2014 Heisman Power Rankings: Can Amari Cooper Actually Win?

When will we learn that what look like boring weekends in college football always turn out to be the best ones?

Upsets and close games happened all over the country throughout the course of the day - I'm looking at you, Cal-Arizona and your Hail Mary - as well as a multitude of great performances.

Yet no performance might have been better than Amari Cooper's 201 yard, three touchdown display against Florida. In doing so, he showcased why he's one of the best players in the country.

Cooper will ultimately get discriminated against by Heisman voters for playing a position that supposedly doesn't have "as much importance or responsibility" as quarterback or running back, but if you watch him play once, just once, you might actually rethink that. How high did he rise on our list?


10) Taysom Hill, QB, BYU

Last Week: 8

Hill's only hope of winning the Heisman is to play well on an undefeated team that potentially crashes the College Football Playoff. BYU struggled to get past Virginia at home (41-33 victory), and Hill was solid (187 passing yards, 2 TDs, 72 rushing yards, 1 TD), but didn't do anything spectacular. Both him and the team are going to have to put in much better performances if he wants to move up this list.

9) Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska

Last Week: 9

Abdullah was the main reason Nebraska was able to push past Miami, leading the Cornhuskers to the 41-31 win. He ran the ball 35 times for 229 yards and two scores, and added in a three-yard receiving touchdown for good measure. Abdullah's Heisman campaign is starting to build steam because of his incredible numbers on the year (733 total yards, 7 total TDs), but he'll have to prove he's one of the best in the country against good competition, which won't come until October 4 when he'll face Michigan State's tough defense in East Lansing.

8 ) Dak Prescott, QB, Mississippi State

Last Week: NR

Mississippi State, particularly Prescott, stole the show on Saturday with an upset victory over LSU in Death Valley - at night! Not only did the Bulldogs survive in the place where "dreams go to die", they dominated the Tigers and led 31-10 late in the game. Unfortunately for them, LSU almost came back and won, but a statement was made. Dak Prescott and Mississippi State are going to be major factors in the SEC West.

7) Bryce Petty, QB, BaylorBaylor QB Bryce Petty

Last Week: 6

Ah, the bye week. Another week for Petty's back to get healthier before traveling to face both Iowa State and Texas the next two weeks.

6) Everett Golson, QB, Notre Dame

Last Week: 5

Notre Dame was also on a bye week over the weekend, and they'll gear up for Syracuse - the Irish's first game as a partial member of the ACC - before facing their first tough test in Stanford.


5) Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama

Last Week: 8

Wide receivers usually don't contend for the Heisman Trophy (the last to be in New York was Larry Fitzgerald in 2003, who finished 2nd), but Cooper isn't like most receivers. He's the best offensive player on one of the best teams in the country, and Alabama offensive coordinator has found ways to feed him the ball, as he leads the country in catches with 43.

His 201 yard, three touchdown performance against Florida was incredible in itself, but the way he did it showed he was the best player on the field. Cooper isn't an incredible athlete (don't get me wrong, he's still a good one), but it's his innate ability to find ways to get open and soft hands that make him so special. He now has 655 yards and 5 touchdowns on the season, and he's going to have to keep up those incredible numbers to stay in serious contention for the Heisman.

4) Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State

Last Week: 3

Is it possible that Winston showed us just how good of a player he is by not playing? He was suspended for the Seminoles game against Clemson due to his latest error in judgment - which will SEVERELY hamper his chances to repeat as Heisman winner in the eyes of many voters - but FSU's offense sputtered without him. Winston's Heisman chances now hinge on him being worlds better than the next best player, which I don't think can happen.

3) Kenny Hill, QB, Texas A&M

Last Week: 4

The man they call Trill finally threw his first interception of the season over the weekend, but he still managed to continue with this strong play. Kenny Hill led the Aggies to a 58-6 beatdown of a floundering SMU program with 265 yards passing and two touchdowns while only playing a half of football. Hill now has a four-game stretch that will make-or-break his Heisman campaign as Texas A&M faces Arkansas, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, and Alabama.

2) Todd Gurley II, RB, Georgia

Last Week: 2

Gurley only ran the ball six times in Georgia's 66-0 win over Troy, but he managed to pick up 72 yards. Head coach Mark Richt has planned to save Gurley's heavy workloads for big games due to his injury-riddled history so this wasn't a big surprise. Look for Gurley to get back in the driver's seat Saturday against Tennessee.

1) Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon

Last Week: 1

The Ducks had to scratch and claw their way past Washington State late Saturday night, but managed to pull out a 38-31 win on the road. These are games that Oregon typically hasn't pulled out in the past, but Mariota was able to will his team to victory thanks to 329 yards passing and five touchdowns. It wasn't the type of game that makes a Heisman campaign, but the "great-game-to-avoid-an-upset" is something that every Heisman winner has - now they just need to avoid a similar situation happening next Thursday night against an Arizona team that beat them last year.

Who’s your pick to win the Heisman? Is your dark horse missing from the list? Tweet your responses to @brauf33 and leave a response in the comments!

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