Clemson vs Virginia Tech
In an unusual set of circumstances, several of the top Heisman contenders will not be playing on Conference Championship weekend (Lamar Jackson, JT Barrett, Jabril Peppers, among others). Deshaun Watson, who finished third in last year’s Heisman voting, is still in the Heisman discussion despite being overshadowed in his own conference for much of the season by Lamar Jackson. A big game for Watson and the Tigers against Virginia Tech could wrap up the ACC, lock in Clemson’s spot in the College Football Playoff and earn/solidify Watson a trip to New York for the Heisman ceremony.
Michigan vs Ohio State
This one is a no-brainer. A classic rivalry that never disappoints. It features JT Barrett and Jabril Peppers, two players both receiving major Heisman consideration. This game has major implications for the Big Ten as well as the College Football Playoff. A win for Michigan puts them in the Big Ten Championship game and gives them a very good chance of making the College Football Playoff. A win for Ohio State would put Penn State in the Big Ten Championship game ahead of both Michigan and Ohio State and create a very uncertain situation viz-a-viz the College Football Playoff for both Michigan and Ohio State.
Louisville vs Houston
Earlier in the season, this looked like it could be a match up of undefeated teams with a trip to the College Football Playoff on the line. Houston has since dropped two games and fallen out of contention, while Louisville has recovered from their loss to Clemson and has a good chance at making the playoff. Lamar Jackson continues to lead the Heisman race, while Greg Ward has faded from the Heisman discussion. Nonetheless, this should be an entertaining game and fans no doubt are looking forward to see what Lamar Jackson will do this week.
Wake Forest vs Louisville
Lamar Jackson has been the man at the top of most Heisman polls all year. After another impressive showing against Boston College last week with 7 total TDs, Jackson’s stats continue to grow more astonishing. At 6-3, Wake Forest is no pushover and with Louisville currently outside of the ACC Championship game, the remaining weeks are that much more significant for Jackson to cement his Heisman.
Nebraska at Ohio State
Both teams have one loss with aspirations of making the Big Ten Championship and ultimately the College Football Playoff; a loss for either team could very well end dreams of both. JT Barrett and Tommy Armstrong are both in the Heisman discussion. A good game for Barrett and the Buckeyes will keep the stakes high for their showdown against currently undefeated Michigan. A win for Armstrong and the Huskers would keep their hopes alive of making the playoff.
Clemson at Florida State
After beating Louisville in a close game on October 1st, Clemson put itself in the driver’s seat of the ACC Atlantic division. Deshaun Watson is back near the top of most Heisman rankings. Despite an embarrassing loss to Louisville earlier this year and a last-second loss to North Carolina, Florida State remains a legitimate threat at home to beat Clemson. A win for the Tigers would essentially punch their ticket to the ACC Championship game and give them a very good chance of making the College Football Playoff for the second straight year. A big win would help Watson keep the pressure on Lamar Jackson in the Heisman race as well.
Texas A&M at Alabama
This game has major College Football Playoff implications, as the Aggies and Tide are both undefeated. The winner will likely end up in the SEC Championship game, while the loser will be on the outside looking in. Trevor Knight has been in the Heisman discussion, and a big win against an undefeated, defending National Champion Alabama would be a huge boost for his Heisman case, much in the way it essentially won Johnny Manziel the Heisman in 2012.
Ohio State vs Wisconsin
Ohio State and Michigan are the only remaining undefeated teams in the Big Ten. A spot in the conference championship game and likely a spot in the College Football Playoff will hinge on that matchup in November. For that to happen, Ohio State will have to get past Wisconsin, who game Michigan an run in the Big House two weeks ago. JT Barrett is still very much in the Heisman race and he will have to continue to have big games through October and November to strengthen his chances.
Tennessee vs Texas A&M
In addition to being a top 10 matchup of two undefeated SEC teams with potential CFB Playoff implications, this game features two quarterbacks on the Heisman radar: Tennessee’s Josh Dobbs and Texas A&M’s Trevor Knight. This is the biggest game left on Tennessee’s schedule, and a win would definitely strengthen Dobbs’ Heisman resume. The Aggies, on the other hand, have Alabama and Ole Miss left on their schedule.
Louisville at Clemson
This may not have been a game people had circled on their calendars during preseason, but it has developed into quite a matchup. The undefeated Clemson Tigers, last year’s national runners-up led by a popular preseason Heisman pick in Deshaun Watson meet the undefeated Louisville Tigers led by the current Heisman favorite in Lamar Jackson. In addition to playing a major factor in this year’s Heisman race, this game will likely serve as an elimination game for a shot at the College Football Playoff, since both teams are in the ACC’s Atlantic division and the loser will be on the outside looking in for a spot in the conference title game.