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The Notre Dame quarterback didn't manage to score an upset against USC last month, but Brady Quinn has an opportunity to score one for the Heisman. The celebrated senior received word that he was selected as one of three Heisman finalists, but he faces stiff competition from another senior QB:
Troy Smith booked his trip to the Heisman Trophy ceremony before the invitations went out. Why wait? Smith, the heavy favorite to win college football's most prestigious award, was selected as a Heisman finalist Wednesday, along with Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn and Arkansas running back Darren McFadden. ...
The senior quarterback entered the season with plenty of Heisman hype and then backed it up with brilliant play for the unbeaten Buckeyes.
Smith is fourth in the nation in passer rating (167.9) with 2,507 yards, 30 touchdown passes and only five interceptions. He might be the biggest reason No. 1 Ohio State will play No. 2 Florida for the national title on Jan. 8 in Glendale, Ariz.
Quinn, a senior, was fourth in Heisman voting last season and has thrown 35 touchdown passes in 2006. McFadden, a sophomore, scored 16 touchdowns and led Arkansas to the Southeastern Conference title game.
McFadden will have no shot at the trophy as a sophomore, but it's an impressive showing nonetheless. Arkansas has never had a Heisman finalist, and McFadden had to start the season injured. He made a spectacular comeback and made the Razorbacks competitive.
Quinn faces long odds in beating Smith. The Ohio State QB hasn't had a bad game, while Quinn looked mediocre at best against Michigan in one of two losses this year. Quinn played his heart out against the Trojans, but watched a number of his passes fall out of the hands of his receivers. He even did something unusual -- he tore off a 60-yard scramble against USC, but to no avail.
Quinn's stats look more impressive, and he was a more important part of the team offense. While Smith threw for 2,507 yards and 30 touchdowns this year, Quinn passed for 3,278 yards and 35 touchdowns while matching Snith's 5 interceptions. Smith has a slightly better completion rate (67%-63%) and played a little tougher schedule than Quinn this year, though.
Even if he doesn't win the Heisman, Quinn will certainly do well in the NFL draft. His name comes up in discussions about the first overall pick, and he seems a lock to seal a multimillion-dollar contract shortly after the Sugar Bowl appearance in January. Perhaps Quinn can pull one more rabbit out of the hat in New York.Sphere It View blog reactions
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