Saturday Round Up: Week 6


Heisman Watch calls out the weekend’s polarizing performances and how they impact the Heisman Trophy race.

Check out the latest results from the Heisman Calculator.  The Heisman Calculator is a one-of-a-kind regression model that processes simulated 2016 Heisman votes. By using player and voter data from years past, we can identify statistical influencers that drive Heisman votes.

#Heisman CandidateTeamSimulated Heisman Votes
Jabrill PeppersMichigan?
Lamar JacksonLouisville1525
Deshaun WatsonClemson1321
J.T. BarrettOhio State1211
Jake BrowningWashington895

Also, Jake Browning makes a major splash in Eugene. Is Jabrill Peppers the second coming of Charles Woodson? Are 2015 Heisman candidates disadvantaged? All this and more in this week’s Heisman Watch Podcast. (Also available on iTunes & Google Play)

Top Heisman-like Performances:

  • Jake Browning and his 5th ranked Huskies walked into Eugene and made a statement.  Matt Leinart, who follows the Heisman Trophy race very closely, has Browning ranked No. 2.  Browning’s Heisman campaign is ramping up. In some ways Browning is a traditional mold of recent winners. For example, the previous 5 Heisman winners who played quarterback, averaged 40 TDs.  He is well on his way with 25 TDs to date. However, like it or not, five of the last eight Heisman winners have been dual-threat passers who threw for at least 2,500 yards and ran for at least 600 yards. While Browning showed good running ability Saturday, he won’t likely near 600 yards.
  • Michigan’s Swiss Army Knife, Jabrill Peppers, had himself a game Saturday evening. More importantly, this game showed-off Peppers’ offensive fire power. At the moment, Peppers is widely recognized as the most dynamic player in the country. In order for him to win the Heisman, he will have to etch himself as one of the ‘most dynamic player of all time’ — a mere second coming of the great Charles Woodson, if you will. Defensive play simply isn’t enough. Only 23 defensive players have finished in the top five of Heisman voting since the award’s inception in 1935. While Heisman voters seem to appreciate a defensive player, they rarely exhibit the defensive player’s  value with 1st place votes.  Case in point, Manti Te’o appeared on 84% of his year’s Heisman Trophy ballots. Baylor’s Robert Griffin III appeared on only 80% of the ballots when he won.
  • No. 3 Clemson takes care of business in a 56-10 rout of Boston College. Deshaun Watson finishes with 267 passing yards and 4 TDs.  Perhaps this next factoid is worth considering; only 4 of the last 21 Heisman Trophy winners placed in the top 10 of the voting the previous season.  As they say, when you have expectations, you are setting yourself up for disappointment.

Honorable Mention:

  • J.T. Barrett (137 yds) had his 6th career game of 100+ yards rushing. However, Barrett was only 9 of 21 for 93 yards Saturday.  That’s rather abysmal.  Expect a fall in the rankings this week but no need to panic.
  • Yet once again, Josh Dobbs, finds himself as a centerpiece in one of the most thrilling games of the week.  While Dobbs came out on the losing end in double overtime, he showed a great dose of Heisman-grit. 28 of 47, 398 yards, 1 TD pass, 1 TD catch & 2 INT’s (Intercepted on the 1st play of double OT); 17 carries for 57 yards.  Let me be clear here, the Volunteers will have to beat Alabama if Dobbs wants to be crowned a Heisman Trophy winner.


  • Greg Ward Jr’s Heisman votes will continue to recede. Why this loss matters? Reason number one, in the last 53 years, there have been only three players outside of the power five conference who have won the Heisman Trophy. Reason number two; 17 of the last 21 Heisman winners have played for teams ranked in the top five of the AP poll at the end of the regular season. If the odds weren’t bad enough, they just got a whole lot worse. (Navy avenges Keenan Reynolds’ 2015 loss to Houston. Navy Superintendent announced shortly after the game that there will be no school on Tuesday in honor of the win)
  • Mitch Trubisky threw 2 interceptions today, his first since 2014. Today Trubisky threw for 58 yards on 13 completions, 0 TD’s and of course those 2 INTs. I can’t help but wonder if we should put the Trubisky Heisman hype to bed.
  • From a Heisman standpoint, running backs are at a disadvantage (as are WRs). Your utility is dependent on necessity. Late Saturday, Stanford fell early to Washington State and had to quickly abandon the running game. As a result Christian McCaffrey never really got going. Running the ball a measly 8 times the entire game (for 35 yards).  Stanford struggles back-to-back weeks. They don’t seem to contain the prowess to run the table from here on out.





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