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Maxwell Pundit Ballot, Week Three

Early Maxwell Pundit returns beginning to be trimmed like so much fat (so long, Mssrs. Quinn and Ainge), the creamier crop remaining stands with blemishes as well, inescapably victimized by the "just OK" performance and the next big thing scoring three touchdowns. Jaw-dropping dominance is never perpetual, unless you're...

1. Adrian Peterson RB/Adonis, Oklahoma
No fluke, no overhype: still the most unstoppable offensive player in the country, and the most important to his team. SMQ actually had to watch him for the first time late Saturday to realize this beyond a doubt; Oklahoma's offense has maintained a façade of balance, statistically, but it all stems from defenses' kitchen sink approach to dealing with Peterson, and his consistent success anyway. Singlehandedly pounded and ground his way to what should have been the winning points at Oregon: 147 of the team's 159 total yards in OU's final three real possessions, and the last drive went from clinching touchdown to not-enough field goal only when the team went away from him on first and second down after riding him inside the Duck five.

2. LaMarr Woodley Hybrid of Mass Destruction, Michigan
Quiet Saturday, but Brian claims it was only because of an afternoon spent on the wrong end of sometimes illegal gang assaults, which is really only helping his neighbor. Then he brought back the icing touchdown. Maintains his hold as the top pressure/tackle-for-loss/sack man in the country.

It's got the ball! It's going to run!

3. Troy Smith Statuesque Pocket Passer, Ohio State
Routine win, nothing awful, nothing very impressive - not that there needed to be to whomp Cincinnati - but why no running? Minus 14 on the ground so far. Also: no interceptions.

4. Dan Mozes OL/Symbol of Unselfish Dominance, West Virginia
Selected to commemorate the WVU unit as a whole, the destructive force supplying the space for the space age running game blowing minds across the land. The lanes against Maryland were about as fraught for Steve Slaton and Pat White as "Lollipop Lane" in "Candyland."

The playbook for Steve Slaton and Pat White, courtesy the Mountaineer offensive line

5a. Dwayne Jarrett WR, Southern Cal: SMQ prefers Calvin Johnson, athletically, but, playing on a team that doesn't strive for an avant garde symmetry in its offense at the expense of its best talent, Jarrett is twice as productive.
5b. Chris Leak QB, Florida: John David Booty was going to go here, but he's cruised through two career starts, where Leak has staggered through about 40, and few bigger than Saturday's road win. Leak's thrown ten touchdowns, best in the nation, and has the best passer rating and touchdown percentage.

Honorable Mention
Steve Slaton RB, West Virginia
Buster Davis LB, Florida State
John David Booty Inevitably Unstoppable QB, Southern Cal
Garrett Wolfe RB, Northern Illinois
Jonathan Stewart RB, Oregon