Marcus Mariota, photo credit Lisa Horne
by Lisa Horne
A recent news event has changed this week's rankings, all for the wrong reasons.
Georgia running back Todd Gurley has been indefinitely suspended from all team activities while an investgation goes on regarding his possible violation(s) of NCAA rules. Gurley has already missed one game due to this suspension. Because he has been suspended due to possible off-the-field violations, he will no longer be a candidate on my ballot.
On to my candidates:
1. Marcus Mariota, quarterback, Oregon
Mariota had a superb game against UCLA. He also proved he is deserving of the "Super Mariota" nickname when he fumbled the ball, then scooped it up on the fly and scampered into the end zone for a touchdown.
2- Kenny Hill, quarterback, Texas A&M
There is a lot of momentum building for Dak Prescott (see below) but Hill has 1,000 more passing yards than Prescott. He also a better pass completion percentage and leads the SEC in passing productivity.
3- Ameer Abdullah, running back, Nebraska
Every candidate gets a mulligan this season. Abdullah cashed his in against Michigan State on October 4. He still has rushed over 200 yards in three games so one bad game (45 yards, two touchdowns) against one of the best defenses in the country does not take him off my list.
4- Dak Prescott, quarterback, Mississippi State
After a great game against Texas A&M, Prescott came back to earth with an 18-of-34, 246 yards, one touchdown and two interception performance. He also rushed for 121 yards and two touchdowns. I like his excitablity factor but his passing game needs more polish.
5- Everett Golson, quarterback, Notre Dame
Golson could move up depending on how he fares against Florida State this Saturday. For those who are wondering why Golson is on this list when he was suspended for a year, it is simple—Golson was supended for the 2013 season. Student-athletes deserve second chances and he is getting that in 2014.
6- Connor Halliday, quarterback, Washington State
It is unfortunate that many Heisman voters use a team's record as an indication of whether or not he is worthy of an invite to New York City in December. Halliday plays for a team that cannot run the ball and has below average defense. Halliday is one of the best quarterbacks in the country.
7- Amari Cooper, receiver, Alabama and Javorius Allen, running back, USC
I'm still keeping an eye on these two. Both have had excellent games and both would be considered MVPs of their respective teams.
8- Bryce Petty, quarterback, Baylor
Petty got a signature win over TCU last Saturday but I want to see how he handles Kansas State and Oklahoma before moving him up.