Heisman Power Rankings: Mayfield stays on top, Rosen rises into contention
A week chock-full of what some have called "cupcake games" is in the books, and the group of Heisman Trophy candidates has become more defined.
The top of this week's Heisman Power Rankings remains largely unchanged after another dose of consistency from the league's best; however, one player in particular was able to raise eyebrows despite his team's failure to reach the win column.
5. Saquon Barkley, RB - Penn State
A big game was needed in order for the popular favorite for much of the year to stay in the hunt, and Barkley delivered such a performance against Nebraska. The junior gave everyone a much-needed reminder of the power he possesses, rushing for 158 yards on just 17 carries for three touchdowns, adding another 66 receiving yards on six catches. The explosion may be too little, too late after a three-week lull, but an effort with equal or greater numbers against Maryland next week could prove vital if others stumble.
4. Josh Rosen, QB - UCLA
If not for an injury that cost him a game-and-a-half, Rosen could very well be the current favorite to capture the Heisman. Regardless of that missed time, the junior has put together stellar play for much of the season despite not having an elite-level team surrounding him. Saturday's 421-yard, three-touchdown showing against USC is proof that the junior is the real deal, and one more solid game against California will make UCLA bowl eligible and certify Rosen as deserving of an invite to the Heisman presentation in December.
3. Lamar Jackson, QB - Louisville
The lack of love for Jackson in this year's Heisman talks is astounding, considering the junior has strung together a season that is as great, if not better than his award-winning campaign last year. Louisville's mediocrity in 2017 likely plays a large part in that, but Jackson is undeniably one of the most lethal offensive weapons in the country. Five consecutive games of 100-plus rushing yards to go along with 40 total touchdowns is just part of a resume that deserves praise, and Jackson should be right there in discussion for the best of the best in the nation.
2. Bryce Love, RB - Stanford
Stanford's star running back has shown no love to defenses all season long. Even with a nagging ankle injury - which you'd expect to slow down a man who's sole responsibility is running - Love has turned heads week in and week out while posting big numbers. The junior re-aggravated his ankle injury this week, meaning the likelihood of missing the final regular-season tilt against Notre Dame is much more real. A big game could push him over the edge, but sitting out could prove fatal for his Heisman chances.
1. Baker Mayfield, QB - Oklahoma
Another week is in the books, and on the front page of this chapter is the latest strong performance from the Heisman favorite. Mayfield's "No more Mr. Nice Guy" attitude has bordered on distraction at times, but his dominating play simply cannot be denied. Mayfield has picked apart every single defense he's faced, and it's hard to imagine any sort of circumstance that would remove him from his lead of the pack.
(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)
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