As the college football season draws to a close, the Heisman candidates are making a final push for their case in the balloting. In particular, Southern Cal.’s Carson Palmer and Miami (Fla)’s Willis McGahee took advantage of their opportunities on national television to show the nation – and their opponents – why they deserve college football’s top award.

Carson Palmer, Southern Cal.

Why Palmer?: Although the southern part of the country saw Florida State destroy Florida, the rest of the United States saw Carson Palmer lead the Trojans’ romp over Notre Dame, 44-13. In doing so, Palmer threw for four touchdowns and 425 yards on 32-of-46 passing, though he may be hampered by two bad interceptions. He also helped Southern Cal. rack up over 600 yards of total offense on what was once considered one of the nation’s premier defenses. Should he not walk away with the Heisman, Palmer’s amazing turnaround this season has solidified him as a first round draft pick and is atop the big board of ESPN’s draft guru, Mel Kiper.

Willis McGahee, Miami (Fla.)

Why McGahee?: On the Hurricanes’ second play from scrimmage against Syracuse, McGahee scampered 61 yards for a touchdown. That was as close as the Orangemen would get to catching him. Though he briefly left the game with injury, McGahee came back later and rushed for another long touchdown. He finished the game with 134 yards on 14 carries. McGahee has one game to woo voters against Virginia Tech next week.

And, just like Palmer, McGahee’s record-setting play this season has made him a sure-fire first round pick, should the redshirt sophomore decide to enter the NFL draft.

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