Heisman hopefuls battle down the stretch

Phil Consuegra

For all of you out there who read my undying praise for Michigan running back Chris Perry in the first Heisman article of the season, let me apologize to you personally. My pick has become a bust, and now has virtually no chance at the prestigious award.

My second and third picks, Georgia’s David Greene and N.C. State’s Philip Rivers, have become long shots. Greene and Rivers should just not show up at the ceremony, and start focusing on which team they’ll go to during the NFL draft.

With that said, I now have the opportunity to get on another bandwagon. The problem is, it’s hard to pick. With four games left in the season, it appears that two players will be battling it out for the trophy. Those two will be undefeated Jason White from Oklahoma and the unstoppable Larry Fitzgerald from Pittsburgh.

White, who is the frontrunner at this point is, in one word, amazing. In eight games this season, he has not lost once, and his completion percentage is 67.7. Only throwing four interceptions all season, White has proven that he deserves to be at the top. The real gamebreaker for White is that he has thrown 25 touchdowns this season and has a 174.6 QB rating. With an impressive 65-13 win against Texas in Austin at a time when Texas was No. 11 in the nation White is the man to beat.

The second player that has a realistic shot at the Heisman is Fitzgerald, wide receiver for Pittsburgh. Like I previously said, he is practically unstoppable. Teams double – sometimes triple – team him, but to no avail. He’s had only one game under 100 yards, which he still scored two touchdowns. That was a loss against Notre Dame and defender Vontez Duff, who will certainly be a first round pick in the NFL draft. He has two games over 200 yards and has scored 15 touchdowns. His average catch is 19 yards, one of the top in the NCAA.

Both players’ fates are in their own hands. White can make a strong case by going to the Sugar Bowl and playing for the National Championship. He still has to get by Oklahoma State this week, which should be a good test, since State has beaten Oklahoma twice in a row.

Other than that, White should win out the season, with Texas A&M, mighty Baylor and Texas Tech, which should put up a fight, but not enough of one. I pick White to lead Oklahoma to another undefeated season and face Miami in the Sugar Bowl.

Fitzgerald, on the other hand, has an uphill battle. With games against Virginia Tech and Miami, the only thing going in Fitzgerald’s favor is the fact that they play them both at home.

He’ll probably get his two touchdowns, but I don’t expect Pitt to beat both Virginia Tech and Miami. Pitt can climb back into the Top 25, but it will have to rely on Fitzgerald to put the team on his shoulders.

It’s going to be a great race to the finish, and we all have a lot to look forward to as the season winds down. But as for the bandwagon, let me jump on White’s. Not only because he’s one of the best quarterbacks I’ve seen, but because he is the quarterback in the running.

Historically, quarterbacks and running backs have always had the edge in Heisman voting, and this year won’t be any different.