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Maxwell Pundit (aka the Blog Heisman), Week 1

So here is another fun project we are taking in part with the best bloggers in the college football blogosphere. The boys over at Rakes of Mallow (who are having Malox moments over the narrow win against Georgia Tech) have put together Maxwell Pundit, which will be a collective exercise from the blogosphere (ala Blogpoll) to come up with a Blog Heisman. CW from RofM explained on BN few weeks ago how it will work:

When I floated the idea of a BlogHeisman, it was the always-brilliant SundayMorningQuarterback that suggested we channel the unheralded yet still beautiful Maxwell.  What was originally going to be a Heisman straw poll, after much discussion and debate, has morphed into something even better: A player of the year award, voted on by bloggers, that will highlight players who might not play quarter or tailback for a BCS school in the national title hunt.  Stalwart offensive linemen.  Doppelganger-like defensive backs.  Sure-handed wide receivers.  All of those positions shunned by the Heisman will be embraced by the Maxwell Pundit, the first player of the year award voted on by those in the college football blogosphere.

Each week, and I realize there will be votes all over the place for the first month or two, a group of college football blogs whose rooting interests are scattered throughout the country will submit their top five Maxwell Award winner selections, providing commentary and arguments for their picks.  Most importantly, the varied perspectives will allow all of us who don't get to see every game every week gain the knowledge of great individual performances from a eclectic group of watchful eyes.  At the end of the season - the bowl season, so the most important games are included in who wins the award - we'll give out this beautiful trophy to a deserving individual, regardless of position or alma mater.
So there you have it. Now it is our turn to pick out the 5 best players from this week. Here are the 5 best players from this past Saturday.

1. Southpaw Jesus, QB, UCLA: Who else do you think we are going to pick as the national player of the week? Again for those looking info. on no. 7, simply click here:

SPJ's UCLA Debut: 26 for 34, 315 yds, 76.5% comp, 3 TDs (AP Photo)

We will have a separate section devoted to him from hereon out. Let's go to the other 4.

2. Eric Ainge, QB, Tennessee: The Tennessee QB out of Oregon (who was also recruited heavily by UCLA) had a sensational game against the Cal bears. Ainge passed for 291 yards, completing 11 of 17 passes (64.7%), throwing 4 TDs and 1 pick. Ainge may turn out to be the best QB in the SEC this upcoming season, upstaging Chris Leak, who got lot of pre-season Heisman hype.

3. Steve Slaton, RB, West Virginia: Slaton was one of the more hyped national RBs coming into this season. And he showed why he may be the best. SS carried the ball 33 times, rushing for 204 yards, with 1 TD. A truly impressive performance against instate rival Marshall in Morgantown.

4. Troy Smith, QB, Ohio State: tOSU's dual threat QB had a solid start to his Heisman campaign. It came against a mid-major opponent Northern Illinois. Smith passed for 296 yards, 3 TDs, completing 18 of 25 passes. Not bad. But we are going to find out next week (Texas) whether he is worthy of the Heisman hype.

5. Kenny Irons, RB, Auburn: Impressive start against Washington State Cougers. He powered the Tigers offense over the Cougs by rushing for 184 yards ( 21 carries) with 1 TD. Also helped out on the receiving end catching three passes for 38 yards. I think his performance was a little more impressive than Adrian Peterson's effort against UAB.

Players left out besides Peterson:

Brady Quinn, QB, Notre Dame
John David Booty, QB, Southern Cal
Mike Hart, RB, Michigan
Graham Harrell,QB,Texas Tech
Garrett Wolfe, RB, Northern Illinois

Of course Kyle Wright (Miami-FL) could break into this list with a brilliant performance tonight. But if there is someone else I totally left out, please speak up on behalf of him, and make a convincing argument, why he should be in this list, and who he should replace.

Let's make this another collective exercise from the Bruins Nation.

I will update the list coming up with final 5 tomorrow taking in all the suggestions or should something dramatic happen in tonight's game.