SQ Heisman Power Rankings: 4th Edition

With Nick Chubb hurt, what new face will take his spot? Leonard Fournette didn’t explode for 200 yards for once. Is he still number one for the Heisman? 

DISCLAIMER: These rankings were made prior to any Week 7 action

How the Scoring Works 

Each of our SQ writers was asked to rank the top-five current Heisman contenders from 1-5. This 1-5 ranking was then used as a points system. We tallied up how many points each athlete received and ranked them based upon that. The lower one’s total, the higher on the rankings he is.  

Without further ado, here is the Fourth Edition of the SQ Heisman Power Rankings: 

1. Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU 3 points (unanimous #1)

(Last week: 1) 

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports23 touches, 183 yards, one touchdown vs. South Carolina

124 touches, 1063 total yards, 12 touchdowns this season 

What Our Writers Thought:

Erik Weiss: When Leonard Fournette’s record-breaking streak ends, he starts a new record because he’s just that good. His streak of consecutive 200-yard games finally came to an end against South Carolina. However, he became the fastest player in school history to reach 1,000 yards. Freshman tailback Derrius Guice took away a lot of the spotlight last week, but that is unlikely to happen again this week. LSU faces its toughest test of the year thus far in Florida, who has one of the nation’s top 30 defenses. On the other hand, Fournette broke out in last year’s matchup for 140 yards. Look for the Tigers to heavily lean on Fournette, as he is their only hope on offense. 

Alex Koslow: Still clearly the favorite for the Heisman, Fournette doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Going up against a struggling South Carolina defense, Fournette gave no mercy rushing for 158 yards and one touchdown. It wasn’t his best game, and it seemed like he was struggling to find room in the first half. A good second half and an 87-yard touchdown run put that all behind him. Fournette has rushed for over 150 yards each game this season and had 200 in each of the last three games before South Carolina. Leading the country with 1022 rushing yards is impressive, especially in only five games. What makes this even more impressive is that the runner ranked second to Fournette is almost 200 yards behind. 

2. Trevone Boykin, QB, 6 points

(Last week: 2) 

 Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

20 of 30, 425 total yards, 4 touchdowns, two ints. vs. Kansas State

139 of 218, 2469 total yards, 25 touchdowns, five ints. this season 

What Our Writers Thought: 

Erik Weiss: Just when you thought you’ve seen enough from Trevone Boykin, he delivers a performance against Kansas State like something out of a fairy tale. After a terrible first half, Boykin found his Horned Frogs trailing by 18 points on the road. Once the fourth quarter came around, Boykin wasn’t playing games anymore. A 14-yard touchdown run brought his squad within one score, and then an electrifying 69-yard touchdown run gave TCU the lead with six minutes left. And with one minute left in a tie game, Boykin did the only thing a star quarterback would do: throw a 55-yard dart to the best receiver in the country to win the game. Much like he’s done all season, Boykin excelled at extending plays in the pocket to either find receivers wide open downfield or take off with it himself. Trevone Boykin did not single-handedly win this game for TCU, but it was pretty darn close.  

Alex Koslow: Trevone Boykin has the best chance right now at knocking Fournette off his perch, especially if he continues to play like he has. Against Kansas State, Boykin might have shown off more as a runner than he did as a passer. He threw for two touchdowns but had two interceptions as well. But on the ground, Boykin ran for 124 yards and two touchdowns, including an incredible 66-yard run late in the fourth quarter. If anyone is going to keep the quarterback Heisman reign, its going to be Boykin, no question. 

3. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State 9 points

(Last week: 3) 

Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

27 touches, 153 yards, two touchdowns vs. Maryland

137 touches, 945 total yards, 10 touchdowns this season 

What Our Writers Thought: 

Erik Weiss: It seems like Elliott is finally receiving the touches he deserves in this crowded Buckeye offense. Maybe now Urban Meyer has come to find out that when he gives Ezekiel Elliott the ball, good things will happen to his team. He may not be as flashy as Fournette, but he knows how to make plays and put the ball in the end zone. Elliott plays his best football on the biggest stages, and with the season getting into conference play, the stages will only get bigger. 

Alex Koslow: Elliott is finally showing he’s the main offensive focus for the Buckeyes. With all attention on the quarterbacks, Elliott has been a force the past two games, and that's probably the reason they've won as well. Its not only his yardage or touchdowns, it's the fact that he’s able to get huge chunks of yards for touchdowns at exactly the right times. If Elliott continues on the path he’s been on the past few weeks and puts the Buckeye's offense on his back, expect the debate to be between him and Fournette for best running back and Heisman. 

4. Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State 12 points

(Last week: Not Ranked) 

Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

25 touches, 269 yards, three touchdowns vs. Miami

95 touches, 863 yards, nine touchdowns this season

What Our Writers Thought:

Erik Weiss: With Nick Chubb’s unfortunate injury, we had to quickly find someone else to replace him in the top five. Dalvin Cook has made that decision very easy. Many say he’s the best in the country behind Fournette, and Cook isn’t that far off. Cook is part of the immaculate class of sophomore running backs and has established himself as arguably the biggest offensive threat in the ACC. Cook hasn’t been relied on as heavily as Fournette or Elliott (granted he missed part of the Wake Forest game), but he seems to make explosive plays every time he touches the ball. If the Seminoles seek to return to the playoffs, it’s going to have to be on the back of Dalvin Cook. 

Alex Koslow: Scary to think what Cook's stats could look like if he finished the game against Wake Forest. He only has 792 yards, but on 8 8 carries, which gives him an average of nine yards per carry, fourth best in the country. Without Cook, Miami may have very well beaten the Seminoles. He burst onto the scene last season as a freshman, like so many others, and has been improving ever since. 

5. Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M 15 points

(Last week: 5) 


7 tackles, two TFL, one sack, one FF, one PD vs. Mississippi State

25 tackles, 9.5 TFL, 7.5 sacks, three FF, one PD this season 

What Our Writers Thought: 

Erik Weiss: Myles Garrett is the best defensive player we’ve seen since Jadeveon Clowney. Despite a time frame of only two years, Garrett has been the most dominant defensive force in the country since he arrived on campus. We saw flashes of what he is capable of last year, and this year, he seems to have figured it all out. While many may see Garrett as a pass-rushing specialist, he is a very underrated run defender, which is arguably where he excels the most. Either way, the guy knows how to cause havoc in the backfield and has played a monumental part in the Aggies’ rise to the top-10. 

Alex Koslow: I'd love to move Myles Garrett up my Heisman ranking, but it's so hard to put him over dominant offensive players. Garrett is a defensive force that needs to be game-planned around, due to that fact that he’s not going to get great numbers. He's getting to the ball carrier and quarterback, but getting double teamed is going to keep him from racking up eye-popping statistics. Even still, he should have a shot to be one of the highest finalist for a defender. 

Honorable Mentions 

Although you did not see these guys on this week’s list, keep a close eye on them throughout the season for upcoming rankings: 

Devontae Booker, RB, Utah (Last week: Not Ranked) 


38 touches, 267 yards, two touchdowns vs. California

159 touches, 859 yards, six touchdowns this season 

Erik Weiss: Utah is the talk of the nation right now. Several polls actually have the Utes as the number-one team in the nation currently. Utah has to give a lot of its credit to senior tailback Devontae Booker. Booker had a career night against California, in which the rest of the team decided not to show up. For what was mostly a sloppy game by both sides, Booker was the only source of consistency, as he accounted for an astounding 61 percent of the Utes’ total offense. Booker has proven to be one of the best all-around backs in the country; he excels in breaking tackles, receiving, and pass protection. Unfortunately, 2015 has been the year of the running back, so Booker will remain on the outside looking in until one of the upper three slips up. 

Royce Freeman, RB, Oregon (Last week: Not Ranked) 

Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

30 touches, 292 yards, three touchdowns vs. Washington State

138 touches, 1,038 yards, 11 touchdowns this season 

Alex Koslow: Oregon is not what they were last year, but the offense isn’t the problem. Royce Freeman is a huge reason why the Ducks are even competitive in some weeks. Freeman has quietly found himself in the top three in rushing yards at 859. He's carrying a big load as well, 13th in the country with 123 carries. One of the forgotten sophomore running backs to emerge, Freeman could garner more attention if the Ducks can emerge as a PAC-12 threat. 

Other Honorable Mentions:

Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis (Last week: Not Ranked)
20 of 33 for 311 total yards, three touchdowns vs. South Florida

103 of 146 for 1651 yards, 11 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 181.47 passer efficiency rating this season 

Tune in next week for the next edition of SQ Heisman Power Rankings!

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