Posts by Erik Weiss

SQ Heisman Power Rankings: Eighth Edition

Big changes in this week's rankings. Two players fall out, meaning that we get to see two new faces.

How the Scoring Works 

Each of our SQ writers was asked rank the top 5 current Heisman contenders from 1-5. This 1-5 ranking was then used as a points system. I tallied up how many points

Big changes in this week’s rankings. Two players fall out, meaning that we get to see two new faces.

How the Scoring Works 

Each of our SQ writers was asked rank the top 5 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 that. The lower one’s total is, the higher on the rankings he is.  

For example, if Derrick Henry receives a 2nd place vote, a 1st place vote, a 5th, another 2nd, and another 1st, his total would come out to 11. If Leonard Fournette receives three 5th place votes and a 4th place, his total would be 19. Thus Henry would be higher up on the rankings than Fournette. (These are not the actual numbers, just a hypothetical).  

1. Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU 2 points (unanimous #1)

(Last week: 1) 

  

USA TODAY SPORTS

19 touches 31 yards 1 touchdown vs. Alabama

202 touches 1441 total yards 16 touchdowns this season 

What Our Writers Thought: 

Erik Weiss:  Leonard Fournette didn’t go over 150 yards for the first time this season, and LSU was badly exposed by Alabama in what was supposed to be a close game. The good news here is that we found out that Fournette is actually a human being, and not a robot sent to Earth programmed to dominate in football. Many have bumped him down their lists, but I would strongly disagree with that move. Fournette is still the best player in the nation, although the gap between him and the rest has shrunk. If he struggles for a second week in a row against Arkansas, he may bump down the list. However, I just can’t see that happening. He is just too good and LSU is dying to redeem themselves. 

Eric Saltzman: We have seen in recent years how one bad game does not spell doom for a Heisman front runner. Fournette is still probably going to attend the ceremony as a finalist. Statistically, two areas where Derrick Henry is better is in touchdowns (17 to Fournette’s 16) and receiving yards (69 to 58). Otherwise, Fournette has fewer carries and more yardage, and averages about 32 yards more per game.  

2. (tie) Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama 5 points

(Last week: Honorable Mention) 

Image title

38 touches 210 yards 3 touchdowns vs. LSU

226 touches 1323 yards 17 touchdowns this season 

What Our Writers Thought: 

Erik Weiss: Derrick Henry has blown up in the last couple games. No game was bigger than the so-called Armageddon matchup against LSU. Last week, I said that Henry would enter the top-3 if he outperformed Fournette in that game. Not only did he outperform him, he flat out left him in the dust. Granted, the Alabama defense played lights out and LSU struggled significantly in every aspect of the game. At the end of the day, the proof is in the numbers. Henry went for over 200 yards against one of the best teams in the nation. That deserves a lot of recognition. 

Eric Saltzman: Adding onto the Henry-Fournette debate, Henry might not be the best player on his own team, especially considering how the Alabama front seven (led by A’Shawn Robinson) played last Saturday. Regardless, Henry is very much in the thick of the Heisman race. 

2. (tie) Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State 5 points

(Last week: 3) 

Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

27 touches 123 yards 1 touchdown vs. Minnesota

217 touches 1413 total yards 14 touchdowns this season 

What Our Writers Thought: 

Erik Weiss: Ezekiel Elliott has been Mr. Consistent thus far. I don’t think he’s shifted up or down the rankings within the last month. Obviously, that’s both a good and bad thing. Elliott has proven that he’s the most reliable player in the nation, one who’s guaranteed to go over 100 yards and give the Buckeyes points. On the other hand, he hasn’t done anything significant enough to turn heads. His only chance in moving up the list and possibly to win the Heisman is if he continues his steady performance and Fournette and Henry slip up. 

Eric Saltzman: Ezekiel Elliot deserves much praise for being the rock offensively on an undefeated Buckeye team with potentially major quarterback issues with JT Barrett and Cardale Jones. 

4.  Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson 8 points

(Last week: Honorable Mention)

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

28 of 42 404 total yards 1 touchdown vs. FSU

182 of 261 2726 total yards 25 touchdowns 7 ints. this season 

What Our Writers Thought: 

Erik Weiss: It’s only natural that the quarterback for the number 1 team is a Heisman candidate. It just so happens that Deshaun Watson is one of the best, if not the best, quarterbacks in the nation and is a huge reason for Clemson’s success. Against Florida State, Watson threw for over 200 yards and ran for over 100. In the Tigers’ biggest game of the season thus far, Watson played his best ball. With a trip up to Syracuse this week, I don’t see any reason for his success to slow down. 

Eric Saltzman: One player who has clearly proven to be the most valuable player to his team is Clemson’s Deshaun Watson. A case can be made that he is not the best player on his own team, but he certainly does facilitate a bulk of the offense for the Tigers, who would likely struggle to score points in his absence. 

5.  Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor 10 points

(Last week: 4)

USA TODAY Sports

13 touches 218 yards 2 touchdowns vs. Kansas State

60 touches 1180 yards 20 touchdowns this season 

What Our Writers Thought: 

Erik Weiss: Corey Coleman is the best receiver in the nation, it’s pretty simple. He’s six touchdowns ahead of the next best receiver. With freshman Stidham at quarterback, one would figure that Coleman’s production would slow down a bit, but that hasn’t been the case, as he went over 200 yards last week. Baylor enters this week with a big conference matchup against Oklahoma. Baylor is in need of a signature win to boost their resume, and will look to Coleman to bring them that W.

Eric Saltzman: Perhaps most intriguing of the candidates is Corey Coleman. Coleman’s Heisman hopes are very much tied to true freshman quarterback Jarred Stidham. Baylor has finally hit the toughest part of its schedule and it will be interesting to see how some of these improved teams, specifically on defense, attempt to rattle Stidham and how that improves or reduces Coleman’s production. 

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: 

Trevone Boykin, QB, TCU (Last week: 2)

USA TODAY Sports

35 of 57 518 total yards 3 touchdowns 4 ints. vs. Oklahoma State

233 of 354 3969 total yards 37 touchdowns 9 ints. this season  

Erik Weiss: Remember last week when I said that Trevone Boykin was untouchable and on another level? Oh how things can change ever so quickly. Oklahoma State showed the nation just how big of a threat they are when they tore apart the Horned Frogs in every aspect of the game. On the other side, TCU and Boykin were exposed…badly. He threw a career-worst 4 interceptions and, despite creating over 500 yards of offense, significantly struggled to get the offense moving. Losing star receiver Josh Doctson obviously didn’t help either. Although TCU may be out of the playoff race, Boykin still remains in the Heisman talks for now. He’ll need big games in the upcoming weeks to re-establish himself. 

Greg Ward Jr., QB, Houston (Last week: Honorable Mention)

Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

16 of 24 280 total yards 2 touchdowns 2 ints. vs. Cincinnati

164 of 233 1199 total yards 29 touchdowns 4 ints. this season 

Erik Weiss: I was only supposed to include one honorable mention, but Greg Ward Jr. is just too hard to leave out. His Houston Cougars have surpassed expectations for this season, as they are currently undefeated and serve as a darkhorse contender for the playoffs. Ward Jr. is responsible for the majority of the Cougars’ offensive success. He’s a very efficient passer, throwing for 13 touchdowns to only 4 interceptions. He’s an even better runner, as he leads all quarterbacks in rushing touchdowns and is tied for second in the nation out of all rushers. Ward’s Cougars take on a tough Memphis squad this week that is in search of a signature win. 

Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State (Last week: 5)

 

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

22 touches, 198 yards, 1 touchdown vs. Clemson

164 touches, 1416 yards, 13 touchdowns this season  

Eric Saltzman: Despite his Seminoles falling to Clemson and subsequently bumping him out of the rankings, Dalvin Cook still turned in a strong performance, averaging nine yards per touch and accounting for over half of FSU’s yards on offense. If you need proof of Cook’s ability, just look at Clemson linebacker Ben Boulware’s (number 10) bewilderment at Cook’s elusiveness in the above photo. While playing for a team that’s fallen in the rankings may hurt his candidacy, Cook has continued to show he’s a more than capable back.

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

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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

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) 

  

USA TODAY Sports

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)

 
USA TODAY Sports

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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SQ Heisman Power Rankings: Sixth Edition

We have a new entry in our top five. Who is it? And who got bumped out? Find out all of this and more in our new edition of Heisman Power Rankings. 

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

We have a new entry in our top five. Who is it? And who got bumped out? Find out all of this and more in our new edition of Heisman Power Rankings. 

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 Sixth Edition of the SQ Heisman Power Rankings:

 
1. Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU, 2 points (unanimous #1)

(Last week: 1)

  

Derick E. Hingle, USA TODAY Sports27 touches, 152 yards, one touchdown vs. Western Kentucky

183 touches, 1410 total yards, 15 touchdowns this season 

What Our Writers Thought: 

Erik Weiss: Among the monsoon that hit Baton Rouge last Saturday night, Fournette was able to make it rain yet again. Although everyone didn’t even bat an eye at Fournette’s performance against a mediocre defense during an unattractive game, that is exactly what makes Leonard so good. Nobody found anything significant during this game, yet Fournette still managed to go for 150 yards. What’s even better is that it was, statistically, his worst game of the year. When was the last time someone rushed for 150 yards and it was considered a disappointment? The answer to that would be never. Leonard Fournette is on another level right now and nobody has been able to knock him off his pedestal. LSU takes on Bama in two weeks, a perfect chance for Fournette to cement his Heisman legacy.    

Brian Peel: Leonard Fournette is that rare talent that can bore people when he is “held” to 150 yards rushing and a score. The Western Kentucky game probably won’t make his highlight reel when he is accepting the Heisman Trophy in December, but Fournette’s performance certainly didn’t take away votes from his campaign. With 18 yards being his longest run of the day on Saturday, the Hilltoppers did a decent job of limiting Fournette to 5.8 yards per carry, his lowest of the season. On the year, Fournette is still averaging an outstanding 7.7 yards per carry, which is even more ridiculous when considering LSU is not running a wide-open spread attack like you see at Baylor or Ohio State. 

2. Trevone Boykin, QB, TCU, 4 points

(Last week: 2) 

  

Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

27 of 32, 510 total yards, five touchdowns vs. Iowa State

166 of 250, 2979 total yards, 30 touchdowns, five ints. this season 

What Our Writers Thought: 

Erik Weiss: Just like Fournette, Boykin is on his own level. For those who may be misled by that statement, Boykin in no way is close to knocking Fournette out of number one. On the other hand, nobody else in any way is close to knocking Boykin out of number two. The only way I see Boykin falling out of this spot is if he beats himself. Boykin will finish the season with tough games against West Virginia, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, and Baylor. Unless Boykin severely underperforms in several of these matchups, he’ll stick at the second spot. Outside of Fournette, Boykin is the most unstoppable player in the nation. The only person who could stop him is Boykin himself, and I just don’t see that happening.  

Brian Peel: With Seth Russell now out for the year, Trevone Boykin stands alone as the only quarterback generating any serious Heisman buzz in 2015. While a few other quarterbacks have better statistics so far this season, Boykin is leading TCU to an undefeated start at 7-0 and a top five ranking. TCU was off this week, but Boykin’s 2,539 yards passing, 25 touchdowns, and 66.4 completion percentage in only seven games are all on pace to blow past last season’s tremendous totals. The meat of TCU’s schedule is still to come starting Nov. 7 when the Horned Frogs travel to Stillwater to take on Oklahoma State, but Boykin should be right behind Fournette come mid-December.

 
3.  Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State, 6 points

(Last week: 4) 

USA TODAY Sports

22 touches, 171 yards, two touchdowns vs. Rutgers

190 touches, 1290 total yards, 13 touchdowns this season 

What Our Writers Thought: 

Erik Weiss: Regardless of the controversy that surrounds the quarterback position for the Buckeyes, Ezekiel Elliott has played extremely well. He’s been the only consistent source of offense for the team throughout the first half of the season. Ohio State might have just had their statement game, the one to silence all critics, when they blew out Rutgers last Saturday. Elliott played a huge role in that win as he contributed 171 total yards. He averaged nearly eight yards every time he touched the ball. Elliott has consistently been able to excel throughout the year and will most likely continue to lead the Buckeye offense even when they figure out the quarterback situation. 

Brian Peel: After weeks of swapping back and forth and inconsistent play, it looks like Ohio State finally settled on J.T. Barrett as their starting quarterback and I’m sure you won’t be hearing any complaints from Ezekiel Elliott about that. The entire Buckeyes team looked much more like the machine they were last season when they blew past Rutgers 49-7 on Saturday and a more stable passing game will only make Elliott better, if that is even possible. With his 142 yards against the Scarlet Knights, Elliott has now rushed for 100 yards in all eight games this season. Elliott is great alright, but there is still a large gap between him and the two front runners. 

4. (tie) Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State, 9 points

(Last week: 2) 

USA Today Images

21 touches, 132 yards, one touchdown vs. Georgia Tech

142 touches, 1218 yards, 12 touchdowns this season 

What Our Writers Thought: 

Erik Weiss: Unfortunately, because Dalvin Cook did not rush for over 200 yards and multiple scores, he ends up falling down the list. Losing to unranked Georgia Tech didn’t help his case either. The Seminoles will host Syracuse this week, a team which allowed Leonard Fournette to explode for a career high 251 total yards. Cook will need to have a game like that if he wants to keep his Heisman hopes alive. 

Brian Peel: Too little Cook, too little Cook. Dalvin Cook had a rather mediocre performance for his standards Saturday when Georgia Tech held him to 82 yards rushing and only 4.8 yards per carry. Cook did manage 132 all-purpose yards and a score, but maybe the most shocking stat from FSU’s first loss of the season was the fact that Cook only got the ball six times in the second half, perhaps due to a still sore hamstring he tweaked in early October. Cook is undoubtedly one of the best players in the country and a future NFL first round pick, but I’d say his chance at a Heisman in 2015 is all but over. 

4. (tie) Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor 9 points

(Last week: Not Ranked) 

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Six catches, 85 yards, two touchdowns vs. Iowa State

47 catches, 962 yards, 18 touchdowns this season

What Our Writers Thought: 

Erik Weiss: Out goes Myles Garrett, and in comes Corey Coleman. Don’t get me wrong, Garrett is the best defender in the country and undoubtedly deserves to be in the Heisman talks. But Corey Coleman is just flat-out better. Coleman knows how to find the end zone better than anyone else in the country. He is currently scoring on 38% of his catches, which is well above anyone else in the nation. Coleman is an elite athlete and thrives through Baylor’s pass-first offense. Hopefully, the loss of Seth Russell doesn’t affect his performance that much. 

Brian Peel: Baylor’s Corey Coleman makes an appearance on the Heisman list because all the guy does is score touchdowns. How many you ask? Well, Coleman might very well break the single season touchdown reception record of 27 held by Louisiana Tech’s Troy Edwards that was set back in 1998. In just seven games, Coleman already has 18 touchdown catches. Coleman found himself in the end zone two more times Saturday against Iowa State, but he will be tested greatly without quarterback Seth Russell the rest of the way. 

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

28 touches, 143 yards, two touchdowns vs. Tennessee

188 touches, 1113 yards, 14 touchdowns this season 

Erik Weiss: Last week, I said that Derrick Henry plays best when the spotlight is the brightest. Well, he did it again in a primetime game against Tennessee. Henry went over 100 yards for the fifth time this season and could not be stopped the entire game. Just when Tennessee seemed to have eliminated any championship hopes for the Tide, Derrick Henry comes back and scores the game-winning touchdown in the winding minute. Henry’s next game will come against a young yet stout LSU defense. This game should ultimately determine who will represent the SEC West in the conference title game. More importantly, for our sake at least, is the one-on-one battle Henry will have with Heisman frontrunner Leonard Fournette.  

Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford (Last week: Not Ranked) 

Kirby Lee - USA TODAY Sports

31 touches, 300 total yards, three touchdowns vs. Washington

201 touches, 1818 yards, eight touchdowns this season 


Brian Peel: It isn’t easy to lead the country in all-purpose yards and still be under the radar, but that is exactly what Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey is doing in 2015 with his 1818 total yards. Saturday was another stellar performance for the sophomore when he gashed the Washington Huskies for a total of 300 yards and three touchdowns. What sets apart McCaffrey and all the other Heisman contenders is how he gets the ball in so many different ways. Not only is McCaffrey second in the Pac-12 in rushing yards with 953, he also has 284 yards receiving and 581 yards returning punts and kickoffs. 

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

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SQ Heisman Power Rankings: 5th Edition

As the race between the running backs gets tighter and tighter, see who’s gained a leg on the others and who’s on the come-up. Not to mention, we came across our first tie. Which two players are now neck-and-neck? 

DISCLAIMER: These rankings were made prior to any Week 8 action

How the Scoring Works 

As the race between the running backs gets tighter and tighter, see who’s gained a leg on the others and who’s on the come-up. Not to mention, we came across our first tie. Which two players are now neck-and-neck? 

DISCLAIMER: These rankings were made prior to any Week 8 action

How the Scoring Works 

Each of our SQ writers was asked rank the Top 5 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 that. The lower one’s total is, the higher on the rankings he is.  

For example, if Trevone Boykin receives a 2nd place vote, a 1st place vote, a 5th, another 2nd, and another 1st. His total would come out to 11. If Leonard Fournette receives three 5th place votes and a 4th place, 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 5th Edition of the SQ Heisman Power Rankings: 

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

(Last week: 1) 


Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

32 touches, 195 yards, 2 touchdowns vs. Florida

156 touches, 1258 total yards, 14 touchdowns this season 

What Our Writers Thought: 

Erik Weiss: For those Florida fans who thought that they could hold Fournette under 100 yards, they were in for a rude awakening. Even with their top-25 defense, they were no match for the best player in the country. Although Fournette didn’t have a signature 80-yard multiple broken tackle touchdown run, he was still able to walk away with nearly 200 total yards and two scores. With most of the attention shifting to Dalvin Cook in the past couple weeks, Fournette fans should feel no reason to worry. Leonard is here to stay. 

Alex Koslow: Fournette might be one of the rare players to actually go from the start of the season as favorite for Heisman and actually win it. Every week he shows why he’s the most dynamic running back in the country, and this week was obviously no different. Fournette wasn’t going against a team like Eastern Michigan, he was going up against a formidable Gators defense that gave up just under 100 rushing yards a game before the game. Fournette went on to gash the defense for 180 yards on the ground on 31 carries and two touchdowns.

Geoff Hammersley: Once again, Leonard Fournette showed the college football world why he is the best. Nearly 200 yards against a ranked Florida squad will keep you at the top of the Heisman mountain. With Western Kentucky up next for LSU, I look to Fournette to make-up lost yards against McNeese State back in Week 1. 

2. (tie) Trevone Boykin, QB, 8 points

(Last week: 2) 

USA TODAY Sports

27 of 32, 510 total yards, 5 touchdowns vs. Iowa St.

166 of 250, 2979 total yards, 30 touchdowns, 5 ints. this season 

What Our Writers Thought: 

Erik Weiss: Trevone Boykin finished the Iowa State game with his highest QBR of the season at 97.2. Yet again, Boykin was the main source of offense for the Horned Frogs as he accounted for 82% of the team’s offense. However, what I found really impressive was that he played smart football. We’ve become used to seeing Boykin light up defenses each week. But those performances either come with turnovers or a poor completion percentage. Against the Cyclones, Boykin has no turnovers and completed 84% of his attempts. If Boykin can keep playing intelligently while remaining electric, he’ll still have a shot at winning the trophy. 

Alex Koslow: Boykin had one of his most complete game this year in a win over Iowa State. He had a season high completion percentage of 84.4% and also tied a season high with five touchdowns. After throwing three interceptions in his first three games, he cut down on the turnovers only throwing two picks in the last four games. Boykin is the main reason TCU sees themselves in the race for the CFP. 

Geoff Hammersley: Boykin passed for 510 yards against Iowa State, holding off the upset. He’s hovering on the 3000-yard mark in a pass-friendly conference. Once again, he jumps up the board with a big game performance.

2. (tie) Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State 8 points

(Last week: 4) 

Mark Wallheiser, AP Photos

26 touches, 223 yards, 2 touchdowns vs. Louisville

121 touches, 1086 yards, 11 touchdowns this season 

What Our Writers Thought: 

Erik Weiss: As an LSU fan, it pains me to say that Dalvin Cook is starting to give Leonard Fournette a run for his money. Now, while I still think the Heisman is Fournette’s to lose, Cook is making the race more and more interesting every week. He’s gone over 200 total yards two weeks in a row now and three times total this season. For what Fournette has in power and speed, Cook equally has in vision and shiftiness. Who knows, maybe next week we’ll see these two backs tied for first. 

Alex Koslow: Dalvin Cook is making fans in Tallahassee forget all about Jameis Winston. He ranks fifth in the country in rushing yards with 955, but has done this on just 110 carries, landing him third in yards per attempt. Cook hasn’t faced defenses that are on par with SEC defenses, but if he can continue his output and with a Fournette slip-up, Cook could see himself on top of the Heisman race. 

Geoff Hammersley: Unlike Fournette, Cook eclipsed the 200-yard mark against Louisville. With nearly 1,000 rushing yards on the year, Cook becomes a legit threat for Florida State as a Heisman candidate, but also can be the flame the ‘Noles ride to get back to the playoffs. 

4. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State 11 points

(Last week: 3) 


Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

31 touches, 174 yards, 1 touchdown vs. Penn St

168 touches, 1119 total yards, 11 touchdowns this season 

What Our Writers Thought: 

Erik Weiss: What’s funny is that Ezekiel Elliott put up 174 yards last game and he ended up moving down in the rankings. In this year’s Heisman race, 174 yards just isn’t enough to cut it. When Fournette and Cook seem to go for 200+ yards every week, it’s hard to gain any attention. Speaking of attention, what’s also funny is that Elliott receives the bulk of the touches out of anyone for the Buckeyes, yet it still isn’t enough. Don’t get me wrong, Elliott is a fantastic player and one of the most dangerous weapons in college football. It’s just that there are guys out there who are better. 


Alex Koslow: Once again all eyes are on the quarterback situation for Ohio State, and what a shame. Elliott rushed for his second highest rushing total against Penn State with 153. He could rank above Cook in these rankings, but with only one touchdown last week and ranking 32nd in rushing per attempt, its hard to say that Elliott is the better back at this point in the season. 

Geoff Hammersley: Once again, Elliott hit the 100-yard mark on the ground which brings his streak of 100-yard performances to 12. A big day at Rutgers can help increase his stock, especially with J.T. Barrett at quarterback. If Elliott has just an inch of space, defenders should be used to seeing the ‘Elliott’ nameplate. Expect the Scarlet Knights to see the nameplate a lot. 

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

(Last week: 5) 


Soobum Im, USA TODAY Sports

5 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack, 1 PD vs. Alabama

30 tackles, 11.5 TFL, 8.5 sacks, 3 FF, 2 PD this season

What Our Writers Thought:

Erik Weiss: For as much as I’ve boasted about Myles Garrett this past offseason, seeing him in this position on the rankings is bittersweet. On one hand, he’s been proving all of my predictions right so far. Garrett is the undisputed best defensive player in the country right now. Some may disagree with me, but that is simply a fact. He excels at both rushing the passer and defending the run, a rare combo for someone to have as only a sophomore. Unfortunately, with the other four playing on another level, this is most likely the highest Garrett will get on this list.

Alex Koslow: Garrett went up a very good Alabama offensive line, and held his own and then some. Bama made sure they knew where Garrett was lined up each snap and did everything they could to stop him. That’s how much of a presence he has as a defensive end. Other teams make this an emphasis as well, yet he still makes plays. Third in sacks with 8.5, Garrett may be the best defensive lineman this year. It’s unfortunatly not enough to get more credit from Heisman voters.

Geoff Hammersley: Even though Texas A&M got thumped by Alabama, Garrett issued five tackles and a sack. With Ole Miss this week, a great night for Garrett can raise his stock, and keep the Aggies in the thick of things within the SEC.

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: Not Ranked)

USA TODAY Sports

33 touches, 254 yards, 2 touchdowns vs. Texas A&M

160 touches, 970 total yards, 12 touchdowns this season


Erik Weiss: Derrick Henry seems to play on another level when in the national spotlight. Take a look at his opponents for every game in which he’s gone for over 100 yards: Wisconsin, Ole Miss, Georgia and Texas A&M. All of those matchups were against ranked teams on primetime television. Henry seems to play his best football when the pressure is at its highest. So far in seven games, Henry has 901 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns on 152 carries. Last season, Henry ran for 990 yards and 11 touchdowns on 172 carries…in 14 games. Simply put, Henry has matched his totals from last year in half as many games. At 6’3 240 lbs., Henry has literally been unstoppable so far.

Josh Doctson, WR, TCU (Last week: Not Ranked)

Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

10 receptions, 190 yards, 2 touchdowns vs Iowa State

60 receptions, 1067 yards, 12 touchdowns this season

Alex Koslow: Once again Josh Doctson is my honorable mention. Boykin garners the attention on TCU’s offense, but even he’ll probably admit that Doctson has helped him out tremendously. First in the country in receiving yards with 1077, and second in touchdowns with 14, Doctson might be this year’s Amari Cooper.


Other Honorable Mentions:

Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson (Last week: Not Ranked)
27 of 41, 452 total yards, 4 touchdowns, 2 ints. vs. Boston College

116 of 170, 1644 total yards, 16 touchdowns 7 ints. this season


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

Read More 1725 Words

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

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 88 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) 

  THOMAS SHEA/USA TODAY SPORTS

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) 

USA TODAY SPORTS

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!

Read More 1684 Words

SQ Heisman Power Rankings: 3rd Edition

Who slipped in this week’s Heisman poll? Has a defensive player finally entered the discussion? Is the list still dominated by running backs? Find out all of this and more in SQ’s newest Heisman Power Rankings. 

How the Scoring Works 

Each of our SQ writers was asked rank the top 5 current Heisman contenders from

Who slipped in this week’s Heisman poll? Has a defensive player finally entered the discussion? Is the list still dominated by running backs? Find out all of this and more in SQ’s newest Heisman Power Rankings. 

How the Scoring Works 

Each of our SQ writers was asked rank the top 5 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 that. The lower one’s total is, the higher on the ranking.  

For example, if Trevone Boykin receives a 2nd place vote, a 1st place vote, a 5th, another 2nd, and another 1st. His total would come out to 11. If Nick Chubb receives three 5th place votes and a 4th place, his total would be 19. Thus Boykin would be higher up on the rankings than Chubb. (These are not the actual numbers, just a hypothetical). 

Without further ado, here are the SQ Heisman Power Rankings heading into Week 6

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

(Last week: 1) 

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

26 carries 233 yards 3 touchdowns vs. EMU

101 touches 880 total yards 11 touchdowns this season 

What Our Writers Thought: 

Erik Weiss: If it wasn’t for Fournette, LSU may have lost to Eastern Michigan last week…or at least only won by single digits. His 75-yard touchdown run on the first play of the second half is what opened the game up and could have essentially saved the Tigers’ season. Fournette also made his first appearance in the SEC history books; he was the first player in conference history to rush for over 200 yards in three straight games. With an upcoming matchup against a South Carolina team that struggles to defend the run, along with many other weaknesses, I don’t see Fournette slowing down any time soon. 

Nate Wallace: After rushing for over 200 yards in his past three games, Fournette has a stranglehold on the top spot in the Heisman race. As the Tigers get into the thick of conference play, it will be interesting to see if he can keep it going. Next up for LSU is the South Carolina Gamecocks, who have the ninth-ranked rush defense in the SEC and have allowed 170 rushing yards per game. 

Alex Koslow: Fournette never ceases to amaze. He rushed for 233 yards and 3 touchdowns this past week, granted against a poor run defense in Eastern Michigan. Rushing for over 200 yards the last three games and having at least two touchdowns in every game this season, it’s scary to think that Fournette might be pulling away from the competition. It’s Fournette’s Heisman to lose at this point. 

2. Trevone Boykin, QB, 6 points 

(Last week: 3) 

Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

20-35 384 total yards 5 touchdowns vs. Texas

119-188 2044 total yards 21 touchdowns 3 interceptions. this season 

What Our Writers Thought: 

Erik Weiss: Trevone Boykin played a big part in TCU’s dismantling of Texas last week, a win that forced the defeated Longhorns to basically reconsider their existence. What more can be said of Boykin that hasn’t been touched upon already? The guy is simply a touchdown waiting to happen. He gets to throw to one of the best receivers in the nation and has one of the best tailbacks next to him, but Boykin is the catalyst of this flourishing offense.  

Nate Wallace: Boykin continues to impress with his arm, ranking 4th in the country for passing yards with 1,802 and leading the Horned Frogs up the polls to number two.  Ever since the season opener against Minnesota, Boykin and the TCU offense, especially Josh Doctson, have played great. 

Alex Koslow: A new number 2 this week and well deserved. Boykin threw for 332 yards and 5 touchdowns last week vs. Texas. The Longhorns have had a hard time on defense this year, but that doesn’t lessen the impact that Boykin had. He’s been nothing short of incredible since a rough start against Minnesota, throwing 18 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions the past 4 weeks. Top it off with the 4th most passing yards in the country and Boykin is looking to keep the Heisman in the hands of a QB. 

3. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State 9 points 

(Last week: 4) 

Brian Spurlock - USA TODAY Sports

23 carries 274 yards 3 touchdowns vs. Indiana

110 touches 792 total yards 8 touchdowns this season 

What Our Writers Thought: 

Erik Weiss: I don’t want to say that Elliott single-handedly saved the Buckeyes’ season with his performance against Indiana, but it was pretty darn close. Without his big second half, we could’ve kissed the Buckeyes goodbye. With all of the questions surrounding the team, Elliott has been the glue to hold it all together. He’s the most explosive back in the country behind Fournette, as any time he reaches the second level, he’s most likely taking it the distance. Elliott faces a shaky Maryland team next week, meaning we should expect nothing less than stellar once again. 

Nate Wallace: After last week’s performance (274 yards and 3 touchdowns), Elliott launched himself back into the Heisman conversation. Cardale Jones and the rest of the Buckeye offense are still struggling a little bit with turnovers, but Elliott and the offensive line seem to have found some of the magic they had at the end of last season. Maryland is next for Ohio State, so look out for another solid game from Zeke. 

Alex Koslow: Elliott had his break out game I was looking for just last week. In a game where Indiana made the Buckeyes sweat, Elliott put the team on his back, rushing for 274 yards and 3 touchdowns (all on rushes over 55 yards). Maybe Meyer has realized that it doesn’t matter who’s at quarterback as long as Elliott is in the backfield. 

4. Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia 12 points 

(Last week: 2) 

Dale Zanine / USA TODAY Sports

20 carries 146 yards 1 touchdown vs. Alabama

95 touches 777 total yards 7 touchdowns this season 

What Our Writers Thought: 

Erik Weiss: When you’re one of three running backs in the top 5, one slip up will cause you to fall. That’s what happened to Ezekiel Elliott a couple weeks ago, and that’s what happened to Nick Chubb this past week. Georgia suffered an embarrassing loss to Alabama where, outside of one 83-yard run by Chubb, the offense did absolutely nothing. Much like what Nate said, Chubb isn’t out of the race at all. The next three spots behind Fournette (that being: Boykin, Elliott and Chubb) have been extremely impressive thus far. As Georgia enters SEC play, Chubb will have plenty of opportunities to climb back up the ladder. 

Nate Wallace: With Georgia losing to Alabama, Nick Chubb falls behind Elliott for the time being. However, Chubb still put in a solid outing (146 yards and a touchdown) against a tough Crimson Tide defense that is ranked 12th in the nation at stopping the run. Obviously, the sophomore isn’t completely out of the Heisman race, but he has some work to do, especially if he wants to catch Fournette. 

Alex Koslow: Rushing for 146 yards against Alabama would look good to any other running back, but not Nick Chubb. For most of the game, the Tide defense suffocated Chubb, before he broke an 83 yard run touchdown run. Without that run, Chubb ran for 63 yards on 19 carries, which comes out to a very average 3.3 yards per attempt. With other players having huge games, Chubb drops quite a bit in the Heisman watch. 

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

(Last week: Honorable Mention) 

Soobum Im, USA TODAY Sports

7 tackles 2 TFL 1 sack 1 FF 1 PD vs. Miss. St.

25 tackles 9.5 TFL 7.5 sacks 3 FF 1 PD this season 

What Our Writers Thought: 

Erik Weiss: We haven’t seen a Heisman finalist come from the defensive side of the ball since Manti Te’o back in 2012. It’s now three years later and we may see one once again. I’ve voiced my opinion on Myles Garrett several times in my past articles, and it seems that my predictions are coming true. Garrett is a force to be reckoned with; he’s arguably the most feared defender in the country right now. He’s tied for second in the country in sacks (only by one) and knows how to dominate in every facet of the defensive game. 

Nate Wallace: The Aggie defense has struggled mightily over the past few seasons, but with the addition of John Chavis at defensive coordinator, they are playing with tons of confidence. Myles Garrett (7.5 sacks) has a lot to do with their success, leading an A&M defense that is 5th in the nation in sacks. Overall, if Garrett makes some big-time plays against Alabama in two weeks, he will gain plenty more Heisman consideration. 

Alex Koslow: I love seeing my honorable mention pick last week come up in the actual rankings this time around. Garrett is the anchor on the Aggie defensive line and the leader on the entire defense. Even as a sophomore, Garrett is a force—he’s only half a sack away from double digit sacks. He had a mundane performance last week, but bounced back very nicely this week against a good Mississippi State team. 

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: 

Seth Russell, QB, Baylor (Last week: Not Ranked) 

Jerome Miron - USA TODAY Sports

15-23 367 total yards 6 touchdowns 1 int. vs. TTU

65-103 1453 total yards 22 touchdowns 5 interceptions this season 

Erik Weiss: With Baylor entering the top 3 with an undefeated record, it’s only appropriate to show them a little recognition when it comes to Heisman contenders. Much like Boykin and TCU, Seth Russell is the ringleader of this lights-out Bears offense. Russell has actually seen the end zone more times than Boykin, so far, and Baylor leads the country in scoring through 5 weeks. Most of the credit should go to Russell. 

Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma (Last week: 5)

Matt D. Smith - USA TODAY Sports

14-25 320 yards 3 touchdowns vs WVU

88-135 1520 yards 17 touchdown 3 interceptions this season 

Nate Wallace: Baker Mayfield has taken the reigns of this revamped Oklahoma offense and played very well. Most importantly, the Sooners haven’t lost yet. I am giving Mayfield honorable mention for this week, not because of what he did last week against West Virginia (320 yards and 3 touchdowns), but because of his full body of work over the first half of the season. Looking down the schedule for the Sooners, back-to-back games against Baylor and TCU provide an excellent opportunity for Mayfield to make a statement. 

Josh Doctson, WR, TCU (Last week: Not Ranked) 

Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

7 receptions 129 yards 2 touchdowns vs Texas

42 receptions 722 yards 8 touchdowns this season 

Alex Koslow: Like last week, I’m going against the norm and picking a player at a position many don’t see as able to win the Heisman. TCU’s wide reciever Josh Doctson is the best offensive player (after Boykin) on one of the best offenses in the country. Doctson is second in recieving yards and touchdowns and the go to guy for Boykin in such a high powered offense. If Boykin keeps throwing it his way, Doctson could find himself like Amari Cooper last year as a reciever in the Top 4 of Heisman voting. 

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

Read More 1877 Words

SQ Heisman Power Rankings: 2nd Edition

Is Leonard Fournette still the unanimous number one selection? Who dropped out and who’s on the rise? Find out the answers to these and more in this week’s edition of the SQ Heisman Power Rankings! 

How the Scoring Works 

Each of our SQ writers was asked to rank the top 5 current Heisman contenders from

Is Leonard Fournette still the unanimous number one selection? Who dropped out and who’s on the rise? Find out the answers to these and more in this week’s edition of the SQ Heisman Power Rankings! 

How the Scoring Works 

Each of our SQ writers was asked to rank the top 5 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 that. The lower one’s total is, the higher the ranking.  

For example, if Trevone Boykin receives a 2nd place vote, a 1st place vote, a 5th, another 2nd, and another 1st. His total would come out to 11. If Nick Chubb receives three 5th place votes and a 4th place, his total would be 19. Thus Boykin would be higher up on the rankings than Chubb. (These are not the actual numbers, just a hypothetical). 

Without further ado, here are the SQ Heisman Power Rankings heading into Week 5: 

1. Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU 4 points (unanimous #1) 

(Last week: 1) 

Mark Konezny/USA TODAY Sports

26 carries 244 yards 2 touchdowns vs. Syracuse

73 carries 647 total yards 8 touchdowns this season  

What Our Writers Thought: 

Erik Weiss: Leonard Fournette. What more can you say about the guy that hasn’t already been covered? I had the pleasure of watching him live when LSU came to visit my Syracuse Orange. Let’s just say when you can single-handedly win over the home-opposing crowd, you know you’re something special. Every time Fournette broke a long run, which was also every time he touched the ball, the entire Carrier Dome went silent and everyone was on his/her feet. Heading into the game, Syracuse boasted a top-10 run defense. I’m guessing nobody got around to telling Fournette, or he just simply didn’t care as he went for his second straight 200-yard game. Although LSU has played one less game than everyone else, Fournette is still 3rd in the nation in rushing. I think it’s safe to say that we’re witnessing the equivalent to Jordan in his prime. 

Nate Wallace: Fournette added yet another solid game to his already impressive resume when he ran for 244 yards and 2 touchdowns against Syracuse. Also, he would probably be the leading rusher in the country if their season opener against McNeese State wasn’t cancelled due to weather. Fortunately for Fournette, the Tigers’ schedule has the perfect Heisman formula: a mix of games where Fournette can ‘go off’ and prime time games against ranked teams that most of the country will be watching. Next week LSU plays Eastern Michigan, who ranks 127th in the country in rush defense. So, expect Fournette to have a big day. 

Alex Koslow: Leonard Fournette just keeps getting better and better. It was only against Syracuse, but when you put up 244 yards with 2 touchdowns, it’s bound to garner attention. LSU has yet to face a top defense, but to average just over 210 yards a game is impressive against anyone. Fournette’s output is even more impressive with the fact that LSU is the 5th worst team in the country in passing yards. He’s the heart and soul of this Tigers’ offense. If he can keep it up, which he should, LSU will succeed and Fournette should hear his name called for the Heisman. 

David Street: Another day, another 200+ rushing performance for Leonard Fournette. That’s all that really needs to be said about him. 

2. Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia 8 points

(Last week: 2) 

Dale Zanine/USA Today

15 carries 155 total yards 3 touchdowns vs. Southern

71 carries 636 total yards 7 touchdowns this season 

What Our Writers Thought: 

Erik Weiss: Nick Chubb tends to be the forgotten tailback due to his SEC counterpart (Fournette) owning the college football headlines. However, as good as Fournette is, we forget that Chubb is right there as well. Although he isn’t as flashy a player as Fournette or former Bulldog Todd Gurley, Chubb is on a mission every time he touches the ball. This week, Georgia takes on an Alabama team who has yet to allow a hundred-yard rusher this season. In last week’s rankings we all said that Chubb has yet to prove his worth this year because he hasn’t faced a quality defense. Well, here’s his chance. 

Nate Wallace: Coming off his second consecutive two-touchdown game, Nick Chubb is trying to keep pace with Leonard Fournette in the Heisman race. Chubb has a great opportunity on a big stage this weekend against Alabama, who is ranked 6th in the country in rush defense. 

Alex Koslow: Chubb and Fournette are almost interchangeable, with the difference being so minute. Chubb has lead the Bulldogs since he stepped onto the field for suspended Todd Gurley last season. This past week against Southern University, Chubb tied Hershel Walker’s school record with 12 straight 100-yard games. Anytime you get compared to Walker, you’re doing something right. Chubb and Fournette could go back and forth for a while with no real winner until the actual Heisman winner is announced. 

David Street: Nick Chubb put up another Nick Chubb-esque day as he tied Herschel Walker’s school record for consecutive games with at least 100 yards rushing. Georgia has a huge game coming up against Alabama and if they can pull off the victory with Chubb leading the way, he will definitely move up this list. 

3. Trevone Boykin, QB, TCU 12 points

(Last week: 4) 

Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

34-54 527 total yards 4 touchdowns vs. Texas Tech

99-153 1660 total yards 16 touchdowns 3 interceptions this season  

What Our Writers Thought: 

Erik Weiss: Although TCU has struggled mightily this year, winning three of their four games by single digits, they would be nowhere without Trevone Boykin. It’s obvious to see how shaky the Horned Frogs defense has been so far, meaning that the team continues to rely heavily on the production of Boykin. He is currently second in the country in total yards and has single-handedly accounted for 65% of TCU’s offense. Simply put, the guy is the definition of instant offense. The Horned Frogs could very well be 1-3 if it wasn’t for the efforts of Boykin…and a little bit of luck. 

Nate Wallace: With the injury-plagued TCU defense allowing points left and right, Trevone Boykin is throwing the ball a lot and, as a result, he put up great numbers against Texas Tech, throwing 4 touchdowns in the Horned Frogs’ comeback victory. With running backs garnering most of the attention so far this season, it will be interesting to see how Boykin performs as TCU gets further into conference play. 

Alex Koslow: TCU struggled to get past Texas Tech, but don’t even think about putting blame on Boykin. The Horned Frogs needed every bit of Boykin’s 527 yard, 4 touchdown game to pull out a win. Boykin has changed my view of him from week 1 and starting to play like I expected. Third in passing yards and touchdowns puts him as the best QB in college. He’ll need to keep playing how he can and play well against top level opponents like Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Baylor. 

David Street: TCU QB Trevone Boykin continues to impress. With TCU’s defense struggling, Boykin put the team on his back with 485 passing yards and four touchdowns. 

4. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State 16 points

(Last week: 5) Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

16 carries 124 yards 1 touchdown vs. Western Michigan

77 carries 621 total yards 5 touchdowns this season   

What Our Writers Thought: 

Erik Weiss: Ezekiel “Jumpman” Elliott, believe it or not, is in the top-20 for rushing yards and touchdowns so far this season. Just because he isn’t going for 250 yards every game, people are beginning to write him off as if he just disappeared off the face of the earth. We tend to forget that Elliott is still one of the elite backs in the country. He’s gone over 100 yards each game this year and will most likely eclipse 1,000 in no time since Ohio State doesn’t see an elite defense again until November. With Fournette and Chubb playing lights out, however, Elliott will end up sitting in the bottom half of the rankings for now. 

Nate Wallace: Elliott hasn’t had a bad season so far by any means, but because of how he played in the final three games of last year (rushing for over 200 yards in each game), people expect more from him. The Buckeyes are going through some growing pains right now with most of the offense, but the one constant has been Elliott. Overall, Ohio State improved against Western Michigan last week. It will be interesting to see how Elliott and the offensive line play against an Indiana team that gave them trouble for three quarters last season. 

Alex Koslow: Elliott still plays well even without the attention. While the rest of the country is worried about who should start between Cardale Jones or JT Barrett, Elliott continues to put up numbers. Averaging 155 yards a game is great when the offense isn’t focused on you. Fans across the country are worrying if Elliott is getting enough touches, and if he wants to be a legitimate Heisman contender, he’ll have to have a coming out game to get attention back on him. 

David Street: Ezekiel Elliot was solid once again for the Buckeyes as he rushed for 124 yards and one touchdown. 

5. Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma 20 points

(Last week: Honorable Mention) Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

32-38 572 total yards 6 touchdowns vs. Tulsa

74-110 1201 total yards 14 touchdowns 2 interceptions. this season 

What Our Writers Thought: 

Erik Weiss: If Trevone Boykin is the definition of instant offense, Baker Mayfield is its synonym. Mayfield is already halfway towards eclipsing his total yardage from last year and he’s only played three games. Of course, he’s getting a lot of help from Samaje Perine, but Mayfield is still the number one source of offense as seen by his double-digit touchdowns and 1,200 yards. 

Nate Wallace: Baker Mayfield has performed about as well as Bob Stoops could have hoped in the revamped Sooner offense. Mayfield has thrown for 10 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions in three games while also rushing for 4 touchdowns. Similar to Boykin, Mayfield is playing great, but the running backs are getting more attention so far this season. 

Alex Koslow: Baker Mayfield is having a good year and is probably the best Sooner QB since Sam Bradford. Two weeks ago, Mayfield had a huge game against Tulsa throwing 572 yards and 6 touchdowns. Oklahoma has only played 3 games so far and should contend in the Big 12 if Mayfield can remain hot and lead the offense. 

David Street: Mayfield being the last on my list is no knock on him. He’s a great quarterback. I just can’t judge him this time simply because his team didn’t play Week 4. 

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: 

Matt Johnson, QB, Bowling Green (Last week: Not Ranked) Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

43-59 460 total yards 1 touchdown 1 interception vs. Purdue

134-207 1876 total yards 14 touchdowns 2 interception this season 

Erik Weiss: Matt Johnson is this year’s version of the stat-sheet-stuffer. Each year we see a quarterback put up huge numbers every single week and end the season with 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns. This year, it’s Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson. Johnson currently leads all quarterbacks in completions, attempts, yards and is 3rd in touchdowns. Thanks to him, Bowling Green has defeated two Big Ten teams and has given Tennessee a run for their money. Johnson should be able to easily run through the rest of the MAC and finish the year atop the stat sheets. 

CJ Prosise, RB, Notre Dame (Last week: Honorable Mention) Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

15 carries 149 yards 2 touchdowns vs. Massachusetts

74 carries 631 total yards 6 touchdowns this season 

Nate Wallace: CJ Prosise is 4th in the country in rushing and has aided DeShone Kizer as he becomes accustomed to being the starting QB. A huge prime time game at Clemson next week provides Prosise with an opportunity to get into the top 5 for the Heisman. 

Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M (Last week: Not Ranked) 

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY

2 Tackles, 1 Tackle for Loss 1 sack 1 Forced Fumble vs Arkansas

18 total tackles 7.5 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles this season 

Alex Koslow: I went against many others and went with a defensive player as my honorable mention. Myles Garrett is one of, if not the most, disruptive defensive players in college. As only a sophomore, Garrett is getting hype similar to Clowney and Leonard Williams. He didn’t put up great numbers against Arkansas, but had a game changing strip sack that helped the Aggies pull out a slim victory. Garrett is already on pace to beat his already impressive stats from this freshman year. He’s half a sack behind the leader in the nation and looks to surpass him soon and make a name for himself as not only the best defensive play, but the best overall. 

Jordan Howard, RB, Indiana (Last week: Not Ranked) 

USA TODAY Sports

33 carries 168 yards 1 touchdown vs. Wake Forest

111 carries 743 total yards 4 touchdowns this season 

David Street: For running backs, everyone is talking about Chubb, Elliott and Fournette. Nobody seems to be talking about the guy who currently has the most rushing yards in the nation. That would be Indiana running back Jordan Howard. Howard has quietly been having a monster year and deserves way more credit than he is getting. 

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

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SQ College Football Top-25 Preview: #3 TCU

We’re getting closer and closer to the start of the 2015 college football season. In order to prepare our readers, SQ has created a Top-25 preview series. Today, we focus on TCU. 

Team: TCU 

SQ Ranking:

2014 Record: 12-1 

Finish in AP Poll:

Head Coach: Gary Patterson (16th year) 

Key Arrivals: OT Sam

We’re getting closer and closer to the start of the 2015 college football season. In order to prepare our readers, SQ has created a Top-25 preview series. Today, we focus on TCU. 

Team: TCU 

SQ Ranking:

2014 Record: 12-1 

Finish in AP Poll:

Head Coach: Gary Patterson (16th year) 

Key Arrivals: OT Sam Awolope, CB Deshawn Raymond, ATH Tony James, WR Jarrison Stewart, DE Breylin Mitchell 

Key Departures: LB Paul Dawson, FS Chris Hackett, CB Kevin White, RB B.J. Catalon, OT Tayo Fabuluje, SS Sam Carter 

Previewing the TCU Offense: By now, everybody knows that the TCU offense starts and ends with superstar quarterback Trevone Boykin. The reigning Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year will return for his senior year with a completely different mentality from last year. Boykin enters the year with Heisman and championship expectations, while last year, he was simply looking to win the starting job. 

Boykin will get to work with arguably the greatest supporting cast in the country this year. Both leading receivers (Josh Doctson and Kolby Listenbee) and leading rusher (Aaron Green) all return for another year in Fort Worth. As if the Boykin-Doctson-Listenbee combo wasn’t deadly enough, with an entire year under their belts, they can reach record-breaking levels in 2015. The combo combined for 1,771 yards and 15 touchdowns last season. On the ground, the Boykin-Green combo went for 1,629 yards and 17 touchdowns. Just in case you’re not impressed yet, that’s 3,400 yards and 32 touchdowns between the four of them. 

Up front, TCU loses left tackle Tayo Fabuluje; he started 12 games for them at the position and was named to the conference’s honorable mention team. There’s no need for worry, however, because all five projected starters are entering their senior season. 

The team returns 10 of 11 starters on offense. Considering how electric they were last year, there’s nowhere to go but up for Boykin and co.   

Previewing the TCU Defense: The Horned Frogs lost a lot of talent on the defensive side of the ball, including All-Big 12 first-teamers Chris Hackett and Paul Dawson (who was also named the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year). They will have to replace more than half of their starters from 2014, a task that defensive-minded head coach Gary Patterson is more than ready for. 

The biggest concern defensively will be the secondary. Safeties Chris Hackett and Sam Carter (1st and 2nd Team All-Big 12, respectively) are both gone, along with number one CB Kevin White. Hackett led the team in interceptions last season, which means that Coach Patterson will need someone else to step up as the big play-maker. 

As for the front seven, no shoes will be bigger to fill than Paul Dawson’s. 

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The All-American linebacker was ninth in the country in tackles last year and also finished second on the team in interceptions. Dawson was the unquestioned leader and star of the Horned Frog defense. Replacing him is going to take a group effort because players like that don’t come around very often. 

This season, look for senior safeties Derrick Kindred and Kenny Iloka (pictured right) to step up, along with team captain and defensive tackle Davion Pierson. These guys all played significant minutes last year and will be looked at as the glue that holds the entire unit together.

Patterson is going to have his work cut out for him on the defensive side of the ball. Luckily, the offense should be able to patch up some of the defense’s holes early on, but by the end of the year, one expects the unit to click…just in time for a playoff push wink wink. 

Three Key Games: 

1. TCU vs. Baylor, Nov. 27 – This one comes as expected. TCU’s lone loss last year, and arguably the sole reason why they didn’t make the playoffs, was to Baylor. This game will come as advertised, with both teams expected to put up around 60 points. Whoever scores last will probably win this game. 

2. TCU at Oklahoma, Nov. 21 – The only other team worthy of being in the Big 12 elites is Oklahoma. The Sooners are considered by many to be a dark horse championship contender. This game will be the Horned Frogs’ biggest test to date, and the fact that they have to play at Oklahoma only adds to the difficulty. 

3. TCU at Oklahoma State, Nov. 7 – Oklahoma State is the team to watch out for in the Big 12. Outside of TCU, Baylor and Oklahoma, nobody has really been a proven threat. OSU is expected to change that this year, and they will look to make a statement when hosting the Horned Frogs. 

Final Analysis: Now’s the time for Coach Patterson and his Horned Frogs. The team enters 2015 with a huge chip on their shoulder, as they will try to prove why it was a mistake to leave them out of the playoffs last season. Ten starters return on offense, including Heisman frontrunner Trevone Boykin. With one year left on campus, Boykin will look to take full advantage of his talented players. 

It’s going to be an uphill battle for the defense, as they will look to replace upwards of seven starters, including four people in the secondary and star linebacker Paul Dawson. Senior safeties Derrick Kindred and Kenny Iloka will be seen as the leaders of this defense on the field. The true leader of this defense will be Coach Patterson, as he must put his defensive mind to use now more than ever. 

TCU’s offense alone has enough talent to carry the team through the season, and with the defense gelling together by the end of the year, one can see the Horned Frogs win the Big 12 and enter the college football playoffs, thanks to Heisman winner Trevone Boykin. Also—you heard it here first—TCU may in fact finish the year hoisting the championship trophy.

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SQ College Football Top-25 Preview: #21 Texas A&M

The 2015 college football season is almost a month away, which means we're getting closer to figuring out who the king of the crop will be. We've assembled our own list of the NCAA's best teams here at SQ in anticipation of the new season. Today, we take a look at #21 Texas A&M.

Team:

The 2015 college football season is almost a month away, which means we’re getting closer to figuring out who the king of the crop will be. We’ve assembled our own list of the NCAA’s best teams here at SQ in anticipation of the new season. Today, we take a look at #21 Texas A&M.

Team: Texas A&M

SQ Ranking: 21

2014 Record: 8-5

Finish in AP Poll: Not Ranked

Head Coach: Kevin Sumlin (4th year)

Key Arrivals: DT Daylon Mack, QB Kyler Murray, WR Christian Kirk, DE James Lockhart, S Justin Evans

Key Departures: OT Cedric Ogbuehi, OG Jarvis Harrison, RB Trey Williams, CB Deshazor Everett, K Josh Lambo

Previewing the Texas A&M Offense: The Texas A&M offense will start and end with sophomore quarterback Kyle Allen. Due to the inconsistency at the position last year, Allen was thrown into the mix quite a lot, and performed well. In the last 4 games of the season (Auburn, Missouri, LSU, and West Virginia), he averaged 20 completions on 31 attempts (good for a 65% completion percentage), 3 touchdowns, and only 1 interception. Allen was able to find success at the end of last season and now that he has an entire offseason under his belt, I expect his efficiency will only go up.

The offensive line has been a bright spot for the Aggies throughout the past couple of seasons. Although they lost key pieces in Ogbuehi and Harrison, look for guys like Germain Ifedi and Mike Matthews to step up and become leaders in the trenches.

Allen’s favorite receiver from last year, Josh Reynolds, is back for another season. He was significantly productive in 2014, finishing 4th in the nation last year in receiving touchdowns. But, the two x-factors for the Aggies will be the other two returning receivers: Speedy Noil and Ricky Seals-Jones.

Both wideouts showed flashes of greatness in 2014, but nothing much outside of that. Each guy possesses a ton of talent athletically, but neither has been able to transfer that to consistency on the football field. Seals-Jones is a freak of nature, a prototypical NFL-like number one receiver. He’s 6’5 220 lbs., surprisingly fast and aggressive. Noil is a playmaker, a ball of energy just waiting to explode. He’s capable of scoring every time he touches the ball. If these two receivers can turn potential into production, the Aggie offense could reach an elite level. If they falter, the talented freshman Christian Kirk will be breathing down their necks for that starting spot.

Previewing the Texas A&M Defense: Texas A&M has a superstar on their hands. Sophomore DE Myles Garrett may be the best defensive player to put on an Aggie uniform when it’s all said and done. For now, he’s the greatest thing to happen since Von Miller. 

Garrett broke the SEC freshman record for sacks with 11 (previously held by Jadeveon Clowney), received All-SEC Second Team honors and was named a freshman All-American. He is a pass-rush specialist and a leader of the defense.

Along with Garrett, freshmen recruits Daylon Mack and James Lockhart will look to make immediate contributions. The Aggies will have not only the youngest, but arguably the most talented defensive front in the SEC, something that they have been craving for in College Station for quite a while.

The most underrated, and arguably most important, addition to this Texas A&M defense won’t ever see the field. That is because he is Defensive Coordinator John Chavis. The Aggies have been able to recruit top talent the past couple years, and now they have found their ring leader. Chavis spent 6 years at LSU, shaping them into one of the best defenses in the nation year in and year out. The Aggies will need Chavis to do the same thing for them if they wish to compete in the SEC.

Three Key Games:

1. Texas A&M vs. Alabama, October 17th – Simply put, in order to be the best, you have to beat the best. Alabama is the unquestioned best team in the SEC entering 2015. This young and upcoming Aggie team is going to have its work cut out for them, but if they are able to pull out an upset at home, there’s no reason to say why they can’t win the conference.

2. Texas A&M at LSU, November 28th – Every year Texas A&M is able to compete with the Tigers, yet they can never seem to pull out a win. This game will most likely be a one-sided battle between the Aggie offense and the Tiger defense. Whoever cracks first will end up losing.

3. Texas A&M vs. South Carolina, October 31st – Every team has a trap game in their schedule. Well, this is Texas A&M’s trap game. The Aggies shocked the world on opening day last year when they blew out South Carolina by 24 points. There’s no reason to doubt that an improved Gamecock squad would want nothing more than to come into College Station and return the favor.

Final Analysis: This is going to be a statement year for Texas A&M in one way or another. The Aggies have all of the pieces necessary for a great 2015 campaign. However, they fell way below expectations last year, which still leaves room for doubt.

We already know that the offense will be one of the top in the country, especially considering the fact that they have one of the deepest receiving cores in football. This team is Kyle Allen’s to lose, and I think that he will be able to take the helm and run with it.

The Aggies’ weakness has always been the defense. But with guys like Myles Garrett, Daylon Mack, JUCO transfer Justin Evans and new coordinator John Chavis, this defense has a chance to make a big change for the better.

If all of the pieces come together, this team has New Year’s Six Bowl written all over it. If they don’t, then we’ll see the same thing as last year: flashes here and there, but only 8 or 9 wins at best. Texas A&M is one of the hardest teams to predict, so only time will tell if this squad is ready to make the jump to greatness.

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