2014 Heisman Power Rankings: Mariota Creating Distance

Marcus Mariota has staked his claim as the best player in college football this season, and all he's done is expand the gap between him and his competitors.

He led Oregon to a huge blowout victory over Stanford, but his biggest task will be keeping the Ducks from falling victim to the typical November upset we've come to expect from them.

If Oregon does lose, Mariota will almost certainly fall from the top spot. Who are the challengers that could take his place?


10) Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State

Previously Ranked: NR

Last Week: Bye

Up Next: Sat. vs. Ohio State

Season Stats: 1,868 rushing yards, 17 TDs , 5 INTs

Cook finds himself in the Heisman race simply because everyone else ahead of him as dropped off. He's led Michigan State to the No. 8 spot nationally, and has a chance to really put himself in Heisman contention with a big game in the Spartans' biggest game left on the schedule.

9) Duke Johnson, RB, Miami

Previously Ranked: NR

Last Week: 177 rushing yards, 2 TDs - 49 receiving yards, 1 TD in 47-20 win over North Carolina

Up Next: Bye

Season Stats: 1,213 rushing yards, 9 TDs - 273 receiving yards, 2 TDs

Johnson has thrown himself into the Heisman talk thanks to having five straight 100 rushing yard performances. He's come alive during Miami's three-game winning streak, gaining 690 total yards in that span. It's a little late for Johnson to truly compete for the Heisman, but he's giving Jameis Winston a run for ACC Player of the Year.

8 ) Nick Marshall, QB, Auburn

Previously Ranked: NR

Last Week: 254 passing yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT - 50 rushing yards, 2 TDs in 35-31 win at Ole Miss

Up Next: Sat. vs. Texas A&M

Season Stats: 1,357 passing yards, 13 TDs, 4 INTs - 1,068 rushing yards, 12 TDs

Marshall is the most dangerous dual-threat quarterback in the country, and he's led Auburn to a No. 3 national ranking. He hasn't had a singular dominating performance this year, but he's been consistently good in every game the Tigers have played. Marshall still has the potential to jump up the rankings with huge performances in Auburn's remaining big games.

7) Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State

Previously Ranked: 7

Last Week: 401 passing yards, 3 TDs, 3 INTs in 42-31 win at Louisville

Up Next: Sat. vs. Virginia

Season Stats: 2,279 passing yards, 16 TDs, 9 INTs

Winston had a terrible start against Louisville as the Seminoles got down BIG early, but he made up for it and led his team all the way back. The interceptions are alarming, but his ability to find ways to win games is unmatched by anyone in the country.

6) Everett Golson, QB, Notre Dame

Previously Ranked: 3

Last Week: 315 passing yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT - 33 rushing yards, 3 TDs in 49-39 win at Navy

Up Next: Sat. at Arizona State

Season Stats: 2,311 passing yards, 22 TDs, 7 INTs – 242 rushing yards, 7 TDs

Golson had a huge game against Navy after the Irish suffered their first loss of the year against Florida State, but he won't move up our list until he has another great game against a good team. Golson has a chance to do just that against Arizona State this weekend.


5) Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin

Previously Ranked: 5

Last Week: 128 rushing yards, 2 TDs in 52-7 win over Rutgers

Up Next: Sat. at Purdue

Season Stats: 1,296 rushing yards, 18 TDs, 7.5 YPC

Gordon had another outstanding game against lesser competition, and he's stayed in the Heisman conversation because of those amazing numbers. He needs to keep that up against Purdue to stay in our top-5.

4) Trevone Boykin, QB, TCU

Previously Ranked: 4

Last Week: 166 passing yards, 1 TDs, 1 INT - 49 rushing yards, 1 TD in 31-30 win at West Virginia

Up Next: Sat. vs Kansas State

Season Stats: 2,472 passing yards, 22 TDs, 4 INTs – 423 rushing yards, 4 TDs

Despite a terrible performance against West Virginia, Boykin doesn't lose any ground in our power rankings because he and the Horned Frogs found a way to get it done when it mattered. Every top team has a game like this, and it won't become problem until it turns into two. Boykin needs to have a good performance against Kansas State to keep his Heisman stock alive.


Previously Ranked: 3

Last Week: Bye

Up Next: Sat. at LSU

Season Stats: 62 receptions, 1,132 yards, 9 TDs

Cooper and Alabama sat on the sidelines last weekend to prepare for a rivalry matchup with LSU in Death Valley. Les Miles and LSU's defense have centered their defensive gameplan around Cooper, so another great performance would really go a long way in keeping him alive for winning the Heisman.


2) Dak Prescott, QB, Mississippi State

Previously Ranked: 2

Last Week: 331 passing yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs – 61 rushing yards in 17-10 win over Arkansas

Up Next: Sat. vs. UT-Martin

Season Stats: 2,025 passing yards, 16 TDs, 7 INTs – 725 rushing yards, 10 TDs

Prescott has seen his Heisman star dim over the past few weeks with a pair of unspectacular performances in a row, but he's still playing well and leading the top team in the country. Mississippi State has an incredibly easy game against Tennessee-Martin this week, so look for Prescott to put up big numbers in limited playing time.

1) Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon

Previously Ranked: 1

Last Week: 256 passing yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT - 85 rushing yards, 2 TDs in 45-16 win over Stanford

Up Next: Sat. at Utah

Season Stats: 2,541 passing yards, 26 TDs, 2 INT – 410 rushing yards, 7 TDs

Oregon finally beat their kryptonite (Stanford) thanks to Mariota's play. He did throw his second pick of the season, but he absolutely dominated one of the best defenses in the country. He looks like the best player in the country - by far - and will try and prove that to Heisman voters again against a good Utah team.

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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