A once proud field of Heisman contenders nurses wounds after multiple unexpected losses.
The top two tiers are very clear. Love-Mayfield-Barkley are the clear frontrunners, and Rudolph-Taylor-Barrett are capable of rising to their level. So far, no clear elite candidate has emerged.
Others considered: QB Trace McSorley (Penn State), QB Josh Rosen (UCLA), QB Lamar Jackson (Louisville), QB Josh Jackson (Virginia Tech), QB Sam Darnold (USC), RB Rashaad Penny (San Diego State), RB J.K. Dobbins (Ohio State), WR James Washington (Oklahoma State), QB Eric Dungey (Syracuse), QB Will Grier (West Virginia).
10. QB Jalen Hurts [Last Week: NR] (Alabama)—Alabama has separated itself from the field, which makes its signal caller someone that can never be fully discounted.
9. QB Luke Falk [Last Week #1] (Washington State)—Games like the ones Falk had against Cal are virtually impossible to recover from. I don’t think he can, but he was #1 last week for a reason.
8. RB Nick Chubb [Last Week: NR] (Georgia)—Chubb is a good back, but his 688 rushing yards and eight touchdowns aren’t going to break through. UGA is making a really strong run, and Chubb is their best player, which builds his case.
7. DB Minkah Fitzpatrick [Last Week: NR] (Alabama)—Every year, buzz builds around a defensive player that fans hope can gain real traction. Fitzpatrick is that guy this year, and I just don’t see it happening.
6. QB JT Barrett [Last Week: NR] (Ohio State)—Since Week 2, Barrett’s least efficient passing performance has been a 64.5% completion rate. Much improved! He’s not getting much buzz, but he has the ability to rise.
5. RB Jonathan Taylor [Last Week: #7] (Wisconsin)— A true workhorse, the freshman has gone over 200 yards 3 times already this season. A lack of marquee games could hurt his candidacy.
4. QB Mason Rudolph [Last Week: #6] (Oklahoma State)—The nation’s leading passer from a Power 5 conference could rise over the next four weeks with games at Texas, at West Virginia, vs. Oklahoma, and at Iowa State.
3. RB Saquon Barkley [Last Week: #4] (Penn State)—Most list Barkley as #1, but he would not have my vote as of today. He is a complete back and has a real chance to climb with back to back contests against Michigan and Ohio State making him a real potential riser.
2. QB Baker Mayfield [Last Week #3] (Oklahoma)— The Sooners’ signal caller registered a season low completion percentage last week (63%) against Texas, which paradoxically shows his effectiveness over the rest of the campaign. If Oklahoma makes a run for the Big12 title, Mayfield may become the man to beat.
1. RB Bryce Love [Last Week: #2] (Stanford)—Love is the driving force behind a Stanford bounce-back, and his 147 rushing yards in a big win over Oregon represented a season low. West coast players traditionally struggle in the Heisman voting, and running backs haven’t been in vogue of late. Still, no one has a stronger candidacy in this weak field.