2017 Heisman Trophy Race: After Week 9
Who are the current leaders in the race for the 2017 Heisman Trophy?
Top Heisman Contenders After Week 9 Are …
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It’s not just about who the best players are, and it’s not about who the most talented players are. The Heisman goes to the one who leads the pack in the popularity contest. At this point in the year, who are the top stars in the race for the biggest individual prize in American sports?
5. RB Bryce Love, Stanford
There are a few ways to look at him now. Either he proved just how valuable he is – the offense went into the tank against a bad Oregon State team without him – or, fair or not, not playing this week with an ankle injury set him back.
He’ll take a step back in the race for the moment, but he gets Washington State, Washington, and Notre Dame still to face. The absence against the Beavers won’t matter if he rolls through November and a Pac-12 championship game.
4. RB Josh Adams, Notre Dame
And he did it against the sixth-best run defense in college football.
A week after getting on everyone’s radar with a 191-yard, three touchdown performance against USC, Adams ripped apart NC State for 202 yards with an emphatic touchdown in the way-to-easy 35-14 win.
With big games against Miami and Stanford still to go, and with everyone about to watch Wake Forest and Navy now, he’ll get his chances to push up into the race.
However, he was hurt a bit early, and struggled against Georgia and Michigan State with under 60 yards in each game. If he gets close to true top spot consideration, that’ll be a problem. But for now, no one cares.
3. RB Saquon Barkley, Penn State
It’s insane to say that he was kept in check considering all he does, but that’s sort of how Barkley’s games are. He scores in sensational fashion, and then he gets erased.
Yes, he took the opening kickoff for a touchdown, and yes, he ran for a touchdown. But he was held to just 44 yards on 21 carries, and caught four passes for 23 yards.
He’s definitely not out of the chase, but at this point, you can’t vote for him over …
2. QB J.T. Barrett, Ohio State
The only thing holding him back now is the loss to Oklahoma. Unless Baker Mayfield and the Sooners collapse, it’s going to be a hard argument to make considering the loss earlier in the season.
There’s a reason Mayfield tried planting a flag on Barrett’s Field Turf.
But against Penn State, with the world watching, he came up with two of the best drives of his life, finishing with 328 yards and four scores on a 33-of-39 day. He also led the team with 95 rushing yards. With a flawless day, he now has 25 touchdown passes and one interception on the year.
But that one pick came against Oklahoma – and with no scoring passes – so …
1. QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
He wasn’t amazing in the win over Texas Tech, but 1) his team didn’t lose, and 2) his team didn’t lose to Ohio State.
Mayfield was more than fine in the win over the Red Raiders – completing 22-of-34 passes for 281 yards and four scores and a pick and a rushing touchdown – but that’s just a day at the office for him.
Now, though, the win over Ohio State is looking stronger and stronger, the loss to Iowa State more and more acceptable, and with the comeback victories over Texas and Kansas State on the resume, the table is set for him with Oklahoma State and TCU coming up.
Top 5 Players On The Verge …
In alphabetical order …
QB Lamar Jackson, Louisville
QB Jalen Hurts, Alabama
QB Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State
QB Khalil Tate, Arizona
RB Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin