Well, well, well… it’s back.
That’s right, the omnipresent headline that reels in a click from us college football fanatics each week from September through the holidays. Now that we finally have meaningful football games to react to, there’s no time to waste. It’s about time to use one game against much lesser opponents to decide who will win the 2017 Heisman Trophy. Let’s do it…
5. Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State
I wouldn’t sleep on Mason Rudolph if I were you. There’s a reason why the college football world doesn’t give their utmost respect to the OK State as a whole. Although they seem to hover near the top of the college football heap, they never seem to reach it. At least in recent years. This year, Rudolph and this offense is going to be worth watching. Heck, they just might be the most entertaining offense in the nation. Rudolph took care of business against Tulsa in week one, accounting for 306 total yards and four touchdowns. The numbers aren’t going to slow down, and if the Cowboys make a run at the Big 12 title and a Playoff berth, Rudolph could be taking a trip to New York.
4. Sam Darnold, QB, USC
Let me be clear. I’m ranking Darnold fourth after a very shaky performance to open his season up against measly Western Michigan. This is not at all where I expect Darnold to finish the season. He was my preseason pick to win this hunk of metal, the absurdly poised leader of a stacked USC team. There will be brighter days for the Trojans, and once conference play begins and Darnold starts shredding quality defenses, he’ll quickly vault back into the top three. Have some faith folks.
3. Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
Every college football fan knows what a “Heisman moment” is. The big stats and highlights that lead to big wins in big games, now those will win you this award every time. I mention this fact because this weekend is an early Heisman moment for Baker Mayfield. He and the #7 Sooners take their offensive show on the road to Columbus, where they’ll do battle with #2 Ohio State in the Horseshoe. It’s going to be quite the early test, but if Mayfield and his squad escape with a win, Mayfield just might find himself at the top of this list,
2. Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
I almost finished my glass of Josh Rosen Kool-Aid. Almost. In case you were busy on Sunday night and didn’t catch the unranked matchup between the Bruins and Texas A&M, you missed one hell of a game. Rosen, who has a following of media haters as large as any NCAA athlete, led the Bruins back from a 44-10 deficit, seizing a 45-44 victory on his wonderfully engineered game-winning drive. To make matters even more incredible, Rosen’s TD pass for the win came on a fake spike play. He’s a polarizing figure who’s talent is unquestioned, and if he can lead this UCLA team to the next level, the sky’s the limit.
1. Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
Rejoice, for there is a running back on this list after all! Barkley lays claim to my top spot after week one, after he rumbled right over Akron in Penn State’s season-opening win. There isn’t a more talented runner in the country, and now, Penn State seems to have a roster good enough to put their superstar running back in the spotlight. The Nittany Lions hold the #4 spot in this weeks AP Poll, which is plenty hight to garner attention. The Big Ten is a rigorous conference, and Penn State’s going to have to BALL to win it, but if they do, Barkley will be the biggest reason why.
Photo Credit: Sporting News