The College Football season has marched past Week 11, with teams having played either 9 or 10 of their 12 game schedules. It seems to me that we are past the point of being unable to root out Heisman pretenders from Heisman contenders. So I am going to give you my final six. Please note that I see nothing in the Heisman guidelines that says a player must be part of a championship team to win the trophy as the nation’s top collegiate player. So in my selection process an outstanding player on a poor or mediocre team has a chance to win. The list is purely alphabetical at this point in time, since we have 2-4 games left for most of these guys.
JOEY BOSA/DE/OHIO STATE 6’5/285; Sophomore … Certainly the long shot, since he does not play a glamour stats position, but this guy is outstanding beyond he age and years of college ball. He’s already what J.J. WATT was as a senior, at time in his college career when WATT was still a TE at Central Michigan. He is dominant and force to be game planned around for most opponents. ON a talented team, he stands head and shoulders above his teammates when measuring impact on a game. Through 9 games, which includes the big Win over Michigan State BOSA has been credited with 31 total tackles, 14.5 TFL, 10 sacks, 3 QB hurries, and 3 forced fumbles. He’s a monster of a player and deserves consideration. By the way, if that last name sounds familiar it may because you remember his dad JOHN BOSA, who was an NFL first rounder coming out of Boston College back in the day.
TREVONE BOYKIN/QB/TCU 6’2/215; Junior … TCU is now 8-1 after their big win over Kansas State and has been an offensive machine under the leadership of BOYKIN, who has been playing lately with a bad left wrist/hand. His development as a QB is just blooming after playing multiple positions and roles for the Horned Frogs in previous years. He can do it with his arm or his legs, usually combining the two to totally disrupt opposing defenses. He has the TCU Offense ranked as one of the most explosive units in college football. For future reference please remember this is his first season as the full-time starting QB. He should only get better and has been called a larger RUSSELL WILSON, relative to pro potential. Here are his passing and running stats through 9 games. Passing: 203 of 350, 58%, 2691 yards, 23 TD, 4 INTRushing: 111 carries, 546 yards, 4.92 ypc, 7 TD
AMARI COOPER/WR/ALABAMA 6’1/210; Junior … COOPER has to be the best and most dangerous all-around WR in college football right now. ‘BAMA is more of a running team than ever this season with average QB play, at best. But COOPER has hauled in 79 balls through 9 games. The next closest Crimson Tide player doesn’t even have 30 catches yet. He has breakaway speed and can run through and/or around defenders. Despite dropping two balls against LSU, overall he is a good hands receiver. His ability to track the deep throw over his head and catch it almost effortlessly is just amazing. He wracks up a lot of yards after the catch by breaking tackles and running past people. He’s blossomed into this years SAMMY WATKINS. And he does it all with a big target on his back to opposing teams Defensive Coordinators. Stats thru 9 games: 79 catches – 1215 yards – 10 TD
MELVIN GORDON/RB/WISCONSIN 6’1/210; Junior … The speedy, hard working GORDON is upholding the UW tradition of running the ball until the opponent is pounded into submission. In all honesty, GORDON ‘s task is made all the tougher this season, because the Badgers don’t even have a mediocre QB leading the way. The only game plan needed by opposing defenses is finding a way to stop the Badgers running game, most specifically GORDON. Clearly, that is easier said than done as evidenced by the fact that he has averaged 167 yards per game, while scoring 19 TD. Primarily because of his efforts a team without a legit D1 starting QB is positioned at 7-2 in the Big Ten. He’s an explosive runner with excellent balance and long smooth strides. He also has excellent field vision which allows him to make cuts that leave defenders flat footed. Barring injury he looks like sure thing to top 2,000 rushing yards this season. He’s topped 200 yards in a game 3 times this season.Rushing: 198 carries – 1501 yards – 7.6 ypc – 19 TD
MARCUS MARIOTA/QB/OREGON 6’4/220; Junior … And then there is my personal favorite in MARIOTA. For some reason he goes under-appreciated by far too many. Genius HC CHIP KELLY leaves town amidst wails of gloom & doom and under MARIOTA’s leadership the team is 20-3 without KELLY. And before the cries of supporting cast begin, go ahead and take a sharp look at who he’s had to work with at the Offensive skill positions. Only De’Anthony Thomas & Josh Huff are currently in the NFL as Rookies. And you won’t find any current Oregon WR/TE/RB in the 2015 Draft Prospects lists. This young man is only about 1 tick below ANDREW LUCK in overall ability, and how did that guy never win a Heisman by the way? Here are MARIOTA’s numbers for his team’s 9-1 record this season.Passing: 186 of 277 – 67% – 2780 yards – 29 TD – 2 INTRushing: 89 rushes – 524 yards – 5.89 ypc – 8 TD
DAK PRESCOTT/QB/MISSISSIPPI STATE 6’3/230; Junior … Prescott is the undisputed leader of the unbeaten (9-0) Cinderella team in college football this Fall. He uses his arm and legs to propel his team’s offense to score whatever is needed to pull out victories. He’s a winner like his idol TIM TEBOW. But he is a bit quicker than TEBOW and has better throwing mechanics and accuracy. When in doubt it is up to PRESCOTT to make enough plays for the Bulldogs to win most weekends. Truth be told though, he has a very good set of offensive weapons to work with. Mississippi State is such a CInderella story this year, that if they run the table in the SEC it will bring a flood of Heisman votes his way. Passing: 146 of 239 – 61.1% – 2231 yards – 18 TD – 7 INTRushing: 143 carries – 779 yards – 5.4 ypc – 11 TD
Realistically, it seems to me the race for the HEISMAN TROPHY will come down to MARIOTA & PRESCOTT. Assuming neither young man implodes in the remaining 3-4 games I think PRESCOTT wins if his team runs the table. If I were voting today my ballot would go to MARIOTA.
Happy Heisman watching college football fans.