College Football This Week: The 7 Heisman Trophy Candidates
No Todd Gurley, no problem. Georgia still wins. Questions about Jameis Winston still creep around the campus at Florida State. No problem, the Seminoles have won 22 straight games. Alabama wins, but there are still questions as Arkansas plays the Tide tough. Auburn loses to the Bulldogs and the state of Mississippi erupts in banter and cheer as the state now claims the top and third spot in the college rankings.
Yes, the south has risen again.
In any event, the Heisman Trophy figures to have a huge southern flavor or southern influence again this season, making it difficult for the west and Midwest to catch up. This isn’t a southern or east coast bias, it’s just the truth.
Here are the top seven candidates today.
7. SHANE CARDEN. ECU
Carden and ECU had just enough in the tank to get past upset-minded South Florida, though just-good-enough performances won't lift Carden higher on the Heisman list or continue ECU's path for a major bowl. The production has been there, however, and Carden and this offense should regain top-notch form against some of the American's weakest teams.
6. BRYCE PETTY, BAYLOR
His 510-yard, six-touchdown performance in leading Baylor through a 21-point deficit and past TCU should help us forget Petty's early season, which was stymied and slowed by a painful back injury.
Baylor is now the fourth ranked team in the nation and a serious contender for a playoff spot.
5. AMEER ABDULLAH, NEBRASKA
Despite his lackluster performance in the Cornhuskers' loss to Michigan State. That'll be an aberration: Abdullah will rebound to near the 2,000-yard mark when all is said and done, and if in conjunction with a 10-win regular season should keep him among the top five throughout the season.
4. EVERETTE GOLSON, NOTRE DAME
Golson threw for 300 yards and three scores and ran for 71 yards in the Fighting Irish's 50-43 shootout win over North Carolina.
The game this weekend in Tallahassee could be his showcase game that will kick him up a few notches in the eyes of the voters. Should Notre Dame run the table, Golson will appear in New York.
3. MELVIN GORDON, WISCONSIN
Gordon found the end zone four times against a soft Illinois defense. He finished the day with 175 yards on 27 carries. It was Gordon's fifth game of the season with at least 140 rushing yards.
He is quickly becoming a favorite of the NFL. Gurley figures to be the first back chosen, but Gordon is winning teams over with his grit.
2. MARCUS MARIOTA, OREGON
Oregon's QB was 17-for-27, passing for 210 yards and two touchdowns, but he was even deadlier on the ground. Mariota rushed for 75 yards and two touchdowns on seven carries. Maybe most importantly, he wasn't sacked.
The Arizona loss was a blemish on his resume, but he can still re-take the Heisman lead should the Bulldogs stumble or loss in the Egg Bowl.
1. DAK PRESCOTT, MISSISSIPPI STATE
Against No. 2 Auburn, Prescott rushed for 121 yards and two touchdowns. He also overcame two costly interceptions to finish 18-for-34 with another touchdown through the air. Altogether: 367 all-purpose yards and a big win at home.
Now that the Bulldogs are No. 1 in the most recent polls, as long as the team wins and Prescott shines, he is the front runner.