HeismanWatch.com’s Week 8 Rankings
1) Saquon Barkley
Obviously. College football’s best all-around player produces time and time again no matter how he gets the football. Recently, Penn St. and Barkley made it look easy against what is thought to be a dominant defense in the Michigan Wolverines. Barkley compiled 176 total yards (108 rushing, 53 receiving, and 15 kick return) and three total TD’s (two rushing and one receiving). The #2 Nittany Lions proceeded to crush Michigan 42-13 last Saturday night.
Barkley is leading the FBS in all-purpose yards per game with 211.1. His 12 total TD’s rank him 7th in the FBS. Probably the most underrated and impressive factor to Barkley’s Heisman campaign is that Penn St. is hardly overusing the talented RB. Barkley has over 30 touches on offense (40 against Iowa) in just one game this year. Only twice does he have over 20 touches. He’s able to compile these kind of stats on a somewhat limited basis. That in itself if mind bottling.
In an effort to keep defenses honest, Penn State’s QB Trace McSorley has had an outstanding year throwing and running the ball himself. On the year, McSorley has 1,879 passing yards, 14 TD’s, just five picks and has run the ball for 254 yards and seven TD’s. Having balance in the run and pass game has really allowed Barkley to play with relatively fresh legs, hence the big plays time and time again for the future All-American RB and Heisman candidate. That balance also keeps less defenders in the box to limit Barkley.
However, this weekend is a big one, #2 Penn State at resurgent #6 Ohio State. Heisman moment 3.0 for Barkley.
2) Baker Mayfield
It feels like Mayfield has sort of mastered the quarterback position in college football. Statistically, it’s hard to find another QB having a more efficient year at the same quality level that Mayfield is playing right now. Today, Mayfield is leading the FBS in rating (200.42), yards/attempt (11.6), completion percentage (73.8%), and he’s in the Top-10 in total passing yards, TD’s and passing YPG.
Coming up, Oklahoma hosts Texas Tech and their pass deficient defense, giving up nearly 300 passing yards allowed per game. Assuming OU takes care of business, Mayfield will have an opportunity to shine in his own Heisman spotlight the following week (11/4) as the Sooners travel to Stillwater, OK to take on rival #11 Oklahoma State. Trying not to get ahead of ourselves, BUT the following week after that Oklahoma hosts #4 TCU. For better or worse, Oklahoma and Mayfield can be interpreted in a totally different light at that time.
3) Mason Rudolph
Speaking of quarterbacks from the state of Oklahoma, Mason Rudolph is having a dominating year throwing the football and is arguably just as deserving of a trip to NYC as Mayfield. On the year, Rudolph is leading the country in passing yards with 2,650 yards. Rudolph ranks third in QB Rating (181.11) and 8th in TD passes with 19. The best part is, both Rudolph and Mayfield play against each other in what will be interpreted as a Heisman elimination game and a potential BIG-12 Champion.
4) JT Barrett
How does someone like JT Barrett sneak up on a Heisman race? He’s been a Heisman candidate for something like seven years now. However, since OSU lost to Oklahoma just two weeks into the season, we kind of wrote off Barrett from Heisman consideration. Here at HeismanWatch.com, we were baffled how high he was considered last year as a Heisman candidate. We obviously had our dates mixed up and Barrett is a strong Heisman candidate this year, right now. On the season, Barrett has 2,197 total yards with 26 total TD’s and just one interception. Heisman worthy? I think so.
Ohio State has scored 50+ points in four consecutive games. If the Buckeyes can accomplish the impossible and contain Barkley while Barrett proves his worth, the Heisman race could see some major movement this time next week.
5) Bryce Love / Will Grier
Statistically, both guys deserve to be higher on this list. Unfortunately their win/loss record has them both right here…for now.
Love is still leading the FBS in rushing with 1,387 yards, that’s 198.14 yards per game. His 11 TD’s are good for 7th in the country. At 5-2 (4-1 in conference), #20 Stanford still has a great shot at winning the PAC-12 with games against both Washington schools in the next three weeks. If Stanford wins the PAC-North, they finish the season in a nationally televised game against Notre Dame and the PAC-12 Championship the following week. Performing well in those types of games, Love can easily surmount the other candidates ahead of him.
Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold, Luke Falk, Baker Mayfield, JT Barrett, Jalen Hurts, Mason Rudolph, or Lamar ‘freaking’ Jackson, none of these elite quarterbacks have as many touchdown passes as West Virginia’s William Grier (Not to be confused with
William Greer, JFK’s famous limousine driver). Along with the 26 TD’s, Grier is 4th in FBS in passing YPG with 352.4. He’s also completing an impressive 66.3% of his passes and has only five picks all season. If it weren’t for two 7-point losses to really good teams (Virginia Tech and TCU), Grier would be at/near the top of this list.