THE HEISMAN RACE

Five weeks before the Heisman Trophy is awarded, the race is starting to heat up in a serious way. A rare regular season showdown between top contenders is on tap Saturday, when LSU and Heisman front-running quarterback Joe Burrow visit Alabama and its quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa. But it’s hardly a two-man race, as other contenders are charging into the mix.

JOE BURROW

LSU SENIOR QB

HIS CASE: Burrow’s action-hero persona was embellished this week by news that he separated his shoulder two days before last year’s Alabama game – and played anyway. Burrow’s toughness has permeated his team and put him in position to win LSU’s first Heisman in 60 years.

ODDS: 5/6 (-120)

THIS WEEK: Saturday at Alabama (2:30 p.m., CBS)

JALEN HURTS

OKLAHOMA SENIOR QB

HIS CASE: Hurts is back after that upset loss to Kansas State that dented Oklahoma’s playoff chances and his Heisman candidacy. A tough finishing stretch awaits with Iowa State, TCU, Oklahoma State, and perhaps the first of two games against Baylor.

ODDS: 5/2 (+250)

THIS WEEK: Saturday vs. Iowa State (7 p.m., Fox)

TUA TAGOVAILOA

ALABAMA JUNIOR QB

HIS CASE: Everyone expects Tagovailoa will play against LSU on that repaired right ankle, but that he can’t possibly be at full strength. Still, if a limping Tagovailoa leads Bama over LSU, he could vault back into the Heisman lead again.

ODDS: 15/4 (+375)

THIS WEEK: Saturday vs. LSU (2:30 p.m., CBS)

ON THE RADAR:

Ohio State QB Justin Fields, Soph.; Ohio State DE Chase Young, Jr.; Oklahoma State RB Chuba Hubbard, Soph.; Oregon QB Justin Hebert, Sr.

Odds: BetOnline.ag

Email Scott Rabalais at srabalais@theadvocate.com