The Buzz: The latest Heisman news and views
Eight weeks of the college football season are now complete. Let’s have a look into what’s happening in the Heisman world.
(Disclaimer — The Heisman Trophy Trust and Heisman.com does not endorse any college football player for the Heisman Memorial Trophy. The information contained here serves as a platform of information for fans and media, and is not intended to contain a definitive and comprehensive list of possible contenders.)
Digging into The Athletic’s weekly Heisman straw poll sees LSU QB Joe Burrow holding steady at the top poll with Oklahoma QB Jalen Hurts second and Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa third. Ohio State QB Joe Fields is fourth and despite his start, The Athletic asks:
“What more will it take for Fields to break through?”
Well, the New York Post has him in its top 5 Heisman Watch list, impressed by Fields’ 30 TDs, 70.7% completion percentage – and just three turnovers. Cleveland.com noted he outgained Week 8 opponent Northwestern by himself.
Burrow currently has Heisman winner Tim Tebow’s vote. The SEC Network announcer said this mid-week to the USA Today a couple days BEFORE Burrow went out and connected on 23-of-29 passes for 315 yards and four TDs at Mississippi State.
“If I had to vote now, he’s probably the guy that I would put in there as the winner right now. (But) I think that will change by the time the second week of December gets here, because there’s so much to be played.” – Tim Tebow
SaturdayDownSouth detailed two more school records broken by Burrow, including his 29th TD pass this year, breaking the Tiger season mark. The Advocate is also very bullish on Burrow.
Undefeated SMU is crashing the CFP talk for the first time thanks to its 7- 0 start. Not surprisingly, transfer QB Shane Buechele, a former Texas Longhorn, has crashed Fansided’s Top 10 Heisman rankings at No. 10 after leading the Mustangs to a win over Temple while completing 30-of-53 passes for 457 yards and six TDs.
Another under-the-radar name on the list was Wake Forest WR Sage Surratt at No. 8 after his seven-catch, 170-yard outing Saturday, giving him 53 grabs for 881 yards and nine TDs in 2019.
That same poll still had some defensive love for Buckeye DE Chase Young at No. 9 as well as Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins at No. 7 after he had 121 yards on 18 carries Saturday, giving him 947 yards on the season with nine combined TDs. That makes three Buckeyes in the Top 10 with Fields at No. 4.
Unlike The Athletic, Fansided has Hurts at No. 1 ahead of Burrow. The Spun called Hurts’ start to the Sooners win over West Virginia, “absolutely absurd” – even highlighting this ESPN tweet. As ESPN notes here, Hurts has five straight games with multiple TD passes and a rushing score.
Tagovailoa is No. 3 on the Fansided list but the sprained ankle he suffered against Tennessee has Heisman prognosticators a bit deflated.
The OUDaily turned in this break down of the Heisman race, breaking down how the hometown Hurts is fairing against the rest of the field. It even gave some love to in-state rival and Heisman darkhorse Chuba Hubbard of Oklahoma State after he rushed for 171 yards on two scores in the Cowboys loss to Baylor.
Justin Herbert led Oregon to a huge win over Pac-12 North rival Washington, helping the Ducks take control of the division. The performance helped the Duck senior splash right back into the Heisman race, writes Sports Illustrated. He outdueled Husky QB Jacob Eason, who still put up a strong performance writes the Seattle Times.
“Now with an impressive 21-1 touchdown-to-interception ration on the season, as well as a 6-1 record and almost-guaranteed appearance in the Pac-12 Conference championship game, Herbert has re-entered his name into the conversation.” – Sports Illustrated
Trevor Lawrence got off to a slow start but finished fast, leading Clemson to a 45-10 win over Louisville and keeping the Tigers undefeated. The Sporting News looked at Lawrence’s season and the microscope he’s playing under, comparing it to the scrutiny 2013 Heisman winner Jameis Winston played with in 2014.
Lawrence Tiger teammate Travis Etienne, like Tagovailoa, went down with a late injury, but not before rushing for 192 yards on just 14 carries. And it appears Etienne is ok.
Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor is still in everyone’s top 5 after he joined this elusive club, even though his Badgers suffered a tough loss at Illinois.
Texas QB Sam Ehlinger needed every bit of his 399 yards passing and 4 TDs not to mention his 91 yards rushing to help the Longhorns beat Kansas 50-48.
Georgia RB D’Andre Swift led the Bulldogs to a 21-0 win over Kentucky with 179 yards on 21 carries — including this 39-yard score — while teammate Jake Fromm spent most of the game handing off, attempting just 12 passes.
Heisman Trophy Winners In The NFL
Rookie Kyler Murray (2018) extended his – and Arizona’s – win streak to three with a 27-21 win over the New York Giants. He completed 14-of-21 passes for 104 yards and rushed for another 28 yards, managing a big win.
Derrick Henry (2015) led Tennessee with 90 yards on 22 carries as the Titans beat the Chargers, 23-20. QB Marcus Mariota (2014) did not see action in the win.
Ravens QB Lamar Jackson (2016) had only modest passing numbers (9-of-20 for 143 yards) but rushed for 116 yards on 14 carries and a score, leading Baltimore to a tough road win at Seattle. Mark Ingram (2009) added 46 yards on the ground.
Jameis Winston (2013) and Baker Mayfield (2017) both had byes this week, as did Cam Newton (2010).