Lamar Jackson enjoys a more substantial lead in the Heisman race than anyone I can remember at this stage, and it seems unlikely that anyone mounts a bid to seriously challenge him.
Because the waters are so muddied behind the electric signal caller, this list features a larger group of players—each still needing to make a case for an invite to NYC.
T-10 RB D’onta Foreman (Texas)—The Longhorn rusher has not stepped on the field this season without rushing for more than 100 yards. He was instrumental in knocking off Baylor and merits a mention on the list this week.
T-10. ATH Jabrill Peppers (Michigan)—Okay, I will put Peppers back on the list. A big performance against Michigan State showed a lot, but he also now will be heavily lobbied for as the best player on one of the nation’s best teams.
T-10. RB Kamryn Pettway (Auburn)—In the three weeks since becoming the team’s go-to running back, Pettway has run for 169, 192, and 236 yards as the primary force behind Auburn’s resurgence. If the bruising back’s big numbers continue, watch out.
T-10. QB Trevor Knight (TAMU)—For the first time this season, Knight completed more than 60% of his passes. Sadly, it came against New Mexico State. The Aggie signal caller needs his team to stay alive in the SEC West in order to merit consideration for an invite.
9. RB Donnel Pumphrey (San Diego State)—Now sitting fifth all-time in career rushing, Pumphrey should rise up this list if he continues to pile up the yards.
8. RB Leonard Fournette (LSU)—Consider this a placeholder. Despite limited action, Fournette’s performances have been good enough to raise a few eyebrows. Even a dominant performance and a win over Alabama this week will not be good enough for him to really challenge Jackson, but it could get him in the conversation for an invite. If he gets shut down, he will vanish from this list.
7. RB Dalvin Cook (Florida State)—Cook eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark with plenty to spare with a dominant performance against Clemson. Unfortunately for him, his Seminoles fell and are somewhat irrelevant on the college football landscape this season.
6. QB Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma)—Quietly, Mayfield and his Sooners have rebounded to put together a strong season. The individual and the team received a boost this week when West Virginia (Skyler Howard) and Baylor (Seth Russell) fell.
5. QB JT Barrett (Ohio State)—His Buckeyes managed to squeak by Northwestern, and he put in a solid performance in the process. Barrett’s numbers must improve, and he needs a monster outing against Michigan to really challenge in this race.
4. QB Jake Browning (Washington)—Leading a strong playoff contender gives Browning a case, but he does not put up the numbers needed for a real push.
3. QB Jalen Hurts (Alabama)—Two big games remain on the schedule for the Tide. A visit to Baton Rouge is in store for Hurts this week. Then, the young signal caller will close the regular season against a hot Auburn team. How he performs in those games will be key.
2. QB Deshaun Watson (Clemson)—Not to be outdone by Jackson, Watson also put together a game-winning drive. Except, Watson was and continues to be outdone by Jackson in statistical and “wow factor” performance.
1. QB Lamar Jackson (Louisville)—The 361 passing yards plus four touchdowns—including a game winner—coupled with a 90-yard outing on the ground gives Jackson yet another monster outing to build his resume even further.