SQ Heisman Power Rankings: Seventh Edition

The players may remain the same, but their order has definitely changed. Also, with the majority of these athletes not playing last week, we’ve added even more honorable mentions to look out for. 

How the Scoring Works 

Each of our SQ writers was asked rank the top five 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 those points. The lower one’s total, the higher on the rankings.  

For example, if Trevone Boykin receives two second place votes, two first place votes, and a fifth place vote, his total would come out to 11. If Leonard Fournette receives three fifth place votes and a fourth place vote, his total would be 19. Thus Boykin would be higher up on the rankings than Fournette (these are not the actual numbers, just a hypothetical).

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

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

(Last week: 1) 



Bye Week

183 touches, 1410 total yards, 15 touchdowns this season 

What Our Writers Thought: 

Erik Weiss:  Barring a season-ending injury, *knock on wood* Leonard Fournette is winning the Heisman Trophy this year. The competition isn’t even close. Yes, Trevone Boykin is playing at an elite level and Derrick Henry has been rising off the charts in the last couple weeks, but Fournette is in a completely different stratosphere. Although quarterback Brandon Harris has played well as of late, Fournette has been the Tigers’ sole reason for success. He means more to his team than any of these other candidates do to theirs. That is why he’s the number one guy in the country. 

Geoff Hammersley: Once again, I have Leonard Fournette leading my Heisman ballot. He had another hundred yard rushing day against Western Kentucky, which follows his body of work thus far. The real test for Fournette (and LSU) will be this week against Alabama. A breakout game versus 'Bama puts Fournette a mile out in front of everybody.

2. Trevone Boykin, QB, TCU, 7 points

(Last week: 2) 


Kevin Jairaj / USA TODAY Sports

32 of 47, 472 total yards, 4 touchdowns vs. West Virginia

198 of 297, 3451 total yards, 34 touchdowns, 5 ints. this season 

What Our Writers Thought: 

Erik Weiss: Trevone Boykin was the only one of the top five who played this past week. However, not only did he play, he BALLED. Boykin was untouchable in the Horned Frogs’ win over the Mountaineers. He was so impressive that at one point in the game West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen couldn’t resist giving Boykin a high five after he ran through the entire Mountaineer defense. Boykin’s true test starts this week with a matchup against Oklahoma State. TCU finishes the season against the other top forces in the Big 12. If Boykin can lead his team to an undefeated Big 12 Championship season, he may give Fournette a run for his money…maybe. 

Geoff Hammersley: Trevone Boykin finds himself as my No. 3 by default. While Boykin is on the doorstep of a 3,000 yard passing season, he and TCU haven't played the cream of the crop. However, with Oklahoma State, Oklahoma and Baylor coming up, we will find out how good Boykin (and TCU) are. 

3. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State, 9 points

(Last week: 3) 

James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

Bye Week

190 touches, 1290 total yards, 13 touchdowns this season 

What Our Writers Thought: 

Erik Weiss: In order to be a steady Heisman hopeful, you have to perform consistently on an elite level. That’s what Ezekiel Elliott has done for the past two years. He entered this season as the co-leader in the Heisman discussion with Boykin, and really only sits at No. 3 because of the emergence of Fournette. Elliott’s only hope at overtaking the top spot would be to perform like he did in the playoffs last year. With the Buckeyes seeming as if they hit their stride against Rutgers, Elliott should be able to benefit greatly from the team’s increased success. 

Geoff Hammersley: Second on my list is Ezekiel Elliott. Like Fournette, Zeke has been consistent. A monster rushing day against Indiana combined with a constant stream of 100+ yard games the entire season makes him one of the more reliable rushers in college football. 

4. Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor, 11 points

(Last week: 4)


Bye Week

47 catches, 962 yards, 18 touchdowns this season 

What Our Writers Thought: 

Erik Weiss: Baylor may have fallen out of the College Football Playoff top four, but star receiver Corey Coleman remains in the Heisman top four. Coleman is arguably the most unstoppable force at the receiver position (some may say TCU’s Josh Doctson is the top guy, but obviously we believe otherwise). What Coleman lacks in size, he makes up for in athleticism and ball skills. He catches anything that comes near him and he’s even better after the catch. The loss of Seth Russell may hurt his stock, but Art Briles’ system never seems to fail regardless of who the quarterback is. 

Geoff Hammersley: At No.4, I have Corey Coleman from Baylor. With quarterback Seth Russell out, Coleman might see a marginal drop in producing going into the meat of Baylor's Big XII schedule. However, he's found the endzone 18 times this season, while piling on over 900 yards. Those numbers are good enough to have him in the top five. 

Eric Saltzman: With so many of the top players being on a bye week/injured, the standings can't change too much. Coleman gets a slight bump over Elliott with the injury to Seth Russell. As a receiver, Coleman's success is more predicated on someone getting him the ball. 

5. Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State, 9 points

(Last week: 15) 

Jamie Rhodes / USA TODAY Sports

DNP vs. Syracuse

142 touches, 1218 yards, 12 touchdowns this season 

What Our Writers Thought: 

Erik Weiss: I understand that Dalvin Cook made the right decision by sitting out against Syracuse. Florida State had a 500% chance of winning that game whether Cook would play or not, so he definitely needed another week of rest and rehab before this week’s showdown against the top team in the nation in Clemson. However, him sitting out really hurt his Heisman stock. Syracuse was the perfect Heisman matchup. A quality ACC opponent would have looked good on the resume, and the fact that they’re at the bottom of the totem pole would help Cook pad his stats. With Fournette and Elliott ahead of him and Derrick Henry close behind, Cook has to have a career game against the Tigers if he wants to stay in the conversation.  

Geoff Hammersley: At No. 5, I have Dalvin Cook. Cook was out for Florida State's game against Syracuse, and has to drop in the standings. But when Cook does play, he's a threat for the 'Noles. If he gets adequate touches in the next two games, he should have no problem charging up the Heisman polls with a great November. 

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: 

Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama (Last week: Honorable Mention) 

John David Mercer -- USA Today Sports

Bye Week

188 touches, 1113 yards, 14 touchdowns this season

Erik Weiss: The entire world is sitting on the edge of their seats waiting for the showdown of the year: No. 2 LSU vs. No. 4 Alabama. Some say this game may be even bigger than the one from 2011 which, at the time, was considered the game of the century. Well, they were wrong. This is the game of the century. The reason for this, other than the top five matchup, is the duel between Leonard Fournette and Derrick Henry. Fournette has been king of the world so far as he leads the nation in rushing yards and truck-stick moves. Henry isn’t all that far behind, but continues to be on the outside of the Heisman talks. If he is able to out-perform Fournette and run through a talented yet young Tiger defense, we’ll see Derrick Henry in the top five next week. 

Greg Ward Jr., QB, Houston (Last week: Not Ranked) 

Jamie Rhodes -- USA TODAY Sports

15 of 23, 254 total yards, 2 touchdowns vs. Vanderbilt

148 of 209, 919 total yards, 27 touchdowns, 2 ints. this season

Erik Weiss: I don’t want to say that Greg Ward Jr. is the only reason why Houston is still undefeated, but it’s pretty darn close. He currently leads the nation in rushing touchdowns…as a quarterback. Yes, Ward Jr. has reached the end zone more times than the great Leonard Fournette. And did I mention he’s done it on 54 fewer carries? On top of that, Ward Jr. has thrown for double-digit touchdowns. He’s not a one-trick-pony. Greg Ward Jr. simply knows how to move and score the ball both through the air and on the ground, making him one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the country. 

Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis (Last week: Not Ranked)


Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

26 of 42, 386 total yards, 1 touchdown vs. Tulane

200 of 285, 2877 total yards, 20 touchdowns, 1 int. this season 

Keenan Reynolds, QB, Navy (Last week: Not Ranked) 

USA Today Sports photo by Geoff Burke

3 of 9, 133 total yards, 2 touchdowns vs. South Florida

26 of 51, 1184 total yards, 15 touchdowns this season 

Eric Saltzman: Both Lynch and Reynolds have been outstanding this year and a big reason why both of their respective teams have been so successful is due to success at the QB position. Lynch has proven to be much more effective through the air, while Reynolds has operated the Navy triple-option attack with ease and excellence.

Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson (Last week: Not Ranked) 

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

23 of 30, 437 total yards, 6 touchdowns vs. NC State

154 of 219, 2322 total yards, 24 touchdowns, 7 ints. this season 

Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford (Last week: Honorable Mention) 

USA Today Sports

26 touches, 133 total yards vs. Washington State

228 touches, 1954 total yards, 8 touchdowns this season 

Geoff Hammersley: On the outside looking in I have two guys: Deshaun Watson (Clemson) and Christian McCaffrey (Stanford). Watson has been the signal caller for the current No. 1 Tigers. He's shown he can win games and lead a team. The question is this: can he keep this up as the season ends? If he does, he has a realistic shot at being a dark horse for the Heisman. In the same boat as Watson is McCaffrey. Stanford has control of its own destiny in the Pac-12. An impressive end to the season gives McCaffrey an outside shot at being a Heisman contender. 

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

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