If you were looking for a change at the top, you are going to have to look harder. Saquon Barkley is currently dominating defenses throughout college football. This weekend was no different, with Penn State still undefeated after six games.
Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
Barkley struggled mightily early Northwestern, with his first nine carries amassing zero yards, but did score a touchdown. From that point on, Barkley carried the ball 10 times for 75 yards and a touchdown. While underwhelming on the surface, Barkley has routinely done his job this season. With the development of Trace McSorley this season, Barkley has not been needed as often as last year. Still, Barkley has impressed, rushing for 649 yards and 6 touchdowns, and is also the team’s leading receiver with 395 yards and 2 touchdowns. Barkley has also thrown for a touchdown and returned a kickoff for a touchdown. So, while his workload may be down, Barkley’s production has stayed steady. Look for Barkley to be leaned on when Penn State welcomes Michigan into Happy Valley on October 21.
Bryce Love, RB, Stanford
In what is shaping up to be the year of the running back for the Heisman voters, no player in the NCAA has rushed for more yards than Bryce Love. Love has gained 1,240 yards and 9 touchdowns on the ground, including 152 and a touchdown in a victory against Utah last week. The junior from North Carolina has obliterated his rushing numbers from last year, when he gained 779 yards and rushed for just 3 touchdowns. Stanford has relied on Love due to shaky quarterback play, and a favorable matchup against Oregon should boost his already impressive numbers. Oregon’s defense has been inconsistent all season, but they were just beaten handily by Luke Falk and Washington State. Look for Love to once again lead Stanford’s offense.
Luke Falk, QB, Washington State
Mike Leach and Luke Falk seem to be a match made in heaven. Falk’s numbers have been impressive the previous two seasons, and he is on pace for a similar performance in his senior season. Falk torched the Oregon defense to the tune of 283 yards and 3 touchdowns in a convincing 33-10 victory. Falk has now passed for 2,000 yards and 19 touchdowns on the season, while throwing just 2 interceptions. Washington State has a favorable matchup Friday night, traveling to Berkley to face fellow Pac-12 foe Cal. Cal’s defense has been weak, allowing 29.8 points per game and 264 passing yards per game. Leach’s system will allow for Falk to dominate yet again.
Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
An almost improbable home loss is to blame for the dramatic drop of Baker Mayfield’s stock. Mayfield and the Sooners were 31 point favorites at home against Iowa State, but were on the losing end of a 38-31 upset. However, the upset was not due to poor play from Mayfield. Mayfield threw for 306 yards and 2 touchdowns, and ran for 57 yards and a touchdown as well. Mayfield also did not turn the ball over in the game, and has still yet to throw an interception through five games. Oklahoma’s defense is to blame for the diminished CFB Playoff hopes, as the Sooners have allowed 87 points in their last two games. Mayfield will hang around in the race, but it is now unlikely that he will win the Heisman after such a devastating loss.
Stock: Falling slightly
Rashaad Penny, RB, San Diego State
Rashaad Penny has benefited from a running back friendly system and the departure of Donnel Pumphrey. Penny is the second leading rusher in the country, with 993 yards, trailing only fellow Heisman contender Bryce Love. Penny is on pace to easily out-gain his 1,005 rushing yards from last season, which he spent primarily playing second-fiddle to Pumphrey. San Diego State is a surprise undefeated, bringing a 6-0 record into a matchup with Boise State Saturday night. In a dominating 41-10 victory against UNLV, Penny rushed for 170 yards and 2 touchdowns. Penny will continue to lead the way for a strong rushing offense that averages 222.8 yards per game.
Outside looking in: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville, Jonathon Taylor, RB, Wisconsin