Written by: Coleman Bahr – Staff Writer (@ColemanBahr)
Lamar Jackson- Louisville Cardinals (QB)
Lamar Jackson did what Heisman frontrunners do last weekend, and he pulled out a close win in clutch, comeback style. With 18 seconds left on the clock, Jackson dropped an absolute dime to Jaylen Smith for the game winner. Jackson also added another four touchdowns to bring his total to 38. At this point in the season, Jackson has nothing left to prove. We know what he’s capable of, and if he keeps on doing what he’s doing, the Heisman is his.
2. Deshaun Watson- Clemson Tigers (QB)
Survive and advance. Deshaun Watson and Clemson scraped out another close victory against Florida State, 37-34. While Watson only had a quarterback rating of 58.0, he made some big plays when Clemson needed him most, including a game winning touchdown pass with 2:06 left in the game. He has a serious turnover problem though, he only has two games without an interception this season, and one of them was against an FCS opponent. He is losing some ground to Jake Browning, but for now he sits firmly in second, a good distance behind Lamar Jackson.
3. Jake Browning- Washington Huskies (QB)
Jake Browning is coming off his worst game of the season. He only accounted for two touchdowns, and he had a season low QBR of 65.7. He still managed to knock off Utah to the tune of 31-24, and U-Dub’s undefeated season rolls on. He ranks fourth in the nation in total QBR, and he also ranks fourth in the nation in total touchdowns with 34. Browning has displayed an effective aerial assault this season, throwing for 1895 yards, with 28 touchdowns, and just three picks. If he can continue in his dominance, he has a great opportunity to jump over Deshaun Watson, who hasn’t been the same player we saw in 2015.
4. Dalvin Cook- Florida State Seminoles (RB)
Dalvin Cook literally did all he could to take down Clemson, but FSU’s defense just couldn’t make the big time plays to pull off the upset. Cook tore Clemson to shreds, totaling 169 rushing yards on 19 carries, and four touchdowns. He has now eclipsed the century mark in five straight contests. Cook leads all power five running backs in touchdowns, and ranks just behind D’Onta Foreman for the lead in rushing yards. Dalvin Cook doesn’t have much of a shot at the Heisman with FSU falling to 5-3 on the season, but a strong November should result in an invite to New York.
5. Jabrill Peppers- Michigan Wolverines (LB)
So, I am still a firm believer in the fact that Jabrill Peppers can’t win the Heisman, but he should still get an invite to New York when the time comes. He played ten positions last week. TEN. His versatility has helped Michigan to a dominant 8-0 start, and their only true test left on the schedule comes November 26th against the Ohio State Buckeyes. Peppers claimed to feed off the hostile crowd last week against Michigan State, so a trip to Columbus shouldn’t affect his play whatsoever.