Tajh Boyd

1. Tajh Boyd, Senior QB, Clemson:

Previous Game: 18-30, 270 yards, three touchdowns

Season: 18-30, 270 yards, three touchdowns

Being the only player on the list with a marquee win in this short season, Boyd has placed himself atop the Heisman list by helping Clemson beat Georgia last week. He’s making a name for himself while changing the philosophy of a program. Clemson has long had a stigma of failing on the big stage. As the Tigers' leader, Boyd is leading them to a conference and national title contention. 

 

2. Teddy Bridgewater, Junior QB, Louisville:

Previous Game: 23-28, 355 yards, five touchdowns, one interception

Season: 23-28, 355 yards, five touchdowns, one interception

The knock on the Cardinals coming into the season was never over their talent, but over their schedule. A perfect regular season may not earn them a national title shot but Bridgewater’s performance on Sunday forced the voters to seriously consider Louisville. If he continues to play the way he did in Week One, he’ll be in the running for a Heisman and a national championship.

 

3. Jameis Winston, Freshman QB, Florida State:

Previous Game: 25-27, 356 yards, four touchdowns

Season: 25-27, 356 yards, four touchdowns

He’s only played one game, but he looked pretty good in it. There’s almost no way that he will be able to continue those numbers throughout the season, but if he can keep his production up, then he’ll earn Heisman consideration. Johnny Manziel proved a freshman can win the Heisman last year and Winston looks better than any other contender for the award. So why not put him up here? 

 

4. Marcus Mariota, Sophomore QB, Oregon:

Previous Game: 12-21, 234 yards, one touchdown

Season: 12-21, 234 yards, one touchdown

Mariota is the lone player represented from the West Coast and another young, exciting quarterback on the list. He’ll continue to put up big numbers every week until he begins to face some of the big names in the Pac-12. A road game against Washington in mid-October will be the first time he faces a legitimate contender so, until then, we’ll have to wait and watch as he puts up ridiculous numbers against weaker competition.

 

5. Jadeveon Clowney, Junior DE, South Carolina:

Previous Game: three tackles

Season: three tackles

Clowney didn’t play like a Heisman contender last Thursday. He didn’t play like the projected top overall pick in the draft, nor did he look like the kind of dominant player that many expected him to be. He looked tired, sluggish, disinterested and one-dimensional at times. Everyone gets one mulligan, especially early in the season, but he can’t afford to get stood up at the line of scrimmage against Georgia. Aaron Murray may not be the biggest guy, but he is a capable quarterback and Gurley will be looking to take Clowney’s spot on this list, which he may deserve more based on their Week One performances. We’ve heard the excuses, now it's time to see if Clowney is the real deal.

No. 5 Georgia vs. No. 8 Clemson

The game snags the No. 1 spot on this list. The only Top 10 matchup of the weekend, these national title contenders will face off in primetime Saturday night. Although Georgia is favored, with two of the best offenses in college football and two of the best quarterbacks in the nation, this one could go either way. Aaron Murray and Tajh Boyd are Heisman contenders this year looking to lead their teams to an undefeated season.

No. 12 LSU vs. No. 20 TCU

A decent amount of scandal surrounds this matchup. TCU quarterback Casey Pachall will make his debut following his indefinite suspension for a DWI incident that occurred in October of 2012. Between Pachall, TCU star defensive end Devonte Fields, who was suspended for violating team rules and LSU’s Jeremy Hill, who was arrested for punching a man outside a bar, the teams seem pretty evenly matched in the scandal department. Yet the favorite for the score board is LSU. But if Pachall returns and Fields is allowed to play, the Horned Frogs may stand a chance to knock off the national title contender.

Mississippi St. vs. No. 13 Oklahoma St.

Mississippi State failed to live up to expectations last season and is seeking redemption. Knocking off Oklahoma State, the Big 12’s top-ranked team, would be the jump-start they need to the season. Look for Bulldogs quarterback Tyler Russell to lead a high-powered offense that Mississippi State hopes can put enough points on the board to come out on top.

No. 1 Alabama vs. Virginia Tech

Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide hope to kick start the season with a victory over Virginia Tech. Alabama needs a big win build the momentum that will allow them to work their way through an SEC schedule with much tougher games down the road. Close to 40 percent of Virginia Tech’s players are either true or redshirt freshmen. Watching such a young team try to hold its own against a defending national champion is what makes this a game to watch.