With two weeks of the college football season in the books, it’s now time to update our Heisman list.
Remember this list is solely based on what a player has done so far, and how we would vote players if the season actually ended today. This ranking has nothing to do with preseason hype or what the Vegas odds may say.
So who are our picks? Here they are in reverse order.
5) Sam Darnold, QB, USC — 44 of 59 (74.6% completion), 4 TDs, 4 INTs, 605 yards)
After a forgettable first game, Darnold was back to his brilliant self on Saturday, completing 21 of 26 passes for 316 yards and four touchdowns in USC’s win over Stanford. It will be interesting to see if Darnold can keep it up next week against a Texas defense that is talented but has had the proclivity for giving up big plays over the last few years.
4) Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State — 28 carries, 268 yards, 3 rushing TDs; seven catches, 99 yards, 1 receiving TD
Barkley had the best odds of any non-running back in Vegas prior to the season, and based on his early performance it’s easy to see why. The Penn State back is a threat both in the run and receiving game, as he showed Saturday against Pitt, with 88 yards rushing and a touchdown, and another 45 yards and a TD receiving. Barkley should have a light workload next week against Georgia State before the Nittany Lions open Big Ten play at Iowa in two weeks.
3) Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA — 57 of 84 (67.9% completion), 9 TDs, 0 INTs, 820 yards passing
How great is this early Heisman chase? Rosen – who orchestrated one of the greatest comebacks in college football history – is only at No. 3 on our list! Still don’t sleep on “The Rosen One,” who backed up that 491-yard, four-TD performance versus UCLA, with a career-high five touchdowns against Hawaii on Saturday. At this point, Jets fans are just salivating at having the chance to get Rosen or Darnold at the top of the next draft.
2) Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville – 55 of 85 (64.7% completion), 5 TDs, 0 INTs; 239 yards rushing, 3 TDs
It didn’t seem like Jackson could possibly top his 2016 Heisman campaign – and yet somehow, he has through two weeks. On Saturday, Jackson became the first Power 5 quarterback ever to throw for 300 yards and rush for 100 in back-to-back weeks against Power 5 schools, helping Louisville to a 2-0 mark. If Jackson tops those marks for a third straight week, we might as well hand him the Heisman now – Louisville faces Clemson on Saturday.
1) Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma – 46 of 55 (83.6% completion), 6 TDs, 0 INTs, 715 yards
It’s not just that Mayfield led Oklahoma to a win at The Horseshoe, but how he did it, masterfully driving a young Sooners offense up-and-down the field against a stacked Ohio State defense that didn’t have any answers all night. In the process, he himself was spectacular, completing 27 of 35 passes for 386 yards in the win. Things should be a bit easier for the Sooners this week as they face Tulane in Norman.