Ranking Heisman Contenders' Performances After Week 6 of College Football

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistOctober 8, 2019

Ranking Heisman Contenders' Performances After Week 6 of College Football

0 of 8

    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    Since only one top Heisman Trophy candidate played a ranked opponent in Week 6, there aren't many changes in the race for college football's coveted award.

    That should change after a showdown-filled Week 7, but the most recent results offered few surprises.

    As always, this is a critical note: The rankings are a reflection of Week 6 performancesnothing more, nothing less. The No. 1 player may not be the favorite to win the Heisman, and the lowest-ranked player isn't necessarily in danger of leaving the top 10.

    Factors for the ranking include individual production, key plays, team success and competition level.

    Heisman odds are accurate as of Monday and courtesy of Caesars.

    Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (2-3) and Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence (50-1) would be highlighted, but both players were idle in Week 6 and will not be ranked.

8. Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

1 of 8

    Abbie Parr/Getty Images

    Last Week's Heisman Odds: 40-1

    Current Heisman Odds: 60-1

    Stats (W 17-7 vs. Cal): 20-of-33, 214 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT; 4 CAR, 32 YDS

    If you expected a flashy performance from Justin Herbert in Week 6, you probably hadn't seen Cal's defense. This Pac-12 contest went exactly as expected with a low-scoring Oregon win.

    Herbert wasn't bad, but he didn't accomplish a whole lot either.

    Though the touted NFL prospect tossed a touchdown on a creative swing pass, he also threw an interception on a drive that reached Cal's 25-yard line. Herbert posted just 6.5 yards per attempt, matching his lowest average of the year.

    Oregon is 4-1 and looking like the clear favorite in the Pac-12 North, but Herbert isn't a Heisman threat anymore.

    What's next: vs. Colorado

7. Chuba Hubbard, RB, Oklahoma State

2 of 8

    Brad Tollefson/Associated Press

    Last Week's Heisman Odds: 18-1

    Current Heisman Odds: 25-1

    Stats (L 45-35 at Texas Tech): 34 CAR, 156 YDS, 3 TD; 1 REC, 1 YD

    Chuba Hubbard is having a special season. Six games into the campaign, he already has four 150-yard performances. The sophomore powered his way to 156 yards and three touchdowns in Week 6.

    Unfortunately for his Heisman candidacy, the team is not having a similarly special year.

    Freshman quarterback Spencer Sanders committed five turnovers in the loss to Texas Tech, and Oklahoma State dropped to 1-2 in Big 12 action. Barring a late-season surge from the Cowboys, they're soon to be eliminated from the conference race.

    Hubbard will likely have stellar numbers by the end of the season. But so will Wisconsin's Jonathan Taylor, and his team is still a title contender.

    What's next: Idle

6. Sam Ehlinger, QB, Texas

3 of 8

    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    Last Week's Heisman Odds: 18-1

    Current Heisman Odds: 40-1

    Stats (W 42-31 at West Virginia): 18-of-33, 211 YDS, 2 TD, 1 INT; 9 CAR, 45 YDS, 2 TD

    Although it wasn't a beautiful game for Sam Ehlinger, the Longhorns avoided a trap game on a road trip. The showdown with Oklahoma looms in Week 7, but Texas scored 21 points in the fourth quarter to escape Morgantown with a win.

    Ehlinger's final numbers look decent, and his three touchdowns before halftime were critical to the victory.

    Still, the offense didn't score on five straight drives to begin the second half. Ehlinger threw a horrid interception into double coverage―and a third WVU defender nearly made the play, for that matter. The Longhorns cannot afford such an ineffective stretch or avoidable mistake against Oklahoma.

    But on Saturday, Ehlinger played well enough to win.

    What's next: vs. Oklahoma (in Dallas)

5. Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma

4 of 8

    Last Week's Heisman Odds: 2-1

    Current Heisman Odds: 9-4

    Stats (W 45-20 at Kansas): 16-of-24, 228 YDS, 2 TD, 1 INT; 10 CAR, 56 YDS, 2 TD; 1 REC, 21 YDS

    Jalen Hurts threw an interception again! Everyone panic!

    Joking aside, the senior didn't lead his intended receiver, and Kansas linebacker Najee Stevens-McKenzie made a fantastic catch. As we mentioned with Sam Ehlinger, that sort of mistake would be unacceptable next week.

    But on Saturday, all that did was frustrate anyone who wanted to see Oklahoma cover a 34-point spread. Hurts helped the Sooners cruise past Kansas, which did an excellent job limiting possessions in the first half and forcing OU to compete into the fourth quarter.

    Week 6 wasn't a massive boost to Hurts' Heisman potential, but we're not dinging him much for a four-touchdown day either.

    What's next: vs. Texas (in Dallas)

4. Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State

5 of 8

    Jay LaPrete/Associated Press

    Last Week's Heisman Odds: 7-1

    Current Heisman Odds: 15-1

    Stats (W 34-10 vs. Michigan State): 17-of-25, 206 YDS, 2 TD, 1 INT; 11 CAR, 61 YDS, 1 TD

    Even though two first-quarter drives started inside the MSU 30-yard line, Ohio State managed only three points on its first four possessions of the game. In a word, the offense was lifeless.

    Everything changed in the next 15 minutes.

    Justin Fields hit Binjimen Victor and Luke Farrell for touchdowns, and the Buckeyes added 10 more points before the break. The prolific second quarter put Ohio State up 27-10. Fields completed his night with a short rushing score in the fourth quarter.

    Totaling 529 yards on a typically stout MSU defense is a credit to the Buckeyes, but Fields sparked the turnaround.

    What's next: Idle

3. Jake Fromm, QB, Georgia

6 of 8

    Silas Walker/Getty Images

    Last Week's Heisman Odds: 40-1

    Current Heisman Odds: 75-1

    Stats (W 43-14 at Tennessee): 24-of-29, 288 YDS, 2 TD, 0 INT; 1 CAR, 5 YDS

    Jake Fromm's season totals are not Heisman-caliber numbers. Georgia appears to have a championship-caliber offense, though.

    We understand the latter is more important.

    In fairness to Fromm, he played a fantastic game at Tennessee. The junior completed 24 passesthe second-most in his careerand registered a season-high 288 yards. Fromm continues to show superb accuracy and excellent command of the Georgia offense. His NFL draft stock is steadily rising.

    But compared to his Heisman counterparts, averaging 215.2 yards and 1.6 touchdowns won't be enough.

    What's next: vs. South Carolina

2. Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin

7 of 8

    Last Week's Heisman Odds: 15-1

    Current Heisman Odds: 18-1

    Stats (W 48-0 vs. Kent State): 19 CAR, 186 YDS, 4 TD; 3 REC, 29 YDS, 1 TD

    It's ridiculous how routine this has become.

    Jonathan Taylor cracked the 100-yard barrier for the 10th straight game, a streak that dates back to November 2018. He's now reached triple digits 27 times in 32 college appearances.

    The junior still had room for a record, though. Saturday marked his first showing with four rushing or five total touchdowns.

    "It never gets old," Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst said of Taylor in his postgame press conference. "And you knowI know it and we know it; guys are talking on the sidelineshe's special. To be able to see it, it's pretty neat to do."

    What's next: vs. Michigan State

1. Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

8 of 8

    Last Week's Heisman Odds: 9-2

    Current Heisman Odds: 7-2

    Stats (W 42-6 vs. Utah State): 27-of-38, 344 YDS, 5 TD, 1 INT; 10 CAR, 42 YDS, 1 TD

    Joe Burrow had another prolific day, but the senior quarterback wasn't satisfied with LSU's 601 yards and 42 points.

    "Last year, we would have been very happy," Burrow told reporters. "But this is a new team and a new offense. Things have changed around here when you are not happy with this performance."

    Though the final score was lopsided, LSU didn't have a great opening half. Burrow threw an interception and was stopped short on a fourth-down attempt. The Tigers also had a drive stall inside Utah State's 30-yard line shortly before halftime.

    LSU scored 42 points and can improve. Like Burrow inferred, that's a dramaticand positivechange compared to 2018.

    What's next: vs. Florida