<
>

Charting the SEC's top Heisman contenders

Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

With all the talk this year about one of the most wide open Heisman Trophy races in recent memory, I got to thinking about what the race would look like if we were picking our own Heisman Trophy out of the SEC this season.

Who would be the top 10 candidates based on what they’ve done to this point?

Here’s my list:

1. Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama: Probably the front-runner nationally for the award. He leads the SEC in rushing with 1,004 yards and has also scored a league-leading 11 touchdowns.

2. A.J. Green, WR, Georgia: If the Bulldogs had a better record, Green would be getting more attention nationally. He’s been the SEC’s most explosive offensive player.

3. Tim Tebow, QB, Florida: Granted, his numbers are down from past seasons. But he’s still one of the best players in the league and a guy who plays his best football when it matters most.

4. Rolando McClain, LB, Alabama: The top defender in the league to this point, and that’s saying something when you look at all the great defensive players in this league.

5. Eric Berry, S, Tennessee: He doesn’t have the interception numbers he did his first two seasons, but the Vols are playing him more like a linebacker and he’s still a force.

6. Eric Norwood, OLB, South Carolina: The SEC’s sacks leader with six and one of those guys who can take over a game. Just ask Ole Miss. He hasn’t been quite as dominant the last few games.

7. Joe Haden, CB, Florida: Just looking at Haden’s statistics doesn’t do justice to how good a football player he is. He’s a do-it-all cornerback who impacts the game a number of different ways.

8. Ben Tate, RB, Auburn: Having a splendid senior season with 923 rushing yards, second only to Ingram in the SEC, and averaging 5.5 yards per carry. Tate also returns kickoffs.

9. Randall Cobb, QB/WR, Kentucky: One of those guys who would be a star no matter where you put him. He’s the only player in the league with 300 yards receiving, 200 yards rushing and 100 yards in both kickoff and punt returns.

10. Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas: Leads the SEC with 1,900 passing yards and 15 touchdowns. Mallett would be higher if his completion percentage (.520) were better and if he had played better the last two weeks.