It was Separation Saturday with six games featuring Top 25 teams against each other. Heisman contenders Marcus Mariota, Amari Cooper, Trevone Boykin, and Everett Golson were all involved in these matchups and had a chance to make their mark. Jameis Winston, Dak Prescott and Melvin Gordon had games against teams outside the Top 25. How would this affect their Heisman candidacies? Let’s take a look at how this past weekend affected our Heisman Poll:
What you’ll see each week in the Bloguin Heisman Poll:
* The top five total vote getters, with quotes from the voters in support of their candidate
* A list of all players receiving votes
* Poll notes that look at some interesting facts, figures and trends of the poll
* The BHP Roll Call of voters, with links to their respective blogs and twitter accounts
Here’s the newest Bloguin Heisman Poll:
1) Marcus Mariota (QB – Oregon): 24 points, 40.0% of votes, 7 first-place votes
Last week BHP ranking: No. 1
Last week: Beat No. 17 Utah (6-3), 51-27
Game Stats: 17 of 29 passing (58.6%) for 239 yards with 3 TD and 0 INT; 114 yards rushing with 1 rushing TD
Season: 186 of 277 passing (67.1%) for 2,780 yards with 29 TD and 2 INT, 524 yards rushing, 8 rushing TD, 1 reception
This week: BYE
Jameis Winston is the best winner and crunch-time performer in college football this season, but has he been as outstanding as Mariota in every snap of every game? The most outstanding player over a full season is the basis for choosing the Heisman Trophy winner. Mariota’s cleaner stat line — still loaded with production — should confer upon him that distinction at this point. How he performs in the Pac-12 Championship Game should have a lot to say about his candidacy and whether it will hold up.
– Matt Zemek, The Student Section
It was another four-touchdown effort for Marcus Mariota as the Ducks’ signal-caller led four fourth-quarter touchdown drives. Oregon turned a close game in Salt Lake City into a very impressive road rout.
– Mike Ferguson, Noled Out
Mariota has now put up very respectable numbers against the three best defenses he will face this season, and he is keeping Oregon in the playoff hunt as a result. This award might be his to lose.
– Kevin McGuire, The Student Section
2) Dak Prescott (QB – Mississippi State): 13 points, 21.67% of votes, 1 first-place vote
Last week BHP ranking: No. 2
Last week: Beat UTM (5-6), 45-16
Game Stats: 14 of 23 (60.9%) passing for 206 yards with 2 TD and 0 INT, 54 yards rushing and 1 rushing TD
Season: 146 of 239 passing (61.1%) for 2,231 yards, 18 TD vs 7 INT, 143 carries for 779 yards and 11 rushing TD, 2 receptions, 1 receiving TD
This week: at No. 5 Alabama (8-1)
Dak has been downgraded for some because of the way Mississippi State’s schedule has been constructed. But, you can’t take away that the Bulldogs beat three top-10 teams (at the time the games were played) in consecutive games. Prescott is the heart and soul of the No. 1 team in the country and the Bulldogs still have dates with No. 5 Alabama and No. 11 Ole Miss on the schedule (as well as a potential SEC Championship Game against Missouri or Georgia). While Prescott is not the hot pick at this time, the path to the Heisman will go through Starkville. So far, Prescott has played like he deserves to win the trophy.
– Kevin Causey, The Student Section
3) Jameis Winston (QB – Florida State): 8 points, 13.33% of votes, 2 first-place votes
Last week BHP ranking: No. 3
Last week: Beat Virginia (4-6), 34-20
Game stats: 22 of 35 passing for 261 yards with 1 TD and 2 INT, 1 rushing TD
Season: 196 of 294 passing (66.7%) for 2,540 yards, 11 TD vs 11 INT, 3 rushing TD
This week: at Miami, FL (6-3)
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, he’s the most outstanding player in college football. Using that as the metric, he should join Archie Griffin as a two-time winner in December.
– Terry Johnson, The Student Section
I don’t know what else there is to say about the guy. Florida State won again, and he’s just a pure winner. The reality? It all comes crashing down with a loss, but you can’t punish for things that have yet to happen. As of right now, he is and continues to be the ultimate winner, and you can tell he is popular in that locker room.
– Bart Doan, The Student Section
4) Melvin Gordon (RB – Wisconsin): 6 points, 10.00% of votes, 0 first-place votes
Last week BHP ranking: No. 4
Last week: Beat Purdue (3-7), 34-16
Game Stats: 25 carries for 205 yards (8.2 ypc) with 1 TD, 3 receptions with 1 receiving TD
Season: 198 rushes for 1,501 yards (7.58 ypc) and 19 rushing TD, 8 receptions, 2 receiving TD
This week: vs No. 13 Nebraska (8-1)
5) Three players were tied for fifth with 2 points apiece: Amari Cooper (WR – Alabama); Bryce Petty (QB – Baylor), J.T. Barrett (QB – Ohio State)
Also receiving votes: Trevone Boykin (QB – TCU), 1 point; Jarvion Franklin (RB – WMU), 1 point; Ameer Abdullah (RB – Nebraska)
Dropped Out: Everett Golson (QB – Notre Dame); Nick Marshall (QB – Auburn)
– At this point in the season, Andrew Luck remained at the top of the 2011 poll; the leader in the 2012 poll for the fourth consecutive week was Collin Klein; in the 2013 poll, Jameis Winston passed Marcus Mariota to take his second lead of the season.
– How close were the other races at this point in past seasons? In 2011, Luck’s lead was starting to thin. He went from having a 23% lead in week 10 to just a 2.35% lead in week 11. In 2012, Collin Klein maintained a strong hold on the lead with a 31.66% margin between him and the runner-up. In 2013, Winston had a 14.81% lead on Johnny Manziel.
– There wasn’t a lot of movement in the poll this week with leader Mariota increasing his lead and Prescott, Winston and Gordon all keeping their positions.
– This week Marcus Mariota and the Oregon Ducks are idle. In the past, off weeks have led to a decrease in votes, so it will be interesting to keep an eye on Mariota next week in the standings to see if he can maintain his current lead.
– Dak Prescott has lost votes for two consecutive weeks. First, he lost votes for an off performance against Arkansas and then because his school scheduled UT-Martin. This week will make or break Prescott as the Bulldogs play Alabama, which is second in the nation in scoring defense and fifth in the nation in total defense. If the Bulldogs win and Dak has a big game, expect him to reverse his recent trend.
– Jameis Winston and FSU have an interesting game coming up with in-state rival Miami. FSU has won four straight in this rivalry and won big last year, 41-14. Miami is playing its best football of the season. The Hurricanes are on a three-game winning streak, so this could be one to keep an eye on.
– Melvin Gordon and the Wisconsin Badgers will finally be in the spotlight again as their game with Nebraska represents just the second Top 25 team they will play this season (the first was LSU in week one). Gordon needs to put up huge numbers if he wants any chance of breaking into the top three.
– Out of sight, out of mind? Baylor’s Bryce Petty broke back into the Heisman race with Baylor’s destruction of Oklahoma last week. Baylor’s bye week could not have come at a worse time for Petty.
– Remember him? Former Heisman frontrunner Todd Gurley will make his return for Georgia this week against Auburn. When Gurley left he was averaging 154.6 yards per game and 8.22 yards per carry. By missing four games, it will be impossible for him to get back into the Heisman conversation but it will be an interesting Heisman subplot to watch, as his replacement Nick Chubb averaged 167.7 ypg as Gurley’s replacement. Put their numbers together and they they might be the Heisman frontrunner, but for now it’s just an interesting “what if” in the larger story of the Heisman Trophy race. With a strong close to the season, would either player be able to get a trip to New York or do they effectively cancel each other out?
– Keep an eye on… Amari Cooper. We talked about Dak Prescott and his opportunity against Alabama, but what about Alabama’s Heisman candidate? Cooper is averaging 8.8 receptions per game and 135 receiving yards per game. A big game or a big moment could be what he needs to vault him into contention.
Bloguin Heisman Poll Roll Call