Last year, Lamar Jackson took control of the Heisman race and held onto the lead from start to finish, even when it looked like he was trying to loosen his grip at the end. This season, the lead has changed hands numerous times, and now I’m marking QB J.T. Barrett as the frontrunner.
Others considered: QB Trace McSorley (Penn State), RB Derrius Guice (LSU), QB Lamar Jackson (Louisville), RB Rashaad Penny (San Diego State), and RB Phillip Lindsay (Colorado)
10. RB J.K. Dobbins [Last Week: #10] (Ohio State)—Dobbins had a solid game against Penn State, but he missed a big moment while his teammate really stole the show.
9. QB Jalen Hurts [Last Week: NR] (Alabama)—Yes, Hurts was off this week, but I think his candidacy is better than others. Strong games as the season winds down could earn him an invite to NYC.
8. RB Nick Chubb [Last Week: #8] (Georgia)—Let’s be blunt: there’s a steep fall-off here, and Chubb is not, at the moment, a particularly serious contender. He’s averaging less than 100 yards rushing/game and does not have Barkley’s other skill sets to offset. Still, he has some opportunity to shine and is the best player on one of the nation’s best teams.
7. RB Jonathan Taylor [Last Week: #4] (Wisconsin)— Saturday was Taylor’s lowest output of the season. With a lack of marquee matchups, he needs to put up big numbers leading up to the Big 10 title game.
6. QB Mason Rudolph [Last Week: #4] (Oklahoma State)—This week, J.T. Barrett made a major leap to get into the mix after a big showing in a key game. Could that be Rudolph this week? He needs to beat Oklahoma to be a contender.
5. RB Bryce Love [Last Week: #T-1] (Stanford)—This week he sat out due to injury which means it’s been a full two weeks since Love has suited up. He needs to get back into action before he completely falls off in this race.
4. RB Josh Adams [Last Week: #6] (Notre Dame)—A mega-game against NC State places Adams firmly in the mix. Personally, I have him ahead of Barkley, but I do not think voters are there yet.
3. RB Saquon Barkley [Last Week: T-1] (Penn State)—I keep beating the drum against Barkley’s candidacy (who I do see as a phenomenal player), and I see him as removed
from the top two contenders. Still, others love the complete back despite the fact that he has rushed for 75 or fewer yards more times than he has eclipsed 100 yards.
2. QB Baker Mayfield [Last Week #T-1] (Oklahoma)— It was not his best performance, but Mayfield did well enough and led his team to a victory. This week, against Oklahoma State, is key.
1. QB J.T. Barrett [Last Week: #7] (Ohio State)— What a time to have the game of your life! Barrett has improved his pass efficiency and now has a dramatic, compelling Heisman-worthy win to propel him into the thick of the race. I now see him as a (very) narrow frontrunner.