Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 9/6/13
Wow, what an opening weekend of college football.From the myriad of upsets that took place, to Johnny Manziel sitting on the sidelines for the 1st half of A&M's opener versus Rice, to Alabama once again dominating the opposition, there were no shortage of interesting headlines.And while there is still plenty of football to be played, it is never too early to talk about college football's most prestigious award, the Heisman Trophy.While most of the preseason Heisman talk has centered on three individuals -- Jadeveon Clowney, Teddy Bridgewater, and Braxton Miller, at this point there might not be a clear favorite.Or is there?Without further ado, here are the top candidates for Heisman after Week 1 of college football, complete with their previous perfomance, their next opponent, and outlook going forward:THE CONTENDERS1. Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State: The redshirt freshman from Hueystown, Alabama dubbed 'Fam(e)ous Jameis' made waves on Monday night after helping the Seminoles throttle the Panthers 41-13. Winston put on a clinic against what was supposed to be a very competent Pitt pass defense, completing 25 of 27 passes for 356 yards and 4 TDs, with no interceptions.The skinny: As many have declared, it was only one game, and Winston's first at that. Regardless, two things were clear: 1) this kid is cool under pressure and 2) he has a cannon for an arm. There is no doubt he will be in the Heisman discussion for weeks to come.Up Next: Nevada2. Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville: 'Touchdown Teddy' Bridgewater lived up to the name in the season opener vs. Ohio, lighting up the Bobcats for 5 passing TDs and 355 yards. The only knock against Bridgewater could be that Winston set what might be an unrealistic bar for passing efficiency.The skinny: With what many have called the easiest of schedules among the Heisman contenders, there are better than average odds that Bridgewater duplicates Sunday's perfomance in the near future. He may have to, as the rise in dual-threat quarterbacks have redefined the position as of late.Up Next: Eastern Kentucky3. Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson: Air Boyd was in full effect on Saturday night, as the senior signal caller threw for 270 yards and 3 TDs against the Bulldogs, while adding 2 TDs rushing as well. With back-to-back impressive perfomances against two of the better schools in the SEC, Boyd has quickly moved himself to top five status in the Heisman race.The skinny: Boyd's biggest competition won't come from teammate Sammy Watkins, but rather Florida State's Winston. As long as the Tigers keep winning, and Boyd plays mistake free football, he should hold his position. He'll have a few weeks to pad his stats before the Seminoles come to town on October 19th.Up Next: South Carolina St4. Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia: Ran for 154 yards and 2 TDs in a losing effort for the Georgia Bulldogs. While most of the attention prior to the Georgia-Clemson contest centered on Boyd and Bulldogs' quarterback Aaron Murray, it was Gurley who ended up making the second biggest statement of the night.The skinny: Despite gashing the Clemson defense for 12.8 ypc, Gurley still had to come out of the game due to cramping in his quadricep. If the sophomore is to have any chance in this year's race, he will have to make sure he doesn't miss any more time.Up Next: South Carolina5. Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State: The junior had and up and down performance versus Buffalo, passing for 178 yards 2 TDs, and 1 interception. He also ran for 77 yards.The skinny: The preseason favorite for Heisman among most experts, Miller will need to become more consistent in the passing game in order to wow voters. With the playmakers the Buckeyes have on offense this year, he should get the chance.Up Next: San Diego StateTHE NEXT FIVE6. Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina: All arguments about Clowney taking plays off against North Carolina aside, his perfomance wasn't that bad. Unfortunately for him, Heisman voters are looking for spectacular.The skinny: Clowney has a good chance to impress voters this week with a solid showing versus the Bulldogs.For someone who isn't going to put up eye-popping stats every week like offensive players, he needs to take advantage of this opportunity.Up Next: Georgia7. Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M: Suspended for the 1st half of the Aggies' game versus Rice, Manziel was still a respectable 6 of 8 passing for 94 yards 3 TDs, and no interceptions. The sophomore answered any questions that he would be suffering from rust with another solid performance.The skinny: Manziel needs to let his play speak for itself and stop the trash talking. Voters don't respond kindly to arrogance, even if it is from the defending Heisman champ.Up Next: Sam Houston State8. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon: 234 yards passing and 1 passing TD, along with 113 yards rushing and 2 rushing TDs, and one would think he would be higher on this list. And he would be, if it weren't for the fact he played an FCS school (Nicholls State) that won a whopping total of one game in 2012The skinny: Maybe one of the more underrated dual-threat quarterbacks in the nation, Mariota isn't a complete unknown. How he plays against PAC-12 rival Stanford may determine his Heisman hopes.Up next: Virginia9. Aaron Murray,QB, Georgia: The senior threw for 323 yards against the Tigers, but needs to pass for more TDs, not ints.Up next: South Carolina10. Christion Jones, WR, Alabama: 3 total TDs, including two on kick returns, will certainly turn heads. Whether he can do this on a consistent basis remains to be seen.Up Next: Texas A&M
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