The Heisman Trophy candidates are dropping fast, with Greg Ward Jr out following Houston’s loss to Navy, while Christian McCaffrey’s Stanford side have lost two straight, which signals the end of his campaign. A new player enters my Top 5 this week, while there may be some changes amongst those already on the list. Here’s the Heisman rankings after Week 6:
Dalvin Cook (RB, Florida State)
Cook is once again in the Honourable Mentions due to the struggles of his team this season. However, this week the Seminoles came back from a 13-3 deficit to come out 20-19 winners in a tough rivalry game against Miami. One of the reasons for this win was Dalvin Cook, who had 150 rushing yards and also had 1 catch that went for a 59-yard touchdown. This season, Cook is averaging 188 yards of total rushing/receiving yards. Over the past three weeks alone, Cook has posted rushing/receiving yards of 329 (against USF), 246 (against UNC) and 209 (against Miami).
Trevor Knight (QB, Texas A&M)
Despite leading the Aggies to wins over the ranked Arkansas and Tennessee teams, Knight is yet to make an appearance into my Top 5. Maybe Knight hasn’t found that Heisman moment or people aren’t taking him and Texas A&M seriously. Knight accounted for 349 yards and 5 total touchdowns, which takes his tally to 18 total touchdowns this year. If this list was a Top 6, Knight would definitely be in 6th place right now. Everyone’s eyes will be on Knight and his A&M side in two weeks when they face #1 Alabama.
Brett Rypien (QB, Boise State)
With Greg Ward Jr and Houston losing to Navy, all eyes are now on Boise State as they are now the favourites to gain the Group of Five spot for the New Year Six bowl games. At the helm is Rypien, who threw for 391 yards and 5 touchdowns. Rypien’s situation is similar to Ward Jr’s in that their schedules are seemingly weak, which makes Rypien’s hopes for the Heisman a long shot.
5) Jabrill Peppers (S/LB, Michigan) – WEEK 5: N/R
The most versatile player in college football makes his debut in my Top 5 after six weeks. As a defensive star, it was his offense this week against Rutgers that enabled him to join the Heisman race. This week saw him lined up in the wildcat formation multiple times and on only 3 carries, ran for 74 yards and 2 TDs. He also had a punt return touchdown called back for a penalty, but wowed voters with his slick moves getting past defenders. His work on defense shouldn’t be overlooked either. He’s second on the team with 38 tackles, has 2.5 sacks, 10 tackles for loss, forced a fumble and returned a punt for a score. Peppers is rising up the Heisman rankings each week and is probably the best offensive, defensive and special teams player on this Michigan team.
4) J.T. Barrett (QB, Ohio State) – WEEK 5: #2
Barrett slides down my rankings following a disappointing game against Indiana. His passing game was terrible, as he completed 9 from 21 passes for only 93 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception. But Heisman contenders find other ways to win and that’s what the Buckeyes star did. He ended up running for 137 yards and a score on only 26 carries. The sloppy performance moves him down this week, but he’s still up there with the top 3 players in front of him.
3) Jake Browning (QB, Washington) – WEEK 5: #5
Following their big win over Stanford last week and the Huskie’s leap to #5 in the rankings, all eyes were on Browning as he put on by far his best performance this season. Browning accounted for 325 yards (304 passing, 21 rushing) and scored 8 touchdowns, which is tied with Lamar Jackson and Kalen Ballage for most touchdowns in one game, in Washington’s 70-21 thrashing of Oregon. The Huskies now have the nation’s attention following these two big wins, which means more Heisman voters will be tuned in to Jake Browning’s performances, which was an issue last year for Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey.
2) Deshaun Watson (QB, Clemson) – WEEK 5: #3
Watson is starting to make his move in the Heisman race at the right time. On the back of Clemson’s win over Louisville last week, Watson had an efficient and near-flawless performance against Boston College. The star quarterback accounted for 294 total yards (266 passing, 28 rushing) and threw for 4 touchdowns. There are still many opportunities for Watson to climb to #1 in the Heisman race, including a date with Florida State in a few weeks, but it’s good to see one of the preseason Heisman favourites finally living up to expectations.
1) Lamar Jackson (QB, Lousiville) – WEEK 5: #1
The Heisman front-runner had a well-earned rest this week following their tough loss to Clemson, in which his Heisman campaign was not tarnished in any way. Due to the bye, Jackson doesn’t lose his lead, but with Watson and Browning posting strong games, the gap is starting to close. Jackson has a chance to extend his Heisman lead when Lousiville takes on Duke.