Welcome to week seven of our Heisman Power Rankings – each week, we use our thorough, data-driven algorithm to predict the eventual winner of this year’s Heisman trophy. A few major upsets shook up this week's Top 25...how did our field of Heisman hopefuls roll with the punches? Read on...
In our weekly Heisman Power Rankings, we take several factors into account:
1. Recent game performance
2. Season performance to date
3. Team ranking in Top 25 polls
4. Name recognition
5. Position played: QBs will be given additional weight given their recent domination of the Heisman award
6. Performance in big games
7. Heisman moment (a Yes/No answer for each candidate)
1. Marcus Mariota, Oregon QB
Last week: 4
Last game: 24/31 for 366 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs, 13 carries for 88 yards and 1 TD in a 45-24 win over Washington
Season stats: 17 TDs, 0 INTs, 1724 passing yards; 8 rushing TDs, 426 rushing yards
Team ranking in AP poll: 2
Name recognition: B+
Well, Oregon finally went out and played a legitimately good team, and Mariota and the Ducks managed to shut up every hater from Tuscaloosa to Columbus. The Oregon QB was lights out, dissecting an underrated Washington secondary (who had seven interceptions so far on the year) while simultaneously hurting them on the ground (he racked up 6.8 yards per carry, and ran in a touchdown himself). Mariota catapulted himself into first place with his virtuoso performance in Seattle, and with two of Oregon's next three games coming against top-15 schools, he'll have to keep up his ballistic pace if he - and his team - are going to come out on the other side unscathed.
2. Jameis Winston, Florida State QB
Last week: 1
Last game: 23/32 for 393 yards, 5 TDs, 0 INTs, 8 carries for 25 yards and 1 TD in a 63-0 win over #25 Maryland
Season stats: 17 TDs, 2 INTs, 1441 passing yards; 2 rushing TDs, 135 rushing yards
Team ranking in AP poll: 5
Name recognition: B+
The only thing that could cool off this red-hot freshman was a bye week, and Marcus Mariota's exceptional game against Washington was just enough to vault him ahead of Winston into the top spot. Winston, Mariota, and Tajh Boyd have begun to separate themselves from the rest of the Heisman pack, and only an unprecedented series of freshman mistakes could take him out of the running at this point. The Heisman and national title implications of FSU's showdown with Clemson this Saturday continue to swell - set your DVRs now.
3. Tajh Boyd, Clemson QB
Last week: 3
Last game: 30/44 for 334 yards, 1 TD, 0 INTs, 9 carries for 33 yards and 1 TD in a 24-14 win over Boston College
Season stats: 15 TDs, 2 INTs, 1783 passing yards; 5 rushing TDs, 187 rushing yards
Team ranking in AP poll: 3
Name recognition: B+
It wasn't the blowout that Clemson fans were expecting, but the Tigers took care of business against a scrappy Boston College team on Saturday. Boyd's two total touchdowns weren't as jaw-dropping as his five against Syracuse last weekend, but he's playing smart football and avoiding mistakes, which can add up against a Heisman contender over the course of the season. Clemson's matchup with Florida State couldn't be coming at a better time - if it isn't an instant classic, we'll be absolutely shocked.
4. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M QB
Last week: 2
Last game: 31/35 for 346 yards, 0 TDs, 1 INTs, 19 carries for 124 yards and 2 TDs in a 41-38 win over Ole Miss
Season stats: 14 TDs, 5 INTs, 1835 passing yards; 5 rushing TDs, 438 rushing yards
Team ranking in AP poll: 7
Name recognition: A+
A very strange game from Manziel sees him drop to #4 - although he didn't throw a touchdown pass for the first time since week 10 of last year, he still ran in two TDs and racked up 470 total yards of offense. His 79.5% completion rate was also nothing to sneeze at, but an interception in the end zone and a lost fumble in the fourth quarter will go down as a (minor) blemish on an impressive sophomore season. Next up, he'll have to stay on point against a surprisingly good Auburn team that's ranked #24 in the country going in to Saturday's contest.
5. Bryce Petty, Baylor QB
Last week: N/R
Last game: 12/21 for 332 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs, 9 carries for -15 yards and 1 TD in a 35-25 win over Kansas State
Season stats: 13 TDs, 1 INT, 1680 passing yards, 4 rushing TDs, 45 rushing yards
Team ranking in AP poll: 12
Name recognition: C
Through five games, Baylor's junior QB has made fewer mistakes than any other signal caller in the nation. The level of competition might not have been stellar, but it's certainly higher than anything Teddy Bridgewater has faced at Louisville, and while Bridgewater got national attention when his school racked up 72 points against FIU, Petty and Baylor quietly racked up at least 70 in three straight contests, including against a West Virginia team who had just beaten then-#11 Oklahoma State and had previously held Oklahoma to just 16 points.
Baylor didn't blow the doors off K-State, but Petty continued to make big plays, racking up 332 yards on 12 completions and 3 TDs while running another one in himself. This is a buy-low, sell-high situation - if the Bears continue to roll as the intensity of their schedule ramps up, watch for Petty's Heisman stock to skyrocket.
On the verge:
Brett Hundley, UCLA QB
Hundley nearly snuck in to our top five after UCLA took out Cal to reach 5-0, but our metrics can't see the Bruins QB keeping himself in the conversation after his upcoming games against Stanford and Oregon. If Hundley and co. can somehow come out of those road games unscathed, Hundley will vault himself in to our top five, no questions asked.
Zach Mettenberger, LSU QB
Another tough omission, Mettenberger would have finally forced himself in our fifth spot with another big game, but he came up with a total dud against Florida last weekend. Yeah, LSU won 17-6, but Mettenberger had nine total completions and no touchdowns on the day. Mettenberger isn't out of the race - his 1890 passing yards lead all serious Heisman contenders - but he'll need to find his groove again before LSU takes on #1 'Bama and #7 A&M in back-to-back games.
Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville QB
It was no secret that Bridgewater would have to play perfect football to stay in the Heisman race - Louisville's weak-sauce schedule leaves no room for error. Teddy B hasn't done that, unfortunately, and his average performance against Rutgers (one of the few legitimate programs on UL's schedule) won't win over any voters. Bridgewater has two chances left to get back in the Heisman conversation - both Houston and UCF (Louisville's next opponent) are having solid years. If he wants an invite to the Heisman ceremony, Bridgewater is going to have to absolutely torch them both.Back to the NCAA Newsfeed