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Sunday, January 07, 2007

2007 Heisman favorites

If LSU QB JaMarcus Russell stays for one more season instead of bolting for the NFL, next year's Heisman race becomes murky.

There won't be a clear-cut favorite in 2007 like Ohio State's Troy Smith was in 2006. Notre Dame's Brady Quinn was getting all the preseason pub, but was he really a worthy candidate? I don't think so. He had great games against inferior talent, but when he played equal or superior teams, he didn't have his best.

The SEC will have two candidates - Arkansas' Darren McFadden and, if he stays, Russell. McFadden probably has the preseason nod for the trophy, considering his breakout season. Russell's game against Notre Dame propelled him among the list of contenders.

The Heisman might be headed back to Southern California though. Given his performance against Michigan in the Rose Bowl, USC QB and Shreveport's own John David Booty (right) will be one of the early candidates too. He had a shaky game against UCLA when a berth in the BCS title game was on the line, but he ripped Michigan's secondary, and he had the help of receiver Dwayne Jarrett, who was unstoppable. Jarrett catapulted himself into consideration with a 200-yard effort against Michigan's supposed elite defense.

My early nod is for McFadden. The kid is a punishing 6-2, 205. As much as Mitch Mustain's parents would hate to hear it, McFadden (right) is the Razorback offense, not their baby.


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