Grubbin Sports College Football: Halfway to the Heisman Preview

It’s almost the end of October and the season is more than halfway over for everyone so it’s time to see who really has a chance to get this Heisman trophy come December. To me the list isn’t as memorable as it has been in past years but it should make for a tight race until the very end. So Lets break down the contenders, darkhorses and the players who have no chance.

Your Front Runners


Saquon Barkley

Key Stats: 757 Rush Yards, 8 TD’s, 6.5 YPC, 32 Receptions, 448 Rec Yards, 3 TD’s

Statement Games: #6 Ohio State & #16 Michigan State

Breakdown: Saquon definitely looks like a beast and he’s been playing like one as well. Right now since Penn State is still undefeated I think you have to put him at the #1 spot but he isn’t running away with it yet.  The Iowa game was a doozy as he made big play after big play. The Michigan game was a good performance but it really hinged on two big plays which were the second play of the game where he took it to the house and the long pass up the sideline. Don’t get me wrong both were huge plays but other than that Michigan held him to 39 yards on 14 attempts the rest of the game. Northwestern did pretty much the same a few weeks before as well.  He is a human highlight reel but a bad performance against Ohio State this week could derail his candidacy. However a few big plays, even in a loss, will go a long way in securing him a spot at the top. 150 yards and a win may lock it up though as the only other tough test is Michigan State next week and then it is just a bunch of stat stuffers after that.

Bryce Love

Key Stats: 1,387 Rush Yards, 11 TD’s, 10.3 YPC

Statement Games: #15 Washington St, #12 Washington & #9 Notre Dame

Breakdown: If Stanford is 7-0 or even 6-1 right now Bryce Love would be ahead of Barkely but those two losses are holding him back a little. Couple that with the east coast bias / the fact they play too late for people to stay up and watch and it hurts his chances. He also was shaken up with an ankle injury and if he has to sit out a game or two it will kill his chances. Still no one is playing better than him at this point of the season, he will be in the top 5 at year’s end for sure.

Baker Mayfield

Key Stats: 2,347 Pass Yards, 19 TD’s, 2 INT’s, 170 Rush Yards, 3 TD’s

Statement Games: #11 Oklahoma St, #4 TCU & #22 West Virginia

Breakdown: If the award was given out by how much moxy a player has then Baker wins all day everyday. The guy is simply a dude and dudes get it done in college football. He will go down as one of the greatest players in Sooners history and if he leads Oklahoma to a Big 12 title his numbers will support his run to the Heisman. I don’t necessarily see that happening but you never know with Baker at the helm. He has the games left to make the case so we will see soon enough.

Outside Looking In 

Mason Rudolph

Key Stats: 2,650 Pass Yards, 19 TD’s, 4 INT’s, 57 Rush Yards, 6 TD’s

Statement Games: #22 West Virginia & #10 Oklahoma

Breakdown: Mason was absolutely THE guy until he ran into TCU who made him look human and they forced him into multiple turnovers which was rare. Like Baker he has the schedule to get back into people’s mind late and if he puts together a magical run for the Pokes he will be a finalist for the trophy. The numbers will be there for sure but whether he shows up in the rest of his big games is the real question here. I like Mason but I don’t think he will be dancing at season’s end.  Last weekends game against Texas didn’t help either.

JT Barrett

Key Stats: 1,827 Pass Yards, 21 TD’s, I INT, 370 Rush Yards, 5 TD’s

Statement Games: #2 Penn State, #16 Michigan State & Michigan

Breakdown: The Oklahoma game basically took JT out of the race and a soft schedule after brought him back into the conversation. He still has to play all of the Big Ten East big boys and monster performances there will vault him up the board. His numbers look great so far but one more loss and he is out.  This Penn State game could make or break his candidacy.

Darkhorse Contenders 

Kenny Hill

Key Stats: 1,734Pass Yards, 15 TD’s, 3 INT’s, 116 Rush Yards, 2 TD’s

Statement Games: 25 Iowa State, Texas & #10 Oklahoma

Breakdown: Kenny is finally playing great football again and is a big reason why TCU is still undefeated. A better defense helps but he has been making all the right plays so far. The only way he is in contention for the Heisman late is if they run the table and win the Big 12. A loss could kill him as his stats just aren’t there when compared to the top guys. But until that loss comes he still has a shot.

Josh Adams

Key Stats: 967 Rush Yards, 8 TD’s, 9.2 YPC

Statement Games: #14 NC State, #8 Miami & #20 Stanford

Breakdown: So full disclosure… I am a Notre Dame homer but this kid Adams is a STUD. He is long and lean but when he hits that stride he really hits it with speed and power. The numbers look great so far and his game against USC should have caught the attention of the Heisman voters. He still has 3 huge games to get into contention and if Notre Dame keeps rolling so will his name up the Heisman list.

Hotsy Totsy…..Hotsy Notsy 

Lamar Jackson

Key Stats: 2,478 Pass Yards, 17 TD’s, 5 INT’s, 868 Rush Yards, 11 TD’s

Statement Games: None

Breakdown: Lamar had a tough hill to climb this season regardless of what he did because repeating as a Heisman winner is almost impossible as you have to outdo the season that got you the trophy in the first place. That being said he has put up big numbers yet again but didn’t show up in his two biggest games against Clemson and NC State. Add in a loss to BC (blame the defense for that) and his candidacy is doneski especially with no one else really left on the schedule.


Sam Darnold

Key Stats: 2,292 Pass Yards, 17 TD’s, 10 INT’s, 29 Rush Yards, 3 TD’s

Statement Games: None

Breakdown: If they gave the Heisman trophy out in August Darnold would have won it easily but so far this season he hasn’t done anything to prove he deserves it. The other problem is he doesn’t have the schedule to get back in it after Notre Dame just shellacked USC.  He has too many interceptions for my taste and even though some should be claimed by his WR’s, there were multiple balls I witnessed him throw that were stone cold drops by opposing DB’s. He may be the #1 overall pick in April but right now he doesn’t have a shot at the Heisman.


Luke Falk

Key Stats: 2,483 Pass Yards, 22 TD’s, 7 INT’s

Statement Games: #20 Stanford & #12 Washington

Breakdown: Luke was looking like a Heisman front runner until about the 3rd drive against Cal when it officially fell apart. 6 turnovers later and it was all she wrote for Falk. He can throw for 5K yards and 40 touchdowns but all people will remember is a 37-3 whoopin’ by Cal and those 6 turnovers.

Obviously some of these guys will have championship games at season’s end to give them that one last boost and some may not. It will be interesting to see who takes home the legendary hardware in December.  It was pegged the year of the quarterback but the running backs have stolen the show so far…..


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