Another Heisman candidate fell victim to the dud game in the national spotlight last week.
While the late season marquee matchups present an opportunity to garner support for your Heisman campaign, one slip up can leave you with an uphill battle the rest of the season.
I was surprised by the ineffectiveness of a couple contenders last week, and the inconsistency has put one competitor way out in front. Here are my Week 11 rankings:
1. DERRICK HENRY (ALABAMA, RB)
After the impressive win against LSU on national television, Henry seems to have been given a boost of energy. His effectiveness has been unmatched over the last two weeks as he posted his second-straight 200-yard game.
The 6-foot-3, 242 pound running back has now caught the long time frontrunner in the Heisman race (Leonard Fournette). Henry has 1,458 and an FBS-best 19 rushing touchdowns. The prestigious award is his to lose at this point.
The Crimson Tide are absolutely rolling over teams thanks to their running game, and I don’t expect that to end anytime soon. With a matchup against Charleston Southern this week, Henry can pad his stats to build a more impressive resume for December.
2. EZEKIEL ELLIOTT (OHIO STATE, RB)
I never expected Elliott to be this high on my list, but his consistent efforts toppling the 100-yard mark (15 straight games) have him all the way up to No. 2.
While it is surprising, it’s like the old saying goes, “slow and steady wins the race.” If that’s the truth, then Elliott may be able to hoist the trophy in December.
Elliott is the only Heisman candidate whose stock has remained relatively stable all season.
The Ohio State running back continues to be the most dependable asset on the team as he has accumulated 1,425 yards and 16 touchdowns. His performance is the sole reason that the Buckeyes are still undefeated (10-0).
Now the tough stretch for the team from Columbus presents itself. With matchups against Michigan State and Michigan lingering, it sets the stage for Elliott to showcase his talent and challenge for the No. 1 spot.
Strong performances against those teams and I’d have a hard time not voting for Elliott to win it all.
3. LEONARD FOURNETTE (LSU, RB)
I was shocked two weeks ago whenever Alabama absolutely decimated LSU in Tuscaloosa, Ala. After that game, I assumed that Leonard Fournette would be on a mission to get back to the top of the Heisman standings. But it looks like I was wrong.
After laying an egg against Alabama, the Tigers and Fournette followed that up with an abysmal performance against the Arkansas Razorbacks.
The LSU running back failed to top the 100-yard mark for the second straight week and has registered 122 total yards in his last two games combined. Remember when we used to question his play if Fournette didn’t go over 150 yards?
The New Orleans native has 1,474 yards and 17 touchdowns on the season, but at this point, it will take miraculous performances from Fournette to win the Heisman.
He’ll certainly be in New York when December rolls around, but time is running out for him to take home the prize.
4. COREY COLEMAN (BAYLOR, WR)
Coleman and Baylor failed to take advantage of the national stage as they lost to Oklahoma, ending a 20-game winning streak. The All-American wide receiver caught three passes for 51 yards and was barely noticeable.
Although Coleman started out the season with impressive numbers, that’s not what matters to Heisman voters.
Early season stats are good enough to put you on the list, but your performances late in the season are what determine your chances of winning the coveted award.
With 1,229 yards and 20 touchdowns, I believe Coleman will be selected as a finalist and go to New York when the season ends.
He will have to perform extremely well down the stretch for any chance at the Heisman, though.
5. Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma, QB)
Mayfield was the best player on either side of the ball Saturday night. His ability to extend plays, find open receivers, and run for first downs was what won the game for the Sooners. While many competitors froze in the spotlight, the quarterback from Austin played remarkably well.
And with the back loaded schedule of the Big 12, Mayfield will have an opportunity to make a late run at the trophy. Oklahoma plays TCU in Norman this weekend, followed by Oklahoma State in Stillwater on Nov. 28.
On the season, Mayfield has thrown for 3,082 yards and 30 touchdowns with five interceptions. Since the disappointing game against Texas, the 6-foot-2, 214 pound quarterback has been outstanding. If he can lead OU to capturing the Big 12 title and a potential College Football Playoff berth, there’s an outside chance that he could become the sixth consecutive QB to win the Heisman.