What was once a two-man race for college football’s most coveted individual award has become a three-man race thanks to the jaw-dropping stats Stanford’s blazing fast running back Bryce Love has put up over the past few weeks. From here, though, it’s still Saquon Barkley’s Heisman to lose. He’s got the magic right now and has become must-see TV, but it is still only early October. The top five candidates through Week 5:
1. Saquon Barkley, Penn State, RB: Barkley wasted little time following up his awesome performance at Iowa last week, returning the opening kickoff for a 98-yard touchdown against Indiana. Barkley later threw a touchdown pass to go with 56 rushing yards and 51 receiving yards. What more could you want?
2. Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma, QB: The Sooners were off. Mayfield deserves a rest. He’s the only one within sight of Barkley right now. On intermediate-range throws (11 to 20 yards downfield) this season, Mayfield has been nearly perfect: 17 of 18 for 341 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions.
3. Bryce Love, Stanford, RB: The speedy Stanford star put up even more ridiculous numbers this week, ripping Arizona State for 301 rushing yards on 25 carries. He has run for 564 yards the past two weeks against two Pac-12 defenses, and he’s averaging over 11 yards per carry on the season.
4. Luke Falk, Washington State, QB: There are more hyped quarterbacks in the Pac-12, but Falk’s Cougars are one of only three undefeated teams left in the conference after a win over USC on Friday night. Falk has a 16–2 touchdown to interception ratio and is completing 74.5% of his passes. In fourth quarters this season, his completion percentage jumps to over 84%.
5. Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State, QB: The Cowboys bounced back from their Week 4 loss to TCU with a road win at Texas Tech in a textbook Big 12 shootout. Rudolph was 27 of 38 for 376 yards and three touchdowns through the air, with two more scores on the ground. He has now run for five touchdowns and thrown for 16, to go with four interceptions.