We're going into the long weekend of week 14, which means there are just one or two games left for the Heisman hopefuls. Our top candidate might have just one game and that could be the difference in who wins the trophy.
Melvin Gordon started slow but finished with 200 yards against Iowa, enough to hold a tenous lead over Marcus Mariota, who added 4 more total touchdowns. Mariota now has a crazy 33:2 ratio with 9 rushing TDs, while Gordon has 2,109 rushing yards and 27 total touchdowns. Mariota has two games left—Oregon State and the Pac-12 title game—while Gordon faces Minnesota and, if Wisconsin wins that game, Ohio State in the Big Ten championship game. If they lose, Gordon has just one more game to add to his stats, and that hurts, but a win plus a big game against the Buckeyes could bring home the trophy. So in a way it's fitting: Gordon needs to lead the Badgers to a win this Saturday to strengthen his Heisman chances.
If Wisconsin loses this weekend, Mariota will probably take home the Heisman if the Ducks win out—at least in our estimation. Our third-place candidate, Amari Cooper, is well behind the others but like Gordon has a must-win game Saturday—vs. Auburn—to get to the SEC championship game. The problem is that Cooper was hurt against Western Carolina and is questionable for the game against the Tigers.
Just behind Cooper are Dak Prescott and JT Barrett. Prescott also needs a win—vs. rival Ole Miss—to get to the SEC championship game, but also needs Alabama to lose. Meanwhile Barrett is already guaranteed an appearance in week 15 vs. either Wisconsin or Minnesota, which means he should be able to pass either Cooper or Prescott—whichever one doesn't play in the SEC title game.
SportsRatings week 13 Heisman leaders: Gordon vs. Mariota down to the wire
- Melvin Gordon, RB Wisconsin (9-2) beat Iowa 16-14; 200 yards
- Marcus Mariota, QB Oregon (10-1) beat Colorado 44-10; 3 pass TDs, 1 rush
- Amari Cooper, WR Alabama (10-1) beat W Carolina 48-14; 46 rec yards, inj.
- [up 1] Dak Prescott, QB Miss. State (10-1) beat Vandy 51-0; 3 pass TDs, 1 rush
- [up 1] JT Barrett, QB Ohio State (10-1) beat Indiana 42-27; 4 TDs, 2 int, 78 rush
- [dn 2] Jameis Winston, QB FSU (11-0) beat Boston College 20-17; 1 TD, 1 int
- Trevone Boykin, QB TCU (10-1) idle
- Bryce Petty, QB Baylor (9-1) beat OK State 49-28; 2 TD, 2 int
- Ameer Abdullah, RB Nebraska (8-3) lost to Minn. 28-24; 98 yards
- Kevin White, WR West Virginia (6-5) lost to K-State 26-20; 63 rec, 1 TD
- Todd Gurley, RB Georgia (9-2) beat Ch. Southern 55-9; DNP out for season
- Everett Golson, QB Notre Dame (7-4) lost to Lou 31-28; 2 TD, 1 int
- Kenny Hill, QB Texas A&M
Both Prescott and Barrett push past Jameis Winston, who had another tight win last week over Boston College. He did reasonably well, too, but added another interception, making his ratio a pedstrian 19:13 this season. Even being undefeated and engineering comeback wins doesn't overcome poor stats, and to some extent his picks (and other poor decisions) have been putting his team in the bad situations to start with.
Trevone Boykin and Bryce Petty will both play the final two weeks of the season, giving them time to work their way into a New York appearance possibly. TCU faces Texas and Iowa State while Baylor takes on Texas Tech and Kansas State.
Ameer Abdullah had 98 yards in Nebraska's loss to Minnesota and narrowly made the cut down to 9 candidates this week. Luckily for him three others had worse luck: Kevin White had just an okay game as West Virginia lost again; Todd Gurley is out for the season; and Everett Golson played well enough but Notre Dame lost their 4th game of the season. Those three join Kenny Hill in the also-ran pile.
Week 14 Schedule: Here are the teams the leaders face the rest of the way.
- Melvin Gordon, RB Wisconsin: Minnesota Sat; if they win, Ohio State
- Marcus Mariota, QB Oregon: Oregon State Sat; then UCLA/Arizona/ASU
- Amari Cooper, WR Alabama: Auburn Sat; if they win or Miss St loses, Georgia/Missouri
- Dak Prescott, QB Miss. State: Mississippi Sat; if they win & Alabama loses, Georgia/Missouri
- JT Barrett, QB Ohio State: Michigan Sat; then Wisconsin/Minnesota
- Jameis Winston, QB FSU: Florida Sat; then Georgia Tech
- Trevone Boykin, QB TCU: Texas Thurs; then Iowa State
- Bryce Petty, QB Baylor: Texas Tech Sat; then Kansas State
- Ameer Abdullah, RB Nebraska: Iowa Friday
So in all, six of the nine candidates will play two more games for sure: Mariota, Cooper OR Prescott, Barrett, Winston, Boykin, and Petty. Gordon might play one or two more; either Cooper or Prescott will play just one more; and Abdullah has just one game left for sure.