The Heisman Pundit, a blog which takes a sophisticated look at the race for college football's most prestigious trophy, released its preseason watch list.
Texas' Colt McCoy leads the list of players that the Pundit (former USC assistant sports information director Chris Huston) believes could win the award, followed by Florida's Tim Tebow. That's could, not should, which explains why defending winner Sam Bradford of Oklahoma is nowhere to be found in the Top 10. Huston just does not believe voters will anoint Bradford again. And before you questioned the list's validity, remember that Huston directed successful Heisman campaigns at USC for Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart. He knows the game.
Here's how he handicaps McCoy's chances:
"Last year's Heisman runner up has accomplished the impressive feat of keeping up with Tim Tebow's publicity machine in the offseason. For instance, while Tebow is on the cover of Sports Illustrated, McCoy is on the cover of ESPN The Magazine. McCoy is the senior quarterback of a traditional Heisman power and will help his team compete for a national title. The perception out there is that perhaps he should've won the award last year and, as a result, voters will look to him first in 2009. He had fantastic numbers in 2008, but they weren't so amazing that they can't be duplicated or surpassed. He will have big games on TV against Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M (on Thanksgiving) to impress the voters (and also the possibility of the Big 12 title game). He's got most of his offensive line returning, plus plenty of weapons at receiver, so his stats should not suffer. Last year, he finished second to Sam Bradford in the Southwest and Far West regions, so much of Bradford's support in those areas could go his way in 2009. He is a likeable guy and so far has not been oversaturated in the media. All other things being equal, McCoy has the best chance of winning the 2009 Heisman Trophy."