Week 5 saw the match-up of two top Heisman contenders in Louisville’s Lamar Jackson and Clemson’s Deshaun Watson. Would Clemson’s win affect the Heisman rankings in any way? Meanwhile, Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett was looking to maintain his strong Heisman campaign and stay near the top of the rankings. This week, one of the Heisman pre-season favourites has been kicked out of my Top 5. Here’s the Heisman rankings after Week 5:
Dalvin Cook (RB, Florida State)
Cook has put up two big performances in consecutive weeks, despite Florida State losing in Week 5 against North Carolina. This week the star running back ran for 140 yards and 3 TDs, while also gaining 106 receiving yards. Florida State’s College Football Playoff hopes seem to be dashed and Cook is a slim chance to contend for the Heisman, unless the contenders in front of him significantly slip up.
Mitch Trubisky (QB, North Carolina)
Cook’s Seminoles lost to North Carolina on a last second field goal, but it was a high-scoring affair with the Tar Heels’ offense being led by Mitch Trubisky. Last year with Marquise Williams at quarterback, the Tar Heels had one of the best offenses in college football and that doesn’t seem to have changed with a new signal-caller this year. Trubisky threw for 405 yards and 3 TDs in the win over Florida State. Over the last three games, Trubisky has thrown for 1290 yards, 11 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. Trubisky currently has gone 231 passes without throwing a pick as well. If North Carolina can contend for the ACC title, Trubisky could find himself being a late entry into the Heisman race.
5) Jake Browning (QB, Washington) – WEEK 4: N/R
Browning was replaced in Week 4 by Deshaun Watson, but returns to the Top 5 after leading the Huskies to a 44-6 demolition of Stanford. While his defense kept fellow Heisman contender Christian McCaffrey quiet, Browning overtook McCaffrey with a strong game at home. The young quarterback threw for 210 yards and 3 TDs in the win, leading the Huskies to 5-0 and also to a Top 5 ranking in the AP poll heading into Week 6. If Washington can win the Pac 12 and make the College Football Playoff, Browning will be a key reason for this.
4) Greg Ward Jr (QB, Houston) – WEEK 4: #4
Ward Jr has stayed consistent throughout this whole year and continued his strong form in Week 5, throwing 389 yards and 3 TDs. He also ran for 65 yards and 2 scores in the 42-14 win over Connecticut. Ward’s play has kept him in the Top 5, but not enough to leapfrog the other Heisman contenders.
3) Deshaun Watson (QB, Clemson) – WEEK 4: #5
After leading Clemson to a tight 42-36 win over Lamar Jackson’s Louisville, Watson has jumped to #3 in my Heisman rankings. Despite throwing 3 interceptions, Watson threw for 306 yards and 5 TDs. He also added 91 yards on the ground. What really propelled Watson to this ranking is his clutch play, where he threw a 31-yard go-ahead TD pass to Jordan Leggett in an exciting back-and-forth battle with Heisman frontunner Lamar Jackson. Clemson is starting to gain some momentum on the back of Watson’s play, and look very strong to make the playoffs this season, at the same time catapulting Watson back into the Heisman race.
2) J.T. Barrett (QB, Ohio State) – WEEK 4: #2
Caught up in the middle of the Heisman battle between Watson and Jackson, Barrett has managed to maintain his ranking in the Top 5 with another big performance. Barrett threw 4 TDs, which led him to become Ohio State’s all-time leader in career passing touchdowns. He finished with 238 passing yards and 46 rushing yards. The Buckeyes face Indiana in Week 6, before taking on Wisconsin, where Barrett will hope to leapfrog Jackson and take pole position.
1) Lamar Jackson (QB, Louisville) – WEEK 4: #1
Despite losing in a tough road game against Deshaun Watson’s Clemson side, Jackson still had a strong outing which keeps him in the #1 spot. Jackson finished with 295 passing yards, 162 rushing yards and 3 TDs in the loss. Louisville’s star can still win the Heisman with 1-loss, but that one loss has made his Heisman lead smaller heading into Week 6.