The Buzz: The latest Heisman news and views

(Disclaimer — The Heisman Trophy Trust and 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.)

** Remember, the voting deadline this year is Dec. 21, finalists will be announced Dec. 24 and the winner will be announced Jan. 5. Click here for full details. **

As the 2020 college football season nears its regular-season finish line, many of the leading Heisman Trophy contenders polished their resumes with some eye-popping performances.

Where to start?

Alabama’s talented offensive trio of QB Mac Jones, WR DeVonta Smith and RB Najee Harris continue to put up video game numbers, last week doing it in a 55-17 win over defending national champ LSU.

Jones threw for 385 yards and four TDs, Harris rushed for 145 yards and three scores while Smith caught eight passes for 231 yards and three TDs (two of the scoring passes went for 65 and 61 yards, respectively). Most of the damage was done in the first half.

PFF College tabbed Jones the Heisman favorite while The Athletic has him second in its straw poll. In many other seasons, Harris’ 1,038 yards and 20 TDs to go with 26 receptions would have him among the Heisman faves. This year he’s seemingly giving ground to Jones and Smith. Understandably so.

Former Crimson Tide QB and current ABC/ESPN commentator Greg McElroy is hyping Smith, as is this The Athletic Alabama beat writer and this reporter. Fansided called him the best player in college. Smith has 80 receptions for 1,305 yards and 15 touchdowns, numbers that stack up well with the two receivers to win the Heisman, Tim Brown and Desmond Howard.

Smith, for his part, says he’s not worried about it.

“If I’m in the Heisman race, I’m in it,” Smith said. “I’m not really focused on it. I’m ultimately here to win a championship. That’s the reason I came back.”

Alabama will face Florida in the SEC title game in less than two weeks where it will face a Gator team led by QB Kyle Trask and TE Kyle Pitts. Trask is No. 1 in the Fansided and Athletic Heisman polls after he threw for 433 yards and four touchdowns in a win over Tennessee while Pitts caught seven passes for 128 yards.

CBS Sports compared Trask’s numbers through nine games against 2019 winner Joe Burrow. Trask stacks up quite favorably in every metric. His 37 TDs are the most ever through nine games in the SEC and are two short of Heisman winner Danny Wuerffel’s single-season Gator record. Trask even punts well.

Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence led the Tigers to a win over Virginia Tech with modest numbers – for him – finishing with 195 passing yards and one score. It was a similar case through the air for Ohio State QB Justin Fields. The 2019 Heisman finalist helped move the Buckeyes to 5-0 with 199 yards passing and two TDs, though his 104 yards rushing and two more scores are anything but pedantic. Fields is fourth in The Athletic straw poll, Lawrence sixth.

Notre Dame’s Ian Book now has the Irish at 10-0, combining for over 300 total yards and five combined passing and rushing TDs. He’s now the winningest QB in school history. Sports Illustrated analyzed his Heisman bona fides.

Iowa State running back Breece Hall and Cyclone QB Brock Purdy continue to lead the Cyclones to one of their top seasons in school history and Hall is fifth in The Athletic’s straw poll.

In a battle of undefeated no one saw coming two months ago, let alone two weeks ago, Coastal Carolina stopped BYU 22-17. Cougar QB Zach Wilson had the edge statistically with 255 yards passing and 55 rushing but the Chanticleers’ Grayson McCall got the W.

Other big performances included Miami QB D’Eriq King helping move Miami to 8-1 with a 48-0 win over Duke, throwing for 248 yards and three TDs while rushing for 46 more yards while USC QB Kedon Slovis completed 25-of-32 passes for 287 yards and 5 TDs in a win over Washington State that moved the Trojans to 4-0.

Buffalo RB Jaret Patterson, sixth on The Athletic list last week following his monster performance against Kent State, was off this week with his game cancelled. He’s got another game next week vs. Akron.