No. 1: Troy Smith. [Insert sound of skipping phonograph here.] Best player, best team. Fifth in the nation in passing efficiency, Smith is approaching 2,000 yards passing and 22 TDs, and you should expect his third interception sometime in mid-2007. Tired of the tedium in a blowout against the Golden Gophers this week, Smith added a wrinkle to his his highlight reel with a sweet 21-yard touchdown run just for fun.
No. 2: LaMarr Woodley. Woodley is the best player on the best defensive team still in contention for a BCS bowl. A one-man wrecking crew on a unit full of one-man wrecking crews, Woodley has effectively gained 111 yards for his team on 11 sacks for the year. Oh, and he's forced four fumbles, returning one of them 54 yards for a TD. Add to those gaudy numbers 26 tackles, 14 of them solo for a loss, and you have . . . LaMarr Woodley. Here's betting that somebody in the mid-west attended a Halloween party dressed up as No. 56. And that those dressed up as QBs ran screaming into the darkness.
No. 3: Robert Meachem. Meach is quietly averaging almost 20 yards per catch and is approaching 900 yards already this season, making him fourth in the nation and first among teams in contention for BCS bowls. His numbers have not tapered off despite the fact that the other half of Tennessee's dynamic duo, Jayson Swain, has been limited the last two outings, which has permitted defenses to key on stopping Meachem. Free tip to Tigers, Hogs, 'Cats, and 'Dores: Don't even try to stop him. You can't. Game plan around that fact.
No. 4: Brady Quinn. Ugh. Quinn is 8th in the nation in total offense, with over 2200 yards this season. Last week, he went 18 of 25 for almost 300 yards and three touchdowns, and he added another score on the ground just to keep up with the, uh, Smith's.
No. 5: Colt McCoy. Before you scoff at the notion of a true freshman being in contention for the award that goes to the best player in college football, look at his numbers among Big 12 QBs. Then look at his numbers nationally. Okay, now you can scoff, but if you do, you'll just feel silly.
Britton Colquitt: Okay, so I won't put him in the top five, but as I've said before, Colquitt is one of the best players in college football. See the 3:27 mark in the video below and tell me if anybody else in football can do that.
Others considered: Erik Ainge, Steve Slaton, James Davis, Calvin Johnson, Mike Hart, Ray Rice, Pat White, Ted Ginn, Jr., Ian Johnson, Patrick Willis.