The 2016 TSS Heisman Poll: Week 12

Last week, Lamar Jackson built his largest lead of the year in our Heisman poll. This past Thursday, Jackson’s Louisville Cardinals got routed by the Houston Cougars 36-10. Jackson has been the front-runner from the outset of our poll. How would Louisville’s poor showing affect his stranglehold on the top spot?

Let’s take a look at how our voters reacted to this past week of college football…..


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): 21 points, 38.8% of votes, 7 first-place votes

Last week ranking: No. 1

Last week: Lost to No. 18 Houston 36-10; 20 of 43 passing for 211 yards with 1 TD and 33 yards rushing

Season: 204 of 357 passing for 3109 yards with 28 TD against 6 INT and 1367 yards rushing, 6.5 ypc, 19 rushing TD

This week: vs Kentucky (6-5)


Yes, Lamar Jackson had a rough outing on the road against Houston, which should hurt him to a slight degree, but I think all that happened was the gap between first and second closed by a few votes. The Heisman Trophy is still his based on the entire season.

– Kevin McGuire, The Comeback

In a bad week all around for Heisman candidates, Jackson’s stats still stand out above everyone else’s.

– Yesh Ginsburg, The Student Section

He wasn’t great but he’s still better than everybody else.

– Scott Halasz, Buckeye Battle Cry

He didn’t have a great showing last week against Houston, but he was so far ahead with what he has done this year, it only brings him back to the pack a little.

– Phil Harrison, The Student Section

One game does not a season make. The trophy is still safely Jackson’s.

– Michael Abelson, The Student Section

2) Deshaun Watson (QB – Clemson): 8 points, 14.8% of votes, 0 first-place votes

Last week ranking: No. 4

Last week: Beat Wake Forest 35-13; 23 of 33 passing (69%) for 202 yards, 1 passing TD, 47 yards rushing, 2 rushing TD

Season: 279 of 420 passing (66.4%) for 3279 yards, 28 TD vs 13 INT, 425 yards rushing and 4 rushing TD

This week: vs South Carolina (6-5)

3) Baker Mayfield (QB – Oklahoma): 6 points, 11.1% of votes, 1 first-place vote

Last week ranking: tied for No. 5

Last week: Beat West Virginia 56-28; 9 of 15  for 169 yards with 2 TD and 1 INT; 2 rushing TD

Season: 222 of 311 for  carries for 3381 yards with 35 TD and 8 INT; 6 rushing TD

This week: Idle

4) Jabrill Peppers (DB/LB – Michigan):  4 points, 7.41% of votes, 1 first-place vote

Last week ranking: No. 3

Last week: Beat Indiana 20-10; 5 total tacles, 2 tackles for loss, 4 punt returns for avg of 7.25, 2 yards rushing

Season: 64 total tackles, 15 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, 7 QB hurries, 1 forced fumble, 1 punt return for TD, 163 yards rushing, 3 rushing TD, 2 receptions, 1 two-point conversion, avg 15.2 yards on punt returns, avg 24 yards on kick-off returns

This week: at No. 2 Ohio State (10-1)


As mentioned last week, it’s all riding on how he plays in The Game, but Lamar Jackson certainly has kicked the door open for him.

– Bart Doan, The Student Section

Also receiving votes:  Jalen Hurts (QB- Alabama) 3 points; Donnel Pumphrey (RB- San Diego State) 2 points; JT Barrett (QB- Ohio State) 2 points; Curtis Samuel (RB- Ohio State) 2 points; QB Greg Ward Jr (QB- Houston) 2 points; RB Dalvin Cook (RB- Florida State) 2 points; QB Logan Woodside (QB- Toledo) 1 point; WR Dede Westbrook (WR- Oklahoma) 1 point


Poll Notes:

– Leaders from the past: Let’s take a look at our past Heisman polls from 2011 to 2015 at this point in the voting and see who was in the lead…..

2011: Robert Griffin III
2012: Manti T’eo
2013: Jameis Winston
2014: Melvin Gordon
2015: Derrick Henry

– Based on past history, having the lead this late in the season bodes very well for Lamar Jackson. He’s also maintained a consistent lead over the five weeks of our poll. At times he’s been dominant but this past week also showed how no other contenders have stepped up to the challenge (at least so far). Jackson faltered in his teams’ loss to Louisville but no candidate was there to make a major gain in the race. Instead, the votes were sprinkled among many other candidates which saw our players receiving votes increase from 9 last week to 12 this week. Jackson lost support last week but the voters struggled to find candidates who deserved to take the votes from Jackson.

– Two players who did gain this week were Deshaun Watson and Baker Mayfield. Mayfield led Oklahoma to a big win at West Virginia and Watson helped Clemson bounce back against Wake Forest. Mayfield and Oklahoma have a bye this week before a big showdown at Bedlam. It will be interesting to see what happens to his new found support in an off week. Watson has a rivalry game against South Carolina but doesn’t seem like he has much to gain against the Gamecocks.

– Jabrill Peppers is a player that can really position himself as a true contender if he has a huge game against Ohio State. Peppers has been a fringe contender all season but a Michigan win and some key plays in all three facets of the game could swing support his way. On the flip side, JT Barrett is waiting in the wings and a big game from him could bring him into the conversation.

– Keep an eye on: Dalvin Cook. Cook’s bid has been hampered by Florida State’s disappointing season. Despite the three losses, Cook is still averaging 133 ypg and is sixth in the nation in overall rushing yards. Cook and Florida State have a chance to really stick it to Florida this week prior to Florida’s appearance in the SEC Championship. A huge game from Cook will once again get people talking about his candidacy.

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.