What a difference a week can make. Last week at this time, Jalen Hurts was leading our Heisman rankings as he was coming off a nearly perfect game, completing 16 of his 17 pass attempts and throwing for 316 yards and three scores. This week, things look a bit different as the Sooners were shocked in Manhattan with the Wildcats knocking off the number five team in the nation.
1. Joe Burrow - After another game in which Joe Burrow beat a top-15 team, he is at the top of our list this week. Burrow threw for 321 yards and one touchdown. The LSU QB also ran for another on the ground. The former transfer from Ohio State, has taken the nation by storm. LSU has lacked a QB of this caliber for a very long time. Joe Brady, the passing game coordinator, has revitalized this offense in ways the SEC has never seen. Burrow and the Tigers have a BYE this week before squaring off with their arch rival-- Alabama. Burrow can all but seal the Heisman up with a strong performance against the Crimson Tide.
2. Chase Young - A defensive player ranked second? Are you crazy? Absolutely not. For an award that has become the best QB on the best team (highest ranked), it’s time for the defense to get some love. This love is well warranted as Young absolutely dominated the Wisconsin Badgers over the weekend. The future top-five pick stuffed the stat sheet with 6 tackles, five of those for loss and included 4 sacks and two forced fumbles. On the season, the standout DE leads the country in sacks, second in forced fumbles and third in tackles-for-loss. For an award that has never been won by a true defensive player (Charles Woodson returned punts and moonlighted as a WR), Chase Young absolutely deserves to be in the discussion.
3. Tua Tagovailoa - Although the Crimson Tide QB is currently nursing a high ankle sprain, the numbers put up so far are Heisman worthy. Tua currently leads the country with a 95.6 QBR, has thrown 27 touchdown passes to only 2 interceptions and almost 2200 yards. After a BYE week this week, will the future first-rounder be healthy enough to play? The tightrope procedure that Tagovailoa had didn’t come with an exact time table. You can bet that Alabama has done ‘round the clock treatment to put the QB in a position to play. The winner of the LSU/Bama game will probably jump in the driver-seat to the Heisman.
4. Jalen Hurts - The Sooners quarterback has been special all year. During a 25-point comeback on Saturday against the Wildcats, the charge was led primarily by the ability of Hurts to make plays with his legs and arm. OU entered the game as a 23.5-point favorite, but as we know, road games are tough. The Sooners lost the game and therefore the Heisman standings reflect this. Jalen had maybe his best game as he threw for almost 400 yards and ran for 95 more. Last week’s Heisman front runner combined for another 4 touchdowns this week. Hurts ranks near the top in rushing TDs, rushing yards, passing yards, efficiency, QBR, as well as touchdowns thrown. If some of the aforementioned contenders slip up, the door will open for a third straight OU QB to win the prestigious award.
5. JK Dobbins/Justin Fields - Yes there are two plays tied for fifth place. Yes, they both play for the same team-- Ohio State. So, what gives? Well, as deserving as both have been so far, having two people on the same team/offense makes it difficult to pick. Both players have put up spectacular numbers but are overshadowed by the play of Chase Young (number 2 on our Heisman list). Fields had a solid, not spectacular, game against the Badgers as he threw for 167 yards and connected twice for touchdowns through the air. The weather played a factor as the rain made it difficult to throw. JK Dobbins stepped up and had himself a day. The Buckeye RB got into the end-zone twice and rushed for 163 yards on 20 carries. Separation could come as tOSU still has Penn State and Michigan, both top-20 teams.
Honorable Mention: Chuba Hubbard (RB, Oklahoma State).
Next week we will release our next set of rankings. Ohio State takes on Maryland and Burrow, Hurts, and Tagovailoa all are on BYE weeks.
- Austin Wood