The 2017 college football season has been as exciting as always. Like usual, the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Clemson Tigers are leading the way, while several other programs look to make their mark on this young season. We have been blessed by the resurgence of USC and Penn State, seen crazy upsets with Troy University defeating LSU, and crazy hail mary passes. However, what is always on our mind is who will win the Heisman Trophy, granted to the best college football player in the nation. After five weeks here are my rankings:
- Saquon Barkley, Penn State, RB– Honestly, what can’t this man do? It seems like every week he pulls a new trick out of his hat that always amazes us. So far this season he has run for a touchdown, caught a touchdown pass, returned a kickoff for a touchdown, and most recently, thrown a touchdown pass. After a stellar freshman season in which he led Penn State to the Rose Bowl, Barkley has somehow improved in his sophomore season. Barkley has ran for 574 yards with 4 touchdowns so far, along with 386 receiving yards and two touchdowns. You debate that no man has as big an impact on his team like Barkley does. If he continues what he’s done so far, Barkley should be the easy choice for Heisman come December.
- Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma, QB– The Oklahoma quarterback has a huge mouth to back up an explosive game. The dual threat quarterback is the heart and soul of the team. Mayfield has one of the most impressive wins of the young season, leading the Sooners to a 31-16 victory at then #2 ranked Ohio State. After coming up short of the College Football Playoff last season, Mayfield looks poised to lead the team back there. So far this season he has thrown for 1329 yards, 13 touchdowns, and no interceptions, while also completing 75.2% of his passes. If Mayfield can continue to lead his team come conference play, he has a real shot to run away with the Heisman.
- Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State, QB– Don’t forget about the other quarterback down in Stillwater. Rudolph has been stellar so far, as the Cowboys came out of the gate hot. While many are quick to point out the blemish on Oklahoma State’s record, they should realize that Rudolph still threw for 400 yards and two touchdowns. While a dark horse candidate to begin the season, Rudolph has quickly exploded onto the scene as he has already thrown for 1909 yards, 16 touchdowns, while completing 67.6% of his passes. As long as Rudolph continues to sling the ball down the field, he could surprise some folks and come away with the trophy.
- Sam Darnold, University of Southern California, QB– Darnold seems to be here more because of his name, rather than what he has accomplished this season. The Trojans quarterback came into the season with huge expectations and thought of him being drafed #1 overall in the NFL draft, yet he hasn’t lived up to the hype. Darnold has had some trouble in wins over Texas, Western Michigan, and even most recently the loss at Washington State. Darnold has still throw for 1389 yards and 9 touchdowns, yet has an alarmingly high interception numbers, with 8 already this season. Darnold should come back to form along with the rest of the Trojans, and if that happens, look out for Darnold to take back his trophy.
- Bryce Love, Stanford, RB– Bryce who? Yes, that is the reaction of college football fans around the world now, besides those in Palo Alto, but you should get used to him. The 5’10 Cardinals running back is shocking many around the nation as he continues to shred defenses. He has already ran for 1088 yards, 8 touchdowns, and a whopping 11.1 yards per carry. Shocked? Don’t be, this is the norm for Love. Love has ran for 180 yards or more each week, and just this past week he ran for 301 yards and 3 touchdowns against the Arizona State Sun Devils. While some college standouts seems to fade over time, Love seems to just be getting started. He is a real dark horse candidate now since his name was nowhere to be mentioned to begin the season, but look for his name to be a regular come December.