The 2016 TSS Heisman Poll: Week 11

Last weekend, the college football world was rocked. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th ranked teams all lost! All of those teams featured a Heisman contender that had been in our top four. Clemson’s Deshaun Watson, Washington’s Jake Browning, and Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers all saw their teams lose last weekend. The Heisman front-runner, Lamar Jackson, saw his team struggle but finish strong in a 44-12 win over Wake Forest.

The past couple of weeks had seen the contenders gaining some ground on Jackson. With the shake-up in college football this weekend, let’s see how it affected our Heisman Trophy poll…..


What you’ll see each week in the TSS Heisman Poll:

* The top 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 TSS Roll Call of voters, with links to their respective blogs and twitter accounts

Without any further ado, the first 2016 installment of the TSS Heisman Poll:


1) Lamar Jackson (QB – Louisville): 23 points, 45.1% of votes, 6 first-place votes

Last week ranking: No. 1

Last week: Beat Wake Forest 44-12; 14 of 26 passing for 145 yards with 1 TD and 153 yards rushing

Season: 184 of 314 passing for 2,898 yards with 27 TD against 6 INT and 1,334 yards rushing, 7.25 ypc, 19 rushing TD

This week: at Houston (8-2)


Things looked dicey against Wake Forest for a while, but once again Lamar Jackson eventually made the plays you need the best player in the country to make. Jackson fueled a very strong finish to avoid a loss against Wake Forest.

– Kevin McGuire, The Comeback

Wasn’t great (in victory over Wake Forest). But still had more total yards than Wake as a team and outrushed the Deacons by himself.

– Scott Halasz, Buckeye Battle Cry

There is no one else that is even close to him. The trophy is his as long as he doesn’t get hurt.

– Michael Abelson, The Student Section

2) Donnel Pumphrey (RB – San Diego State): 7 points, 13.73% of votes, 1 first-place vote

Last week ranking: not ranked

Last week: Beat Nevada 46-16; 26 carries for 198 yds and 1 TD

Season: 270 carries for 1,779 yards (6.59 ypc) and 14 TD, 20 receptions

This week: at Wyoming (7-3)


If you don’t know his name, learn it. Even giving up some carries to Rashaad Penny, Pumphrey is well on his way to blasting past 2,000 yards with ease. And he’s going to break Ron Dayne’s all-time rushing yardage record before this season is done.

– Yesh Ginsburg, The Student Section

3) Jabrill Peppers (DB/LB – Michigan):  6 points, 11.76% of votes, 1 first-place vote

Last week ranking: No. 3

Last week: Lost to Iowa 14-13; 11 yards rushing, 6 solo tackles, 1 QB hurry, 19-yard punt return

Season: 59 total tackles, 13 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, 7 QB hurries, 1 forced fumble, 1 punt return for TD, 161 yards rushing, 3 rushing TD, 2 receptions, 1 two-point conversion, avg 17.2 yards on punt returns, avg 24.7 yards on kick-off returns

This week: vs Indiana (5-5)


Peppers had his most meager stat line of the season in a loss to Iowa, but defense wasn’t nearly the problem in that one for Michigan. He remains the best talent in college football, which is what this is about, but his Heisman chances in reality will hinge probably on Ohio State in two weeks.

– Bart Doan, The Student Section

4) Deshaun Watson (QB – Clemson): 4 points, 7.84% of votes, 0 first-place votes

Last week ranking: No. 2

Last week: Lost to Pitt 43-42; 52 of 70 passing (74%) for 580 yards, 3 TD, 3 INT

Season: 256 of 387 passing (66.1%) for 3,077 yards, 27 TD vs 13 INT, 378 yards rushing and 2 rushing TD

This week: at Wake Forest (6-4)

Also receiving votes:  Baker Mayfield (QB- Oklahoma) 3 points; JT Barrett (QB- Ohio State) 3 points; Curtis Samuel (RB- Ohio State) 2 points; QB Logan Woodside (QB- Toledo) 2 points; Jalen Hurts (QB- Alabama) 1 point

Dropped Out: Jake Browning (QB- Washington); Austin Carr (WR- Northwestern); Saquon Barkley- RB Penn State)


Poll Notes:

– Leaders from the past: It’s always interesting to look back at history. At this point of the season here’s who was leading our Heisman poll from 2011 to 2015…..

2011: Andrew Luck
2012: Collin Klein
2013: Jameis Winston
2014: Marcus Mariota
2015: Derrick Henry

– The losses for Clemson, Michigan and Washington were all felt in the Heisman race for their candidates with Jake Browning taking the biggest hit. Browning lost all of his support as he fell from getting two first place votes and 14.8% of the total votes to getting no support this week. Deshaun Watson went from being on six ballots last week to just three this week. Watson also fell from second to fourth in our poll. Jabrill Peppers stayed steady at No. 3 but he fell from 16.6% of total votes to 11.7%. With the losses behind him, leader Lamar Jackson increased his total vote percentage from 38.89% to 45.10%. Jackson also placed on every ballot for only the second time this year.

– The big winner this week (besides Jackson) was Donnel Pumphrey of San Diego State. He makes his debut this week at No. 2 in the rankings. Pumphrey placed on three ballots receiving one first place vote and two second place votes. The Aztecs have a big game this week at Wyoming. A great showing there would increase Pumphrey’s new found support.

– Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield and Ohio State’s JT Barrett have resurfaced as candidates. Mayfield received a first place vote and Barrett placed on three ballots. Both of those quarterbacks are ones to keep an eye on as the season comes to a close.

– Game of the Week: Louisville at Houston. Some luster has come off this game but going to Houston and coming out with a victory is no easy feat. This is a featured Thursday game which means more eyes will be on Lamar Jackson than if this was played on Saturday. A loss here by Louisville would really throw the Heisman race into chaos.

– Keep an eye on: Baker Mayfield. Why should Baker Mayfield be in the running for the Heisman? Here’s what Terry Johnson has to say about Mayfield: Mayfield is the best quarterback in college football right now. He’s a highly accurate passer (72% completion percentage) that can also beat you with the deep ball (NCAA-best 10.9 yards per attempt). 

The Comeback Heisman Poll Roll Call

Andrew Coppens – The Comeback/Madtown Badgers (@andyonfootball)

Bart Doan – The Student Section (@TheCoachBart)

Kevin Causey – The Student Section (@CFBZ)

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

Mike Abelson – The Student Section (@ABELSON)

Yesh Ginsburg- The Student Section (@yesh222)

Phil Harrison – The Student Section (@PhilHarrisonCFB)

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.