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1. Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson
Last Week: 455 passing yards, 5 touchdowns, & 2 interceptions in win at Syracuse
Outlook: In continuing his dominance over the ACC, Boyd has positioned himself as a Heisman frontrunner. His 455 passing yards against Syracuse set a new school record and it helped keep Clemson’s record perfect. In two weeks, the Tigers welcome unbeaten Florida State to Death Valley in one of this year’s most anticipated regular-season games.
2. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
Last Week: 398 total yards (43 rushing) & 7 touchdowns (2 rushing) in win at Colorado
Outlook: Another week and it’s yet another spectacular performance from Mariota, who continues his mid-season surge in the Heisman race. Oregon’s schedule is about to pickup steam. Within in a month’s span, the Ducks face Washington, UCLA, and Stanford. All three games are vital to Mariota’s Heisman campaign.
3. Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
Last Week: 348 passing yards & 2 touchdowns in win at Temple
Outlook: In four of his five games, Bridgewater has completed over 70 percent of his passes. He’s also thrown just one interception all season. These remarkable numbers reinforce the narrative that he‘s the No. 1 quarterback prospect for the 2014 NFL Draft. You can watch Bridgewater this Thursday night when Louisville faces Rutgers.
4. Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
Last Week: Idle
Outlook: An off week is normally a good thing, as it allows players to rest and prevents them from having a poor performance that’ll damage their stock. However, this was a tough week for Manziel to watch from home. Bridgewater, Boyd, and Mariota all had outstanding performances with the latter two having the best games of their seasons. Manziel will get a chance to answer their punch against Ole Miss next week.
5. Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia
Last Week: 249 total yards (53 rushing) & 3 touchdowns in win at Tennessee
Outlook: Barely getting out of Tennessee with a win doesn’t do much to enhance Murray’s Heisman value. By comparisons, Oregon played Tennessee earlier in the year and Mariota threw for 456 yards and four touchdowns. That’s something Heisman voters will consider if both players are viable candidates in December. Still, Murray deserves credit for continuing to lead Georgia through their strong schedule.
6. Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State
Last Week: 417 total yards (24 rushing) & 5 touchdowns in win vs. No. 25 Maryland
Outlook: In just two weeks, Winston went from a sleeper candidate to putting himself in the middle of the Heisman race. In his last two games, he’s passed for 793 yards and nine touchdowns, while leading Florida State to 111 points. In fact, the Seminoles have scored 40-plus points in each game this season. Their next opponent is Clemson on October 19.
7. Lache Seastrunk, RB, Baylor
Last Week: 172 rushing yards & 2 touchdowns in win vs. West Virginia
Outlook: All it took was one-half of football for Seastrunk to run for 172 yards and a pair of scores. The Baylor running back now has 100-plus rushing yards in eight consecutive games. The Bears are averaging 70.5 point per game on the season, though it’s worth noting they’ve played just four games. Nonetheless, there doesn’t appear to be a Big 12 defense capable of slowing them down. Seastrunk is a legit candidate, as a result.
8. Zach Mettenberger, QB, LSU
Last Week: 340 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, & 1 interception in win at Mississippi State
Outlook: After a heart-breaking defeat in Georgia, Mettenberger bounced back to post his best game of the year. He threw for 300-plus yards for the second consecutive week, while completing 25-of-29 passes. Both games were on the road.
On the Bubble
Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA
A.J. McCarron, QB, Alabama
Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State
Bishop Sankey, RB, Washington
Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson