The College Football season reached its halfway mark during the Week 8 slate of games on Saturday.
Now that the season has reached this point, teams are getting into the heart of conference play, which means every game matters more than they did during the non-conference portion of teams’ schedules. It also means that every play could make or break a team’s season and dreams at playing in the College Football playoff.
With that being said, it’s also from this point on in the season is when players who are looked at as Heisman candidates make their signature, “strike-the-pose-like,” play.
I am going to name the top three players who I think are most deserving of winning the Heisman trophy.
- Corey Coleman, WR Baylor
The Big 12 conference is home to two of my top three Heisman Trophy candidates.
The Bears wide receiver already has 18 receiving touchdowns this year – yes, you read that correctly. Coleman’s three-touchdown-catch performance against West Virginia two weeks ago gave him the single-season school record for touchdown catches, and with at least five games left for Baylor this season, that total will continue to rise.
A wide receiver hasn’t won the award since Desmond Howard, and Coleman has as good of a chance as anyone to end the drought.
Coleman’s 962 yards puts him in the top five the nation, and his 18 receiving touchdowns are six more than the next closest pass catcher.
If Coleman continues to haul in touchdown passes at this rate, he will set the NCAA record for single-season touchdown catches at 30.
That record should certainly send him to the trophy presentation in New York, at the least.
However, it should be noted that Russell left Saturday’s game with a fractured bone in his neck. If Russell can’t play even one game, all eyes will be on the Bears and how they adjust offensively.
Coleman lining up on the outside, though, will make any QB feel comfortable.
- Trevone Boykin, QB TCU
Each of the last five quarterbacks to win the Heisman Trophy have been dual-threat QB’s who can gain yards with their legs as well as they can with their arm.
Boykin has accounted for 2,979 total yard of offense this season, 2,539 passing and 440 rushing.
Despite TCU being, in my opinion, unimpressive as a team thus far this season, Boykin has been the reason the Horned Frogs still sit tied atop of the Big 12 with a zero in the loss column.
How Boykin plays in the next two games should tell a lot both about his Heisman hopes, and about his team’s hopes to play for a National Championship. Thursday night, TCU hosts West Virginia, who held Boykin in check for three quarters last year in Morgantown, and then travel to Stillwater to take on a ranked Oklahoma St. team.
TCU ends its regular season with games against Oklahoma and Baylor; two more games that can define Boykin’s senior season.
- Leonard Fournette, RB LSU
A running back hasn’t won the award since SEC opponent Alabama’s Mark Ingram took home the trophy in 2009. Before that, a running back hasn’t officially won the award since Ron Dayne in 1999.
Needless to say, it isn’t often any more that player who doesn’t play quarterback is named the Heisman Trophy winning.
Fournette is having a season that is on pace to easily surpass Ingram’s 2009 totals.
The LSU running back has ran for 1,352 yards through his team’s first seven games. He has ran for at least 150 yards in each game this season, and eclipsed 200 yards rushing three straight weeks.
Fournett is averaging nearly eight yards per carry and has scored 15 touchdowns. He also set the LSU school record Saturday with nine consecutive games with 100+ rushing yards.
If he continues to play at the same pace, which there is little reason to see anyone slowing him down for an entire game this year, Fournette will run for 2,124 yards and 24 touchdowns. That would be over 400 yards and seven more touchdowns than Ingram ran for in ’09.
It’s also worth pointing out that his numbers are even more impressive considering the fact that LSU’s season opener against McNeese State was canceled due to weather.
Fournette is definitely my favorite to win the award.