After nine weeks, the Heisman field is finally starting to shake out. Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota have been a class above, but Johnny Manziel and a handful of other elite players could still sneak into contention...
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
1. Jameis Winston, Florida State QB
Last Week: 1
Last Game: 16/26, 292 yards, 3 TDs & 1 INT in a 49-17 win over NC State
Season Stats: 23 passing TDs, 4 INTs, 2177 passing yards, 69.9 completion percentage, 44 carries for 126 yards and 3 TDs
Team Ranking in AP poll: 3
Team Ranking in BCS standings: 3
Name recognition: B+
Winston stays above Oregon's Marcus Mariota thanks to another absurdly efficient first-half performance - Winston's three touchdowns and 292 yards all came in just 2.5 quarters of action.
Up next for Winston? #7 Miami, who'd love nothing more than to send their in-state rivals crashing out of BCS title contention. Winston will have to come up big to keep the Seminoles within striking distance of Oregon in the BCS standings...but if you're betting against Famous Jameis at this point, you haven't been paying attention.
2. Marcus Mariota, Oregon QB
Last Week: 2
Last Game: 21/28, 230 passing yards, 1 TD and 0 INTs plus 7 carries for 18 yards in a 42-14 win over UCLA
Season Stats: 20 passing TDs, 0 INTs, 2281 passing yards, 64.0 completion percentage, 56 carries for 511 yards and 9 TDs
Team Ranking in AP poll: 2
Team Ranking in BCS standings: 2
Name recognition: B+
This looks like it could be one of the closest Heisman races in recent history, and although Mariota's Ducks are just a hair ahead of Winston's Seminoles in the BCS standings, the FSU QB is that much ahead of Mariota in the Heisman race.
Mariota had an excellent game against a very good UCLA defense, and his mistake-free orchestration of Oregon's deadly offense must have draft scouts drooling from Jacksonville to...well, Tampa Bay. Oregon has the week off before taking on #5 Stanford in a Thursday night showdown for the ages, and we can't wait to see what Mariota can do against the Cardinal's elite defense.
3. Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M QB
Last Week: 3
Last Game: 25/35 for 305 passing yards, 4 TDs and 1 INT in a 56-24 win over Vanderbilt
Season Stats: 22 passing TDs, 8 INTs, 2594 passing yards, 73.0 completion percentage, 89 carries for 497 yards and 6 TDs
Team Ranking in AP poll: 12
Team Ranking in BCS standings: 12
Name recognition: A+
Manziel hasn't been getting nearly as much attention lately as he was late in the summer, and while that's good for his personal life and his draft stock, it isn't ideal for his Heisman candidacy. Manziel is going about his business and doing what he does (making incredible plays while wave after wave of SEC linemen tee off on him), and while the spotlight isn't as bright as it used to be, his level of play hasn't diminished.
Manziel's biggest asset in the Heisman race might be a game he played in months ago - as Alabama continues to shut down opposing offenses, the 42 points Manziel hung on the Crimson Tide looks crazier each week. Get this - if you take out the 42 points the Aggies scored on the Tide, Alabama is holding opponents to 5.14 points per game, and you better believe that's going to be something the Heisman voters think about.
4. Bryce Petty, Baylor QB
Last Week: 4
Last Game: 20/32 for 430 passing yards, 3 TDs and 0 INTs, 4 carries for 22 yards and a touchdown in a 59-14 win over Kansas
Season Stats: 18 passing TDs, 1 INT, 2453 passing yards, 69.3 completion percentage, 28 carries for 73 yards and 6 TDs
Team Ranking in AP poll: 5
Team Ranking in BCS standings: 6
Name recognition: C
Petty might not be as familiar a name as Winston or Mariota or Manziel, but what he and Baylor are doing on the football field deserves some serious recognition. Baylor's 63.9 points per game put them first in the nation, and that's in no small part thanks to the 417 passing yards they're getting per game.
Baylor has had the luxury of a soft start to their schedule, but that all changes with three straight games against top-20 opponents starting with #10 Oklahoma next Saturday. If the Bears can make it through unscathed, look for Petty's stock to start climbing in a hurry.
5. Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin RB
Last Week: N/R
Last Game: 17 carries for 142 yards and 3 TDs in a 56-32 win over Illinois
Season Stats: 107 carries for 1012 yards and 11 TDs
Team Ranking in AP poll: 22
Team Ranking in BCS standings: 24
Name recognition: C-
Gordon finally reached the top 5 after we realized he'd rushed for over 140 yards in six out of seven games this season. He's no fluke, and this guy isn't feasting on an easy schedule - Melvin Gordon is the real deal.
The craziest thing about Gordon? He's sharing carries with TWO other guys - can you imagine how crazy Gordon's numbers would be if the 163 carries from James White and Corey Clement had gone to him? We know this isn't really how football works, but multiply those carries with Gordon's 9.5 yards per carry average...and that's just over 2560 yards. Yikes.
On the verge:
AJ McCarron, Alabama QB
Tajh Boyd, Clemson QB
Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville QBBack to the NCAA Newsfeed