SQ Heisman Power Rankings: 3rd Edition
Who slipped in this week’s Heisman poll? Has a defensive player finally entered the discussion? Is the list still dominated by running backs? Find out all of this and more in SQ’s newest Heisman Power Rankings.
How the Scoring Works
Each of our SQ writers was asked 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 on 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 6
1. Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU 3 points (unanimous #1)
(Last week: 1)
26 carries 233 yards 3 touchdowns vs. EMU
101 touches 880 total yards 11 touchdowns this season
What Our Writers Thought:
Erik Weiss: If it wasn’t for Fournette, LSU may have lost to Eastern Michigan last week…or at least only won by single digits. His 75-yard touchdown run on the first play of the second half is what opened the game up and could have essentially saved the Tigers’ season. Fournette also made his first appearance in the SEC history books; he was the first player in conference history to rush for over 200 yards in three straight games. With an upcoming matchup against a South Carolina team that struggles to defend the run, along with many other weaknesses, I don’t see Fournette slowing down any time soon.
Nate Wallace: After rushing for over 200 yards in his past three games, Fournette has a stranglehold on the top spot in the Heisman race. As the Tigers get into the thick of conference play, it will be interesting to see if he can keep it going. Next up for LSU is the South Carolina Gamecocks, who have the ninth-ranked rush defense in the SEC and have allowed 170 rushing yards per game.
Alex Koslow: Fournette never ceases to amaze. He rushed for 233 yards and 3 touchdowns this past week, granted against a poor run defense in Eastern Michigan. Rushing for over 200 yards the last three games and having at least two touchdowns in every game this season, it's scary to think that Fournette might be pulling away from the competition. It's Fournette's Heisman to lose at this point.
2. Trevone Boykin, QB, 6 points
(Last week: 3)
20-35 384 total yards 5 touchdowns vs. Texas
119-188 2044 total yards 21 touchdowns 3 interceptions. this season
What Our Writers Thought:
Erik Weiss: Trevone Boykin played a big part in TCU’s dismantling of Texas last week, a win that forced the defeated Longhorns to basically reconsider their existence. What more can be said of Boykin that hasn’t been touched upon already? The guy is simply a touchdown waiting to happen. He gets to throw to one of the best receivers in the nation and has one of the best tailbacks next to him, but Boykin is the catalyst of this flourishing offense.
Nate Wallace: Boykin continues to impress with his arm, ranking 4th in the country for passing yards with 1,802 and leading the Horned Frogs up the polls to number two. Ever since the season opener against Minnesota, Boykin and the TCU offense, especially Josh Doctson, have played great.
Alex Koslow: A new number 2 this week and well deserved. Boykin threw for 332 yards and 5 touchdowns last week vs. Texas. The Longhorns have had a hard time on defense this year, but that doesn't lessen the impact that Boykin had. He's been nothing short of incredible since a rough start against Minnesota, throwing 18 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions the past 4 weeks. Top it off with the 4th most passing yards in the country and Boykin is looking to keep the Heisman in the hands of a QB.
3. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State 9 points
(Last week: 4)
23 carries 274 yards 3 touchdowns vs. Indiana
110 touches 792 total yards 8 touchdowns this season
What Our Writers Thought:
Erik Weiss: I don’t want to say that Elliott single-handedly saved the Buckeyes’ season with his performance against Indiana, but it was pretty darn close. Without his big second half, we could’ve kissed the Buckeyes goodbye. With all of the questions surrounding the team, Elliott has been the glue to hold it all together. He’s the most explosive back in the country behind Fournette, as any time he reaches the second level, he’s most likely taking it the distance. Elliott faces a shaky Maryland team next week, meaning we should expect nothing less than stellar once again.
Nate Wallace: After last week’s performance (274 yards and 3 touchdowns), Elliott launched himself back into the Heisman conversation. Cardale Jones and the rest of the Buckeye offense are still struggling a little bit with turnovers, but Elliott and the offensive line seem to have found some of the magic they had at the end of last season. Maryland is next for Ohio State, so look out for another solid game from Zeke.
Alex Koslow: Elliott had his break out game I was looking for just last week. In a game where Indiana made the Buckeyes sweat, Elliott put the team on his back, rushing for 274 yards and 3 touchdowns (all on rushes over 55 yards). Maybe Meyer has realized that it doesn’t matter who’s at quarterback as long as Elliott is in the backfield.
4. Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia 12 points
(Last week: 2)
20 carries 146 yards 1 touchdown vs. Alabama
95 touches 777 total yards 7 touchdowns this season
What Our Writers Thought:
Erik Weiss: When you’re one of three running backs in the top 5, one slip up will cause you to fall. That’s what happened to Ezekiel Elliott a couple weeks ago, and that’s what happened to Nick Chubb this past week. Georgia suffered an embarrassing loss to Alabama where, outside of one 83-yard run by Chubb, the offense did absolutely nothing. Much like what Nate said, Chubb isn’t out of the race at all. The next three spots behind Fournette (that being: Boykin, Elliott and Chubb) have been extremely impressive thus far. As Georgia enters SEC play, Chubb will have plenty of opportunities to climb back up the ladder.
Nate Wallace: With Georgia losing to Alabama, Nick Chubb falls behind Elliott for the time being. However, Chubb still put in a solid outing (146 yards and a touchdown) against a tough Crimson Tide defense that is ranked 12th in the nation at stopping the run. Obviously, the sophomore isn’t completely out of the Heisman race, but he has some work to do, especially if he wants to catch Fournette.
Alex Koslow: Rushing for 146 yards against Alabama would look good to any other running back, but not Nick Chubb. For most of the game, the Tide defense suffocated Chubb, before he broke an 83 yard run touchdown run. Without that run, Chubb ran for 63 yards on 19 carries, which comes out to a very average 3.3 yards per attempt. With other players having huge games, Chubb drops quite a bit in the Heisman watch.
5. Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M 15 points
(Last week: Honorable Mention)
7 tackles 2 TFL 1 sack 1 FF 1 PD vs. Miss. St.
25 tackles 9.5 TFL 7.5 sacks 3 FF 1 PD this season
What Our Writers Thought:
Erik Weiss: We haven’t seen a Heisman finalist come from the defensive side of the ball since Manti Te’o back in 2012. It’s now three years later and we may see one once again. I’ve voiced my opinion on Myles Garrett several times in my past articles, and it seems that my predictions are coming true. Garrett is a force to be reckoned with; he’s arguably the most feared defender in the country right now. He’s tied for second in the country in sacks (only by one) and knows how to dominate in every facet of the defensive game.
Nate Wallace: The Aggie defense has struggled mightily over the past few seasons, but with the addition of John Chavis at defensive coordinator, they are playing with tons of confidence. Myles Garrett (7.5 sacks) has a lot to do with their success, leading an A&M defense that is 5th in the nation in sacks. Overall, if Garrett makes some big-time plays against Alabama in two weeks, he will gain plenty more Heisman consideration.
Alex Koslow: I love seeing my honorable mention pick last week come up in the actual rankings this time around. Garrett is the anchor on the Aggie defensive line and the leader on the entire defense. Even as a sophomore, Garrett is a force—he's only half a sack away from double digit sacks. He had a mundane performance last week, but bounced back very nicely this week against a good Mississippi State team.
Although you did not see these guys on this week’s list, keep a close eye on them throughout the season for upcoming rankings:
Seth Russell, QB, Baylor (Last week: Not Ranked)
15-23 367 total yards 6 touchdowns 1 int. vs. TTU
65-103 1453 total yards 22 touchdowns 5 interceptions this season
Erik Weiss: With Baylor entering the top 3 with an undefeated record, it’s only appropriate to show them a little recognition when it comes to Heisman contenders. Much like Boykin and TCU, Seth Russell is the ringleader of this lights-out Bears offense. Russell has actually seen the end zone more times than Boykin, so far, and Baylor leads the country in scoring through 5 weeks. Most of the credit should go to Russell.
Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma (Last week: 5)
14-25 320 yards 3 touchdowns vs WVU
88-135 1520 yards 17 touchdown 3 interceptions this season
Nate Wallace: Baker Mayfield has taken the reigns of this revamped Oklahoma offense and played very well. Most importantly, the Sooners haven’t lost yet. I am giving Mayfield honorable mention for this week, not because of what he did last week against West Virginia (320 yards and 3 touchdowns), but because of his full body of work over the first half of the season. Looking down the schedule for the Sooners, back-to-back games against Baylor and TCU provide an excellent opportunity for Mayfield to make a statement.
Josh Doctson, WR, TCU (Last week: Not Ranked)
7 receptions 129 yards 2 touchdowns vs Texas
42 receptions 722 yards 8 touchdowns this season
Alex Koslow: Like last week, I'm going against the norm and picking a player at a position many don't see as able to win the Heisman. TCU's wide reciever Josh Doctson is the best offensive player (after Boykin) on one of the best offenses in the country. Doctson is second in recieving yards and touchdowns and the go to guy for Boykin in such a high powered offense. If Boykin keeps throwing it his way, Doctson could find himself like Amari Cooper last year as a reciever in the Top 4 of Heisman voting.