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Wednesday, October 31, 2001
Better Sooner

By by Bruce Feldman
ESPN The Magazine

Some of you might've read my column about this weekend's OU-Nebraska game. I wrote about the clutch performance of Eric Crouch and said that it convinced me that he was a legit Heisman candidate. Having said that, I'm not saying he should win it. Right now, I think Crouch is right in there with Ken Dorsey, DeShaun Foster and Julius Peppers. However, the guy I think has been the country's top player is Oklahoma's Roy Williams.

The 6'1", 221-pound junior strong safety has been so great this year, I almost left the No. 2 spot on my Hot 100 blank just out of respect to him. Against NU, he made a team-high nine tackles and constantly kept the pressure on the Husker offense. An even better example of how Williams can take over a game happened three weeks earlier in Dallas against Texas. On three consecutive plays Williams caused an interception that was returned for a TD after blitzing Chris Simms, made the tackle on the ensuing kickoff and then intercepted a pass himself in the Sooners' 14-3 victory.

"He almost clinched the game by himself," OU coach Bob Stoops said. "Those are the kind of plays you're looking for. For the Heisman you focus more on what players do in big games rather than running up the stats in games that are out of hand."

Stoops is right. That's what the Heisman should be about.

Bruce Feldman covers college football for ESPN The Magazine. E-mail him at