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Posted: Friday, August 29, 2008 9:15 pm | Updated: 10:27 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Heisman watch

Tim Tebow: Hey, you have to start with the reigning king, right? The Florida quarterback could lead the Gators to the Bowl Championship Series title game but is unlikely to match his ridiculous numbers from last season.

Heisman watch

Tim Tebow: Hey, you have to start with the reigning king, right? The Florida quarterback could lead the Gators to the Bowl Championship Series title game but is unlikely to match his ridiculous numbers from last season.

Must read: This season’s must-see games

Read 'Blogging with the Devils'

Chris Wells: He has three big things going for him — he is a running back, he plays for an Ohio State team that figures to be part of the national-title conversation, and he is really good.

Chase Daniel: The Missouri quarterback will put up Heisman-caliber numbers but could have votes taken from him by a teammate, receiver Jeremy Maclin.

Knowshon Moreno: The Georgia running back figures to kick his campaign into high gear when the No. 1 Bulldogs play a network prime-time contest at Arizona State on Sept. 20.

Pat White: There might not be a player in the nation who is more valuable to his team than the West Virginia quarterback.

Big gainer

Florida coach Urban Meyer has oozed praise for his running backs, calling the group the deepest he has had since arriving in Gainesville.

Considering the pathetic, trash and inadequate ball carriers the Gators have been burdened with in recent years — and those are adjectives Meyer has used — that is not saying much. But the enthusiasm in 2008 might be warranted.

“I hope we have enough balls to go around,” running backs coach Kenny Carter said of Kestahn Moore, Emmanuel Moody, Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps. “You can put any combination out there, and a lot of special things can happen.”

The Gators’ backs will start trying to justify the kind words when the team opens the season against Hawaii today.

The lack of a consistent ball carrer aided Tim Tebow’s bid for the Heisman Trophy last season, as the quarterback padded his rushing statistics but took a beating. In the 2006 national-title season, Florida’s biggest game breaker out of the backfield was Percy Harvin, a receiver.

“It hurt to be a running back and see other people coming in to take the carries,” Moore said. “It helped the team, so I guess I can’t complain a lot.”

BCS barometer

No need to consult the rankings and computers. Here is how the Bowl Championship Series matchups will shake out.

National championship: Oklahoma vs. Florida. These teams have the best combination of talent and scheduling to go unbeaten.

Rose: Ohio State vs. Southern California. In a rematch of the team’s Sept. 13 matchup, the Trojans will win this one, too.

Orange: West Virginia vs. Clemson. The Big East champion meets the ACC titlist.

Fiesta: Brigham Young vs. Wisconsin. The Cougars will earn an automatic BCS invitation by finishing in the top 12 of the standings, and the yellow jackets will jump at the chance to invite the Badgers, who travel well.

Sugar: Missouri vs. Georgia. In a return trip to New Orleans, the Bulldogs will get a much tougher game from Chase Daniel and the Tigers than they got from Colt Brennan and Hawaii.

Three and out

• Some SEC coaches are in favor of conducting preseason drills and possibly scrimmages against championship subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) schools. If that results in those coaches agreeing to schedule a worthy non-conference foe instead of a lower-division opponent in the regular season, I’m all for it.

• Stanford, the next opponent for Arizona State, showed its continuing improvement with a 36-28 victory against Oregon State on Thursday. Just what the Sun Devils need — another game that is no gimme.

• How much was a victory in a Bowl Championship Series contest worth to Kansas fans? Well, for those who utilize the only on-campus parking lot where tailgating is permitted, it is $20 a game — up from nothing last season.

Looking ahead

Miami vs. Florida used to be one of college football’s best rivalries. Now, it’s a testament to how far the Hurricanes have fallen and how good the Gators have it under Urban Meyer.

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