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Early next month, college football's most coveted trophy will be awarded to this year's best player. The top contenders:

Ohio State quarterback Eddie George. With eight consecutive 100-yard rushing games against one of the toughest schedules in the country, this senior has emerged as the leading contender, with an impressive 1,592 total yards.

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Quarterback Tommie Frazier. The confident commander of Nebraska's power-option offense has won 30 of the 33 games he's started. The senior's 27 passing and running touchdowns account for one-third of the scoring by the nation's highest-scoring team. And, although he's known more for his running than passing, Frazier has thrown for 1,234 yards this year.

Running back Daniel Autry. The sophomore is the most important weapon in Northwestern's offensive arsenal. With a total of 1,449 yards this season, Autry is responsible for more than half of the Wildcats' total offense. In this year's wide-open field, Autry has as good a chance as any.

Tailback Troy Davis. The sophomore phenom is just 170 yards short of gaining 2,000 total yards for Iowa State. If his nation-high183-yards-per-game average holds, he will reach that milestone soon. Despite his team's 3-6 record, Heisman tradition dictates that those who surpass the 2,000-yard mark - Marcus Allen, Mike Rozier, Barry Sanders, and Rashaan Salaam - win the trophy.

Karim Abdul Jabbar The junior rushed for an astounding 685 yards and six touchdowns in his last three games for UCLA. His 157.7-yard rushing average is the highest in the Pacific-10. The fact that he stormed into Heisman contention in the last half of the season weighs against him.

Quarterback Peyton Manning. Tennessee has the most physically gifted college quarterback today. A sophomore, Manning is the nation's 10th-ranked passer with a 66 percent completion rate. But Tennessee's 41-7 loss against Florida counts against him.

Quarterback Danny Wuerffel. One of every six passes he completes for Florida scores a touchdown. But when backup QB Eric Kresser led Florida's rout of Northern Illinois, questions about Wuerffel's individual star power emerged.

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