Each week, Advocate sportswriter Scott Rabalais, a Heisman Trophy voter since 1997, breaks down the top candidates for college football’s most prestigious award.
1. DAK PRESCOTT, QB, Mississippi State
Open dates are never a plus for a player’s Heisman candidacy, which is very much a what-have-you-done-lately award. But Prescott’s hopes are definitely bolstered by the fact his Bulldogs held on to the No. 1 spot in the national polls despite getting Saturday off. This Saturday, Prescott gets to close out October with a showcase game on CBS against Kentucky, and based on the way the Wildcats got shredded by LSU it should more than make up for last week’s idleness. For 2014, Prescott has thrown for 1,478 yards with 14 touchdowns and four interceptions on 61.5 percent passing and has rushed for 576 yards and eight TDs.
2. MARCUS MARIOTA, QB, Oregon
Prescott dominates the headlines in the south, but remember Heisman voting is regional in nature. Mariota has little competition out West, and that’s very good for him. Mariota is still humming along, throwing for 336 yards and two TDs last week vs. Washington. For the season he’s passed for 1,957 yards and 19 TDs with zero INTs and has rushed for 289 yards and five TDs.
3. EVERETT GOLSON, QB, Notre Dame
Don’t understand why Golson’s Heisman hopes dipped after Florida State loss. Golson was 31 of 52 for 313 yards with two INTs but three TDs. For the season he’s thrown for 1,996 yards, 19 TDs and 6 INTs. The Irish are still a CFP contender, and that’s because of Golson to a huge degree.
4. MELVIN GORDON, RB, Wisconsin
The Badgers were also idle last week and are teetering as a Big Ten contender, but Gordon remains a Heisman player. He has 1,046 yards rushing with 13 TDs with an average of 7.9 yards per carry.
5. BO WALLACE, QB, Ole Miss
Heisman voters like to vote for the top player on the top team, and Ole Miss is in position to be that with a win at LSU. Wallace’ stats are solid (137 of 209 for 1,899 yards, 17 TDs, six INTs) and though he was just 13 of 28 for 199 yards and two TDs vs. Tennessee but hasn’t had an SEC turnover.
ON THE RADAR
Ameer Abullah, RB, Nebraska
Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia
Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor
Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State