SQ Heisman Power Rankings: 2nd Edition
Is Leonard Fournette still the unanimous number one selection? Who dropped out and who’s on the rise? Find out the answers to these and more in this week’s edition of the SQ Heisman Power Rankings!
How the Scoring Works
Each of our SQ writers was asked to rank the top 5 current Heisman contenders from 1-5. This 1-5 ranking was then used as a points system. I tallied up how many points each athlete got and ranked them based upon that. The lower one’s total is, the higher the ranking.
For example, if Trevone Boykin receives a 2nd place vote, a 1st place vote, a 5th, another 2nd, and another 1st. His total would come out to 11. If Nick Chubb receives three 5th place votes and a 4th place, his total would be 19. Thus Boykin would be higher up on the rankings than Chubb. (These are not the actual numbers, just a hypothetical).
Without further ado, here are the SQ Heisman Power Rankings heading into Week 5:
1. Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU 4 points (unanimous #1)
(Last week: 1)
26 carries 244 yards 2 touchdowns vs. Syracuse
73 carries 647 total yards 8 touchdowns this season
What Our Writers Thought:
Erik Weiss: Leonard Fournette. What more can you say about the guy that hasn't already been covered? I had the pleasure of watching him live when LSU came to visit my Syracuse Orange. Let's just say when you can single-handedly win over the home-opposing crowd, you know you're something special. Every time Fournette broke a long run, which was also every time he touched the ball, the entire Carrier Dome went silent and everyone was on his/her feet. Heading into the game, Syracuse boasted a top-10 run defense. I'm guessing nobody got around to telling Fournette, or he just simply didn't care as he went for his second straight 200-yard game. Although LSU has played one less game than everyone else, Fournette is still 3rd in the nation in rushing. I think it's safe to say that we're witnessing the equivalent to Jordan in his prime.
Nate Wallace: Fournette added yet another solid game to his already impressive resume when he ran for 244 yards and 2 touchdowns against Syracuse. Also, he would probably be the leading rusher in the country if their season opener against McNeese State wasn’t cancelled due to weather. Fortunately for Fournette, the Tigers’ schedule has the perfect Heisman formula: a mix of games where Fournette can ‘go off’ and prime time games against ranked teams that most of the country will be watching. Next week LSU plays Eastern Michigan, who ranks 127th in the country in rush defense. So, expect Fournette to have a big day.
Alex Koslow: Leonard Fournette just keeps getting better and better. It was only against Syracuse, but when you put up 244 yards with 2 touchdowns, it's bound to garner attention. LSU has yet to face a top defense, but to average just over 210 yards a game is impressive against anyone. Fournette's output is even more impressive with the fact that LSU is the 5th worst team in the country in passing yards. He's the heart and soul of this Tigers' offense. If he can keep it up, which he should, LSU will succeed and Fournette should hear his name called for the Heisman.
David Street: Another day, another 200+ rushing performance for Leonard Fournette. That's all that really needs to be said about him.
2. Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia 8 points
(Last week: 2)
15 carries 155 total yards 3 touchdowns vs. Southern
71 carries 636 total yards 7 touchdowns this season
What Our Writers Thought:
Erik Weiss: Nick Chubb tends to be the forgotten tailback due to his SEC counterpart (Fournette) owning the college football headlines. However, as good as Fournette is, we forget that Chubb is right there as well. Although he isn't as flashy a player as Fournette or former Bulldog Todd Gurley, Chubb is on a mission every time he touches the ball. This week, Georgia takes on an Alabama team who has yet to allow a hundred-yard rusher this season. In last week's rankings we all said that Chubb has yet to prove his worth this year because he hasn't faced a quality defense. Well, here's his chance.
Nate Wallace: Coming off his second consecutive two-touchdown game, Nick Chubb is trying to keep pace with Leonard Fournette in the Heisman race. Chubb has a great opportunity on a big stage this weekend against Alabama, who is ranked 6th in the country in rush defense.
Alex Koslow: Chubb and Fournette are almost interchangeable, with the difference being so minute. Chubb has lead the Bulldogs since he stepped onto the field for suspended Todd Gurley last season. This past week against Southern University, Chubb tied Hershel Walker's school record with 12 straight 100-yard games. Anytime you get compared to Walker, you're doing something right. Chubb and Fournette could go back and forth for a while with no real winner until the actual Heisman winner is announced.
David Street: Nick Chubb put up another Nick Chubb-esque day as he tied Herschel Walker's school record for consecutive games with at least 100 yards rushing. Georgia has a huge game coming up against Alabama and if they can pull off the victory with Chubb leading the way, he will definitely move up this list.
3. Trevone Boykin, QB, TCU 12 points
(Last week: 4)
34-54 527 total yards 4 touchdowns vs. Texas Tech
99-153 1660 total yards 16 touchdowns 3 interceptions this season
What Our Writers Thought:
Erik Weiss: Although TCU has struggled mightily this year, winning three of their four games by single digits, they would be nowhere without Trevone Boykin. It's obvious to see how shaky the Horned Frogs defense has been so far, meaning that the team continues to rely heavily on the production of Boykin. He is currently second in the country in total yards and has single-handedly accounted for 65% of TCU's offense. Simply put, the guy is the definition of instant offense. The Horned Frogs could very well be 1-3 if it wasn't for the efforts of Boykin...and a little bit of luck.
Nate Wallace: With the injury-plagued TCU defense allowing points left and right, Trevone Boykin is throwing the ball a lot and, as a result, he put up great numbers against Texas Tech, throwing 4 touchdowns in the Horned Frogs’ comeback victory. With running backs garnering most of the attention so far this season, it will be interesting to see how Boykin performs as TCU gets further into conference play.
Alex Koslow: TCU struggled to get past Texas Tech, but don’t even think about putting blame on Boykin. The Horned Frogs needed every bit of Boykin's 527 yard, 4 touchdown game to pull out a win. Boykin has changed my view of him from week 1 and starting to play like I expected. Third in pa ssing yards and touchdowns puts him as the best QB in college. He'll need to keep playing how he can and play well against top level opponents like Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Baylor.
David Street: TCU QB Trevone Boykin continues to impress. With TCU's defense struggling, Boykin put the team on his back with 485 passing yards and four touchdowns.
4. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State 16 points
(Last week: 5)
16 carries 124 yards 1 touchdown vs. Western Michigan
77 carries 621 total yards 5 touchdowns this season
What Our Writers Thought:
Erik Weiss: Ezekiel "Jumpman" Elliott, believe it or not, is in the top-20 for rushing yards and touchdowns so far this season. Just because he isn't going for 250 yards every game, people are beginning to write him off as if he just disappeared off the face of the earth. We tend to forget that Elliott is still one of the elite backs in the country. He's gone over 100 yards each game this year and will most likely eclipse 1,000 in no time since Ohio State doesn't see an elite defense again until November. With Fournette and Chubb playing lights out, however, Elliott will end up sitting in the bottom half of the rankings for now.
Nate Wallace: Elliott hasn’t had a bad season so far by any means, but because of how he played in the final three games of last year (rushing for over 200 yards in each game), people expect more from him. The Buckeyes are going through some growing pains right now with most of the offense, but the one constant has been Elliott. Overall, Ohio State improved against Western Michigan last week. It will be interesting to see how Elliott and the offensive line play against an Indiana team that gave them trouble for three quarters last season.
Alex Koslow: Elliott still plays well even without the attention. While the rest of the country is worried about who should start between Cardale Jones or JT Barrett, Elliott continues to put up numbers. Averaging 155 yards a game is great when the offense isn’t focused on you. Fans across the country are worrying if Elliott is getting enough touches, and if he wants to be a legitimate Heisman contender, he'll have to have a coming out game to get attention back on him.
David Street: Ezekiel Elliot was solid once again for the Buckeyes as he rushed for 124 yards and one touchdown.
5. Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma 20 points
(Last week: Honorable Mention)
32-38 572 total yards 6 touchdowns vs. Tulsa
74-110 1201 total yards 14 touchdowns 2 interceptions. this season
What Our Writers Thought:
Erik Weiss: If Trevone Boykin is the definition of instant offense, Baker Mayfield is its synonym. Mayfield is already halfway towards eclipsing his total yardage from last year and he's only played three games. Of course, he's getting a lot of help from Samaje Perine, but Mayfield is still the number one source of offense as seen by his double-digit touchdowns and 1,200 yards.
Nate Wallace: Baker Mayfield has performed about as well as Bob Stoops could have hoped in the revamped Sooner offense. Mayfield has thrown for 10 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions in three games while also rushing for 4 touchdowns. Similar to Boykin, Mayfield is playing great, but the running backs are getting more attention so far this season.
Alex Koslow: Baker Mayfield is having a good year and is probably the best Sooner QB since Sam Bradford. Two weeks ago, Mayfield had a huge game against Tulsa throwing 572 yards and 6 touchdowns. Oklahoma has only played 3 games so far and should contend in the Big 12 if Mayfield can remain hot and lead the offense.
David Street: Mayfield being the last on my list is no knock on him. He's a great quarterback. I just can't judge him this time simply because his team didn't play Week 4.
Although you did not see these guys on this week’s list, keep a close eye on them throughout the season for upcoming rankings:
Matt Johnson, QB, Bowling Green (Last week: Not Ranked)
43-59 460 total yards 1 touchdown 1 interception vs. Purdue
134-207 1876 total yards 14 touchdowns 2 interception this season
Erik Weiss: Matt Johnson is this year's version of the stat-sheet-stuffer. Each year we see a quarterback put up huge numbers every single week and end the season with 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns. This year, it's Bowling Green's Matt Johnson. Johnson currently leads all quarterbacks in completions, attempts, yards and is 3rd in touchdowns. Thanks to him, Bowling Green has defeated two Big Ten teams and has given Tennessee a run for their money. Johnson should be able to easily run through the rest of the MAC and finish the year atop the stat sheets.
CJ Prosise, RB, Notre Dame (Last week: Honorable Mention)
15 carries 149 yards 2 touchdowns vs. Massachusetts
74 carries 631 total yards 6 touchdowns this season
Nate Wallace: CJ Prosise is 4th in the country in rushing and has aided DeShone Kizer as he becomes accustomed to being the starting QB. A huge prime time game at Clemson next week provides Prosise with an opportunity to get into the top 5 for the Heisman.
Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M (Last week: Not Ranked)
2 Tackles, 1 Tackle for Loss 1 sack 1 Forced Fumble vs Arkansas
18 total tackles 7.5 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles this season
Alex Koslow: I went against many others and went with a defensive player as my honorable mention. Myles Garrett is one of, if not the most, disruptive defensive players in college. As only a sophomore, Garrett is getting hype similar to Clowney and Leonard Williams. He didn’t put up great numbers against Arkansas, but had a game changing strip sack that helped the Aggies pull out a slim victory. Garrett is already on pace to beat his already impressive stats from this freshman year. He's half a sack behind the leader in the nation and looks to surpass him soon and make a name for himself as not only the best defensive play, but the best overall.
Jordan Howard, RB, Indiana (Last week: Not Ranked)
33 carries 168 yards 1 touchdown vs. Wake Forest
1 11 carries 743 total yards 4 touchdowns this season
David Street: For running backs, everyone is talking about Chubb, Elliott and Fournette. Nobody seems to be talking about the guy who currently has the most rushing yards in the nation. That would be Indiana running back Jordan Howard. Howard has quietly been having a monster year and deserves way more credit than he is getting.