Thursday, October 1, 2015

HEISMAN WATCH AND RANKINGS #1

By: Connor Glowacki

Four weeks of the 2015 college football season are now in the books and since we are roughly a third of the way through the season, let's take a look at who the early contenders are for this year's Heisman trophy.

*Note: These rankings will be based off of opinion of the players' performance.

1.) LSU Running Back Leonard Fournette
2015 Stats: 73 carries, 631 yards, 8 TDs
Year: Sophomore

photo courtesy of FoxSports.
     In a year where the top stars in college football have been at the running back position, Fournette has stood at the top of the class. In just three games this season, he has run for over 200 yards twice and has run for at least two touchdowns in each game. Even more impressive, he completely torched two fellow SEC defenses, in Mississippi State and Auburn, and is averaging over 8.5 yards per carry.
     With his combination of speed and utter strength, fans are beginning to understand why the sophomore running back has been compared to the Minnesota Viking's Adrian Peterson.
     It is early, but Fournette could end up being the first running back to win the Heisman in six years if he can keep this play up.

2.) Georgia Running Back Nick Chubb
2015 Stats: 71 carries, 599 yards, 6TDs
Year: Sophomore

photo courtesy of atlallday.com
     If it wasn't for Fournette, a strong argument could be made that Chubb is the favorite for the Heisman trophy.
     After filling in for Todd Gurley Jr. a year ago and playing extremely well, Chubb now has full reigns of the Bulldogs offense and he has once again taken advantage. He is averaging just under 8.5 yards per carry and has run for at least 120 yards in each of Georgia's first four games.
     He's finally getting the credit that's been due, but Georgia's schedule hasn't been as tough as LSU's so far, due to their toughest games being against weaker South Carolina and Vanderbilt teams. Still, Chubb is right up there with Fournette.
     It's a shame that the two teams won't play each other in the regular season, but if LSU and Georgia meet in the SEC Championship game in December, that game could end up settling the Heisman race.

3.) TCU Quarterback Trevone Boykin
2015 Stats: 99-153, 1,470 yards, 14TDs and 3INTs
Year: Senior

photo courtesy of dallasnews.com
     Boykin is the top quarterback right now in the Heisman race and you could make the case that he is so far playing the best football of his career at TCU. He's completing over 64 percent of his passes  and is averaging over 9.7 yards per attempt, both the highest of his four year collegiate career.
     Boykin has been very good so far, especially in a comeback victory over Texas Tech where he threw for 485 yards and four touchdowns in a 55-52 victory over the Red Raiders. Add in the fact that he can be a threat on the ground and Boykin has the opportunity to pile on a bunch of stats this season.
     Boykin was a Heisman contender last year, which means he'll have name recognition towards a lot of college football fans, but right now, he is firmly behind the two star running backs.

4.) Oklahoma Quarterback Baker Mayfield
2015 Stats: 74-110. 1,062 yards. 10TDs and 2INTS.
Year: Junior

     This might come off as a surprise, but I would give Mayfield an early edge here over several high profile collegiate running backs.
Photo courtesy of lubbockonline.com
     Mayfield has taken control of the Sooners offense and has showcased playmaking ability in Oklahoma's 3-0 start. Mayfield is completing over 76 percent of his passes and, most recently threw, for 487 yards and four touchdowns in a 52-38 win over Tulsa.
     What might be more impressive is that Mayfield led the Sooners in a combeack 31-24 victory over Tennesssee. Yes, his stats weren't that great, he completed less than 50 percent of his passes and threw two interceptions, but he showcased a lot of confidence and resolve in a nationally televised game that I think will cause people to pay more attention.
     Mayfield could fade out of the race with some bad games, but I have a feeling that he'll stick around.

PLAYERS TO KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR:

*Ohio State Running Back Ezekiel Elliott
2015 Stats: 77 carries, 455 yards, 5TDs
Year: Junior

*Alabama Running Back Derrick Henry
2015 Stats: 67 carries, 422 yards, 8TDs
Year: Junior

*California Quarterback Jared Goff
2015 Stats: 92-133. 1,240 yards. 11TDs and 3INTs.
Year: Junior

*Texas A&M Defensive End Myles Garrett
2015 Stats: 18 tackles, 6.5 sacks.
Year: Sophomore

Who do you think is an early contender for the Heisman trophy?

Leave a comment below or tell me what you think on Twitter @ConnorGlowacki.