As the college football season hits the home stretch, it’s time to get serious about the 2018 Heisman Trophy race.
The Game Haus will continues to provide weekly rankings of the top five candidates for college football’s most prestigious award. Here’s a look at this week’s version of the Heisman watch with the current contenders as we see it.
Previous week’s rankings in parenthesis. All times eastern.
1. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, No. 1 Alabama (1)
This week: vs. No. 18 Mississippi State, 3:30 p.m., Saturday
The Breakdown: We’ll give Tagovailoa a pass for throwing his first interception of the season last week against LSU. Other than that, he unofficially clinched the Heisman trophy with two more touchdown passes and showed his quickness on a 44-yard scoring run. Tagovailoa once again proved that when the lights are brightest, he is capable of stepping up and delivering.
2. Kyler Murray, QB, No. 6 Oklahoma (2)
This week: vs. Oklahoma State, 3:30 p.m., Saturday
The Breakdown: Any other season, Murray would probably be the runaway Heisman choice, but in 2018 he seems to have second-place wrapped up. Last week against Texas Tech was another example of Murray’s dangerous versatility: passing for 360 yards with three touchdowns and rushing 11 times for 100 and a score. The only other time he gained 100 or more on the ground came in 2015 with Texas A&M.
3. Will Grier, QB, No. 7 West Virginia (NR)
This week: vs. TCU, Noon, Saturday
The Breakdown: Grier is back in the Heisman conversation, if only in terms of rankings, after throwing six touchdowns and no interceptions while the Mountaineers won two in a row following their lone loss to Iowa State. For Grier, that’s 62 touchdown passes in less than two seasons with West Virginia since transferring from Florida. Expect that number to increase this weekend against a TCU squad that’s allowed 13 touchdown passes in the last seven games.
4. Travis Etienne, RB, No. 2 Clemson (NR)
This week: at No. 17 Boston College, 8 p.m., Saturday
The Breakdown: The Tigers sophomore is two rushing yards shy of 1,000 for the season after gaining 153 on just eight carries in last week’s 77-16 rout of Louisville. It was a needed effort for Etienne, who totaled 84 yards on the ground in his previous two games. His 15 rushing touchdowns are tied for second in the nation and 8.6 yards per carry average is fourth.
5. Dwayne Haskins, QB, No. 8 Ohio State (3)
This week: at No. 24 Michigan State, Noon, Saturday
The Breakdown: The Buckeyes have come back to earth in recent weeks and that’s hurt Haskins’ Heisman push. However, he’s still one of the best quarterbacks in the country, and Ohio State coaches are wise to give him support – the running game – so he does not have to carry the offensive load. Another tough test against an above-average Michigan State defense now awaits.