Louisville vs. Clemson. Washington vs. Stanford. North Carolina vs. Florida State. All three of these games have dramatically shifted my Heisman ranking, and as fun as they were to watch, who the heck is the top Heisman contender now? Week 5 shook up the Heisman race like a California earthquake, so how do things stand now?
Dalvin Cook – If the Seminoles didn’t have two losses, then you’d see him a lot higher up on this list.
Christian McCraffrey – Stanford suffered a terrible loss to Wisconsin, and while McCaffrey is amazing, he can’t be this entire Stanford offense.
Tommy Armstrong Jr. – This is your official dark-horse Heisman contender. He’s got Nebraska at No. 12 (AP Poll) in the nation with his arm and his legs.
5. Jake Browning – QB – Washington
I’m absolutely in love with this Washington team, just check out my last article. While this defense is what really makes me believe in their chances as a Top 3 team, Jake Browning is absolutely fantastic under center. He isn’t draft eligible until next year, but Browning is already a lock to be a Top 5 pick in next year’s NFL Draft. Browning hasn’t topped the 300-yard passing mark in any game yet this season, but the Huskies are 5-0, and greatly because of him. The number one trait among Heisman winners: They win games.
4. Greg Ward Jr. – QB – Houston
Not only can Greg Ward Jr. get it done through the air (over 1,300 passing yards thus far), but he also has the running ability of a running back. At 5’11”, Ward will probably never make it in the NFL, but he has certainly made his mark on College Football. Houston is currently ranked at No. 6 (AP Poll), and with only Louisville as the only real threat left on their schedule, Ward should be able to put up huge statistics and the Cougars should keep on winning games.
3. Deshaun Watson – QB – Clemson
Last week, I didn’t even have Watson in my Top 5, as he’s thrown way too many interceptions for a Heisman contender and his team struggled in their first two games. After a huge win against Louisville, he jumps up my list in a major way. He threw 3 interceptions, but in a game like the one we saw on Saturday, when you have two Top 5 teams going up against each other, winning the game matters a lot more than statistics. Watson willed his team to win, so he gets a big bump up the rankings. Although he won, I’m not ready to forget about those first two games where he should’ve posted a lot bigger stat lines.
2. J.T. Barrett – QB – Ohio State
It seems like people have just stopped watching Ohio State and Alabama. There is clearly a VIP section in the Top 25 rankings, and it’s at No. 1 and No. 2. Fans just assume that Ohio State and Alabama will consistently win, so J.T. Barrett seems to not get as much hype as he deserves. Barrett doesn’t have the stats that the other candidates do, and that’s because the Buckeyes have blown out every opponent that they’ve faced, so they take him out once the believe that they don’t need him anymore. Fun Fact: Barrett has only thrown SIX, yes six passes in the fourth quarter this season. Ohio State is winning and J.T. Barrett has done nothing to move him down the rankings.
- Lamar Jackson – QB – Louisville
I know that this is controversial, but it really shouldn’t be. With 2,313 total yards already this season, Jackson is putting together a historic season. Let’s put his stats into perspective. If Lamar Jackson were his own team, he would be the 30th best offense in College Football, above Ohio State and only 4 yards behind Clemson. Are you freaking kidding me? The fact that people had Lamar Jackson as the unanimous top Heisman contender before Week 5 and then fault him for losing to Clemson is insane. Jackson played an incredible game, and it wasn’t like Louisville struggled. It was an instant-classic type game that anyone could have won. I know that I’ve said that winning is the most important thing in these types of games, but Jackson willed his team to win, and maybe if James Quick had pick up the extra yard on that fourth down, we would be talking about one of the best players in college football history. Jackson is still the best in College Football by leaps and bounds.