Matt Leinart, USC, QB

The only thing going against Leinart is that former teammate Carson Palmer won the award a year ago and voters are stingy that way. Otherwise his remarkably efficient season is on par with some of the best in recent memory. He has 2,951 yards passing, 30 touchdown passes and no interceptions in his last six games.


Kevin Jones, Virginia Tech, RB

Aside from this not being the year of the running back, Jones faded against Boston College in Saturday's loss. He got 102 of his 165 rushing yards in the first quarter, partially because Coach Frank Beamer chose other options. Heisman winners usually aren't rewarded for being decoys. It doesn't help that the Hokies have lost three of their last five games.

-- Jim Barrero

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