The 2009 Heisman race is as compelling as it has ever been, featuring two former winners (Tebow and Bradford) and a third guy (McCoy) who could be considered this year's favorite.
HeismanPundit.com is the leading source for Heisman handicapping and tracking, and they just put out their preseason poll:
Tim Tebow is the preseason favorite, with 7 1st-place votes from the 13-member panel. Colt McCoy is in 2nd (5 1st-place votes). Sam Bradford is 3rd (1 1st-place vote).
We all knew about the Big Three. So who is running 4th? Cal RB Jahvid Best, then Jevan Snead a distant 5th.
The Heisman race begins Saturday, although there will be key indicators: Presumably, if any of the Big Three lose, their chances get nicked (unless all three lose).
McCoy and Bradford will probably be determined by whichever team wins the Texas-Oklahoma game, while Tebow should be a steady Top 2 throughout the season.
Tebow will need some kind of signature performance late -- or absurd individual stats -- to break a virtual tie with the McCoy-Bradford survivor.
Then again, Tebow had a signature performance against Alabama in the SEC title game a year ago, earning him more 1st-place votes than any other Heisman contender.
The Midwest and Southwest bias against Tebow resulted in a 3rd-place finish.
The upshot: The horserace will be fun to follow, but it will be impossible to pass any legitimate judgments until after Halloween.
That said: Sites like HeismanPundit.com track voter momentum, which can be a powerful factor if all other things are equal.