Through Week 8 of College Football, it is officially time to start looking into the Heisman race with only 5 weeks left of the season.
It’s that time of the season, where we really start to see some of the biggest matchups in college football and some of the most meaningful games with conference titles and the College football playoffs on the line. In those big games, every single year, we get to see some amazing “Heisman Moments” out of some of the best players around the country. As the Heisman race starts to heat up, I want to start diving into what players are starting to pull away from the rest of the field to punch their ticket to New York in December. Here are my guys at the top of the Heisman race through week 8:
1.) Hendon Hooker, QB, Tennessee (+200)
Stats: 2,093 Passing Yards, 18 TD’s, 1 INT, 315 Rushing Yards, 3 Rushing TD’s
You can make an argument for either Hendon Hooker or even CJ Stroud to be in this #1 spot and at the front of this Heisman race right now. But, the separation, for me, has to come down to the strength of schedule and the opponents that Hendon Hooker goes up against week in and week out. The best performance from Hendon Hooker coming in his “Heisman Moment” is putting up 385 passing yards and 5 TD’s vs. at the time #3 Alabama.
2.) CJ Stroud, QB, Ohio State (+100)
Stats: 2,023 Passing Yards, 28 TD’s, 4 int
Just like I said above, you can argue that CJ Stroud is neck and neck with Hendon Hooker, while having 10 more TD passes. Stroud has had a few big games, including a 6 TD game and two 5 TD games, but has yet to play against any big opponents. I believe Stroud needs to have some really big games vs. #13 Penn State and #4 Michigan to really catch the eye of the voters to win the award. Without a question, we will see CJ Stroud in New York tho. He is playing to win it the next 5 games.
3.) Blake Corum, RB, Michigan (+1200)
Stats: 901 Rushing Yards, 13 Rushing TD’s, 6.2 yards per carry
The lone running back in my first Heisman Watch is Blake Corum. You can argue guys like Jahmyr Gibbs and Chase Brown could be on the list, but Blake Corum has easily been the most dominant back in the country, and maybe even the most dominant player. You can try and argue that Michigan’s schedule was easy to start the year, but after those games is when Corum really started to dominate. Averaging over 166 yards per game in Big Ten play, and last week rushing for 166 yards and 2 TD’s on a “top 10” rush defense. Corum still has a few big games ahead to prove he belongs in New York. Look out for him Saturday vs. Michigan State and Week 13 vs. #2 Ohio st.
4.) Caleb Williams, QB, USC (+1200)
Stats: 1,971 Passing Yards, 19 TD’s, 1 int, 235 Rushing Yards, 3 Rushing TD’s
Question me all you want on why I put Caleb Williams above Bryce Young. But the whole country knows that I am right. Williams has led this USC team to a 6-1 record so far this season. In their lone loss vs. Utah, Williams still had 381 passing yards, 5 TD’s, and 57 rushing yards. Williams is going to have to keep this pace to hold off Young for that last spot in New York. He has the schedule in the PAC 12 remaining to put up some big numbers, but is the strength of schedule going to hurt him when getting compared to Young?
5.) Bryce Young, QB, Alabama (+2500)
Stats: 1,906 Passing Yards, 18 TD’s, 3 int, 137 Rushing Yards, 3 Rushing TD’s
It is going to take a lot for Bryce Young to get a second Heisman Trophy. Only one other time in the history of college football has a player won 2 Heisman Trophies. To me, Young is on the outside looking in, to win the trophy again this year he needs to take another step forward. He has very similar numbers to guys like Caleb Williams and Bo Nix, but he is slipping away from the two front-runners. The next two weeks, Alabama plays on the road at #18 LSU and #15 Ole Miss. I believe after the Ole Miss game, we will have an idea if Bryce Young will have a shot at another Heisman Trophy.
6.) Bo Nix, QB, Oregon (+4000)
Stats: 1,809 Passing Yards, 17 TD’s, 3 int, 382 Rushing Yards, 8 Rushing TD’s
If you told me at the beginning of the season, that Bo Nix would be in the Heisman Race, I might not have believed you. Through 7 games this season Nix already has 17 TD’s which is his most in a season so far through his whole career. With 5 games left, it looks like he is going to crush that number. Just this last Saturday, Nix had his Heisman game having 283 passing yards, 5 TD’s, and 51 rushing yards, to beat #9 UCLA to take control of the PAC 12. Nix has been impressive this season, and still has a few big games to prove he belongs in New York. If Oregon goes on to win the PAC 12 this season, do not be surprised if you see him there.
7.) Jalin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee (+10000)
Stats: 40 Receptions, 769 Receiving Yards, 12 Receiving TD’s, 19.2 Yards per reception
I bet everyone right now is surprised to see Jalin Hyatt in my Heisman Watch. But, he might be the best WR in the country right now. Right up there with Marvin Harrison Jr. and Charlie Jones. Hyatt has more TD’s than both of those guys, more receiving yards than Harrison, and is averaging over 19 yards per catch. Hyatt isn’t just putting up these numbers against some bad teams. Just like Hooker, he has put these numbers up against 4 ranked opponents so far this season, and still has 3 ranked matchups to play to end the year. Not to mention, Hyatt had 207 receiving yards and 5 TD’s vs. #3 Alabama two weeks ago. Don’t be surprised if he jumps up other peoples rankings very soon.
Follow Booner on Twitter: @boonersports
Photo Credit: © Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports