What a week of college football – a couple unbeaten teams had their playoff hopes take a hit, while others made their cases even stronger to reach the tournament.
One of my Heisman candidates is off this week’s list due to his underwhelming performance on Saturday.
For those looking to gain ground in the rankings, a slip-up at this time of the year is near impossible. Here are my Week 8 standings:
1. LEONARD FOURNETTE (LSU, RB)
Fournette’s performance against Western Kentucky may have given outside contenders a chance to dethrone the Heisman favorite in the coming weeks.
Sure, it’s another 100-yard effort and he did score, but it wasn’t the dominant showcase that we’ve come to expect from the New Orleans native.
Fournette is a victim of his own greatness. He has made the viewing public expect absurd numbers each and every week.
With a bye this week, and a date with the Alabama Crimson Tide (No. 4 rushing defense in the nation) on Nov. 7, he is presented with an enormous challenge.
If Fournette thrives against Alabama’s defense, then the trophy is his.
2. TREVONE BOYKIN (TCU, QB)
The bye last week didn’t help Boykin, and allowed others to close in on the No. 2 spot. Now, the senior quarterback gets a chance to increase his lead and possibly overtake the No. 1 spot with many of the competitors on a bye this week.
Boykin has been tremendous this season, compiling 2,979 yards on offense and 30 touchdowns through seven games.
At times he’s seemed unstoppable, and with the unfortunate news of Baylor quarterback Seth Russell out for the season, Boykin has a chance to capture a Big 12 title.
A conference title would certainly add to his already impressive campaign.
Next up for TCU is a primetime matchup versus West Virginia on Thursday. Boykin surely wants to erase the memories of his deplorable outing last year, when he went 12 of 30 for 166 yards in Morgantown, W. Va.
3. COREY COLEMAN (BAYLOR, WR)
All the Baylor wide receiver does is score touchdowns. It amazes me that the junior from Richardson is able to find the endzone multiple times each week.
Coleman hauled in another two touchdowns in the game against Iowa State and, although he failed to reach the century mark in yards, his ability to impact a game is tremendous.
Having seen the success that the All-American WR has had up to this point, teams are beginning to double-team Coleman on nearly every play.
Yet somehow, the 5-foot-11, 190 pound athlete doesn’t let that stop him. At this point, the only thing that will slow down Coleman is a bye week.
Through seven games, the junior has 962 yards and 18 touchdowns. The terrible news Russell being done for the year presents Coleman with a grand opportunity to carry the load and help out true freshman Jarret Stidham.
It will be interesting to see if Coleman’s numbers dip with the new quarterback, or if the standout receiver continues to flourish.
4. EZEKIEL ELLIOTT (OHIO STATE, RB)
Elliott fell to No. 4 this week despite having a solid game against Rutgers. The Ohio State running back ran for 142 yards and two touchdowns in the Buckeyes’ 49-7 victory.
The problem for Elliott is that he doesn’t seem to have those outrageous stats that his counterparts do.
Perhaps it’s the quarterback drama in Columbus, but the 6-foot-1, 225 pound RB doesn’t appear to be the focal point of the offense. Don’t get me wrong, he’s very reliable, as he collected his 13th straight 100-yard effort last week.
Unfortunately, the Heisman candidates in front of him are putting up massive numbers each week and I’d be thoroughly surprised if Elliott ever made it to the No. 1 spot.
Next up for Ohio State is a bye week before they take on Minnesota on Nov. 7. Time is running out for Elliott if he wants to make a run at the Heisman Trophy. He will be a finalist in December, but there’s no way he’s taking home the prize.
5. DERRICK HENRY (ALABAMA, RB)
Well, look who’s back on the list after several editions outside the top five. Henry has entered back into the race after punishing the Tennessee defense and carrying Alabama to a 19-14 win over the Volunteers on Saturday.
Henry has had his dry spells this year, but recently he’s been the recipe for success in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
The Crimson Tide is currently sitting on the outside of the playoff picture, but if Henry can carry Nick Saban’s squad to a victory over LSU on Nov. 7, we could see a resurgence in his Heisman odds.