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October 14, 2008

Olin Buchanan's Week 7 Heisman Ballot

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

Statistics can be misleading, and another example of this was apparent Saturday in Dallas.

Texas quarterback Colt McCoy threw just one touchdown pass. But he did hook up with receiver Jordan Shipley for a 37-yard completion that set up a 1-yard touchdown run, and another short touchdown pass was dropped. So, McCoy was that close to a three-touchdown performance.

Despite the lack of touchdown passes, he still had an excellent performance in guiding the Longhorns to a 45-35 upset of Oklahoma. That's enough to propel him into the lead on the weekly Heisman Trophy leaders list.

Not that it matters to McCoy.

"Coming in, the most important thing for me was to get the win. That was obviously the No. 1 goal," McCoy said. "We were able to attack. We were able to throw the ball. Give credit to the offensive line. If there are any awards at the end of the season, it's a team award. That's truly how I feel."

If McCoy keeps playing as he did against Oklahoma and the Longhorns keep winning, he might be taking that individual award home from New York in two months.

1. Texas QB Colt McCoy: A model of consistency, McCoy has completed more than 75 percent of his passes and thrown for more than 200 yards in five of six games. He guided the Longhorns to a 45-35 upset of Oklahoma by completing 80 percent of his passes for 277 yards and a touchdown. For the season, McCoy has passed for 1,557 yards with 17 touchdowns and just three interceptions. He also continues to lead unbeaten Texas in rushing with 348 yards and four touchdowns.

2. Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford: Don't blame him for the loss to Texas. Bradford passed for 378 yards and five touchdowns against the Longhorns. It was the third time this season he threw five touchdown passes and the fifth time he threw for more than 300 yards. For the season, he has thrown 2,052 yards and 23 touchdowns with five interceptions.

3. Michigan State RB Javon Ringer: He leads the nation with 1,112 yards and 14 rushing touchdowns. Ringer has rushed for at least 81 yards in every game and has exceeded 100 yards five times despite being the obvious focus in the Spartans' offense. He could move up on the list if he has a big day Saturday against Ohio State.

4. Texas Tech WR Michael Crabtree: Texas Tech's Heisman campaign asks people to vote for the passer (Graham Harrell) or the receiver (Crabtree). The vote here goes to Crabtree, who ranks among the nation's leaders in receiving yards and touchdown catches. Crabtree, who can turn short tosses into long touchdowns (he did it against Nebraska last week), has had at least five catches in each game and at least seven in four. He has 43 catches for 653 yards and 10 touchdowns.

5. BYU QB Max Hall: Hall is among the nation's leaders in passing efficiency and touchdown passes for the undefeated Cougars, who play Thursday at TCU. He has completed 70 percent of his attempts for 1,852 yards and 20 touchdowns with four interceptions.

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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