Heisman Watch: Barkley continues to lead award race
- Saquon Barkley, Junior RB- Penn State
It happened — Saquon Barkley had a “bad” day. But could this also show how dependent Penn State is on their star running back? Penn State had been averaging 441 yards per game. On Saturday, they were held to just 283 yards of total offense. If Penn State wants to be a legit title contender, they’ll have to find a way to score without relying solely on Barkley.
Despite a poor day against Ohio State (67 total yards, 2.1 YPC), Barkley has still built up enough of a resume this year to remain the frontrunner for this award. In order to stay at the top spot, Barkley will have to turn in a big day against the No. 24 Michigan State Spartans. Depending on his performance, there could be a large shakeup in the rankings come next week.
2. J.T. Barrett, Redshirt Senior QB- Ohio State
Try this, a 70 percent pass completion rate and a 25:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio, as well as 494 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns. I may be high on Barrett, but the way he has carved up opposing defenses is unmatched. You put that level of play into a conference which prides itself strongly on defense, as well as the gruesome Big Ten East, and I don’t see any reason why Barrett isn’t a legit contender for the Heisman this year.
Last week, against the number two team in the country, Barrett put up 328 passing yards, an 84 percent completion rate and four passing touchdowns, as well as 95 rushing yards. Another reminder, this was against the number two team in the nation.
Should Barrett’s dominant play continue, there’s no reason why he can’t become the frontrunner for this award.
3. Baker Mayfield, Redshirt Senior QB- Oklahoma
Don’t get me wrong, Mayfield has played at a level high enough to be the frontrunner for the Heisman all year long, but in a game where he played against one of the worst defenses in the country in Texas Tech, many people, including myself, were expecting Mayfield to have himself a day. This was not the case though: Mayfield put up an “average” seeming day with 281 yards, 4 touchdowns and an interception.
Mayfield will face his biggest test of the year this weekend, as Oklahoma will battle their in-state rival, Oklahoma State, in a game which will largely impact Mayfield’s Heisman status.
4. Josh Adams, Junior RB, Notre Dame
Adams has single-handedly carried the Irish into the playoff conversation, with an eye-popping 207 yards against an extremely talented N.C. State defense — Adams showed he belongs in the Heisman conversation. Should his outstanding play continue, not only could Adams become a favorite for the Heisman, he could carry his team into the College Football Playoff.
5. Bryce Love, Junior RB- Stanford
Sitting out this past week likely hurt Love’s Heisman hopes, but he is still a top 3 back in the country. In order to regain traction down the stretch, Love will need multiple big games to stay relevant.
On the bubble:
Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin
Khalil Tate, QB, Arizona
Jalen Hurts, QB, Alabama
Minkah Fitzpatrick, CB, Alabama
Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State