1. Oregon QB Marcus Mariota
Last week (W, 46-27, vs. Michigan State): 17-for-28, 318 yards, 3 TDs
2014: 585 yards, 6 TDs, 1 rushing TD
When trying to win a Heisman, there are few things that can boost the résumé quite like a comeback victory against a top-10 opponent. Two weeks into the season, and Mariota can already check that off his list. Oregon was down 27-18 early in the third quarter against Michigan State when Mariota engineered a video game-style comeback. He threw two of his three touchdowns, including a 37-yard strike, within three minutes of each other, giving Oregon a lead it would not surrender in the fourth. Mariota has not faltered so far and appears to already be in mid-season form.
2. Georgia RB Todd Gurley
Last week: BYE
2014: 15 attempts, 198 yards, 3 TDs
Gurley’s Bulldogs had a bye week, but the junior running back remains at the top of the Heisman race based on what he did in week one. Gurley’s manhandling of Clemson in Georgia’s season debut is still fresh enough to remember, and if last season is any indication, Gurley should continue to roll against South Carolina this week. In 2013, Gurley had 132 rushing yards and one touchdown against the Gamecocks. He’ll look to post similar numbers this time despite the added challenge of playing on the road.
3. Texas A&M QB Kenny Hill
Last week (W, 73-3, vs. Lamar): 17-for-26, 283 yards, 4 TDs
2014: 794 yards, 7 TDs
The Aggies thrashed Lamar so badly last week that Hill didn’t even have to play in the fourth quarter. And even against an FCS opponent, Hill’s four touchdowns gave him another good-looking box score, reason enough for him to keep his spot in the Heisman race. Hill’s looked even more comfortable in Texas A&M’s offense than Johnny Manziel was early in his first season, and although it’s early, his confidence seems to be soaring. This week’s game against Rice should give Hill another chance to fill the stat sheet.
4. Florida State QB Jameis Winston
Last week (W, 37-12, vs. Citadel): 22-for-27, 256 yards, 2 TDs
2014: 626 yards, 3 TDs, 1 rushing TD
Winston finally found the rhythm he’d been lacking in week one during the Seminoles’ week two victory over The Citadel. The redshirt sophomore looked much more consistent Saturday as he only missed on five of his throws. And while he wasn’t tested much, it was the kind of game Winston needed to get himself back on track. A big week three outing versus Clemson could send Winston shooting up this list.
5. Notre Dame QB Everett Golson
Last week (W, 31-0, vs. Michigan): 23-for-34, 226 yards, 3 TDs
2014: 37-for-56, 521 yards, 5 TDs, 3 rushing TDs
Remember when Golson was suspended by Notre Dame and missed the entire 2013 season? That’s been easy to forget after the senior’s phenomenal start. The Fighting Irish didn’t just beat their nemesis on Saturday, they shut Michigan out in what was the last scheduled matchup between the two teams. It was Golson who shined brightest in the game, proving he might just be better than when he left.