Heisman watch: Barkley now Heisman front runner

As the college football season starts to heat up, here is Morgan Spohn's Heisman rankings:

1. Saquon Barkley | Jr.| |RB| Penn State Barkley’s Stock: Up One Spot

After Saquon Barkley’s performance against Iowa where the Penn State running had himself a night by amassing 358 all-purpose yards against the Hawkeyes, the question on many people’s mind was if he could have another massive game against an Indiana team that has struggled against the run.

If you tuned in one minute late, you missed a sensational kickoff return by the Heisman front-runner Barkley as he took the opening kick 98 yards to the house for a touchdown. Beside the opening return, the Saquon Show didn’t dominate the game at all as Indiana did a tremendous job in containing him. However, at times throughout the game, Saquon still dazzled such as when he made a one handed grab above his head in the first quarter and ran up field making two players miss on what became a 36-yard reception. On the day, Barkley threw for 16 yards and one touchdown, ran 20 times for 56 yards, had 51 receiving yards on four catches and added 98 yards on one kick return for a touchdown for a total of 221 all-purpose yards, which is actually below his average on the season of 253 all-purpose yards.

Next Game for Barkley: @ Northwestern on 10/7 at 11 a.m. on ABC

2. Baker Mayfield | R-Sr.| |QB| Oklahoma Mayfield’s Stock: Down One Spot

Mayfield’s Heisman campaign was put on hold this week as Oklahoma had a bye week. He leads the Sooners into this weekend’s matchup by welcoming the Iowa State Cyclones into Norman.

Next Game for Mayfield: vs. Iowa State on 10/7 at 11 a.m. on FOX

3. Bryce Love | Jr.| |RB| Stanford Love’s Stock: Up Three Spots

David Shaw, the head coach of the Stanford Cardinals, must’ve heard the criticism coming from fans and media members about how Bryce Love wasn’t getting enough touches through the first three games of Stanford’s season. Oh did Shaw listen and take that criticism to heart two Saturdays ago against the UCLA Bruins. He utilized Love throughout the game against the Bruins by making sure the Cardinal offense had a balanced approach. When all was said and done, Love ran for 263 yards and a touchdown on 30 carries.

This past Saturday, against the Arizona State Sun Devils’ middle of the pack rushing defense, Love was expected to have himself another field day and enter the Heisman conversation. He did not disappoint. Love’s stellar day started early when he took the second hand-off of the game and went off-tackle for a 61-yard touchdown. After the first half, Love had already ran for 159 yards on just nine carries and two touchdowns. Love, by the end of the day, broke Christian McCaffery’s single game rushing record by amassing 301 yards on 25 carries and three touchdowns, while also firmly cementing himself into the Heisman discussion.

Next Game for Love: @ Utah on 10/7 at 9:15 p.m. on FS1

4. Lamar Jackson | Jr.| |QB| Louisville Jackson’s Stock: Up One Spot

For Lamar Jackson, last Saturday against the Murray State Racers was an easy day at the office, as he had a clean pocket to work with all game long. Jackson reminded everyone just whom it was that coasted to winning the most coveted trophy in college football last year. Jackson, in the first half, amassed 337 total yards by throwing for 237 yards and three touchdowns on 17-of-25 passing attempts, while also rushing for 100 yards on seven carries and a touchdown. He was called upon to make one throw in the first series of the third quarter to give true freshman quarterback Jawon Pass a quick breather, which Jackson completed for a 12-yard gain. On the day, in just over a half of work, Jackson threw for 249 yards and three touchdowns on 18-of-26 passing, to lead Louisville to an easy win over Murray State.

Next Game for Jackson: @ North Carolina State on 10/5 at 7 p.m. on ESPN

5. Luke Falk | R-Sr.| |OB| Washington State Falk’s Stock: Up Two Spots

Going into the highly anticipated game on Friday night in Pullman, Wash., between the Washington State Cougars and the USC Trojans, many pundits were solely focused on the Trojans’ quarterback Sam Darnold and what he could do to strengthen his position in the Heisman Race. By the end of the first half, the discussion had flipped and everyone started to focus on Luke Falk the redshirt-senior quarterback for the Cougars as he had thrown for 185 yards and one touchdown on 16-of-28 passing. By the end of this storybook night in Pullman, Falk had thrown for 340 yards and two touchdowns on 34-of-51 passing, helping to lead the offensive effort in the upset of the fifth ranked Trojans. Falk, however, should thank his defense for making Sam Darnold look like a sophomore quarterback on the road all night long and not allowing him to get comfortable in the pocket.

Next Game for Falk: @ Oregon on 10/7 at 7 p.m. on FOX

On The Verge of Appearing on The Watch:

6. Rashaad Penny | Sr.| |RB| San Diego State Penny’s Stock: Up Two Spots

Dropped From The Watch:

7. Mason Rudolph |Sr.| |QB| Oklahoma State Rudolph’s Stock: Down Four Spots

8. Sam Darnold |R-Soph.| |QB| USC Darnold’s Stock: Down Four Spots

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