Originally written on Buckeye Empire  |  Last updated 11/16/14
With the season barely underway, it’s a bit premature to be talking Heisman. But so what, it’s fun so we’ll do it anyway. Last week’s slate of games were mostly blowouts, but there were some guys who rose above the rest. And I would put Khalil Mack from Buffalo on this Heisman list if I could. That guy was better than Alvin Mack from The Program. THE LIST Braxton Miller (OSU)- To be honest, Miller was the Heisman frontrunner coming into the game for most of the media across the country. He didn’t do anything to hurt his chances, he just didn’t have the big numbers that others on the list had. Still, it was the first game so don’t fret Buckeye Nation. There’s plenty of time to get those numbers. Miller ended up with 178 yards passing on 15-22 in attempts, culminating with two touchdowns and one pick. That pick was one of the best defensive plays I’ve seen, by the way. He also ended with 77 rushing yards to cap off the game. This Week: vs. San Diego State, 3:30, Saturday.   AJ McCarron (ALA)- If anyone went down the list significantly from the start of the year, it would be him. He ended up a measly 10-23 for 110 yards, with an average of 4.8 yards per pass. It was definitely not all on McCarron, as his line did not look like the ‘Bama lines of old. This Week: Bye.  Photo Courtesy: ESPN Marcus Mariota (ORE)- This sophomore had himself a day, even though it was against division 5 Nicholls State. He finished with 234 yards passing and 113 yards rushing. Even more impressive, he had a passer rating of 166.5 and averaged 22.6 yards per rush. That’s something I can’t do on the new college football game. This Week: @ Virginia, 3:30, Saturday. Photo Courtesy: nwsportsbeat.com De’Anthony Thomas (ORE)- No surprise here, as the mamba of college football was impressive again. Officially coming in with 128 yards of rushing on 18 attempts, he could’ve ended with 300 if he played the entire time. Oregon had three players each with over 100 yards rushing, so these two Ducks will split carries with the newcomer Byron Marshall. This Week: @ Virginia, 3:30, Saturday.   Tajh Boyd (CLEM)- Possibly the most impressive of the group this week, and definitely the most impressive show of leadership, was this QB from Clemson. Coupled with a huge win over SEC power Georgia, Boyd had 270 yards passing going 18-30 against a very talented team. He also accumulated 42 rushing yards and three TDs to help secure the most impressive victory during week one of the season. This Week: vs. South Carolina State, 12:30, Saturday. Photo Credit: 247 Sports Todd Gurley (UGA)- Gurley had an incredible 154 yards on 12 carries in the game with Clemson, averaging 12.8 yards per carry. Put in the fact he had two touchdowns, one a 75 yarder, and you’ve got a very impressive start. Don’t let his last name fool you, this guy is all man. This Week: vs. South Carolina, 4:30, Saturday. Photo Credit: HeismanPundit Aaron Murray (UGA)- Going 20-29 and racking up 323 yards in a game vs. a top ten team on the road is going to garner attention. Murray seemed pretty poised during the game and was one drive away from winning it. You can’t put this on the Georgia offense, as they definitely did their part in the showdown in Death Valley. There’s a reason Murray was picked by SEC coaches as preseason #1 in the conference, and he showed it Saturday night. This Week: vs. South Carolina, 4:30, Saturday.   Johnny Manziel (TAMU)- It between his binge drinking and frat party crashing, we can see why Johnny Football gained his fame in the first place when he finally got back on the field. He had three touchdowns in the second half against the powerhouse Rice, but he might be the most important player to his team in the country. Without him in the first half, A&M seemed dead even with Rice. He might see three receivers through his drunk goggles, but seems pretty good about throwing to the one in the middle. This Week: vs. Sam Houston State, 7:00, Saturday. Photo Credit: CNN/Sports Illustrated Jadaveon Clowney (SCAR)- The ESPN headline says “Clowney, South Carolina pounds UNC.” The truth is, South Carolina pounded UNC while Clowney watched. We’ll see if he improves, but that was not Heisman worthy. This Week: @ Georgia, 4:30, Saturday.   Teddy Bridgewater (LOU)- This guy is good. Charlie Strong has possibly the most accurate passer in the country, and I don’t see many in the JV conference they play in that will stop him. It doesn’t matter who they play, Teddy is on target. Look at this stat line, 23-28, 355 yards, 5 TD, 1 INT. I don’t care if it was little brother or not, he looked good. This Week: vs. Eastern Kentucky, 12:00, Saturday. Photo Credit: CBSSports Jameis Winston (FSU)- This was the big shocker of the weekend, kind of, and he just might be the next big youngster in college football. He seems to have that Tebow, Manziel-esque hype around him that the media loves, and he lived up to the expectations on Monday night. Florida State whipped Pitt, and Winston went 25-27 with 4 TDs and 356 yards. Just for good measure he added a rushing TD also. That gives him a passer rating of 252.2, which by most standards is nearly impossible. If anyone improved their spot the most last week, it was him. This Week: Bye.   HONORABLE MENTIONS MAKING MOVES   Sammy Watkins (CLEM)- He had 127 yards receiving on six receptions, making for an average of 21.2 yards/catch. Watkins has the name recognition and the quarterback to get Heisman numbers, but it will be hard to vote for him over Boyd. This Week: South Carolina State, 12:30, Saturday.   Christion Jones (ALA)- Jones had a punt return, kick return, and a receiving touchdown in the game with Virginia Tech. That’s just the kind of flexibility that will get the voters’ attention. He’ll have to beef up his receiving yards though if he wants to have a shot. This Week: Bye.   BIGGEST LOSER EASILY, it was Marquise Lee of USC. He totaled -4 yards of receiving vs. Hawaii. Yikes.   BIGGEST GAINER Definitely Winston, no doubt. He was impressive and he seems to be a media darling.   WHO I WOULD GIVE IT TO IF VOTING TODAY   AGAIN, this is way too early and is ridiculous to think of giving it now. But we’ll do this every week. Right now my front runner is Tajh Boyd. This can change every week, and I’m positive we’ll see our guy Braxton in this section soon.  
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