if Georgia goes unbeaten or only has one loss, look for Moreno to be at the top of the list.

5. Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma: Oklahoma must get by Texas for Bradford to have a shot at the title. What would catapult Bradford to the top of the list would be a showdown between him and Daniels in the Big 12 championship game as a lot of pundits are predicting.

Bradford threw for more yards than Daniels and more touchdowns, however was not named All-Big 12. With the exception of Texas there is no reason Oklahoma should not go undefeated. Look for Bradford once again to lead the Big 12 in passing yards and TDs this season.


Five others you should care about

1. Rudy Carpenter, QB, Arizona State: Put bluntly, if ASU does not beat Georgia and USC you can drop his name from this list. BabyTate can say all he wants about how great Carpenter is, however if he does not win his two high profile games this season there is no reason for him to be on the list.

These defenses will be two of the best in the nation, and if ASU can get past them look for Carpenter's name to jump up to the candidates list.

2. Graham Harrell, QB, Texas Tech: News flash, Graham Harrell will throw for 5,000 yards passing. The question will be will his defense help him out. If his defense does not perform this season as many people are predicting it will, then his time on the list will be short lived. He will put up some great numbers, just like his offense does every year, but will it be enough to win games? 

3. Matthew Stafford, QB, Georgia: Stafford's WRs will have to improve this season to make him a contender. His WRs were not dependable last season which led to a low completion percentage.

Also, the style of offense Georgia runs does not lend itself to gaudy numbers for its QBs. Also, there is this other guy in the backfield named Knowshon Moreno who will take a lot of the Heisman spotlight.

4. Noel Devine, RB, West Virginia: Noel Devine, not Pat White will be the Mountaineer possibility for the Heisman trophy. White will not put up the numbers at QB to compete, but Devine who is an excellent return man and RB should be able to put up the numbers to allow for his addition to the Heisman list.

He will rush for over 1,500 yards this season. But because he is playing lesser competition than RBs like Wells and Moreno, West Virginia will need to go undefeated for Devine to have a shot at the Heisman.

5. T.J. Yates, QB, North Carolina: This is my sleeper pick for Heisman or even Heisman candidate. Yates threw for over 2,500 yards last season for a 4-8 UNC team which lost six games by a touchdown or less. Look for the Tar Heels and all of their returning starters including T.J. Yates to turn some of those Ls into Ws.

If North Carolina is able to win the Coastal, Yates will be a major part of the equation. Whether he will out shine Cullen Harper, Clemson, and Sean Glennon, Virginia Tech, remains to be seen. But look for Yates and the Heels to make this an interesting season for the ACC and a record breaking year for him at UNC.


NOTE: Rudy Carpenter makes the list because I don't want to hear BabyTate complain about how great he is, and how he is so much better than Matthew Stafford.

Also, no one from Clemson is on this list because they will all take away from one another. Both backs will have 1,000 yard seasons, and Harper will throw for over 2,500 yards making him a possible addition to the list.