As the cupcakes continue to roll in during the non-conference portion of the college football season, the stats are outlandish and the scores are even worse. Only ten names can make Nate’s exclusive Heisman Watch List and player’s spots in the rankings are just as secure as defensive coordinator jobs at UT.
As I said in the week one rankings: Winners need four things: 1. A top level team…you can’t win if your team goes 3-8. 2. A signature game or games (see Johnny Football against Bama in 2012). 3. Highlight worthy plays (see Reggie Bush circa 2005). 4. Borderline ridiculous stats…think NCAA Football on XBOX or PlayStation.
Each players ranking for last week in noted in parenthesis in front of their name.
1. (2) Teddy Bridgewater– Louisville (397 yards passing, 4 TD’s against Eastern Kentucky) Bridgewater put up another eye-popping statistical game against another cupcake. He has completed 76% of his passes and is spreading the ball around to a slew of different targets. Teddy leads the country with 9 passing touchdowns, is 4th in yards and 3rd in quarterback rating and will get a chance to showcase his talents against some real competition this week…next up: Kentucky
2. (1) Tajh Boyd– Clemson (169 yards passing, rushing TD against South Carolina State) After putting on one of the best performances in week one, Boyd only played half the game against South Carolina State and didn’t have a chance to put gaudy numbers in week two. Boyd has three scores on the ground and another through the air and should put up some quality numbers in the Tigers first ACC game…up next: North Carolina State
3. (4) Johnny Manziel– Texas A&M (403 yards passing, 3 passing TD’s, rushing TD against Sam Houston State) Johnny Football put up the expected numbers against a I-AA team in week two of his trophy defense. Manziel now has a game and a half under his belt in preparation for the biggest game of the year, as Alabama has had almost a calendar year to think about their lone loss of the season. All eyes will be on the rematch and what Johnny football can do in round 2. Saturday can cement or destroy Manziel’s chances at a 2nd Heisman…up next: no. 1 Alabama. **Game airs at 1:30pm on 105.3 The FAN**
4. (5) Marcus Mariota– Oregon (199 yards passing, 3 passing TD’s, 122 yards rushing, rushing TD against Virginia) Mariota put a highlight in the Heisman bank with his 71-yard TD run on the Ducks first drive Saturday…he now has 3 rushing TD’s and is averaging 26 yards per carry on the season. Marcus is also getting done through the air for the 2nd ranked Ducks, passing for over 400 yards and three scores in his first two games. Mariota will get a chance to show off his top level dual-threat abilities again in a high profile matchup on Saturday…up next: Tennessee
5. (3) Jameis Winston– Florida State (Did not have a game in week 2) The biggest tease in college football is having to wait for round two of the “Famous Jameis” Show after the freshman lit it up in the season opener and then didn’t have a game last week. Winston leads the country in completion percentage and quarterback rating and has a chance to prove week one was no fluke against the Wolf Pack on Saturday…up next: Nevada
6. (9) Lache Seastrunk- Baylor- (150 yards rushing, 3 TDs against Buffalo) The Big 12’s biggest preseason Heisman hype has delivered in two games against overmatched competition. Seastrunk leads country with 5 TD’s and is the engine to the nation’s 2nd ranked offense, as he’s now averaging over 130 yards rushing through the first two games. Quarterback Bryce Petty has been explosive as well, but Seastrunk will continue to grab the headlines as long as he keeps finding the end zone…up next: Louisiana-Monroe
7. (NR) Aaron Murray- Georgia (309 yards passing, 4 TDs against South Carolina) Murray had possibly the biggest weekend of all the Heisman candidates. He had four TD tosses, including a game-clinching 85-yarder in the fourth quarter against the Gamecocks. While he doesn’t have the eye popping stats, Murray already has two excellent outings against ranked teams….next up: North Texas
8. (10) Todd Gurley– Georgia (134 yards rushing, rushing TD, receiving TD) Speaking of the Bulldogs, Gurley also was huge in their win over the Gamecocks on Saturday. The sophomore running back now has four total touchdowns on the season and is in the top ten in rushing yards in the nation. Gurley has a chance to boost his stats against the Mean Green this weekend…up next: North Texas
9. (NR) De’Anthony Thomas- Oregon– (124 yards rushing, 3 TDs) Maybe the most explosive player in the country, Thomas is averaging a ridiculous 8.7 yards a carry in two games this season and is tied for first in the country with five rushing touchdowns. De’Anthony scored three times in just 11 carries against Virginia and will have plenty of chances this season to create highlight plays with his speed and elusiveness…up next: Tennessee
10. (6) Braxton Miller- Ohio State (30 yards passing against San Diego State) Miller had his second game of the season cut short due to a knee injury and only played a quarter against the Aztecs. Miller is expected to play this week, but missing almost an entire game significantly hurt his spot in the rankings…up next: California
Out of the rankings, but not the running:
AJ McCarron- Alabama (prev.8th) – McCarron and the Crimson Tide did not play last week ahead of their all-universe matchup with A&M this Saturday. AJ had a lot of hype coming in as the face of ‘Bama but had a less than stellar opener against Virginia Tech and has no statistical leg to stand on. That being said, he has a chance to shoot up the rankings if he out performs Johnny Manziel this weekend…up next: no. 7 Texas A&M ***that game airs at 1:30 on the FAN***
Jadaveon Clowney- South Carolina (prev.7th) It’s already difficult for a defensive player to win the Heisman but Clowney’s campaign lost a lot of steam after he wore down in the first half of the Gamecocks season opener against North Carolina and he hasn’t had a highlight real sack or defensive play yet to make people start talking about him again…up next: Vanderbilt
Also worth noting:
Derek Carr- Fresno State- 2nd in the country with eight touchdowns, the little brother of former no. 1 overall pick David Carr has a chance to put up some ridiculous numbers as the Bulldogs sling it all over the lot.
Sammy Watkins- Clemson– Watkins got almost no playing time against South Carolina State because of the nature of the blowout, but he should remain in the hunt because of his big play potential and the Tigers relevance in the rankings.
Baker Mayfield- Texas Tech– True Freshman WALK-ON has the 3rd most passing yards in the country despite not playing the 2nd half of Tech’s blowout win over SFA. He has seven touchdowns through the air with another on the ground and no interceptions.
Devin Gardner- Michigan– Gardner got his name on the map with a five touchdown performance against Notre Dame last weekend…he also wears number 98, so he has that going for him.
Bryce Petty- Baylor- 2nd highest quarterback rating in the county, 3rd in completion percentage, Quarterback of 2nd ranked offense in the country…he also has an epic beard.
Jeff Goff- California– True Freshman leads the country in passing yards by almost 150 (935).
As always if I missed your favorite player from your favorite team, let me know on twitter @itsnatewood You can also catch me on the Nate and MRod Show Saturday afternoons 2-6 on 105.3 the FAN. Happy Footballing everyone.
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