Who will win the Heisman Trophy? I've listed eight candidates: four quarterbacks and four running backs. Statistically, none of the QB's can hold a candle to last year's winner, Marcus Mariota of Oregon.
4454 pass yd 42 TD 4 INT 181.7 rating 752 rush yd 5 TD - 2014 Heisman winner Marcus Mariota.
3389 pass yd 35 TD 5 INT 178.9 rating 420 rush yd 7 TD - Oklahoma junior QB Baker Mayfield: in the playoff. After McCaffrey, the nation's most exciting player. Big 12 conference champion. After losing five games last year, Mayfield transferred from Texas Tech and helped avenge four of the losses. Number five (Clemson) can be avenged New Year's Eve in the Orange Bowl.
3512 pass yd 30 TD 11 INT 159.6 rating 887 rush yd 11 TD - Clemson sophomore QB Deshaun Watson: led the nation's only undefeated team. ACC conference champion. Number one ranked. SI cover. Saturday night he was compared to Marcus Mariota. With improvement, Watson might possible approach Mariota's numbers. Of these eight contenders, Watson plays in what many deem the weakest conference. From Gainesville Georgia.
3575 pass yd 31 TD 10 INT 161.5 rating 612 rush yd 9 TD - Texas Christian senior QB Trevone Boykin: exciting player who missed time to injury. Still had gaudy stats. SI cover. Big 12.
2921 pass yd 24 TD 5 INT 142.2 rating 80 rush yd 0 TD - Michigan State senior QB Connor Cook: In the playoff. Big 10 conference champion. Missed time to injury.
2387 yards rush & rec 13 TD - Stanford sophomore RB Chris McCaffrey: broke Barry Sanders 27 year old record with 3496 all-purpose yards - an average of 269 per game. Pac 12 conference champion. Father played at Stanford.
2083 yards rush & rec 23 TD - Alabama junior RB Derrick Henry: broke Herschel's SEC rushing record (but it took him 13 games to Herschel's eleven). SEC conference champion. In Playoff. ESPN the Magazine cover. Would Bama not still be in the playoff without Henry? Florida native.
1950 yards rush & rec 18 TD - LSU sophomore RB Leonard Fournette: SI cover and article. Early leader faded after Alabama loss. SEC. Father played in college.
1848 yards rush & rec 19 TD - Ohio State junior RB Ezekiel Elliott: sour grapes after loss cost him votes. SI cover and article. Big 10. Father played at Missouri.
Passing and rushing yards and TD and interceptions:
5206 47 04 Mariota 2014
4399 41 11 Watson
4187 40 10 Boykin
3809 42 05 Mayfield
3001 24 05 Cook
When deciding on a Heisman Trophy winner sometimes the question is asked: How would his team do without him? In the case of McCaffrey, Mayfield, Watson, and Boykin, the answer is an obvious not as well. Powerhouse programs Alabama, LSU, and Ohio State could have been just as successful with some other running back toting the pigskin. Diminishing the candidacy of Henry, Fournette, and Elliott.
I rank dominance and the excitement factor over mere execution. Watson put together a solid season, but I doubt the voters want a Clemson Tiger to win. Henry is the obvious choice, but does he really deserve the trophy?
My picks, from first to eighth: McCaffrey, Watson, Henry, Mayfield, Cook, Fournette, Boykin, Elliott.