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Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
The folks at HeismanPundit.com have earned credibility over the years as one of the deepest websites for breaking down college football's top individual awards.
Heisman Pundit.com has already released its first watch list for the 2009 season. Colt McCoy of Texas is listed as its early leader. But what is really eye-opening about its early pick is that the defending Heisman Trophy winner isn't even listed as the top quarterback in his state on that list.
The website lists Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford at No. 10 at its initial poll. McCoy is followed by Tim Tebow of Florida, Jahvid Best of California, Terrelle Pryor of Ohio State and Daryll Clark of Penn State at fifth. Oklahoma State's Zac Robinson is ranked at ninth, in front of Bradford at 10th.
In its explanation, Heisman Pundit notes that Bradford's lack of a returning offensive line is the major reason it is discounting his chances. The Sooners will be breaking in four new starting offensive linemen.
If Bradford skids that far in the repeat balloting next season, his would be the worst repeat showing for a defending winner since Roger Staubach claimed the Heisman Trophy in 1963 and failed to place in the top five in the following season.
It will be interesting to see how Bradford fares next season. He will be playing behind an inexperienced line and throwing to a new set of receivers.
But I'm thinking he is returning with confidence about his team's chances, or else he wouldn't have opted to return for another season of college football.