2021 College Football Power Rankings: Week 14

2021 College Football Power Rankings: Week 14

Everyone is expecting the same top four tonight, and things can be made easy or difficult in the final College Football Playoff rankings depending on what happens during championship week.

 

1. Georgia Bulldogs (12-0) | Last week: 1

Georgia shut out Georgia Tech and remain unbeaten heading into this Saturday’s SEC Championship Game against Alabama. The Bulldogs have not slipped up at all this season, and the current -6.5 spread ahead of the matchup is an indication of how dominant they have been in 2021.

 

2. Michigan Wolverines (11-1) | Last week: 5 (+3)

Jim Harbaugh finally got over the hump versus Ohio State as Michigan’s head coach, and the Wolverines did it emphatically. Hassan Haskins had five touchdowns (a record in The Game), and the tone was set from the start in the cold and snowy conditions. Harbaugh has obviously turned the Michigan program around over the past several years, and the criticism he’s gotten has arguably been over the top and unfair. We’ll see what the committee does with No. 2 and No. 3, but Michigan is now squarely in the top four for the CFP and might remain there barring a bad loss to Iowa in the Big Ten title game this Saturday.

 

3. Alabama Crimson Tide (11-1) | Last week: 2 (-1)

The slow start for the offense (and really a slow game overall until the end) could end up being a positive for Alabama after they survived in the Iron Bowl. Nick Saban will have his players extremely focused on executing against a tough opponent with a conference title and CFP berth on the line.

 

4. Cincinnati Bearcats (12-0) | Last week: 4

Cincinnati passed their final test of the regular season with flying colors, coasting past East Carolina to complete a 12-0 stretch. With another win over Houston in the AAC title game this Saturday, the Bearcats should become the first team from outside the Power Five to make the Playoff.

 

5. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (11-1) | Last week: 6 (+1)

The potential Brian-Kelly-to-LSU bombshell aside, Notre Dame has been playing very well since their loss to Cincinnati, and with a loss to a potential CFP team as the only blemish on the record, the Fighting Irish might have a realistic shot of stepping into the top four with an Alabama loss this weekend.

 

6. Oklahoma State Cowboys (11-1) | Last week: 7 (+1)

However, Oklahoma State might have something to say about that after coming back to beat Oklahoma (in Lincoln Riley’s final game) last Saturday night. OK State now has a chance to win the Big 12 Championship Game and vault all the way up to one of the top four spots in the rankings.

 

7. Ohio State Buckeyes (10-2) | Last week: 3 (-4)

There’s been some discussion of Ohio State not being completely out of the Playoff mix if total craziness ensues this weekend, but they probably should be eliminated after a pretty convincing loss to Michigan. The Buckeyes can light it up on offense, but the defense doesn’t give the feel of a team that should be in the CFP discussion with two losses on the record and no conference title.

 

8. Ole Miss Rebels (10-2) | Last week: 8

It wasn’t a super entertaining Egg Bowl (which we missed out on last year due to COVID), but Lane Kiffin and Ole Miss will certainly take the victory over the in-state rival. Led by quarterback Matt Corral, the Rebels have had an excellent season at 10-2 ahead of bowl season.

 

9. Baylor Bears (10-2) | Last week: 9

After barely surviving against Texas Tech, Baylor is at No. 9 this week; but a win against Oklahoma State with a conference championship on the line would arguably be enough to boost them into at least the top six—and maybe even near or in the top four if Saturday is crazy enough. If certain things fall into place, we could have quite the discussion and debate on Sunday.

 

10. Oregon Ducks (10-2) | Last week: NR

How crazy can things get this weekend? Not to get too hypothetical, but losses by Alabama (particularly if it’s not a close game), Cincinnati, and Michigan could potentially get both Baylor and Oregon into the CFP despite likely being low in the top ten tomorrow night. Of course, the Ducks just need to take care of their own business and get some redemption in the Pac-12 title game over Utah after the Utes blew them out recently.

2021 Heisman Trophy Watch: Week 14

2021 Heisman Trophy Watch: Week 14

The clubhouse leader remains entering championship week, but the 2021 Heisman Trophy race is still up in the air more than it has been in recent memory.

 

1. Bryce Young | Alabama QB | Sophomore | Last week: 1

Bryce Young and Alabama were getting shut down by Auburn, but an incredible 97-yard touchdown drive to force overtime—and an eventual four overtime win in the Iron Bowl—helped solidify Young as the Heisman favorite with one game remaining. If Young didn’t pull off that final drive, this race would really be mind-boggling.

 

Season stats:

69.0% | 3,901 PASS YDS | 40 PASS TD | 4 INT

68 CAR | -9 RUSH YDS | 2 RUSH TD | -0.1 AVG

 

2. C.J. Stroud | Ohio State QB | Freshman (RS) | Last week: 2

C.J. Stroud put up strong numbers again and did not play poorly, and he remains at No. 2 for now. But the freshman quarterback’s chances of winning the Heisman this year are probably finished following OSU’s loss to Michigan. Still, Stroud should certainly get an invite to New York.

 

Season stats:

70.9% | 3,862 PASS YDS | 38 PASS TD | 5 INT

 

3. Kenneth Walker III | Michigan State RB | Junior | Last week: 3

Same goes for Kenneth Walker III, who has his regular season end with 1,646 yards and 18 touchdowns, including the epic performance in Michigan State’s win over Michigan. Walker isn’t going to be able to jump to No. 1, but he’s had an outstanding year.

 

Season stats:

264 CAR | 1,646 RUSH YDS | 18 RUSH TD | 6.2 AVG

13 REC | 89 REC YDS | 1 REC TD | 6.8 AVG

 

4. Kenny Pickett | Pitt QB | Senior (RS) | Last week: 5 (+1)

While Kenny Pickett is down at No. 4 for now, Pitt playing for a conference championship this week gives him a chance to leap all the way up to the top of the final rankings. Pickett threw another four touchdowns in the Panthers’ win over Syracuse on Saturday, and he’s up to 44 total touchdowns this season. With a stellar win and a subpar outing from Bryce Young in a loss, Pickett could be the guy.

 

Season stats:

67.7% | 4,066 PASS YDS | 40 PASS TD | 7 INT

92 CAR | 213 RUSH YDS | 4 RUSH TD | 2.3 AVG

 

5. Matt Corral | Ole Miss QB | Junior (RS) | Last week: 4 (-1)

Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson is now receiving legitimate Heisman Trophy hype, and he should be counted out by no means with the race still relatively wide-open entering the final week compared to future years—he’ll have the Big Ten Championship to make another huge impact for the Wolverines. But Matt Corral remains in the top five for now after leading Ole Miss to a 10-2 regular season capped off by an Egg Bowl victory.

 

Season stats:

68.3% | 3,333 PASS YDS | 20 PASS TD | 4 INT

145 CAR | 597 RUSH YDS | 11 RUSH TD | 4.1 AVG

2021 College Football Power Rankings: Week 13

2021 College Football Power Rankings: Week 13

No. 3 Oregon went down and went down hard in their loss to Utah last week, so there’s more movement for the latest 2021 college football power rankings before the final week of the regular season.

 

1. Georgia Bulldogs (11-0) | Last week: 1

As was obviously expected, Georgia was able to coast against Charleston Southern. The Bulldogs were able to get a lot of players into the rout, which is good to see in the final home game of the year. Georgia will take on Georgia Tech to conclude their regular season.

 

Next game: at Georgia Tech; Sat, 11/27 at 12:00 PM ET

 

2. Alabama Crimson Tide (10-1) | Last week: 2

It was a seven-point win, but it felt like Alabama was in control in their victory over ranked Arkansas on Saturday. Bryce Young lit up the Razorbacks for 559 yards and five touchdowns through the air, and he and the Tide will look to get past rival Auburn ahead of the SEC title game versus Georgia.

 

Next game: at Auburn; Sat, 11/27 at 3:30 PM ET

 

3. Ohio State Buckeyes (10-1) | Last week: 4 (+1)

You could certainly put the Buckeyes up at No. 2 (as the AP poll did) following their complete demolition of Michigan State in a top-ten conference matchup. Regardless, OSU will make the College Football Playoff with two more wins. Quarterback C.J. Stroud is looking to stay hot after one of the best performances you will ever see last week.

 

Next game: at 6 Michigan; Sat, 11/27 at 12:00 PM ET

 

4. Cincinnati Bearcats (11-0) | Last week: 5 (+1)

Just like that, with the craziness of this college football season, Cincinnati is back into the top four. We expect that will be the case tomorrow night when the latest CFP rankings are released. SMU is a solid team, but the Bearcats won 48-14, perhaps getting some of those “style points” that are talked about with them.

 

Next game: at East Carolina; Fri, 11/26 at 3:30 PM ET

 

5. Michigan Wolverines (10-1) | Last week: 6 (+1)

While Ohio State is on fire heading into “The Game”, Michigan had a fantastic outing themselves against Maryland last week. If there was a time for Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines to come away with a big win over Ohio State to finally put to rest the talk that they can’t win a big game, this is it. However, as the Buckeyes showed last week, they are undoubtedly playing with more talent than anyone in the Big Ten.

 

Next game: vs. Ohio State; Sat, 11/27 at 12:00 PM ET

 

6. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (10-1) | Last week: 8 (+2)

Notre Dame blew out Georgia Tech, 55-0, to secure their fifth consecutive ten-win season. Brian Kelly is another coach that’s been unable to win the big game to some extent (though for him it’s been in the national title game and playoffs), but he deserves credit for the turnaround after a 4-8 campaign in 2016.

 

Next game: at Stanford; Sat, 11/27 at 8:00 PM ET

 

7. Oklahoma State Cowboys (10-1) | Last week: 9 (+2)

The outstanding defense from Oklahoma State continued last week, as they shut out Texas Tech to advance to 10-1. The Cowboys are second in the nation in points allowed per game (14.9) and third in total defense (267.8 yards per game). The strength of Notre Dame and Cincinnati ahead of them might make it tough, but Oklahoma State should not be counted out of the Playoff race.

 

Next game: vs. 10 Oklahoma; Sat, 11/27 at 7:30 PM ET

 

8. Ole Miss Rebels (9-2) | Last week: 10 (+2)

It wasn’t a totally perfect game and celebration, but Matt Corral and the Rebels won again to put themselves in a spot to get to ten wins when they face Mississippi State this week. We were robbed of a Thanksgiving Egg Bowl last year because of the funky COVID scheduling, but we’ll see Lane Kiffin and Mike Leach’s squads face off on Thursday.

 

Next game: at Mississippi State; Thu, 11/25 at 7:30 PM ET

 

9. Baylor Bears (9-2) | Last week: NR

There was no letdown for Baylor last week, as the defense again allowed just ten points for a second consecutive game. Despite just beating the Sooners a couple of weeks ago, the Bears will need some help to get into the Big 12 title game.

 

Next game: vs. Texas Tech; Sat, 11/27 at 12:00 PM ET

 

10. Oklahoma Sooners (10-1) | Last week: NR

Oklahoma bounced back and held on for a victory over Iowa State, and it now sets up an interesting scenario where if the Sooners beat OK State this Saturday, they’ll play again in the Big 12 Championship. Caleb Williams and the passing attack will need to get going, but it won’t be an easy task against one of the nation’s top defenses.

 

Next game: at 7 Oklahoma State; Sat, 11/27 at 7:30 PM ET

2021 Heisman Trophy Watch: Week 13

2021 Heisman Trophy Watch: Week 13

Has a clear top-two emerged for the 2021 Heisman Trophy race heading into the final week of the regular season?

 

1. Bryce Young | Alabama QB | Sophomore | Last week: 2 (+1)

Recency bias might be pushing Bryce Young out from the top of many Heisman lists and from the top spot in the Vegas odds, but the star sophomore quarterback should be the favorite. Young torched Arkansas for 559 passing yards (the second-most in SEC history) and five passing touchdowns in Alabama’s 42-35 win last week.

 

Season stats:

71.7% | 3,584 PASS YDS | 38 PASS TD | 3 INT

57 CAR | 14 RUSH YDS | 2 RUSH TD | 0.2 AVG

 

2. C.J. Stroud | Ohio State QB | Freshman (RS) | Last week: 5 (+3)

While Young remains at No. 1, C.J. Stroud certainly put himself squarely in the Heisman discussion after going 29/31 for 393 passing yards and six passing touchdowns… in the first half of the top-ten matchup against Michigan State. As the insane efficiency indicates, Stroud put throws on the money with stellar accuracy—including on touchdowns deep down the field. But keep in mind that the Spartans, despite a great year overall, did have the worst pass defense in college football.

 

Season stats:

71.1% | 3,468 PASS YDS | 36 PASS TD | 5 INT

 

3. Kenneth Walker III | Michigan State RB | Junior | Last week: 1 (-2)

Unfortunately, Kenneth Walker III fell victim to the onslaught from the other side of the ball, as being down multiple touchdowns very early in the game and 42-0 at halftime made it very difficult for him to get going. Walker had just six carries for 25 yards. He shouldn’t be counted out of the Heisman race entirely, but Saturday was basically a worst-case scenario for his candidacy.

 

Season stats:

234 CAR | 1,508 RUSH YDS | 17 RUSH TD | 6.4 AVG

13 REC | 89 REC YDS | 1 REC TD | 6.8 AVG

 

4. Matt Corral | Ole Miss QB | Junior (RS) | Last week: 3 (-1)

In his final home game for the Rebels after announcing he will be declaring for the 2022 NFL Draft, Matt Coral threw for 326 yards and a couple of touchdowns versus Vanderbilt. Corral is up to 29 total touchdowns on the season, but he’s probably a distant fourth in the race.

 

Season stats:

67.4% | 3,099 PASS YDS | 19 PASS TD | 3 INT

133 CAR | 553 RUSH YDS | 10 RUSH TD | 4.2 AVG

 

5. Kenny Pickett | Pitt QB | Senior (RS) | Last week: 4 (-1)

And Kenny Pickett is right in the mix with Corral behind the top three. The Pitt quarterback had another big day slinging the ball around last week against Virginia, throwing for 340 yards and four touchdowns (two interceptions) to match Bryce Young’s 40 total touchdowns this season.

 

Season stats:

67.1% | 3,875 PASS YDS | 36 PASS TD | 6 INT

89 CAR | 209 RUSH TDS | 4 RUSH TD | 2.3 AVG

2021 College Football Power Rankings: Week 12

2021 College Football Power Rankings: Week 12

Down goes another top-ten team, as Oklahoma lost to Baylor last week to tumble out of our top four and outside the top ten of this week’s 2021 college football power rankings.

 

1. Georgia Bulldogs (10-0) | Last week: 1

Tennessee was able to hang around for a little bit, but the Bulldogs were just too much on Saturday afternoon. It’s been previously mentioned here and elsewhere that Georgia looks a lot like the Alabama teams we’ve been used to seeing over the years. Pure domination every single week and no slip-ups.

 

Next game: vs. Charleston Southern; Sat, 11/20 at 12:00 PM ET

 

2. Alabama Crimson Tide (9-1) | Last week: 2

Alabama didn’t have trouble with New Mexico State, putting up a 49-3 halftime lead before taking the foot off the gas relatively speaking. After a narrow win over LSU a couple of Saturdays ago, Bama is now looking to get back on track with their SEC schedule this week against Arkansas.

 

Next game: vs. 21 Arkansas; Sat, 11/20 at 3:30 PM ET

 

3. Oregon Ducks (9-1) | Last week: 4 (+1)

Oregon keeps rolling and improved to 9-1 on the season, but they’ll have one of their toughest conference opponents up this Saturday when they go to Utah. The last matchup between the Ducks and the Utes was when Oregon dominated the Pac-12 title game a couple of seasons ago.

 

Next game: at 24 Utah; Sat, 11/20 at 7:30 PM ET

 

4. Ohio State Buckeyes (9-1) | Last week: 6 (+2)

Ohio State might have had the most impressive showing of any squad last week, completely blowing the doors off a ranked Purdue team with two top-five wins this season. The Buckeyes are hot heading into the huge Big Ten matchup versus Michigan State this Saturday at noon.

 

Next game: vs. 7 Michigan State; Sat, 11/20 at 12:00 PM ET

 

5. Cincinnati Bearcats (10-0) | Last week: 5

Because of the impressiveness of Ohio State over the past several weeks, Cincinnati remains just outside the top four still. However, they are still very much in the playoff mix, likely getting in if they remain unbeaten and the SEC or Big Ten don’t get two teams in the top four. The Bearcats can’t look past SMU this week, obviously.

 

Next game: vs. SMU; Sat, 11/20 at 3:30 PM ET

 

6. Michigan Wolverines (9-1) | Last week: 7 (+1)

It was looking shaky for Michigan late in the game while behind against Penn State, but the Wolverines were able to get the victory in a tough environment to improve to 9-1. Now, they go to Maryland and must ensure that they don’t fall into a trap with Ohio State on deck.

 

Next game: at Maryland; Sat, 11/20 at 3:30 PM ET

 

7. Michigan State Spartans (9-1) | Last week: 8 (+1)

The passing attack for Michigan State got going at the right time last week, as they’ll need it to avoid being one-dimensional at Ohio State this weekend. For the Spartan defense, they’ll probably need to make stops on key situations like third down and red zone to have a shot at the upset.

 

Next game: at 5 Ohio State; Sat, 11/20 at 12:00 PM ET

 

8. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (9-1) | Last week: 9 (+1)

The Notre Dame offense has been playing great since the Cincinnati loss, but it’s the defense that’s been the story over the past couple of games—allowing just nine points combined to Navy and Virginia. The Fighting Irish now return to South Bend for their final home game of the season.

 

Next game: vs. Georgia Tech; Sat, 11/20 at 2:30 PM ET

 

9. Oklahoma State (9-1) | Last week: 10 (+1)

Since their lone loss of the year late last month, Oklahoma State is 3-0 with a point differential of 142-23. Quite impressive, and the Cowboys are low in the rankings now, but they can potentially make a move up closer to the top four with a shot at the playoffs. “Style points” might be important for OK State during the final stretch.

 

Next game: at Texas Tech; Sat, 11/20 at 8:00 PM ET

 

10. Ole Miss Rebels (8-2) | Last week: NR

Oklahoma could have remained in the top ten at this spot, and Wake Forest and Baylor are among the other schools in consideration. But Ole Miss is the pick following their impressive showing against Texas A&M.

 

Next game: vs. Vanderbilt; Sat, 11/20 at 7:30 PM ET

2021 Heisman Trophy Watch: Week 12

2021 Heisman Trophy Watch: Week 12

The 2021 Heisman Trophy race remains incredibly tight, with several worth contenders. But is a top two separating itself heading into a critical late-season stretch?

 

1. Kenneth Walker III | Michigan State RB | Junior | Last week: 1

Michigan State did more damage through the air in the win over Maryland last Saturday, but Kenneth Walker III still got his, with 30 carries for 143 yards and two touchdowns. Walker is not yet getting the overall praise he should as the arguable top player in the Heisman race, but another huge outing versus Ohio State this week could remedy that.

 

Season stats:

228 CAR | 1,483 RUSH YDS | 17 RUSH TD | 6.5 AVG

12 REC | 85 REC YDS | 1 REC TD | 7.1 AVG

 

2. Bryce Young | Alabama QB | Sophomore | Last week: 2

Bryce Young calmly went 21/23 for 270 yards and five touchdowns in Alabama’s rout of New Mexico State. Next up, the competition increases again as the SEC schedule resumes when Young and the Tide take on Arkansas this Saturday afternoon.

 

Season stats:

71.0% | 3,025 PASS YDS | 33 PASS TD | 3 INT

51 CAR | 25 RUSH YDS | 2 RUSH TD | 0.5 AVG

 

3. Matt Corral | Ole Miss QB | Junior (RS) | Last week: 3

The top two should be pretty locked-in as consensus at this point, but the next few contenders are where it gets interesting—and they can all make a move up the Heisman watch to end the season. Matt Corral hasn’t had to put too much on his shoulders thanks to a strong rushing attack and defense the past couple of weeks, but he’s been a superb dual threat all year and is leading a top-ten team.

 

Season stats:

66.6% | 2,773 PASS YDS | 17 PASS TD | 2 INT

126 CAR | 523 RUSH YDS | 10 RUSH TD | 4.2 AVG

 

4. Kenny Pickett | Pitt QB | Senior (RS) | Last week: 4

The UNC-Pitt matchup maybe didn’t live quite up to the hype of two potential first-round quarterbacks in next year’s draft, but Kenny Pickett still put up numbers, throwing for 346 yards and three touchdowns in the overtime victory. Among Power Five players, Pickett’s 36 total touchdowns trail only Wake Forest’s Sam Hartman (who could also easily be in the top five) this season.

 

Season stats:

67.5% | 3,517 PASS YDS | 32 PASS TD | 4 INT

83 CAR | 223 RUSH YDS | 4 RUSH TD | 2.7 AVG

 

5. C.J. Stroud | Ohio State QB | Freshman (RS) | Last week: 5

There was serious consideration to putting C.J. Stroud up one or two spots in the Heisman rankings. The freshman is coming off a five-touchdown performance in Ohio State’s rout of ranked Purdue, and he’s been excellent throwing the ball over the past several weeks. However, the rushing of Corral and Pickett keep them ahead of Stroud for now.

 

Season stats:

68.8% | 3,036 PASS YDS | 30 PASS TD | 5 INT

2021 College Football Power Rankings: Week 11

2021 College Football Power Rankings: Week 11

The insane college football season continues, with just a few weeks remaining in the regular season.

 

1. Georgia Bulldogs (9-0) | Last week: 1

The biggest “problem” for Georgia right now isn’t really a problem at all. Stetson Bennett, who got the deep ball going last week, is playing so well at quarterback for the Bulldogs that J.T. Daniels doesn’t feel particularly close to retaking the starting job. But it was great to see Daniels back in action for Georgia after they pulled away from Missouri.

 

Next game: at Tennessee; Sat, 11/13 at 3:30 PM ET

 

2. Alabama Crimson Tide (8-1) | Last week: 2

LSU gave Alabama all they could handle on Saturday night (with Ed Orgeron even claiming on two occasions that his Tigers were the better team). The Crimson Tide defense stepped up, but the run game could not get much going versus LSU’s front. Bama should be able to run the ball and get back on track in that department this weekend.

 

Next game: vs. New Mexico State; Sat, 11/13 at 12:00 PM ET

 

3. Oklahoma Sooners (9-0) | Last week: 4 (+1)

Oklahoma had the open week to give them a bit more time to prepare for a ranked conference matchup at Baylor this Saturday. It’s an early game, but going to a tough Waco environment won’t be easy.

 

Next game: at 18 Baylor: Sat, 11/13 at 12:00 PM ET

 

4. Oregon Ducks (8-1) | Last week: 6 (+2)

It was nice to see the committee give Oregon respect and recognition for their victory over Ohio State in Columbus earlier this season. Travis Dye ran for 211 yards and a touchdown in the Ducks’ win over Washington, and there’s no reason they should fall in the rankings if they keep winning.

 

Next game: vs. Washington State; Sat, 11/13 at 10:30 PM ET

 

5. Cincinnati Bearcats (9-0) | Last week: 5

Meanwhile, there was a ton of outrage over Cincinnati being left out of the initial top four. But despite the loud complaints, outside the top four feels right at the moment. The Bearcats have had some close calls versus inferior opponents. It took not one, but two goal-line stands by the stellar Cincinnati defense to hold on against Tulsa last Saturday.

 

Next game: at South Florida; Fri, 11/12 at 6:00 PM ET

 

6. Ohio State Buckeyes (8-1) | Last week: 7 (+1)

The Buckeyes had some trouble themselves while facing Nebraska on the road, but they emerged from the conference showdown with an 8-1 mark. Jaxon Smith-Njigba recorded 15 receptions for 240 yards and one touchdown in an all-time outing for Ohio State.

 

Next game: vs. Purdue; Sat, 11/13 at 3:30 PM ET

 

7. Michigan Wolverines (8-1) | Last week: 8 (+1)

Michigan bounced back from their first loss by playing a sharp game against Indiana, but the story for the Wolverines came from head coach Jim Harbaugh revealing that the Big Ten told him the officials made a mistake in the Michigan State loss. Nevertheless, the Wolverines still have a very real shot at making the CFP.

 

Next game: at 23 Penn State; Sat, 11/13 at 12:00 PM ET

 

8. Michigan State Spartans (8-1) | Last week: 3 (-5)

After upsetting Michigan State, Purdue now has wins over No. 2 (then Iowa) and No. 3 this season. Maybe it was a letdown for the Spartans after their emotional win, but giving up 536 passing yards in the loss to the Boilermakers is obviously cause for concern.

 

Next game: vs. Maryland; Sat, 11/13 at 4:00 PM ET

 

9. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (8-1) | Last week: 9

Notre Dame was laser focused entering last Saturday’s matchup with a Navy squad you cannot take lightly. The Fighting Irish have at least 31 points in all four games and have averaged 35.3 points per game since the 24-13 Cincinnati loss last month.

 

Next game: at Virginia; Sat, 11/13 at 7:30 PM ET

 

10. Oklahoma State (8-1) | Last week: NR

Texas A&M could easily be in the No. 10 spot, but Oklahoma State gets the slight edge. The Cowboys stymied West Virginia’s offense, while Devontavean Martin caught two touchdowns on the other side of the ball. OK State will host TCU this Saturday night.

 

Next game: vs. TCU; Sat, 11/13 at 8:00 PM ET

2021 Heisman Trophy Watch: Week 11

2021 Heisman Trophy Watch: Week 11

His team lost for the first time this season, but the No. 1 player in the Heisman Trophy race remains the same after last week.

 

1. Kenneth Walker III | Michigan State RB | Junior | Last week: 1

While the Spartans fell on the road to Purdue as the then-No.-3 team in the nation, Kenneth Walker III again did his part, rushing 23 times for 146 yards and a touchdown along with two receptions for 20 yards. Walker did have a fumble in the first half, but it appeared that his knee might have been down. Regardless, the star runner continues to have an outstanding campaign.

 

Season stats:

198 CAR | 1,340 RUSH YDS | 15 RUSH TD | 6.8 AVG

10 REC | 56 REC YDS | 1 REC TD | 5.6 AVG

 

2. Bryce Young | Alabama QB | Sophomore | Last week: 2

Seen as the Heisman favorite by most, Bryce Young played well with Alabama finding themselves in a real battle versus LSU on Saturday night. The sophomore quarterback was under pressure from the Tigers, but he remained poised and went 24/37 for 302 yards and two touchdowns.

 

Season stats:

69.5% | 2,755 PASS YDS | 28 PASS TD | 3 INT

47 CAR | 18 RUSH YDS | 2 RUSH TD | 0.4 AVG

 

3. Matt Corral | Ole Miss QB | Junior (RS) | Last week: 3

The early Saturday matchup between Ole Miss and Liberty was billed as a game with big implications for the 2022 NFL Draft, with Matt Corral and Malik Willis featured in the contest. Jerrion Ealy broke a long touchdown run to begin the game, and the Rebels defense had a great outing, but Corral did a nice job of running Lane Kiffin’s offense and taking care of the ball while tossing for 324 yards and a touchdown.

 

Season stats:

66.8% | 2,526 PASS YDS | 16 PASS TD | 2 INT

116 CAR | 538 RUSH YDS | 10 TD | 4.6 AVG

 

4. Kenny Pickett | Pitt QB | Senior (RS) | Last week: 5 (+1)

Senior quarterback Kenny Pickett continues to get slept on as a legitimate Heisman contender that could very well lead the pack by the end of the season. Pickett led 7-2 Pitt to a blowout win over Duke, and he threw for 416 yards and three touchdowns while adding 57 rushing yards and a score on the ground. Pickett has been putting up video-game-like numbers.

 

Season stats:

68.7% | 3,171 PASS YDS | 29 PASS TD | 3 INT

73 CAR | 234 RUSH YDS | 4 RUSH TD | 3.2 AVG

 

5. C.J. Stroud | Ohio State QB | Freshman (RS) | Last week: 4 (-1)

The two interceptions don’t look great on the stat sheet, but C.J. Stroud threw the ball 54 times and racked up 405 passing yards along with a couple of touchdowns in Ohio State’s 26-17 win over Nebraska. Stroud feels like he’s clearly behind the top four as of now, but the freshman has big games coming up on the schedule.

 

Season stats:

67.0% | 2,675 PASS YDS | 25 PASS TD | 5 INT

2021 College Football Power Rankings: Week 10

2021 College Football Power Rankings: Week 10

The first College Football Playoff Rankings of 2021 will release tonight. Where should each team stand in the initial rankings to kickoff November?

 

1. Georgia Bulldogs (8-0) | Last week: 1

Georgia did not have much trouble with Florida, thanks in part to a late surge to close out the first half. Through eight games, Georgia’s defense has allowed six touchdowns—and they’ve intercepted ten passes. Also, the Bulldogs offense has played well with Stetson Bennett under center. There’s little question as to which team will be ranked in the top spot tonight.

 

Next game: vs. Missouri; Sat, 11/6 at 12:00 PM ET

 

2. Alabama Crimson Tide (7-1) | Last week: 2

Alabama had off last week, and we’ll see where the Committee places them. There’s a loss on the resume (at Texas A&M), but consensus is probably that the Crimson Tide are a clear top-two team—that is, they would be favored over everyone except for Georgia.

 

Next game: vs. LSU; Sat, 11/6 at 7:00 PM ET

 

3. Michigan State Spartans (8-0) | Last week: 6 (+3)

There’s still a long way to go, but Michigan State has earned a spot in the initial top four after their big victory over Michigan. Heisman frontrunner Kenneth Walker III is coming off a sensational performance with 197 rushing yards and five touchdowns in the Spartan’s win over the in-state rival.

 

Next game: at Purdue; Sat, 11/6 at 3:30 PM ET

 

4. Oklahoma Sooners (9-0) | Last week: 4

The Sooners have not looked back since Lincoln Riley made the quarterback switch to Caleb Williams, who just torched Texas Tech for 402 yards and six touchdowns (seven passing scores for the Sooners after Spencer Rattler also received some action)—including 4/135/2 from Marvin Mims and 5/100/1 from Mario Williams. It wouldn’t be shocking if the Committee liked the way OU is playing and puts them as high as No. 2.

 

Next game: at 14 Baylor; Sat, 11/13 (time TBD)

 

5. Cincinnati Bearcats (8-0) | Last week: 3 (-2)

It’s somewhat surprising that Cincinnati remains at No. 2 in the AP poll. The Bearcats allowed one-win Tulane to hang around deep into the second half, and “style points” might come into play for them given that they are a non-Power-Five school. However, the Bearcats have a great defense, an experienced quarterback, and own a huge win against Notre Dame.

 

Next game: vs. Tulsa; Sat, 11/6 at 3:30 PM ET

 

6. Oregon Ducks (7-1) | Last week: 7 (+1)

Oregon’s offense was able to get on track while piling up 52 points on Colorado. The Ducks might be the most interesting team and in the most intriguing situation entering tonight. They arguably have the most impressive victory of anyone this year by beating Ohio State in Columbus, and we’ll see where they land in the initial CFP rankings.

 

Next game: at Washington; Sat, 11/6 at 7:30 PM ET

 

7. Ohio State Buckeyes (7-1) | Last week: 8 (+1)

The feeling is that Ohio State will be ranked higher than Oregon, but should they be? It comes down to the Buckeyes being seen as a different team than the one that lost to Oregon earlier this year. The offense is clicking, and the defense has improved. Surviving against a talented Penn State team on Saturday night might help in the eyes of the Committee as they stack these squads up for the first time.

 

Next game: at Nebraska; Sat, 11/6 at 12:00 PM ET

 

8. Michigan Wolverines (7-1) | Last week: 5 (-3)

The talk about Jim Harbaugh not being able to win big games will continue probably until he wins a national title—unfortunately for him, that’s just the way things are with the media. The Wolverines still have everything in front of them this season, starting this weekend when they host Indiana.

 

Next game: vs. Indiana; Sat, 11/6 at 7:30 PM ET

 

9. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (7-1) | Last week: NR

Notre Dame’s lone loss of the year is to Cincinnati, and they certainly have a shot to be in the Playoff discussion if things go the right way for them. However, the Fighting Irish obviously cannot look past a matchup with a tough Navy squad on Saturday afternoon.

 

Next game: vs. Navy; Sat, 11/6 at 3:30 PM ET

 

10. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (8-0) | Last week: NR

Wake Forest lands in the top ten for the first time this year, and they are a team to watch tonight, as the initial rankings always seem to have some surprising rankings. The Demon Deacons have one of the best offenses in college football (43.4 points per game, fifth in the nation), and they are one of a few unbeaten Power Five teams.

 

Next game: at North Carolina; Sat, 11/6 at 12:00 PM ET

2021 Heisman Trophy Watch: Week 10

2021 Heisman Trophy Watch: Week 10

We have a new leader in the clubhouse in the 2021 Heisman Trophy race.

 

1. Kenneth Walker III | Michigan State RB | Junior | Last week: 4 (+3)

The feeling all year has been that there are a bunch of worthy Heisman candidates, but that no player has quite separated themselves into frontrunning status. That should have changed over the weekend after Kenneth Walker III ran for nearly 200 yards and five touchdowns to lead Michigan State over Michigan. Walker has paced the nation in rushing yards all year, and he had a major “Heisman moment” in the performance versus the in-state rival.

 

Season stats:

175 CAR | 1,194 RUSH YDS | 14 RUSH TD | 6.8 AVG

8 REC | 36 REC YDS | 1 REC TD | 4.5 AVG

 

2. Bryce Young | Alabama QB | Sophomore | Last week: 1 (-1)

Alabama had off last week, but Bryce Young was probably set to fall to No. 2 in the Heisman race either way because of the way Walker played on Saturday. Young will do battle with LSU this weekend.

 

Season stats:

70.1% | 2,453 PASS YDS | 26 PASS TD | 3 INT

38 CAR | 40 RUSH YDS | 2 RUSH TD | 1.1 AVG

 

3. Matt Corral | Ole Miss QB | Junior (RS) | Last week: 2 (-1)

Matt Corral suffered an ankle injury in the first half of last week’s loss to Auburn, which forced him to miss time. The ankle issue first popped up against Tennessee a couple of weeks ago, but Corral is going to push through it. Ole Miss falling out of the top-ten hurts Corral’s Heisman status, but he’s obviously been one of the top dual threats in the country and remains in the mix.

 

Season stats:

66.0% | 2,202 PASS YDS | 15 PASS TD | 2 INT

110 CAR | 519 RUSH YDS | 10 RUSH TD | 4.7 AVG

 

4. C.J. Stroud | Ohio State QB | Freshman (RS) | Last week: NR

C.J. Stroud lands back in the top five after throwing for 305 yards and a touchdown while avoiding mistakes going up against a tough Penn State defense. It helps having the outstanding supporting cast that he does with Ohio State, but Stroud has stood in the pocket and made strong throws this season, particularly after his return from a one-game absence due to a shoulder injury in late September.

 

Season stats:

67.1% | 2,270 PASS YDS | 23 PASS TD | 3 INT

17 CAR | 18 RUSH YDS | 1.1 AVG

 

5. Kenny Pickett | Pitt QB | Senior (RS) | Last week: 3 (-2)

You can make an easy argument for Kenny Pickett to remain at No. 3 or No. 4 in the Heisman rankings. Pickett threw for 519 yards and three touchdowns in a close loss to Miami, and he’s thrown for 901 yards and nine touchdowns in the Panthers’ two losses this season. Perhaps unfairly, team success helps push guys up the Heisman race, particularly at quarterback.

 

Season stats:

69.2% | 2,755 PASS YDS | 26 PASS TD | 3 INT

65 CAR | 177 RUSH YDS | 3 RUSH TD | 2.7 AVG

2021 College Football Power Rankings: Week 9

2021 College Football Power Rankings: Week 9

Ranked teams continue to fall in what’s been an insane 2021 college football season through a couple of months. There’s some top-four shuffling in this week’s power rankings.

 

1. Georgia Bulldogs (7-0) | Last week: 1

Georgia is returning from an off week and will play rival Florida on Saturday afternoon. While the Gators haven’t had the type of season they would like, the Bulldogs obviously need to come ready to play—as they have all season.

 

Next game: vs. Florida; Sat, 10/30 at 3:30 PM ET

 

2. Alabama Crimson Tide (7-1) | Last week: 4 (+2)

You could stack these teams up from the No. 2 to No. 6 range a few  different ways. The AP poll saw Alabama move up to No. 3 this week, and we’ll move them back up to No. 2 after they routed Tennessee. The Tide have bounced back strongly from their narrow loss to Texas A&M, and quarterback Bryce Young is only getting better with experience.

 

Next game: vs. LSU; Sat, 11/6 (time TBD)

 

3. Cincinnati Bearcats (7-0) | Last week: 2 (-1)

No matter their records, winning at Navy against those tough kids is certainly no cakewalk. A strong third quarter boosted Cincinnati to a lead, and they held off a late comeback attempt by the Midshipmen to improve to 7-0. The close call should lead to a very focused Bearcats team when they take on Tulane this weekend.

 

Next game: at Tulane; Sat, 10/30 at 12:00 PM ET

 

4. Oklahoma Sooners (8-0) | Last week: 3 (-1)

Oklahoma was shutout in the first half against Kansas, but freshman quarterback Caleb Williams and the offense didn’t panic, and they scored five touchdowns in the second half—including 21 in the fourth quarter—for a 35-23 victory. Next up, a matchup with Texas Tech.

 

Next game: vs. Texas Tech; Sat, 10/30 at 3:30 PM ET

 

5. Michigan Wolverines (7-0) | Last week: 6 (+1)

Blake Corum (19 carries, 119 yards, two touchdowns) and Hassan Haskins (23 carries, 110 yards, two touchdowns) powered Michigan’s 33-7 win over Northwestern, and expect a slugfest when the Wolverines face the Spartans on Saturday. The winner might have a strong case to move up to No. 2 in the rankings.

 

Next game: at 8 Michigan State; Sat, 10/30 at 12:00 PM ET

 

6. Michigan State Spartans (7-0) | Last week: 7 (+1)

While Michigan comes into the Big Noon matchup playing very good football, Michigan State will enter the week rested following a bye. The game will happen in East Lansing, so the Spartans will undoubtedly be counting on a raucous crowd to help with momentum on Saturday.

 

Next game: vs. 6 Michigan; Sat, 10/30 at 12:00 PM ET

 

7. Oregon Ducks (6-1) | Last week: 9 (+2)

It was a slow start and another close finish for Oregon, but the Ducks were able to hold on against UCLA to remain squarely in the College Football Playoff race. Anthony Brown was somewhat inconsistent as a passer versus the Bruins, but he made key plays with his legs while racking up 85 yards on just six rushing attempts.

 

Next game: vs. Colorado; Sat, 10/30 at 3:30 PM ET

 

8. Ohio State Buckeyes (6-1) | Last week: 10 (+2)

Ohio State’s offense might be playing better than any team in the nation right now, and you could argue they should be in the top five of the power rankings. It’s just hard to put them over Oregon after losing to them at home—even if it was early in the season and the teams are at different stages now—but things will work out within the Big Ten conference and in the rankings.

 

Next game: vs. 20 Penn State; Sat, 10/30 at 7:30 PM ET

 

9. Iowa Hawkeyes (6-1) | Last week: NR

Iowa had a bye but gets back into the top ten thanks to losses by Oklahoma State and Penn State. The Hawkeyes must obviously get back on track offensively, but they still have a lot in front of them and can get back into the CFP mix.

 

Next game: at Wisconsin; Sat, 10/30 at 12:00 PM ET

 

10. Ole Miss Rebels (6-1) | Last week: NR

There are a host of options for the No. 10 spot in the power rankings, including Notre Dame, Texas A&M, Pitt, and unbeaten Wake Forest. But the lone loss of the season for Ole Miss was to Alabama. The Rebels defense has played better after giving up 51 points to Arkansas earlier this month, and they’ll look to keep it going at Auburn this Saturday.

 

Next game: at 18 Auburn; Sat, 10/30 at 7:00 PM ET

2021 Heisman Trophy Watch: Week 9

2021 Heisman Trophy Watch: Week 9

We have a new entrant in the top five of the Heisman Watch as we enter the final week of October in the 2021 college football season.

 

1. Bryce Young | Alabama QB | Sophomore | Last week: 1

The rushing statistics for Bryce Young haven’t been listed in the Heisman watch because he hasn’t been doing much running at all this season. That changed against Tennessee on Saturday night, when Young ran ten times for 42 yards and his first two touchdowns of the season to get into the positive for rushing numbers (remember, sack yardage counts against rushing yards). He also threw for 371 yards and two touchdowns as the Tide improved to 7-1.

 

Season stats:

70.1% | 2,453 PASS YDS | 26 PASS TD  3 INT

38 CAR | 40 RUSH TD | 2 RUSH TD | 1.1 AVG

 

2. Matt Corral | Ole Miss QB | Junior (RS) | Last week: 2

LSU played Matt Corral and the Rebels tough, so it wasn’t a massive output in terms of numbers for the star quarterback last week. Still, Corral added two more touchdowns (one passing, one rushing) and even added a 19-yard reception, which helped Ole Miss get going following a relatively slow start.

 

Season stats:

67.^% | 1,913 PASS YDS | 15 PASS TD | 1 INT

100 CAR | 474 RUSH YDS | 9 RUSH TD | 4.7 AVG

 

3. Kenny Pickett | Pitt QB | Senior (RS) | Last week: NR

Midseason All-American quarterback Kenny Pickett helped Pitt defeat Clemson, and he’s clearly been one of the top players in the ACC this season. The experienced redshirt senior has tossed 23 touchdowns and just one interception and deserves Heisman consideration a little past the halfway point in the season.

 

Season stats:

68.9% | 2,236 PASS YDS | 23 PASS TD | 1 INT

56 CAR | 187 RUSH YDS | 3 RUSH TD | 3.3 AVG

 

4. Kenneth Walker III | Michigan State RB | Junior | Last week: 3 (-1)

Coming off a bye week, Kenneth Walker III has a major opportunity to perhaps vault to the stop of the Heisman race when Michigan State takes on Michigan this Saturday. Walker is now second in the nation in rushing after he had off last week, but he still paces the country in rushing yards per game.

 

Season stats:

152 CAR | 997 RUSH YDS | 9 RUSH TD | 6.6 AVG

5 REC | 25 REC YDS | 1 REC TD | 5.0 AVG

 

5. Desmond Ridder | Cincinnati QB | Senior | Last week: 4 (-1)

Desmond Ridder is playing well, but he continues to drop in the Heisman rankings because of the numbers the other top candidates are putting up. Ridder is probably thrilled to be 7-0 and leading the No. 2 team in the country, though.

 

Season stats:

63.6% | 1,620 PASS YDS | 15 PASS TD | 3 INT

42 CAR | 124 RUSH YDS | 3 RUSH TD | 3.0 AVG

 

Dropped out:

Texas RB Bijan Robinson (5)

2021 College Football Power Rankings: Week 8

2021 College Football Power Rankings: Week 8

The madness of the 2021 college football season continues. How far should Iowa drop in the rankings after they were at No. 2 last week?

 

1. Georgia Bulldogs (7-0) | Last week: 1

Georgia simply doesn’t give much up on defense, and it’s almost shocking when an opposing offense is able to get into the end zone—and the Bulldogs seem to take it personally. Freshman tight end Brock Bowers had 101 yards and caught two touchdowns from Stetson Bennett in the blowout victory over Kentucky. The Dawgs now have a bye to recharge.

 

Next game: vs. Florida; Sat, 10/30 at 3:30 PM ET

 

2. Cincinnati Bearcats (6-0) | Last week: 3 (+1)

Jerome Ford ran for 189 yards and four touchdowns in Cincinnati’s 56-21 win over UCF. The dominance of the Bearcats throughout the season has them up to No. 2 in both the power rankings and in the AP poll, and it’ll be interesting to see where they rank in the first CFP rankings when they are out in a couple of weeks.

 

Next game: at Navy; Sat, 10/23 at 12:00 PM ET

 

3. Oklahoma Sooners (7-0) | Last week: 7 (+4)

Freshman quarterback Caleb Williams appears to have ignited the entire Sooners squad in his first career start last week against TCU. There have been many more explosive plays with Williams under center than preseason Heisman favorite Spencer Rattler, and give Lincoln Riley credit for making the switch. We’ll see if Oklahoma can keep it going, but they get a boost in the rankings and look like a Playoff team again.

 

Next game: at Kansas; Sat, 10/23 at 12:00 PM ET

 

4. Alabama Crimson Tide (6-1) | Last week: 4

Alabama quickly bounced back from their first loss of the season, putting in perhaps their best defensive outing through seven games after holding Mississippi State out of the end zone in a 49-9 win. Will Anderson Jr. recorded four sacks and the Bama defense picked off three passes against the Bulldogs,

 

Next game: vs. Tennessee; Sat, 10/23 at 7:00 PM ET

 

5. Penn State Nittany Lions (5-1) | Last week: 5

Penn State had off last week, and they remain at No. 5 in the rankings. They’re above Iowa despite losing to them a couple of weeks ago, but most agree that should be the case given that it was a tight loss on the road and starting quarterback Sean Clifford was injured early. Penn State’s schedule will pick up with ranked matchups soon, but they need to get past Illinois this Saturday at noon.

 

Next game: vs. Illinois; Sat, 10/23 at 12:00 PM ET

 

6. Michigan Wolverines (6-0) | Last week: 6

Michigan is also coming off a bye and will play at noon ET at home versus a Big Ten opponent. Michigan has won six consecutive games over Northwestern.

 

Next game: vs. Northwestern; Sat, 10/23 at 12:00 PM ET

 

7. Michigan State Spartans (7-0) | Last week: 8 (+1)

It was not easy win, but Michigan State did not slip up at Indiana, and they’ll enter a week off unbeaten. When the Spartans return, they might be facing a stretch of four ranked conference matchups in their final five regular season games.

 

Next game: vs. 6 Michigan; Sat, 10/30 at 12:00 PM ET

 

8. Oklahoma State (6-0) | Last week: NR

Two consecutive ranked wins within the Big 12 push Oklahoma State to the No. 8 spot. The Cowboys rattled off 16 consecutive points in a comeback victory over Texas, and running back Jaylen Warren starred with 193 yards on 33 attempts. Their next opponent, Iowa State, could arguably be ranked, and this will be a tough test for OK State on Saturday.

 

Next game: at Iowa State; Sat, 10/23 at 3:30 PM ET

 

9. Oregon Ducks (5-1) | Last week: 9

Friday night could have been a trap for Oregon despite facing a one-win California team at home. The important thing is that the Ducks survived ahead of their highly anticipated showdown with old friend Chip Kelly and UCLA.

 

Next game: at UCLA; Sat, 10/23 at 3:30 PM ET

 

10. Ohio State Buckeyes (5-1) | Last week: 10

Ohio State is the third Big Ten team in the top-ten to have off last week. They’ve moved way up in the AP poll, and it’s easy to see why with the way they’ve been playing as of late. However, we’ll keep the Buckeyes below Oregon for now—but there should be plenty more shuffling in the coming weeks.

 

Next game: at Indiana; Sat, 10/23 at 7:30 PM ET

2021 Heisman Trophy Watch: Week 8

2021 Heisman Trophy Watch: Week 8

The 2021 Heisman Trophy race remains incredibly tight, and it only figures to heat up over the next several weeks.

 

1. Bryce Young | Alabama QB | Sophomore | Last week: 1

Bryce Young actually ran the ball a little more versus Mississippi State over the weekend, but he’s still at negative rushing production on the season including sacks. Through the air is where the star quarterback continues to do his damage, going 20/28 for 348 yards and four touchdowns as the Crimson Tide got back on track with a win.

 

Season stats:

69.8% | 2,082 PASS YDS | 24 PASS TD | 3 INT

 

2. Matt Corral | Ole Miss QB | Junior (RS) | Last week: 2

Matt Corral didn’t have his best game as a passer in Ole Miss’ narrow win over Tennessee, but he did what it took for his team to get the victory, rushing 30 times for 195 yards. As the race likely remains close down the stretch, Corral might benefit by having a hype man like Lane Kiffin campaigning and singing his praises for the Heisman.

 

Season stats:

66.3% | 1,728 PASS YDS | 14 PASS TD | 1 INT

88 CAR | 450 RUSH YDS | 8 RUSH TD | 5.1 AVG

 

3. Kenneth Walker III | Michigan State RB | Junior | Last week: 4 (+1)

While Kenneth Walker III didn’t have a huge rushing performance on Saturday, his steady presence in the backfield helped the Spartans win a defensive battle over Indiana to improve to 7-0 for the first time since 2015. Walker is just three rushing yards shy of 1,000 on the season.

 

Season stats:

152 CAR | 997 RUSH YDS | 9 RUSH TD | 6.6 AVG

5 REC | 25 REC YDS | 1 REC TD | 5.0 AVG

 

4. Desmond Ridder | Cincinnati QB | Senior | Last week: 3 (-1)

Desmond Ridder slips one spot again, and he’s in danger of soon falling out of the top five. The ground game for the Bearcats did most of the damage last week, with Ridder throwing for under 200 yards. It’s safe to say that Ridder would take team success and a trip to the College Football Playoff over a Heisman Trophy, but he might need more monster individual performances to have a good shot at the award.

 

Season stats:

64.3% | 1,444 PASS YDS | 13 PASS TD | 2 INT

37 CAR | 118 RUSH YDS | 3 RUSH TD | 3.2 AVG

 

5. Bijan Robinson | Texas RB | Sophomore | Last week: 5

The loss by Texas hurts, but Bijan Robinson was again electric for the Longhorns, scoring three total touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving) against Oklahoma State. Robinson is inching closer to Kenneth Walker’s rushing numbers, and the receiving production (14.8 yards per reception) has been superb.

 

Season stats:

146 CAR | 924 RUSH YDS | 10 RUSH TD | 6.3 AVG

14 REC | 207 REC YDS | 3 REC TD | 14.8 AVG

2021 College Football Power Rankings: Week 7

2021 College Football Power Rankings: Week 7

The craziness continues in college football this season, and we have a new No. 1 in the power rankings following Alabama’s loss at Texas A&M.

 

1. Georgia Bulldogs (6-0) | Last week: 2 (+1)

Georgia’s defense has been completely dominant this season, allowing point totals of 3 (to Clemson), 7, 13, 0, 0, and 10. The offense isn’t bad either, no matter who is at quarterback between J.T. Daniels and Stetson Bennett. After a road win over Auburn, the Bulldogs will host Kentucky this Saturday.

 

Next game: vs. 11 Kentucky; Sat, 10/16 at 3:30 PM ET

 

2. Iowa Hawkeyes (6-0) | Last week: 3 (+1)

Iowa’s defense secured four interceptions to help erase an early deficit and beat Penn State in the highly anticipated top-five matchup last week, and the offense came through with ten fourth-quarter points in the 23-20 victory. Perhaps it’s not quite on Georgia’s level, but this Hawkeyes defense is elite. No. 2 in the AP poll is Iowa’s highest ranking since 1985.

 

Next game: vs. Purdue; Sat, 10/16 at 3:30 PM ET

 

3. Cincinnati Bearcats (5-0) | Last week: 5 (+2)

Zero letdown for Cincinnati after their win over Notre Dame a couple of weeks ago. The Bearcats coasted to a 52-3 win over Temple, as Desmond Ridder threw for three touchdowns and Jerome Ford ran for 149 yards and two scores. They must take care of business, but when looking at the schedule, Cincinnati is now in amazing shape at No. 3 as they look to make the CFP as a non-Power Five school.

 

Next game: vs. UCF; Sat, 10/16 at 12:00 PM ET

 

4. Alabama Crimson Tide (5-1) | Last week: 1 (-3)

Alabama-Texas A&M was a matchup circled on the calendar before the season, but the hype died down some after the Aggies lost a couple of games. But, as Alabama knows, it’s not easy to win in College Station, and the Tide went down, ending the defending champion’s winning streak at 19 games. Bama still has everything in front of them, and Nick Saban will use this as a learning opportunity to get his defense on track down the stretch.

 

Next game: at Mississippi State; Sat, 10/16 at 7:00 PM ET

 

5. Penn State Nittany Lions (5-1) | Last week: 4 (-1)

Penn State was up 14-3 on Iowa, but quarterback Sean Clifford’s injury probably derailed things. The Nittany Lions showed a lot of heart in the close loss, and their bye week comes at a good time as they’ll look to get healthy. PSU should still be a top-five or borderline top-five team following the narrow road loss.

 

Next game: vs. Illinois; Sat, 10/23 at 12:00 PM ET

 

6. Michigan Wolverines (6-0) | Last week: 7 (+1)

Michigan moves up a spot in the rankings after moving to 6-0, as they have probably looked more impressive than Oklahoma overall this season. Like the Sooners, the Wolverines have found a way to win close games this season—but Michigan has also shown the ability to pull away from teams on a few occasions.

 

Next game: vs. Northwestern; Sat, 10/23 at 12:00 PM ET

 

7. Oklahoma Sooners (6-0) | Last week: 6 (-1)

Lincoln Riley has a huge decision in front of him. Preseason Heisman favorite Spencer Rattler has not played very well this season, and Caleb Williams came in to give the Sooners an incredible spark in the comeback win over Texas in the Red River Showdown. Riley might have no choice but to go with Williams, as his offense looked better than it has all season with him at quarterback.

 

Next game: vs. TCU; Sat, 10/16 at 7:30 PM ET

 

8. Michigan State Spartans (6-0) | Last week: 10 (+2)

The SEC obviously has something to say about it, Big Ten looks like it’s arguably the best conference in college football this year—though these top-ten teams will all be playing each other in the coming weeks, which should be fun. Kenneth Walker III leads the nation in rushing by over 100 yards, and both he and Jalen Nailor (five receptions, 211 yards, three touchdowns) are coming off 200-yard performances last week.

 

Next game: at Indiana; Sat, 10/16 at 12:00 PM ET

 

9. Oregon Ducks (4-1) | Last week: 8 (-1)

Oregon had off last week, and the group should be eager to get back on the field after getting upset by Stanford.

 

Next game: vs. California; Fri, 10/15 at 10:30 PM ET

 

10. Ohio State Buckeyes (5-1) | Last week: 9 (-1)

Ryan Day has Ohio State on fire, with scoring outputs of 59, 52, and 66 over the past three games. And the defense has allowed just 37 total points in that span. A matchup with Penn State is on deck, but the Buckeyes will try to keep it going and stay hot at Indiana on Saturday night.

 

Next game: at Indiana; Sat, 10/23 at 7:30 PM ET

2021 Heisman Trophy Watch: Week 7

2021 Heisman Trophy Watch: Week 7

Just like the season itself, the 2021 Heisman Trophy watch is wide open after a crazy Saturday of college football.

 

1. Bryce Young | Alabama QB | Sophomore | Last week: 1

Alabama suffered its first loss of the season in College Station, but Bryce Young did his part in leading the Crimson Tide to 522 total yards and 38 points. But while Young might have had a shot to run away with the Heisman if Alabama was an unbeaten team and he kept putting up sensational numbers, things are naturally more open now after his team lost. Still, he leads the candidates.

 

Season stats:

69.5% | 1,734 PASS YDS | 20 PASS TD | 3 INT

 

2. Matt Corral | Ole Miss QB | Junior (RS) | Last week: 3 (+1)

Matt Corral bounced by from his team’s first loss of the season, leading Ole Miss to a thrilling victory over ranked Arkansas in a big SEC matchup. Corral had 287 passing yards, two passing touchdowns, 94 rushing yards, and two rushing touchdowns. He’s been a tremendous dual threat this season.

 

Season stats:

69.2% | 1,497 PASS YDS | 12 PASS TD

58 CAR | 255 RUSH YDS | 8 RUSH TD | 4.4 AVG

 

3. Desmond Ridder | Cincinnati QB | Senior | Last week: 2 (-1)

Tucked away on Friday night, Desmond Ridder had a strong, efficient performance for Cincinnati in their home win over Temple. Leading the No. 3 team in the nation, Ridder should be getting more Heisman hype than he is.

 

Season stats:

65.5% | 1,304 PASS YDS | 12 PASS TD | 2 INT

33 CAR | 104 RUSH YDS | 3 RUSH TD | 3.2 AVG

 

4. Kenneth Walker III | Michigan State RB | Junior | Last week: 4

Kenneth Walker III is separating himself among the nation’s leading rushers, adding another 223 carries and a score in No. 10 Michigan State’s win over Rutgers. He’s behind the quarterbacks for now, but an easy argument could be made for Walker, leading an unbeaten team, to be in the top spot of the Heisman race at this point.

 

Season stats:

129 CAR | 913 RUSH YDS | 9 RUSH TD | 7.1 AVG

4 REC | 30 REC YDS | 1 REC TD | 7.5 AVG

 

5. Bijan Robinson | Texas RB | Sophomore | Last week: 5

C.J. Stroud and TreVeyon Henderson of Ohio State are both making a strong case to move into the top five or higher, but Bijan Robinson keeps this spot for now. Robinson had 137 yards and a touchdown in a crushing loss to Oklahoma in the Red River Showdown.

 

Season stats:

125 CAR | 789 RUSH YDS | 8 RUSH TD | 6.3 AVG

11 REC | 169 REC YDS | 2 REC TD | 15.4 AVG

2021 College Football Power Rankings: Week 6

2021 College Football Power Rankings: Week 6

The top four or five teams have separated themselves in the college football power rankings after a few weeks of action.

 

1. Alabama Crimson Tide (5-0) | Last week: 1

The score didn’t tell the entire story for Alabama, as it felt a lot worse for Ole Miss than a 21-point deficit. The Tide are dominant, and they were able to get their run game going with Brian Robinson Jr. (36 carries, 171 yards, four touchdowns) in the win over the Rebels.

 

Next game: at Texas A&M; Sat, 10/9 at 8:00 PM ET

 

2. Georgia Bulldogs (5-0) | Last week: 2

There was some serious thought to putting Georgia in the top spot of the power rankings. The Bulldogs have shut out two consecutive SEC opponents including a then-top-ten squad in Arkansas. The Georgia defense is playing at an insanely high level, and there’s not much pressure on J.T. Daniels getting healthy at quarterback—Stetson Bennett has played well when called upon the past two seasons.

 

Next game: at 18 Auburn; Sat, 10/9 at 3:30 PM ET

 

3. Iowa Hawkeyes (5-0) | Last week: 4 (+1)

A Friday-nighter on the road had some trap-game qualities, but Iowa left no doubt at Maryland, winning 51-14. Spencer Petras threw for 259 yards and three touchdowns, and the defense recorded six interceptions in the victory. The Hawkeyes have been a clear top-three team and will look to prove it again this Saturday afternoon.

 

Next game: vs. 4 Penn State; Sat, 10/9 at 4:00 PM ET

 

4. Penn State Nittany Lions (5-0) | Last week: 5 (+1)

Penn State already has that huge win over Auburn in front of their White Out crowd, but this Sunday at Iowa might be an even bigger test. No. 3 vs. No. 4 in a conference matchup is about as good as it gets. Look for star receiver Jahan Dotson to be counted on for big plays this weekend.

 

Next game: at 3 Iowa; Sat, 10/9 at 4:00 PM ET

 

5. Cincinnati Bearcats (4-0) | Last week: 9 (+4)

Fresh off arguably the biggest win in program history against Notre Dame, Cincinnati earned a top-five spot in the AP poll with a clear path to the College Football Playoff as things stand. The Bearcats need to take care of business, but they’ll be favorites the rest of the way while led by senior quarterback Desmond Ridder and a strong defense with star players.

 

Next game: vs. Temple; Fri, 10/8 at 7:00 PM ET

 

6. Oklahoma Sooners (5-0) | Last week: 7 (+1)

Again, Oklahoma was in a close one. They keep holding on and pulling out victories, but they are playing with fire early in the season. Now, facing off against a hot Texas team in the Red River Showdown should give a good indication of where the Sooners are really at this season.

 

Next game: vs. 21 Texas; Sat, 10/9 at 12:00 PM ET

 

7. Michigan Wolverines (5-0) | Last week:  NR

Michigan lands in the top ten for the first time this season and could easily be up over Oklahoma in the No. 6 spot in the rankings. The Wolverines survived versus a tough Rutgers team a couple of weeks ago, but they have blown out their other four opponents.

 

Next game: at Nebraska; Sat, 10/9 at 7:30 PM ET

 

8. Oregon Ducks (4-1) | Last week: 3 (-5)

A couple of costly defensive penalties had a big hand in Oregon giving up a fourth-quarter lead to Stanford before eventually losing in overtime. Still, there’s a lot of football to be played, and the CFB Playoff chances for the Ducks are not shot—the win in Columbus earlier this season is still a landmark type of win on the resume.

 

Next game: vs. California; Fri, 10/15 at 10:30 PM ET

 

9. Ohio State Buckeyes (4-1) | Last week: NR

OSU probably wishes they could get a rematch with Oregon a few weeks later. TreVeyon Henderson and the rushing attack have gotten going over the past three weeks, and young quarterback C.J. Stroud is probably coming off of his best game (330 yards, five touchdowns) at Rutgers.

 

Next game: vs. Maryland; Sat, 10/9 at 12:00 PM ET

 

10. Michigan State Spartans (5-0) | Last week: NR

Fellow unbeatens Oklahoma State and BYU could have been here at No. 10, but the Michigan State offense has been very impressive this season, scoring at least 38 points in four of their five games. Running back Kenneth Walker III leads the nation in rushing and is an underrated Heisman candidate after one month.

 

Next game: at Rutgers; Sat, 10/9 at 12:00 PM ET

2021 Heisman Trophy Watch: Week 6

2021 Heisman Trophy Watch: Week 6

Excellent running back candidates have emerged as Heisman contenders, but the favorite is clear after a handful of weeks.

 

1. Bryce Young | Alabama QB | Sophomore | Last week: 1

While Bryce Young might have tried to do a little too much on his second interception of the season, it was another very strong performance in the Tide’s win over the Rebels. Young has looked extremely calm all season, preferring to scramble and look to throw instead of taking off to run. The passing numbers, and Young’s play, have been great through the first month.

 

Season stats:

73.2% | 1,365 PASS YDS | 17 PASS TD | 2 INT

 

2. Desmond Ridder | Cincinnati QB | Senior | Last week: 3 (+1)

The numbers weren’t monstrous, but Desmond Ridder iced the game—with a clutch fourth-quarter drive capped off by a rushing touchdown by the quarterback—for Cincinnati in one of the biggest wins in program history over Notre Dame. After a relatively slow start throwing the ball, Ridder finished 19/32 for 297 yards and two touchdowns.

 

Season stats:

63.5% | 1,045 PASS YDS | 9 PASS TD | 2 INT

30 CAR | 98 RUSH YDS | 3 RUSH TD | 3.3 AVG

 

3. Matt Corral | Ole Miss QB | Junior (RS) | Last week: 2 (-1)

There wasn’t much Matt Corral could do to lead Ole Miss to an upset victory over a superior Alabama squad. But that was the big opportunity to seize control of the Heisman race. Corral played fine, and his 16 total touchdowns are just behind Bryce Young, but the team success of Young and Ridder get them the top two spots for now.

 

Season stats:

69.6% | 1,210 PASS YDS | 10 PASS TD

43 CAR | 161 RUSH YDS | 6 RUSH TD | 3.7 AVG

 

4. Kenneth Walker III | Michigan State RB | Junior | Last week: 4

Kenneth Walker put in another fantastic outing for Michigan State, rushing 24 times for 126 yards and three touchdowns in a win against Western Kentucky. The junior running back still leads the nation in rushing, and he is ranked just above two other running backs for the No. 4 slot in the early race.

 

Season stats:

100 CAR | 680 RUSH YDS | 8 RUSH TD | 6.8 AVG

3 REC | 17 REC YDS | 1 REC TD | 5.7 AVG

 

5. Bijan Robinson | Texas RB | Sophomore | Last week: NR

But both Texas’ Bijan Robinson and Ohio State’s Tre’Veyon Henderson are pushing themselves near the front of the Heisman conversation. Robinson is the choice for the top five position due to his receiving output on the season and his 216-yard, two-touchdown performance versus TCU over the weekend. Robinson, who is second in the country in rushing, is squarely in the Heisman race.

 

Season stats:

105 CAR | 652 RUSH YDS | 7 RUSH TD | 9.4 AVG

10 REC | 167 REC YDS | 2 REC TD | 16.7 AVG

 

Dropped out:

Oklahoma QB Spencer Rattler

2021 College Football Power Rankings: Week 5

2021 College Football Power Rankings: Week 5

The first month of college football is in the books, and we’ll have some huge games to kickoff October this weekend. Two teams jump into the top ten, and one joins the mix for the first time this season, getting all the way up to No. 6 in the latest college football power rankings.

 

1. Alabama Crimson Tide (4-0) | Last week: 1

Coming off a tight win over Florida, Alabama was able to tighten things up facing Southern Miss last week. The Tide should be clicking as they host Ole Miss this Saturday afternoon, and you can bet they’ll remember that the Rebels moved the ball and put up big points on them last year. Nick Saban delivered another memorable soundbite leading up to last week.

 

 

Next game: vs. 12 Ole Miss; Sat, 10/2 at 3:30 PM ET

 

2. Georgia Bulldogs (4-0) | Last week: 2

No trap game or sluggishness from Georgia in an early road start at Vandy. 62-0 was the final, and it was 35-0 after the first quarter, so quarterback J.T. Daniels was able to have a quick, effective start and get out of the game. Getting to 5-0 looks like it’ll be much more challenging with Arkansas awaiting.

 

Next game: vs. 8 Arkansas; Sat, 10/2 at 12:00 PM ET

 

3. Oregon Ducks (4-0) | Last week: 3

The No. 3 ranked Ducks coasted against Arizona in the start of their Pac-12 slate. Next up, Oregon will look to keep it going when they face a Stanford team that already upset USC earlier this season.

 

Next game: at Stanford; Sat, 10/2 at 3:30 PM ET

 

4. Iowa Hawkeyes (4-0) | Last week: 4

It was a relatively slow start for Iowa when they hosted Colorado State, but the Hawkeyes pitched a 17-0 shutout in the second half to improve to 4-0. Iowa now must travel for a Friday night matchup with Taulia Tagovailoa and unbeaten Maryland.

 

Next game: at Maryland; Sat, 10/1 at 8:00 PM ET

 

5. Penn State Nittany Lions (4-0) | Last week: 6 (+1)

Sean Clifford threw for 401 yards and four touchdowns in Penn State’s defeat of an under-matched Villanova squad. A potential top-five matchup versus Iowa is on deck, but first the Nittany Lions need to get past an Indiana team that has only lost to No. 5 Iowa and No. 7 Cincinnati this season.

 

Next game: vs. Indiana; Sat, 10/2 at 7:30 PM ET

 

6. Arkansas Razorbacks (4-0) | Last week: NR

No one is sleeping on Arkansas anymore. They’ve faced two non-Power Five schools through four games, but a convincing 40-21 win over Texas backed up by a 20-10 top-ten SEC victory against Texas A&M is more than enough to get them knocking on the door of the top five in the power rankings. The defense is legit, and the K.J. Jefferson-Treylon Burks duo is one of the best QB-WR pairings in the nation. Coming up in the next three weeks: Georgia, Mississippi, and Auburn.

 

Next game: at 2 Georgia; Sat, 10/2 at 12:00 PM ET

 

7. Oklahoma Sooners (4-0) | Last week: 5 (-2)

It’s been a little close for comfort to this point, but Oklahoma is at least finding a way to win close games, which could pay off down the line when they play in tight contests throughout the season. The good news is it’s the defense that’s playing really well, and the offense should turn it on under Lincoln Riley.

 

Next game: at Kansas State; Sat, 10/2 at 3:30 PM ET

 

8. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (4-0) | Last week: NR

Brian Kelly passed Knute Rockne for the most wins as a head coach in Notre Dame history, and the Fighting Irish helped him do it in emphatic fashion, putting up 31 fourth-quarter points to pull away from ranked Wisconsin. Notre Dame now has a top-ten matchup versus Cincinnati this week.

 

Next game: vs. 7 Cincinnati; Sat, 10/2 at 2:30 PM ET

 

9. Cincinnati Bearcats (3-0) | Last week: 9

The Bearcats have to take care of business every week no matter who is in front of them, but this is obviously the biggest game on their schedule this regular season. A win over Notre Dame could potentially put the Bearcats in the CFB Playoff mix in a year that appears more wide open with Clemson and Ohio State not looking like superpowers at the moment.

 

Next game: at 9 Notre Dame; Sat, 10/2 at 2:30 PM ET

 

10. Florida Gators (3-1) | Last week: 10

The defense played well and was able to get off the field against Tennessee, and Emory Jones led the team in both passing and rushing of the 38-14 victory. This Saturday, the Gators go to 4-0 Kentucky

 

Next game: at Kentucky; Sat, 10/2 at 6:00 PM ET

2021 Heisman Trophy Watch: Week 5

2021 Heisman Trophy Watch: Week 5

This Saturday will feature a matchup of the two clear top Heisman candidates through the first few weeks of college football.

 

1. Bryce Young | Alabama QB | Sophomore | Last week: 1

While Bryce Young threw the first interception of his career against Southern Miss, he had more touchdown passes (five) than incompletions (two). Young and the Tide now have back-to-back ranked SEC matchups where he can really separate himself early in a race that’s cooled down some to this point.

 

Season stats:

72.1% | 1,124 PASS YDS | 15 PASS TD | 1 INT

 

2. Matt Corral | Ole Miss QB | Junior (RS) | Last week: 2

Ole Miss had off last week, but Matt Corral will now be on the other side of the field playing the top guy in the Heisman rankings. Corral totaled over 400 yards and threw for two touchdowns in the crazy matchup last year, and a similar performance—paired with a victory—would obviously be huge for his Heisman candidacy.

 

Season stats:

68.8% | 997 PASS YDS | 9 TD

33 CAR | 158 RUSH YDS | 5 RUSH TD | 4.8 AVG

 

3. Desmond Ridder | Cincinnati QB | Senior | Last week: NR

Desmond Ridder also had off over the weekend, but he rises back into the top five and all the way up to No. 3 after down games from the three guys ahead of him. Ridder will face Notre Dame in a top-ten matchup on Saturday.

 

Season stats:

65.1% | 748 PASS YDS | 7 PASS TD | 2 INT

20 CAR | 72 RUSH YDS | 2 RUSH TD | 3.6 AVG

 

4. Kenneth Walker III | Michigan State RB | Junior | Last week: 3 (-1)

It was a defensive battle between Nebraska and Michigan State, which led to subpar rushing numbers (19 carries for 61 yards). But Kenneth Walker still leads the nation in rushing while helping power a 4-0 Spartan squad.

 

Season stats:

76 CAR | 554 RUSH YDS | 5 RUSH TD | 7.3 AVG

3 REC | 17 REC YDS | 1 REC TD | 5.7 AVG

 

5. Spencer Rattler | Oklahoma QB | Sophomore (RS) | Last week: 4 (-1)

This season has not gone the way most anticipated for Spencer Rattler individually, but he led the Sooners to six fourth-quarter points and into position for a last-second field goal in the 16-13 win over West Virginia on Saturday night. Rattler narrowly makes the top-five over Georgia’s J.T. Daniels and Oregon’s CJ Verdell.

 

Season stats:

74.1% | 1,017 PASS YDS | 8 PASS TD | 3 INT

27 CAR | 71 RUSH YDS | 2 RUSH TD | 2.6 AVG

 

Dropped out:

Oregon RB CJ Verdell

2021 College Football Power Rankings: Week 4

2021 College Football Power Rankings: Week 4

There’s a little bit of shuffling from top to bottom in this week’s college football power rankings.

 

1. Alabama Crimson Tide (3-0) | Last week: 1

It looked like Alabama was ready to roll again after jumping to a 21-3 lead at the end of the first quarter, but Florida came back and gave them all they could handle in an eventual 31-29 victory in which they had to make a two-point conversion stop to avoid a tie toward the end of regulation. Florida boasts and excellent rushing attack this season, but Nick Saban will make sure his team gets things sorted out on defense after shockingly allowing four rushing touchdowns in the win.

 

Next game: vs. Southern Miss; Sat, 9/25 at 7:30 PM ET

 

2. Georgia Bulldogs (3-0) | Last week: 2

J.T. Daniels returned to the lineup after a one-game absence and played very well, hitting South Carolina for 303 yards and three touchdowns in a 40-13 rout to begin SEC play. Georgia shouldn’t have much trouble at Vandy this week, but they have to be careful of not looking ahead past this noon ET start with ranked matchups on deck.

 

Next game: at Vanderbilt; Sat, 9/25 at 12:00 PM ET

 

3. Oregon Ducks (3-0) | Last week: 4 (+1)

No letdown for Oregon, as they coasted to a 48-7 win over Stony Brook, with the Ducks defense forcing three interceptions. It’ll be Pac-12 play the rest of the way for Oregon, and UCLA is currently their only ranked opponent on the schedule (October 23).

 

Next game: vs. Arizona; Sat, 9/25 at 10:30 PM ET

 

4. Iowa Hawkeyes (3-0) | Last week: 5 (+1)

Iowa was only up 9-7 after one frame against Kent State, but the Hawkeyes handled the game overall for a 30-7 win to improve to 3-0. Tyler Goodson starred on offense with 153 rushing yards and three touchdowns, and Joe Evans led the defense with two sacks.

 

Next game: vs. Colorado State; Sat, 9/25 at 3:30 PM ET

 

5. Oklahoma Sooners (3-0) | Last week: 3 (-2)

You almost knew the Nebraska-Oklahoma game was going to be close because the two old rivals hadn’t played in a decade and the Cornhuskers were going to come at them with everything they had. Oregon and Iowa leap them, but it’s extremely close from No. 3-5. The Sooners defense stepped up in the Nebraska win, and D.J. Graham made an early case for defensive play of the year:

 

 

Next game: vs. West Virginia; Sat, 9/25 at 7:30 PM ET

 

6. Penn State Nittany Lions (3-0) | Last week: 10 (+4)

Because it was taken away last year due to COVID-19, Penn State’s White Out is more appreciated by everyone now—and the Nittany Lions came through in front of a raucous crowd in primetime, getting a huge ranked win over Auburn. Wide receiver Jahan Dotson (ten catches for 78 yards and a touchdown) continues to be a standout player for Penn State.

 

Next game: vs. Villanova; Sat, 9/25 at 12:00 PM ET

 

7. Clemson Tigers (2-1) | Last week: 6 (-1)

The Tigers needed a late goal-line stand to hold on against Georgia Tech, 14-8. Clemson is still finding its footing offensively in the post-Trevor Lawrence era. D.J. Uiagelelei used his legs effectively last week, but Clemson is used to being able to throw the ball around almost at will. This Saturday against Devin Leary and NC State will be a challenge, as the passing offense might need to turn it on to keep up.

 

Next game: at NC State; Sat, 9/25 at 3:30 PM ET

 

8. Texas A&M Aggies (3-0) | Last week: 7 (-1)

Texas A&M shut out New Mexico, 34-0, and quarterback Zach Calzada was able to get extended playing time ahead of the Aggies beginning a difficult SEC slate. A&M faces an impressive Arkansas team this Saturday, and a win could vault them up the rankings.

 

Next game: at 16 Arkansas; Sat, 9/25 at 3:30 PM ET

 

9. Cincinnati Bearcats (3-0) | Last week: 8 (-1)

Down 14-0 to Indiana, the Bearcats were in trouble early over the weekend. However, Luke Fickell’s squad had a 15-point fourth quarter of their two-touchdown victory. Tre Tucker’s 99-yard kickoff return touchdown toward the end of the third quarter to help Cincinnati take back the lead was a big spark late.

 

Next game: at 12 Notre Dame; Sat, 10/2 at 2:30 PM ET

 

10. Florida Gators (2-1) | Last week: NR

With UCLA falling out of the top ten following their crushing loss to Fresno State, it was between Ohio State and Florida (both with only top-five losses) for No. 10. The Gators get the nod for playing Alabama very close—perhaps closer than anyone else will this season. Dan Mullen wants the Florida fans to continue making an impact throughout the year, calling them “critical in the success of this team.”

 

Next game: vs. Tennessee; Sat, 9/25 at 7:00 PM ET

2021 Heisman Trophy Watch: Week 4

2021 Heisman Trophy Watch: Week 4

The early 2021 Heisman Trophy watch gets a new entrant into the top five after a few full weeks of football.

 

1. Bryce Young | Alabama QB | Sophomore | Last week: 1

Bryce Young still hasn’t had to use his legs much, but he and the Crimson Tide put up over 30 points again in a big win in “The Swamp”. Young is running one of the nation’s top offenses for the No. 1 team in the country with very good efficiency, and he keeps the top spot in the Heisman watch with a key SEC victory under his belt.

 

Season stats:

68.0% | 804 PASS YDS | 10 PASS TD

 

2. Matt Corral | Ole Miss QB | Junior (RS) | Last week: NR

Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corrall totaled seven touchdowns (and four rushing!) in a route over Tulane. With some flashiness to him, and while playing for Lane Kiffin, it was probably a mistake not to include Corral in the top five earlier. The competition level (the Rebels have faced Austin Peay and Tulane the past two weeks) is what keeps Corral just behind Young in the Heisman race for now.

 

Season stats:

68.8% | 997 PASS YDS | 9 TD

33 CAR | 158 RUSH YDS | 5 RUSH TD | 4.8 AVG

 

3. Kenneth Walker III | Michigan State RB | Junior | Last week: 4 (+1)

Transfer running back Kenneth Walker III has been on fire for Michigan State early in the season, and he carried the load for the Spartans with 172 yards on 27 carries—while also scoring a touchdown as a receiver—in a win over ranked Miami. Walker currently leads the country in rushing.

 

Season stats:

57 CAR | 493 RUSH YDS | 5 RUSH TD | 8.6 AVG

3 REC | 17 REC YDS | 1 REC TD | 5.7 AVG

 

4. Spencer Rattler | Oklahoma QB | Sophomore (RS) | Last week: 2 (-2)

The preseason Heisman favorite, Spencer Rattler hasn’t had the individual start many expected this season. That’s not to say he’s not playing well; but it just hasn’t been a light-it-up type of campaign—at least not yet. There’s plenty of football to be played, and the dual threat quarterback is still up to nine total touchdowns through three games (all wins for the No. 4 ranked Sooners).

 

Season stats:

74.% | 761 PASS YDS | 7 PASS TD | 2 INT

18 CAR | 71 RUSH YDS | 2 RUSH TD | 3.9 AVG

 

5. CJ Verdell | Oregon RB | Junior| Last week: 3 (-2)

It was a quieter game for CJ Verdell after he torched the Buckeyes a couple of weeks ago, but that performance was among the best of any player this season and keeps him in the top-five narrowly over Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder. Next up, Verdell and the Ducks begin conference play in the Pac-12.

 

Season stats:

49 CAR | 289 RUSH YDS | 3 RUSH TD | 5.9 AVG

8 REC | 70 REC YDS | 2 REC TD | 8.8 AVG

 

Dropped out:

UCLA RB Zach Charbonnet