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 continue 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 Heisman watch rankings in parenthesis. All times eastern.
1. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, No. 1 Alabama (1)
This week: vs. Citadel, Noon, Saturday
The Breakdown: Tagovailoa continues to deal with a knee issue that coach Nick Saban says isn’t serious. He’s likely to play in this weekend’s projected rout of Citadel, but the verdict remains out on whether that is actually a good idea or not. Tagovailoa actually has thrown interceptions in back-to-back games, leading some to believe his once-huge lead in the Heisman race is dwindling.
2. Kyler Murray, QB, No. 6 Oklahoma (2)
This week: vs. Kansas, 7:30 p.m., Saturday
The Breakdown: There’s a reason Oklahoma remains in the national championship picture, and it’s not because of that generous defense. It’s Murray – who threw his 32nd touchdown pass of the season in last weekend’s wild win over Oklahoma State. Murray has thrown for at least 300 yards seven times this season, and more eyes seem to be on him within the Heisman watch now than ever before.
3. Will Grier, QB, No. 7 West Virginia (3)
This week: at Oklahoma State, 3:30 p.m., Saturday
The Breakdown: That dud against Iowa State in mid October seems like a lifetime ago for Grier. In three games since, he’s thrown three touchdown passes in each contest, as well as one interception during that span. He remains both the key to West Virginia’s success and the major reason why it is in the hunt for the Big 12 title.
4. Gardner Minshew II, QB, No. 8 Washington State (NR)
This week: vs. Arizona, 10:30 p.m., Saturday
The Breakdown: Back in the Heisman watch, Minshew threw a pair of touchdown passes in last weekend’s win at Colorado. The school is making a late push for Minshew in the Heisman race, although he is likely to come up short in the final voting. His national-leading 3,852 passing yards, 29 touchdown passes and just seven interceptions continue to show why he should be taken seriously for several individual postseason awards.
5. Travis Etienne, RB, No. 2 Clemson (4)
This week: vs. Duke, 7 p.m., Saturday
The Breakdown: Etienne rounds out this week’s Heisman watch as the ACC’s leading rusher (1,076 yards) at the moment. He ran the ball just 11 times against Boston College last weekend, but averaged 7.1 yards per carry – below his season average of 8.5, but still pretty impressive against a solid defensive unit.