Oklahoma quarterback, #6
Both on and off the field, Baker Mayfield’s behavior is questionable; but on the field, there’s no doubting his talent. Mayfield and the Sooners made quick work of the Kansas Jayhawks, passed for 257 yards and three touchdowns in a 41-3 blowout win.
While the Heisman trophy is awarded to the player with the most impressive season numbers, on-field character and attitude is not one of them. The redshirt senior is clearly the heart and soul of the team, but his behavior has diverted the attention from his eye-popping numbers.
To close out the regular season, the Sooners will host West Virginia as a tuneup for the Big 12 title game. Expect some fireworks from Mayfield, and maybe some Kyler Murray peppered in as well.
Stanford running back, #20
Run, Bryce, run. The junior back continues to dazzle, turning in his ninth 100-yard-plus outing in 10 games. Love rushed for 101 yards on 14 carries in a 17-14 win over California.
For one of the first times this year, Love found himself bottled up in a close game. With the Cardinal holding a slim 10-6 lead in the fourth quarter, Love carried the ball 57 yards to the house to ice the game. His big-play ability met his clutch gene, combining for the lethal knockout blow.
The Cardinal will close out the season in a highly anticipated matchup against No. 8 Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish come into this game with College Football Playoff aspirations, so look for the Cardinal to try and spoil the party.
Louisville quarterback, #8
Jackson may not have been in the news lately, but that’s because he’s been just as good — not better —than last year. The junior threw for 270 yards, rushed for another 111, and tallied four total touchdowns in a 56-10 beatdown of Syracuse.
Jackson, being the current Heisman winner, has been held to a high standard all season long, and has been able to shine despite the losses Louisville has accrued. Compared to last year, Jackson is about on pace with this year, and has a strong case to make a second trip to New York.
Although out of the ACC championship race, Jackson and the Cardinals will have a chance to finish off the season strong with a visit to Kentucky. The Wildcats have had a strong season thus far, and should prove a pretty even matchup; Jackson will have a chance to tip the scales one last time this season.
Wisconsin running back, #23
2017 has been friendly to running backs, and for Jonathan Taylor it’s been no different. The freshman back paced Wisconsin with 132 rushing yards, guiding the Badgers to a 24-10 over Michigan.
While Taylor is not the first freshman to be in the Heisman conversation, his rushing total on the season — right at 1657 yards — is the highest among any freshman running back in the country. His ability to create big plays has also been a huge factor in Wisconsin’s undefeated record: five of his 12 touchdowns have been scored from beyond the opponent’s 20 yard line.
The Badgers close out the season at Minnesota this weekend, but their eyes are focused on the week after that trip up north. Ohio State and the Big 10 championship game await them, serving as the de-facto College Football Playoff quarterfinal.