Heisman Rankings: Week 10

Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) – For the first time all season, all 10
players from the previous week retained their spot in the Heisman Trophy

Although there’s some minor shuffling to address, the favorites did little to
disprove their worth in Week 10.

1. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon (last week: No. 1) — Mariota’s Achilles’ Heel
during his 2012 and 2013 Heisman campaigns was poor play in November,
especially against Stanford, but he finally got over the hump against the
Cardinal in a big way with a 45-16 victory as the Ducks continued their reign
atop the Pac-12 North standings. For the second straight week, Mariota tossed
an interception – giving him just two in 248 attempts this season – but that
wasn’t nearly enough to taint an otherwise dazzling performance. He completed
19-of-30 pass attempts for 258 yards and two touchdowns while also putting
together his best rushing performance of the season (85 yards, two TDs), and he
now sits just shy of 3,000 total yards with 34 touchdowns. Saturday’s road
game with Utah could be a tricky task, but the remaining regular-season games
(Nov. 22 versus Colorado, Nov. 29 at Oregon State) are far from daunting,
meaning Mariota should have no problem piling up the eye-popping numbers prior
to the Pac-12 title game.

2. Dak Prescott, QB, Mississippi State (last week: No. 2) — At this stage in
the season, pulling out victories is just as important (if not more so) than
racking up the stats. Neither prospect looked very good for Prescott early in
Mississippi State’s game with Arkansas, but he put it together late by leading
his squad to 17 unanswered points over the final 2 1/2 quarters to escape with
a 17-10 victory. Prescott threw for a career-high 331 yards on 18-of-27 passing
in the comeback effort, including the game-winning 69-yard scoring strike to
Fred Ross early in the fourth quarter, and he added typically stellar rushing
totals (61 yards). But he also tossed a couple interceptions, giving him five
picks over the last three games. The No. 1 Bulldogs are still unbeaten and
control their own destiny in the SEC, and Prescott’s 2,785 total yards and 27
touchdowns are the main reason for it, but after a soft matchup with UT Martin
on Saturday, a Nov. 15 game with Alabama could decide his Heisman fate.

3. Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State (last week: No. 6) — This season’s
unbeaten Seminoles are doing things much differently than the 2013 squad.
Instead of blowing teams out left and right, Florida State is instead enduring
a few more close matchups than it’d like, and Thursday’s road game with
Louisville was no different. Things weren’t looking great for the Seminoles
trailing 21-0 late in the second quarter, but behind an outstanding second-
half showing by Winston, they surged ahead for a 42-31 victory. The signal
caller was stymied at times by the stout Louisville defense, as he tossed a
career-high three interceptions, but he excelled down the stretch,
finishing with a season-high 401 yards on 25-of-48 passing with three
touchdowns. As long as FSU keeps up its winning ways – no matter how it’s
done – Winston (2,279 yards, 18 TDs) should be considered one of the favorites
to land an invite to New York.

4. Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama (last week: No. 4) — The Crimson Tide’s bye week
couldn’t do much to hurt Cooper’s stock. Even with a week of rest, Cooper
still ranks fifth in the nation in both receptions (71) and touchdowns (nine)
while tallying the second-most yards (1,132). He’s the most valuable player on
a surging Alabama squad. Cooper and the Tide are gearing up for a treacherous
stretch run that includes contests against LSU, Mississippi State and Auburn,
but if they can somehow win out and escape with the SEC Western Division
crown, you can bet that Cooper will be a big reason why.

5. Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin (last week: No. 5) — The Badgers had very
little trouble dismissing Rutgers in a 37-0 victory, and Gordon’s limited work
in the blowout has his stock holding steady for the most part. In less than
three quarters of action, Gordon racked up 128 yards and two touchdowns on 19
carries, marking the first time he’s attempted less than 20 rushes since Sept.
20. Although his latest performance was merely modest by his lofty standards,
Gordon’s 2014 season has been nothing short of spectacular with 1,296 rushing
yards and 19 touchdowns. With Ameer Abdullah’s injury and Georgia’s Todd
Gurley a couple weeks away from returning and unlikely to amass enough numbers
to make a serious run at the award, Gordon is the top dog at running back for

6. Nick Marshall, QB, Auburn (last week: No. 10) — The Tigers finally
established a blueprint to wear down the elite Ole Miss defense by running
the ball down its throat, as they amassed 253 rushing yards on 46 attempts in
the thrilling 35-31 victory to put them right back in the thick of the SEC
West race while simultaneously squashing the Rebels’ title hopes. Marshall
was a crucial part of the ground game with 50 yards and two touchdowns, but in
keeping the defense keyed on the rushing attack, he hit with a couple big
passing touchdowns – a 57-yarder to Sammie Coates in the second quarter and a
17-yarder to Marcus Davis in the third. He amassed 300 total yards for the
third time in the last four games, giving him 1,357 passing yards, 631 rushing
yards, 21 touchdowns and just four interceptions this season.

7. Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska (last week: No. 3) — The Cornhuskers suffered
a scare early in their 35-14 win over Purdue when Abdullah left the game with
a knee injury and did not return, but the program breathed the heaviest sigh
of relief after the game when learning it was only a sprain with no structural
damage. Nebraska has the most fortunately timed bye week coming up for its star
running back to rest up prior to a Nov. 15 showdown with Wisconsin, a
highly anticipated heavyweight bout between Abdullah and Gordon.

8. Everett Golson, QB, Notre Dame (last week: No. 8) — The Fighting Irish
have had no shortage of elite quarterback play during their illustrious
history, and Golson accomplished something over the weekend never before seen
at the storied program by scoring three passing touchdowns and three rushing
touchdowns in the same game in Notre Dame’s 49-39 victory over a sub-.500 Navy
team. Adding another 348 yards to his season total, Golson has the numbers to
compete with the other dual-threat quarterbacks on this list with 2,311
passing yards, 272 rushing yards and 29 touchdowns. His giveaway problem still
persists, however. An interception at Navy gives him 11 turnovers in the last
five games.

9. Trevone Boykin, QB, TCU (last week: No. 7) — The Horned Frogs managed to
go into Morgantown and come away with a thrilling 31-30 victory over 20th-
ranked West Virginia, but unfortunately for Boykin, it came mostly in spite of
his poor play. The dual-threat quarterback picked up more than 200 total yards
and scored a pair of touchdowns, but he has his worst passing performance of
the season (12-of-30) and tossed an interception. Boykin’s year-to-date numbers
are still worthy of consideration (2,472 passing yards, 423 rushing yards, 26
TDs, four interceptions), especially considering TCU’s ascent into the Top 10,
but the signal caller will need to improve in Saturday’s home game versus
first-place Kansas State, which could very well determine the Big 12 champion.

10. Bo Wallace, QB, Ole Miss (last week: No. 9) — It’s a shame the Rebels’
otherwise outstanding defense laid an egg against Auburn over the weekend
because Wallace’s performance could have been a signature moment in his
Heisman campaign if they pulled out a win. After two straight games completing
less than 50 percent of his passes, Wallace shined under center against a very
good Auburn defense, completing 28-of-40 throws for 341 yards, two touchdowns
and zero interceptions. He was also impressive on the ground with 61 yards and
a touchdown rush in the fourth quarter, which temporarily gave his team the
lead. Back-to-back losses for Ole Miss has just about put an end to its SEC
title hopes, and in turn Wallace’s chance at the award has grown slim, but his
excellent season (2,416 passing yards, 223 rushing yards, 23 TDs, seven
interceptions) still deserves to be recognized.

Dropped Out: None

Honorable Mention: Gerod Holliman, DB, Louisville; Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA,
Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia