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November 20, 2007

Olin Buchanan's Week 12 Heisman ballot

The competition for the Heisman Trophy looked like a two-horse race, but one of them has come up lame.

The knee injury that ended Oregon quarterback Dennis Dixon's season in last weeks loss to Arizona probably ensured that Florida's Tim Tebow will become the first sophomore in history to win the Heisman. Certainly, he's now the leading contender.

Of course, even if Dixon hadn't gotten hurt Tebow might be considered the odds-on favorite to receive the Heisman after becoming the first player in Division I-A history to record at least 20 rushing touchdowns and 20 passing touchdowns in the same season.

If Tebow has another strong performance against Florida State in the Gators' regular season finale, he should wrap up the Heisman. If he struggles terribly, then Missouri's Chase Daniel, Kansas' Todd Reesing or West Virginia's Pat White could possibly pose a challenge.

1. Tim Tebow, Florida, QB: Tebow's numbers are insane. He has passed for 2,870 yards and 26 touchdowns. He has also rushed for 749 yards and 20 touchdowns. Tebow has accounted for at least four touchdowns in eight games.

2. Chase Daniel, Missouri, QB: The quarterback of a national championship contender must always be considered, and Daniel certainly qualifies. He ranks fourth in the nation in passing and has accumulated 3,590 yards with 30 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

3. Dennis Dixon, Oregon, QB: His season-ending knee injury knocked him out of the race, but Dixon still deserves a trip to New York as a reward for his outstanding season. Dixon has passed for more than 2,000 yards, rushed for more than 500 yards and has accounted for 39 touchdowns.

4. Todd Reesing, Kansas, QB: Like Daniel, Reesing definitely qualifies as the quarterback of a national championship contender. Reesing has thrown for at least 253 yards in the last three games. In that span, he has 13 touchdowns and no interceptions.

5. Pat White, West Virginia, QB: The Mountaineers also have national championship aspirations, and White has been unquestionably their best player. He has passed for 1,391 yards and rushed for 958.

Olin Buchanan is a Heisman trophy voter and the senior college football writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at olin@rivals.com.

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