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2017 College Football Power Rankings: Top 5 Heisman Trophy Candidates

2017 College Football Power Rankings: Top 5 Heisman Trophy Candidates: Rivalry week is ready to descend on the college football universe, and with just a couple of weeks left before bowl selection begins, it is time for the Heisman hopefuls to make their final push.

In recent weeks, we have seen Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett and Notre Dame running back Josh Adams all but fall out of the mix, and Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate is coming off an ugly performance that likely derailed his late season push.

With that in mind, the list of potential Heisman winners has dwindled, and a clear frontrunner has emerged. For a closer look at the all the top candidates, including the favorite, check out my Heisman Trophy rankings heading into Week 13 of the college football season.

2017 College Football Power Rankings: Top 5 Heisman Trophy Candidates

  1. Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma Sooners

Mayfield and company overwhelmed a hapless Kansas team, and he is turning the Heisman race into a lopsided affair as the Sooners steamroll towards a Big 12 title and a spot in the College Football Playoff. He is up to 34 passing touchdowns, and he is completing passes at a 70.8 percent clip. He won’t start his final home game because of some questionable gestures he made against the Jayhawks, but while immature, his behavior probably wasn’t bad enough to have any impact on his Heisman stock. Voters still picked Johnny Manziel after all. Mayfield will have to fall on his face in the final couple of games to blow this.

  1. Bryce Love, RB, Stanford Cardinal

His numbers are still impressive, but Love’s nagging ankle injury has cost him one game and forced him in and out of the lineup in several others. He still has nine 100-yard games and more than 1,700 rushing yards on the year, and his 8.8 yards per carry are pretty incredible considering Stanford’s one-dimensional offense. If Love’s ankle holds up and he has an epic game against Notre Dame, he might have a puncher’s chance at the Heisman just because of all the eyes the Fighting Irish bring to the table. However, he would probably still need Baker Mayfield to stumble to overtake the Oklahoma quarterback.

  1. Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State Nittany Lions

The do-it-all back for the Nittany Lions continues to pile up accolades, and he now holds the Penn State record for career rushing touchdowns. His numbers are still worthy of a trip to New York City, but his Heisman hopes disappeared, along with Penn State’s playoff hopes, with a couple of mediocre efforts in the middle of conference play. Barkley will likely be a Heisman finalist, but he’s not hosting the trophy.

  1. Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin Badgers

He piled up 132 rushing yards against Michigan to put him over 1,600 yards for the year, and Taylor is the workhorse of the offense of the undefeated Badgers. The competition has been questionable, but the fact remains that Wisconsin controls its own destiny in the Big Ten and in the College Football Playoff race. If the Badgers face Ohio State in the conference title game and Taylor runs wild in a win, he could vault himself all the way into the No. 2 spot. He needs everything to break right, but helping his team to an undefeated season would carry a lot of weight with voters, and there is no other player in the Heisman conversation that could boast the same accomplishment.

  1. Lamar Jackson, QB Louisville Cardinals

Louisville’s struggles as a team this year have eliminated Jackson from seriously contending for the Heisman, especially after setting the bar so high last year. That being said, he has quietly amassed video game-like numbers once again, and you will be hard pressed to find a more dynamic player in college football. He is a one-man wrecking crew for the Cardinals, and without his arm and his legs making plays, this team wouldn’t even be competitive. I think Jackson has done enough to be a finalist for the Heisman, but Archie Griffin’s status as the only two-time winner is still safe.

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