Week 4 Heisman Watch

Not Oklahoma Again, Right?

2018 Runner Up Tua Tagovailoa

2018 Runner Up Tua Tagovailoa

Coming Out of Week 4 of the College Football Season, the championship picture is still taking shape, but a few guys have already solidified themselves as top contenders for the sport’s top prize: the Heisman Memorial Trophy. Now, I must be understood that the ceremony is more than two and a half months away (December 14th), and the presumed leader of the pack all of last season slipped up in his last game before the playoff and finished second. However, once again, we say with absolute certainty that we know who will win the Heisman at this point in the season.

It will be . . .

Just kidding. It’s way too early to call, but by looking at early-season performance and potential for late-season errors, we can gain a better picture of how this will all look by the end of the season.

Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

Don’t fret, Tua is not necessarily in the lead right now. He is, however, the highest finisher from last year ad continues to impress literally everyone that turns on an Alabama game. After going eight weeks before throwing an interception last year, Tua has kept it up throwing 17 TDs and 0 INTS through four games. He went on to throw 7 TDS and 4 INTS in his final three games last year, partially contributing to Kyler Murray seizing the trophy at seemingly the final moment. He continues not to play full games as his team sores to enormous leads, but 444 yards against South Carolina and another 336 versus Duke show just how great Tua still is. Lucky for Tua, the remainder of Alabama’s schedule is rather weak with the only ranked opponents being #17 Texas A&M and #4 LSU. However, one can assume the likes of Georgia and Clemson will pop on Alabama’s radar as the year progresses.                                                                                                               Heisman Finishes: 2nd (2018)

Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma

Many see Hurts, the Tua’s former backup turned Oklahoma star, as the frontrunner for Heisman at this point in the season. Unlike Tua who went from national championship savior to frontrunner last year, Hurts’ path has been winding and unpredictable. After leading Alabama to two consecutive title games, his struggles on the biggest stage saw him replaced at halftime of the second game. He was very able to return to his starting spot, even after replacing Tua during the SEC Championship last year, Hurts was forced to either let his eligibility go to waste or make a change. He went to Oklahoma, home of the last two Heisman winners in coach Lincoln Riley’s first two seasons. More of a dual-threat QB, through three games he has 880 yards through the air and another 373 on the ground and 13 TDs accounted for. The rest of the year for the Sooners sees home games against TCU and Texas as well as an end of the season trip to Stillwater to play Oklahoma State.

Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

Unlike the other two, Burrow is more of a surprise on this list. LSU has managed to defeat Texas as well as two smaller schools (both by huge margins) with Burrow tossing 17 scores compared to just two 2 picks. The former Ohio State transfer has taken LSU from a team plagued with little knowns at quarterback for an entire decade to a top-five team and the only team to defeat the mighty UCF Knights in the last two and third seasons. A recent 6 TD/398 YD air performance against Vanderbilt solidified his status among the elites. Likewise, with ESPN giving LSU a 1 in 3 shot at making the playoff, Burrow is an obvious inclusion on any list of contenders.

Johnathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin

Okay guys, I needed a non-QB. Taylor is a great player for Wisconsin with 29 TDs between his first two years at UW. This season, he’s already registered 7 more on the ground and the first three receiving scores of his career. Though Wisconsin had a Week 3 bye and a fairly easy Week 4 win over a ranked Michigan squad, their schedule quickly heats up with Northwestern, Iowa, and Ohio State left. As such, they have just a 12% chance of making the playoffs, but Taylor already boasts a Doak Walker Award and an All-American selection just beginning his junior year.      Heisman Finishes: 6th(2017), 9th (2018)