Baker Mayfield took command of the race yesterday as he turned in another strong performance while others lagged. At this point, it is not hard seeing any of Taylor, Love, Tate, Barkley, or Rudolph joining Mayfield in New York.
It is, however, getting very difficult to see any of them actually hoisting the Trophy. After finishing 4th in 2015 and 3rd in 2016, Mayfield’s dominance in 2017 puts him primed to win.
Others considered: QB Lamar Jackson (Louisville), RB Rashaad Penny (San Diego State), QB J.T. Barrett (Ohio State), QB Kelly Bryant (Clemson), and DB Minkah Fitzpatrick (Alabama)
10. RB Kerryon Johnson [Last Week: NR] (Auburn)— Johnson’s candidacy is harmed by missing some games and putting forward strong but not elite numbers. Nevertheless, the junior is the key cog in an Auburn offense increasingly placed on his shoulders without injured Kam Pettway. IF he can lead Auburn past Alabama, he will rise up this board.
9. QB Jalen Hurts [Last Week: NR] (Alabama)— Alabama’s sophomore QB came through for the Tide when they needed him, and he may get some “Best Offensive Skill Player on the Best Team” votes. Still he will need a big game against Auburn to earn an invite.
8. RB Josh Adams [Last Week: #3] (Notre Dame)—The Notre Dame running back has just 62 rushing yards in the last two weeks combined and managed to get nowhere against Miami.
7. QB Malik Rosier [Last Week: NR] (Miami)—The nation’s 31st ranked QB in passing yards, the case for Rosier is thin. Still, someone needs credit for the rise of Miami, and Rosier is the clearest recipient of buzz.
6. QB Mason Rudolph [Last Week: #6] (Oklahoma State)—Rudolph led his team to a victory over Iowa State, avoiding the pitfall that harmed Mayfield. Still, the state’s “other QB” is in the mix but will need some help.
5. RB Saquon Barkley [Last Week: #2] (Penn State)—Folks will think I have something against Barkley, but I’m not sure he even belongs here. Still. He remains in the top 5 due to the buzz still surrounding him as a serious candidate.
4. QB Khalil Tate [Last Week: #10] (Arizona)—Extremely dynamic, Tate has 5 games this season with runs of 70+ yards and is now the nation’s 7th leading rusher. Not called
upon much as a passer, Tate’s offensive performance is eye-popping, especially considering he’s only played in 8 games.
3. RB Bryce Love [Last Week: #5] (Stanford)—The nation’s leading rusher was dominant against the Washington Huskies and has put together arguably the single most impressive individual season. That said, he needs a strong close to catch Mayfield.
2. RB Jonathan Taylor [Last Week: #4] (Wisconsin)— In the team’s toughest challenge to date, Taylor led the Badgers to a route of the Hawkeyes. After posting 157 yards, the freshman back is third in the nation in rushing yards and is the driving force behind one of the few remaining unbeatens.
1. QB Baker Mayfield [Last Week #1] (Oklahoma)— Mayfield owns a commanding lead in the Heisman race now after defeating TCU with another strong personal performance. After being in the running the previous two seasons, the Sooners’ signal caller is 2nd in the nation in passing yards, 1st in passer rating, ypa, and completion percentage, and 3rd in touchdowns. This is his race to lose.