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1. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
Last Week: Idle
Outlook: The Ducks had the week off following their seven-point victory over Washington State. They play Arizona (4-0) on Thursday night. In their last game, Arizona allowed 380 passing yards to California quarterback Jared Goff. Mariota has an excellent opportunity to compile major statistics against the Wildcats.
2. Kenny Hill, QB, Texas A&M
Last Week: 416 total yards (30 rushing), 4 touchdowns, & 1 interception in win vs. Arkansas
Outlook: With about five minutes remaining, Texas A&M trailed Arkansas by 14. Victory appeared unlikely until cornerback Jared Collins fell down, leaving Texas A&M wide receiver Edward Pope alone. Hill connected with Pope for an 86-yard touchdown, cutting the lead to just seven. The Razorbacks got the ball back and forced the Aggies to use all their timeouts. They missed a field goal with a little over two minutes remaining, giving the ball back to Texas A&M. Two plays later, Hill connected with wide receiver Josh Reynolds on a 58-yard game-tying touchdown. On the first play of overtime, Hill completed the comeback by finding wide receiver Malcome Kennedy for a 25-yard score. Whether it was luck, skill, or a combination of both, Hill’s Heisman candidacy will greatly benefit from what transpired Saturday afternoon.
3. Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska
Last Week: 208 rushing yards & 3 touchdowns in win vs. Illinois
Outlook: After dismantling Illinois, Abdullah faces a make or break game against Michigan State. The Spartans feature arguably the toughest defense Nebraska will face all season. A good showing from Abdullah -- along with a Nebraska victory -- establishes his Heisman candidacy.
4. Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia
Last Week: 238 total yards (30 rushing) & 2 touchdowns in win vs. Tennessee
Outlook: Gurley continues to make the case he’s the best running back in college football after gaining a career-high 208 yards on the ground. The Georgia standout is on pace to rush for 1,830 yards this season.
5. Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
Last Week: Idle
Outlook: A strong start from Cooper has him positioned to compete for the Heisman trophy. He faces a big obstacle this coming Saturday against Ole Miss. The Crimson Tide played well against Florida, but playing in Oxford may be the toughest challenge on their schedule. Ole Miss is hungry for a run at the SEC championship and this is the best team they’ve fielded in decades. Great players play their best in the biggest games. We’ll find out how great of a player Cooper is next week.
6. Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor
Last Week: 383 total yards (47 rushing), 3 touchdowns (2 rushing), & 1 interception in win at Iowa State
Outlook: As you might expect, Petty played well against Iowa State. He threw for a score and ran for two others. The Bears travel to Austin next week to play the reeling Texas Longhorns.
7. Rakeem Cato, QB, Marshall
Last Week: Idle
Outlook: Cato probably won't win the Heisman this season, but Marshall’s soft schedule will allow him to accumulate major statistics in October and November. His long-term outlook is bright, so he stands a good chance of receiving an invite to the Heisman Trophy Presentation in New York.
8. Everett Golson, QB, Notre Dame
Last Week: 383 total yards (21 rushing), 4 touchdowns, & 2 interceptions in win at Syracuse
Outlook: Two of Notre Dame’s next three games will determine whether Golson is a legitimate Heisman contender. The Fighting Irish host Stanford next week, in what appears to be a winnable game. Two weeks later, they’ll travel to Tallahassee to play Florida State.
9. Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State
Last Week: 365 passing yards, 4 touchdowns, & 2 interceptions in win at N.C. State
Outlook: Turnovers nearly ended Florida State’s winning streak at 19. The Seminoles were sloppy, particularly in the game’s first 40 minutes. It wasn’t until midway through the third quarter that they finally found their groove. Winston put up monster numbers, which will certainly look good in November. He was mightily inconsistent, though. Both of his interceptions -- each leading to a N.C. State touchdown -- were poor throws on his part.
10. Taysom Hill, QB, BYU
Last Week: Idle
Outlook: Many expect BYU to run the gauntlet, but that won’t happen unless Hill improves as a passer. Hill has been up-and-down this season, but last week’s fourth-quarter performance gives him momentum heading into a crucial month. The Cougars have road games against Central Florida and Boise State in October, with the latter coming on a Friday in primetime.
On the Bubble
Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA
Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin
Cody Kessler, QB, USC
Dak Prescott, QB, Mississippi State
Bo Wallace, QB, Ole Miss