We’re getting to the point in the college football season that Heisman contenders are finding it difficult to move up in the rankings.
After a week of botched punts and heartbreaking losses for teams that appeared to be on the rise, none of my Heisman standings changed.
Every contender turned in a solid performance to retain their previous ranking.
As conference play continues, I expect at least one player from the second tier to break through and challenge for the No. 1 spot. Here’s a look at my Week 7 rankings:
1. RB LEONARD FOURNETTE (LSU)
For the fifth week in a row, Fournette is on top of my Heisman standings. He has proved to be unstoppable and absolutely embarrassed a touted defensive team in the Florida Gators (No. 18 against the run).
The running back from New Orleans churned up yards all game to help the No. 5 LSU Tigers remain undefeated.
At the rate he’s going, Fournette looks powerful enough to lead LSU to a national title game, while also claiming Heisman honors.
His 180 yards and two touchdowns against Florida last week give him 1,202 yards and 14 touchdowns through six games this season. His 14 touchdowns are the second-most in the country behind Baylor’s Corey Coleman.
The 6-foot-1, 230 pound RB will face an easier opponent this week in Western Kentucky before heading into a bye week to get ready for the Alabama Crimson Tide.
That game will be a true test of Fournette’s greatness. If he can run the Tigers to victory in Tuscaloosa in a couple weeks, we may as well hand him the Heisman Trophy.
2. QB TREVONE BOYKIN (TCU)
Boykin continues to be right on the outside of the No. 1 spot. As I mentioned before, I believe the Heisman to be a two-horse race at this point, and Boykin is gaining momentum. The Horned Frogs’ quarterback has put up some astounding numbers through his first seven games.
He currently ranks second in the nation in total offense per game (425.6) and touchdown passes (25), and fifth in the nation in passing yards per game (362.7).
Despite the early struggles for TCU in the game last weekend versus Iowa State, Boykin was nearly perfect from start to finish. The Dallas native collected 510 yards of total offense and five touchdowns, while completing 84 percent of his passes.
Next up for the Horned Frogs is a bye week before a home game against West Virginia. At this point, the TCU quarterback just needs to keep up his level of play and hope Fournette slips up.
As long as Boykin keeps TCU fighting for a playoff spot, he’ll remain at the top of this list.
3. RB EZEKIEL ELLIOTT (OHIO STATE)
Elliott ran his streak of 100-yard rushing games up to 12 after last weekend – an impressive feat. However, his dominance is muted due to the lack of flashy numbers.
Sure, Elliott continues to pile up yards, but not in the way that some other running backs have been putting up colossal stats. The junior’s rushing totals in the last two games combined don’t equal Elliott’s breakout 274-yard output against Indiana on Oct. 3.
The problem for Elliott is that if he wants to move up the Heisman standings, he’s going to have to put up those mind-blowing numbers. Otherwise, he will remain a consistent No. 3 or No. 4 on this list all season.
This week, Ohio State plays Rutgers (who ranks No. 30 in the nation against the run). This would be a good time for the 6-foot-1, 225 pound RB to make a statement and up his stock in the Heisman race.
Otherwise, he will drop a spot behind Baylor’s Corey Coleman.
4. WR COREY COLEMAN (BAYLOR)
Despite Coleman just now making an appearance on many national Heisman Watch lists, he’s been on mine for weeks.
The Baylor receiver is undoubtedly the best best wide out in the nation. After last week’s performance (10 catches, 199 yards and three touchdowns), West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen called Coleman the best player in college football.
Elliott may have edged out the 5-foot-11, 190-pound receiver this week, but I expect Coleman to move up to No. 3 next week.
His Heisman status has continued to rise and he’s got the most momentum out of the contenders on this list. In four of his six games, Coleman has caught three or more touchdowns.
Additionally, the junior wideout has gone over the century mark in yards, all six games. On the season, Coleman has 877 yards and 16 touchdowns (an FBS best).
Next up for the Bears is a home game against Iowa State. The Cyclones secondary has been suspect all season, and I expect Coleman to take full advantage. If he puts up another three-touchdown effort, it would give him 19 on the season, making the NCAA record very reachable (27 receiving touchdowns).
5. RB DALVIN COOK (FLORIDA STATE)
After suffering a hamstring injury against Louisville, Cook fought to display his dominance and carry the Seminoles in the second half.
The efficiency of Florida State is night-and-day difference when the sophomore running back is on the field.
Last week, Cook’s effort helped solidify his claim to the No. 5 spot by totaling 223 yards and two touchdowns. The Miami native has 955 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns through six games. His most impressive stat is his yards per carry (8.7).
This week, Florida State travels to take on Georgia Tech in an ACC matchup. Last season, Cook amassed 177 yards and one touchdown against Georgia Tech. I’d say it’s a safe bet to predict a big game from Cook.