The 2014 Bloguin Heisman Poll, week eight

Last week Dak Prescott jumped into the lead of the Bloguin Heisman Poll after his Mississippi State Bulldogs beat the Auburn Tigers. With a week off, would the voters see someone else who impressed them more than Dak has so far this year? Would Jameis Winston’s performance against Notre Dame bring him back to the top, or would the voters be impressed by Marcus Mariota’s performance against the Washington Huskies? Let’s get right to it:


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) Dak Prescott (QB – Mississippi State): 18 points, 33.33% of votes, 3 first-place votes

Last week BHP ranking: No. 1

Last week: Idle

Season: 96 of 156 passing (61.5%) for 1,478 yards, 14 TD vs 4 INT, 106 carries for 576 yards and 8 rushing TD, 2 receptions, 1 receiving TD

This week: at Kentucky (5-2)


The Bulldogs were idle this week, but Prescott held on to the spot in the Heisman poll. Prescott has 23 touchdowns on the season and is the biggest reason why Mississippi State is college football’s biggest surprise in 2014.

– Mike Ferguson, Noled Out

Even though the Bulldogs had a week off, Prescott stays as my number 1. He’s established himself as one of America’s standouts. The Dak Attack gets a CBS featured game against Kentucky this weekend, so he should have a monster game for the nation to enjoy. Except those in Kentucky, I guess.

– Scott King – Bearcats Blog/The Student Section


TIE, 2) Jameis Winston (QB – Florida State):  13 points, 24.07% of votes, 3 first-place votes

Last week BHP ranking: No. 2 (tie)

Last week: 23 of 31 passing (74.2%) for 273 yards, 2 TD vs 1 INT

Season: 149 of 211 passing (70.6%) for 1,878 yards, 13 TD vs 6 INT, 3 rushing TD

This week: BYE


JW was what you call “special” in the second half against Notre Dame. His coach isn’t helping his case by taking the ball out of his hands and relying on a shaky defensive effort to put a game away instead, and FSU came away lucky it worked. Winston is the same dude, one that rises to the occasion when he has to.

– Bart Doan, The Student Section

Trailing 17-10 entering the second half, Winston was fantastic over the final 30 minutes, completing 15 of 16 passes for 181 yards and a touchdown. His precision passing allowed the Seminoles to match every Irish score in the second half, keeping his perfect record as a starter intact.

– Terry Johnson, The Student Section

Hate to do it, but his second-half performance against Notre Dame was nearly perfect. He seemingly made all the right reads and throws.

– Scott Halasz – Buckeye Battle Cry


TIE, 2) Marcus Mariota (QB – Oregon): 13 points, 24.07% of votes, 3 first-place votes

Last week BHP ranking: No. 2 (tie)

Last week: 24 of 33 passing (72.7%) for 336 yds with 2 TD and 0 INT

Season: 132 of 188 passing (70.2%) for 1,957 yds with 19 TD and 0 INT, 289 yds rushing, 5 rushing TD, 1 reception

This week: Friday at Cal (4-3)


After throwing for 336 yards and a pair of touchdowns against Washington, it is time to return Mariota to his status as Heisman front-runner. Oregon has bounced back in a big way following a loss to Arizona, and Mariota has now thrown for 19 touchdowns without one interception. His completion percentage is also over 70 percent, and that doesn’t happen by accident.

– Kevin McGuire, The Student Section

In an odd way Mariota’s smoothness and consistency hurts him as a Heisman candidate. Calmly distributing the ball, he never seems to be sensational or swashbuckling, just a cool-breeze technician running a high-volume offense. But check out his dive for the pylon against UCLA or his last-instant pitch to Royce Freeman for a walk-in score against Washington. For his career, he has a phenomenal 83-10 ratio of touchdowns to interceptions while going 29-4 as a starter. Mariota has both the flair and the stats to be No. 1 in the Heisman voting.

– Dale Newton, The Duck Stops Here

4) Melvin Gordon (RB – Wisconsin):  4 points, 7.41% of votes, 0 first-place votes

Last week BHP ranking: No. 4

Last week: Idle

Season: 132 rushes for 1,046 yards (7.92 ypc) and 13 rushing TD, 6 receptions, 1 receiving TD

This week: vs Maryland (5-2)

5) Amari Cooper (WR – Alabama): 2 points, 3.70% of votes, 0 first-place votes

Last week BHP ranking: unranked

Last week: 8 receptions for 140 yards and 2 TD

Season: 62 receptions for 908 yards (14.6 ypc) with 7 TD

This week: at Tennessee (3-4)

Also receiving votes: Everett Golson (QB – Notre Dame), 1 point; Tevin Coleman (RB – Indiana), 1 point; Kevin White (WR – West Virginia), 1 point; J.T. Barrett (QB – Ohio State), 1 point.

Dropped Out: Bryce Petty (QB – Baylor), Connor Halliday (QB – Washington State)


Poll Notes:

– At this point in the season, the leader in the 2011 poll was Andrew Luck; the leader in the 2012 poll was Collin Klein (who had overtaken Geno Smith); the 2013 poll was a tie between Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota (hmmm… that sounds familiar).

– How close were the other races at this point in the season in the past? In 2011, Luck led by 7.14 % over Trent Richardson. In 2012, Collin Klein led by 25.75 % over Manti Te’o. In 2013, Mariota and Winston both garnered 40.74 % of the vote while the next vote-getter, Johnny Manziel, received just 7.41 %.

– Out of sight, out of mind? After a bye week, Dak Prescott’s numbers slipped a bit. He fell from a commanding 7 first-place votes to just 3 first-place votes and slipped from 44.44 % of the overall vote to 33.33% of the overall vote. He placed on every ballot except one.

– Last week Winston and Mariota tied for second place. They each had a total of 10 points and 18.52 % of the vote. Winston had 2 first place votes to Mariota’s 0. This week, both players moved up to 13 points and each player received 3 first place votes. Winston was left off 3 ballots and Mariota was left off 4 ballots.

– Dak Prescott and the Bulldogs face Kentucky this week. Last year, the Bulldogs won at home by six points and Prescott was solid as he completed 23 of 34 for 268 and 2 TDs.

– Marcus Mariota and Oregon face an improved Cal team. Last year, the Ducks bombed the Golden Bears, 55-16, with Mariota throwing for 114 yards and 2 TD while running for another score.

– One game to watch with Heisman implications is Maryland-Wisconsin. Maryland is 13th in the Big Ten in rushing defense, giving up 198 yards rushing per game. Melvin Gordon of Wisconsin could have a big day.

The Student Section‘s managing editor, Matt Zemek, has chosen to abstain from voting until the second poll of November.

Bloguin Heisman Poll Roll Call

Andrew Coppens – Madtown Badgers (@andyonfootball)

Bart Doan – The Student Section (@TheCoachBart)

Dale Newton – The Duck Stops Here (@DSH_Newton)

Kevin Causey – The Student Section (@CFBZ)

Kevin McGuire – Nittany Lions Den/The Student Section (@kevinoncfb)

Matt Zemek – The Student Section (@SectionMZ)

Mike Ferguson – Noled Out (@Noled_Out)

Scott King – Bearcats Blog/The Student Section (@bearcatsblog)

Scott Halasz – Buckeye Battle Cry (@ohiostatescott)

Terry Johnson – The Student Section (@SectionTPJ)

About Kevin Causey

Dry humorist, craft beer enthusiast, occasionally unbiased SEC fan, UGA alumni, contributor for The Comeback.