Week 4 Heisman HYPE Rankings

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Rank Previous Rank Name Position School
1 1 Baker Mayfield QB Oklahoma
2 2 Jake Browning QB Washington
3 3 Sam Darnold QB USC
4 4 Saquon Barkley RB Penn State
5 8 Trace McSorley QB Penn State
6 7 Luke Falk QB Washington State
7 6 Jalen Hurts QB Alabama
8 10 Lamar Jackson QB Louisville
9 9 Josh Rosen QB UCLA
10 NR Nick Chubb RB Georgia

The top four remain unchanged from last week, but Trace McSorley made a jump into the top 5 after a clutch performance to seal a big conference win against Iowa. McSorley came through in the final drive, while Saquon Barkley put in work the entire game, racking up 211 rushing yards with 1 TD along with 94 receiving yards. Mason Rudolph fell out of the top 10 after Oklahoma State’s loss to TCU in what I picked to be the game of the week, despite a solid performance. As teams continue into conference play, expect to see some more movement in top 10. Thanks for reading and stay tuned.

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Week 3 Heisman HYPE Rankings

Rank Previous Rank Name Position School
1 1 Baker Mayfield QB Oklahoma
2 4 Jake Browning QB Washington
3 5 Sam Darnold QB USC
4 2 Saquon Barkley RB Penn State
5 9 Jalen Hurts QB Alabama
6 7 Mason Rudolph QB Oklahoma State
7 10 Luke Falk QB Washington State
8 8 Trace McSorley QB Penn State
9 3 Josh Rosen QB UCLA
10 6 Lamar Jackson QB Louisville

Despite a solid performance from Lamar Jackson (317 passing yards and 3 TDs plus 64 rushing yards), Louisville got trounced by Clemson in a big ACC matchup. It definitely looks to be shaping up as a quarterback-heavy Heisman race this year, as Saquon Barkley is the only non-QB currently in the top 10. Stay tuned…

Week 2 Heisman HYPE Rankings

 

Rank Previous Rank Name Position School
1 1 Baker Mayfield QB Oklahoma
2 2 Saquon Barkley RB Penn State
3 5 Josh Rosen QB UCLA
4 6 Jake Browning QB Washington
5 NR Sam Darnold QB USC
6 NR Lamar Jackson QB Louisville
7 3 Mason Rudolph QB Oklahoma State
8 9 Trace McSorley QB Penn State
9 NR Jalen Hurts QB Alabama
10 8 Luke Falk QB Washington State

Baker Mayfield came up big with 385 passing yards and 3 TDs and got revenge against Ohio State on Saturday night, keeping this top spot in the Heisman HYPE rankings this week. After a huge game against UNC (525 total yards and 6 total TDs), last year’s winner Lamar Jackson makes his appearance in the top 10.

Week 1 Heisman HYPE Rankings

It’s back! The first weekly ranking for 2017 Heisman candidates from the Heisman HYPE model. As I always do, I want to make one note: as should be expected, things move around a lot the first few weeks since the sample size for the current season is small and there is a good amount of variation in the quality of opponents.

Rank Name Position School
1 Baker Mayfield QB Oklahoma
2 Saquon Barkley RB Penn State
3 Mason Rudolph QB Oklahoma State
4 Derrius Guice RB LSU
5 Josh Rosen QB UCLA
6 Jake Browning QB Washington
7 Nick Chubb RB Georgia
8 Luke Falk QB Washington State
9 Trace McSorley QB Penn State
10 Royce Freeman RB Oregon

This was an exciting first full week of college football, featuring Josh Rosen and UCLA posting a huge comeback win over Texas A&M. Saquon Barkley had a big game against Akron. JT Barrett and Ohio State did not look too dominant, but pulled away in the second half to beat Indiana. USC’s Sam Darnold had a disappointing outing against Western Michigan, throwing two INTs and no TDs. There is still plenty of time to make an impression, as we’ve seen that the Heisman race’s most influential games come later in the year. Thanks for taking a look and stay tuned for next week.

2017 Heisman Watch

College Football is almost here, which means it is time for the 2017 Heisman HYPE Heisman Watch List. This year’s Heisman race should be interesting, with last year’s winner (Jackson) returning in along with three other players who have finished in the top 10 in Heisman voting at least once previously (Mayfield, Browning and Barrett) and likely to very much be in the Heisman discussion (Heisman HYPE Rule of Three #1). Let’s get to the list. (An asterisk indicates a player previously finished in the top 10 in Heisman voting, and any of the Heisman HYPE Rule of Three (RoT) that apply to a candidate are indicated).

Baker Mayfield*(RoT #1) – Quarterback, Oklahoma
He finished third in last year’s Heisman voting after finishing fourth the previous year. Mayfield led the nation in several passing categories and put up nearly 4000 passing yards to go along with 40 passing TDs. He lost his main target in Dede Westbrook, but OU still looks like a favorite in the Big 12. If he can perform well against Ohio State in Columbus on September 9, that should put Mayfield in good position to compete for the trophy. 

Saquon Barkley – Running Back, Penn State
His 1496 rushing yards in 2016 are third most among all returning P5 players (behind Lamar Jackson of Louisville and Justin Jackson of Northwestern). He put up 194 yards and 2 TDs against USC in an outstanding Rose Bowl game. If he shows the improvement he had between his freshman and sophomore seasons and Penn State can improve on their strong season last year, Barkley should earn a trip to New York. 

Sam Darnold – Quarterback, USC
Darnold has received a lot of Heisman buzz this offseason, with good reason. His 3068 yards, 31 TDs and 161.1 passer rating are very much in line with the numbers the last several pocket QBs put up leading to Heisman-winning seasons (Sam Bradford in 2008, Matt Leinart in 2004, Jason White in 2003, Carson Palmer in 2002). Despite losing a top target in JuJu Smith-Schuster USC has a strong season (all five of the pocket-passing QBs listed above played in a BCS bowl game, with Leonard and Bradford playing for National Championships), Darnold has a very good chance of taking home the trophy.

Jalen Hurts(RoT #3) – Quarterback, Alabama
Hurts stepped in as a true freshman in 2016 and capably led the Tide to the National Championship game. His 954 rushing yards and 13 rushing touchdowns (which led the team) provided an element Alabama has not had at the QB position in recent memory. Alabama will almost surely be in the College Football Playoff again this season and that will give Hurts plenty of opportunities to perform in prime time and earn his way to New York.

Jake Browning*(RoT #1) – Quarterback, Washington
Browning led Washington to a Pac 12 championship and a trip to the College Football Playoff while finishing sixth in Heisman voting. He was second in the nation in passing TDs with 43. Another strong performance in the Pac 12 North could set up quite a showdown between Browning and Sam Darnold from USC in the Pac 12 Championship with major CFB Playoff and Heisman implications. 

Lamar Jackson*(RoT #1) – Quarterback, Louisville 

Jackson had an incredible season last year, taking home the Heisman. There’s no reason not to expect him to have another outstanding season, but it will be a tall order for him to take home the Heisman again. Historically, Jackson should have a good chance to finish in the top 10 again if he stays healthy. 

Other intriguing players: JT Barrett: Quarterback, Ohio State; Nick Chubb: Running Back, Georgia; Derrius Guice: Running Back, LSU; Deandre Francois: Quarterback, Florida State.

My (totally subjective) pick: Jalen Hurts

I should mention that, although the Heisman HYPE is 7 for 7 picking the Heisman winner, I am 0-2 with my preseason Heisman picks. Hurts running ability puts him in the mold of the recent Heisman-winning QBs: 5 of he last 6 QBs to win the Heisman had at least 600 rushing yards in their winning campaign (only Jameis Winston in 2013 fell well short). Alabama has made the College Football Playoff in all three years of its existence and its looks very likely that they will be back again this year (RoT #3). I’m counting on Hurts to improve on some of the mistakes he made as a freshman and take home the trophy.

Week 14 Heisman HYPE Rankings

Rank Previous Rank Name Position School
1 1 Lamar Jackson QB Louisville
2 2 Deshaun Watson QB Clemson
3 3 JT Barrett QB Ohio State
4 4 Baker Mayfield QB Oklahoma
5 5 Jabril Peppers DB/LB Michigan
6 10 Donnel Pumphrey RB San Diego State
7 8 Jake Browning QB Washington
8 6 Jalen Hurts QB Alabama
9 7 D’Onta Foreman RB Texas
10 9 Adoree’ Jackson CB/KR USC

We close the year at Heisman HYPE as we began, with Lamar Jackson at #1. Of last week’s top 10 (which is also this week’s) only half played this weekend. Deshaun Watson and Baker Mayfield both had impressive games this weekend, while the other 3 members of the top 5 were at home watching.

Donnel Pumphrey passed Ricky Williams for 2nd in FBS career rushing yards while eclipsing the 2000 yard mark on the season. We shall see who gets the invite to New York.

Week 13 Heisman HYPE Rankings

Rank Previous Rank Name Position School
1 1 Lamar Jackson QB Louisville
2 5 Deshaun Watson QB Clemson
3 2 JT Barrett QB Ohio State
4 4 Baker Mayfield QB Oklahoma
5 3 Jabril Peppers DB/LB Michigan
6 7 Jalen Hurts QB Alabama
7 8 D’Onta Foreman RB Texas
8 6 Jake Browning QB Washington
9 NR Adoree’ Jackson CB/KR USC
10 9 Donnel Pumphrey RB San Diego State

Another Louisville loss to close out their regular season is disappointing no doubt. Despite 3 interceptions, Lamar Jackson had a solid day (281 passing yards and 2 TDs along with 171 rushing  yards and 2 TDs), becoming only the 6th FBS player to achieve 20 passing touchdowns and 20 rushing touchdowns in a single season (Jordan Lynch, Johnny Manziel, Colin Kaepernick, Cam Newton, Tim Tebow). His body of work looks to be sufficient to wrap up the Heisman even without playing in a conference championship game.

Adoree’ Jackson had quite a day against Notre Dame to get himself on the board, scoring touchdowns on a punt return, kickoff return and a reception.

Despite the disappointing season for the Texas Longhorns, who failed to become bowl eligible, D’Onta Foreman became only the second ever Longhorn (after Ricky Williams) to rush for 2000 yards in a season.

Week 11 Heisman HYPE Rankings

Rank Previous Rank Name Position School
1 1 Lamar Jackson QB Louisville
2 5 JT Barrett QB Ohio State
3 4 Jabril Peppers DB Michigan
4 2 Deshaun Watson QB Clemson
5 3 Jake Browning QB Washington
6 6 Baker Mayfield QB Oklahoma
7 8 Jalen Hurts QB Alabama
8 7 Donnel Pumphrey RB San Diego State
9 NR D’Onta Foreman RB Texas
10 10 Dalvin Cook RB Florida State

Three of the top five Heisman contenders suffered losses this past weekend, with Michigan and Washington falling from the ranks of the undefeated. Lamar Jackson continued to impress against Wake Forest. Clemson’s loss leaves the door open for Jackson and Louisville to make in to the ACC title game and the College Football Playoff. Meanwhile, Michigan’s loss adds intrigue to their upcoming matchup against Ohio State.

Week 10 Heisman HYPE Rankings

Rank Previous Rank Name Position School
1 1 Lamar Jackson QB Louisville
2 2 Deshaun Watson QB Clemson
3 3 Jake Browning QB Washington
4 4 Jabril Peppers DB Michigan
5 5 JT Barrett QB Ohio State
6 6 Baker Mayfield QB Oklahoma
7 NR Donnell Pumphrey RB San Diego State
8 7 Jalen Hurts QB Alabama
9 9 Josh Dobbs QB Tennessee
10 NR Dalvin Cook RB Florida State

The top six remain unchanged, as they all won their games this week. The next few weeks feature big conference games for all of the top contenders, which are highly influential in Heisman voters decisions.