My weekly Heisman rankings have very quickly turned into a Saquon Barkley love-fest. Much like Lamar Jackson last season, Barkley has dominated the early season. Barkley has quickly established a significant lead in the Heisman race, although there is still plenty of time for ground to be gained by his competitors.
Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
While he did not have a rushing touchdown or a receiving touchdown, Saquon Barkley still found ways to get into the endzone. One the very first play of the game, Barkley took the opening kickoff 98 yards to the house, setting the tone early for Penn State. Then, still in the first quarter, Barkley snagged a high pass from Trace McSorley with just one hand, and ran for 36 yards after making the catch. Finally, as an encore in the fourth quarter, Barkley threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to DaeSean Hamilton, which was the final score in a 45-14 drubbing. On the afternoon, Barkley finished with 56 rushing yards, 51 receiving yards, 16 passing yards, and 98 return yards. This week, Barkley will be looking for a repeat performance, as undefeated Penn State travels to Chicago to battle Northwestern.
Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
Baker Mayfield and the Sooners did not play this week. Still, Mayfield’s impressive 13:0 TD:INT ration is enough to keep him in second place heading into a Big 12 matchup with Iowa State.
Bryce Love, RB, Stanford
Last week, I had Bryce Love on my “outside looking in” list, which may have been a little low. Now, Love has made it too hard to ignore his production, as he broke Stanford’s all-purpose yards record, gaining 301 yards on the ground. In addition, Love scored 3 touchdowns as the Cardinal took down Arizona State 34-24. On the season, Love has amassed 1,088 rushing yards, good for the NCAA lead, and 8 touchdowns. Love has been a bright spot in an otherwise bleak season for Stanford, essentially carrying the team to three victories. With Keller Chryst likely to return this week, the quarterback situation should stabilize, but Love will still be counted on heavily against Utah on Saturday night.
Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
Lamar Jackson once again dominated lower competition, accumulating 349 total yards (249 passing, 100 rushing) and 4 total touchdowns (3 passing, 1 rushing) against Murray State. Jackson has continued to impress so far, with the only real hiccup coming against an elite Clemson defense, and now has 18 touchdowns (13 passing, 5 rushing) on the season. Still, Jackson has not done enough to warrant a second consecutive Heisman win. While last year is not necessarily a fluke, it was going to be hard to replicate the unreal production Jackson had last year. Tonight is another test for Jackson and Louisville, as they square off with an experienced NC State team.
Stock: Rising slightly
Luke Falk, QB, Washington State
Luke Falk has quietly dominated defenses this season, and in a victory over conference rival USC, the story was the same. Falk totaled 340 yards through the air, to go along with 2 passing touchdowns. On the season, Falk has thrown for 1,718 yards, with 16 touchdowns and just 2 interceptions. Washington State is currently undefeated and ranked 11th in the nation, and will once again face a tough conference foe, as they travel to Eugene to battle with Oregon. Falk once again has the potential to put up impressive numbers, as Oregon’s defense has allowed over 500 yards of total offense per game. Falk will be the key to victory for Washington State, and look for Mike Leach to lean on his senior quarterback heavily.
Outside looking in: Rashaad Penny, RB, San Diego State