1. Clemson QB Tajh Boyd (Sr.)
Boyd’s win over Georgia still holds up as the most impressive win of the short season-especially considering Georgia’s win over South Carolina last week. He had a nice game against South Carolina State as Clemson begins conference play this week. He will still be off the radar until a mid-October matchup against Florida State. That will be the stage for Boyd to show that he is indeed the top dog for the Heisman trophy.
2. Georgia RB Todd Gurley (So.)
Gurley has the second-best performance of the season by leading his team to a win over South Carolina after the close loss to Clemson. Gurley has rushed for at least 100 yards in both games against Top 10 opponents. Gurley has kept Georgia in the national title chase and with games against LSU and Florida remaining, he has a more favorable schedule than other candidates.
3. Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater (Jr.)
Bridgewater continues to impress against inferior competition and may be the most talented player in the country. He has NFL scouts salivating but his opponents are nothing compared to that of other candidates’ foes. Bridgewater and Louisville not only need to win, but need to win convincingly get into the Heisman and national title hunt. It has to impossible to pick anyone other than him.
4. Oregon QB Marcus Mariota (So.)
He will put up great numbers all year long. His rushing yardage will keep him in the discussion for most of the season but he’ll need to improve his passing stats if he wants to keep the Ducks undefeated. Road games against Washington and Stanford will be very tough and a home matchup against UCLA will be no cakewalk. If he can’t produce form the pocket, then Oregon will likely go down in at least one of those games which will put him behind in the Heisman race.
5. Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel (So.)
Manziel’s antics didn’t hurt him against lowly Sam Houston State, but that could change this week against Alabama. This is the game that the country has been waiting for all offseason as Alabama goes to College Station looking for revenge for what the Aggies did to it last season. Manziel took the lead in the Heisman race with this game last season and another performance could have similar results for him this season. This is the opportunity to remind the nation why he won the Heisman last season and why he should be the guy to win it again.