Welcome back! While not having exciting matches, Week 2 of the College Football season had a few great games and moments. Such as close games with some of the nations top teams facing lesser competition, the Central Michigan Hail Mary Lateral, and the TCU collapse. You can find Week 1 of this article here: https://hardballcentralsports.com/2016/09/08/heisman-hype-week-1/ . The idea of this series is to look at who is improving, diminishing, or remaining on the list of Heisman contenders. *This list is in no particular order*
Here we go!
Dalvin Cook: Coming off of a stellar Week 1 matchup against top ranked Ole Miss, Cook was looking to break open a rather big game stat wise. Facing FCS Charleston Southern, the game was rather uneventful. Cook did what he needed to do, only getting 11 caries he used them properly gaining 83 yards rushing. He also added 1 catch for 9 yards. Even though he didn’t break 100 yards, the game was relatively over quickly. He averaged 7.5 yards per carry which is amazing. Another big matchup looms for Cook as he faces top 10 ranked Louisville this weekend. This game could be the one that propels him even further in this race.
Christian McCaffrey: Even though he did not play this weekend, Stanford faces off against USC this Saturday. His stock stays the same, so he will remain on the list.
Lamar Jackson: Electrifying, look it up and it will most likely direct you to highlights of the Louisville gunslinger. While not a premier set of opponents the first two weeks, Jackson has lit up the score board. He can do it with his feet and his arm. In his last game against Syracuse he threw for 411 yards with a score and ran for 199 and 4 scores. On the season he boasts 697 yards passing with 7 scores, adding 318 yards rushing and 6 scores. WOW! He faces top 5 ranked FSU this weekend. This matchup will show us if Jackson is the truth or not.
James Connor: Probably my favorite all around player on this list. Connor fought through cancer to come back this year and boy he has not missed a step. His latest matchup agasint in state rival Penn State showed how good of a runner he is. Totaling 117 yards rushing on 22 caries with a score. He also added 29 yards and a touchdown in the air. He doesn’t have the stats that other top runners have but his story is one for the ages. He can still put up great numbers that show is one of the elites.
Royce Freeman: The Rolls Royce that leads the vaunted Oregon Offensive attack, Freeman is one of the most skilled backs in the nation. A fearsome runner who is one of the most overlooked players in the country. Even though most will point to the system he plays in and discredit what he has done, that’s baloney. Talent is needed in order to put up the numbers Freeman posts. He has posted 1365 and 1836 rushing yards each of the last two years with the latter being in 2015. Through two games, Freeman has 4 touchdowns and 294 yards rushing. A matchup against Nebraska this week will show the world that Freeman is for real.
Donnel Pumphrey: Probably the most unknown of unknown Heisman candidate. The 5 foot 9 inch senior running back has gained mass amounts of hype for the San Diego State Aztecs. In a rout of New Hampshire, Pumphrey ran for 98 and a score. The next week against a much better Cal Golden Bears squad, he added 281 yards and 3 scores. If he continues to run well, we could see one of the greatest and unknown heisman runs in the history of college football.
WAIT THERE’S MORE, Kalen Ballage is not on this list for one main reason! When playing against Texas Tech’s defense, you might as well put 45 points on the board. Ballage is talented, however if he can do even half of this consistently against better competition, then he gets on the board.
In case you haven’t noticed, I emitted three players who were on the list last week. Clemson’s Deshaun Watson is very talented, but against lackluster competition he has faltered. Same with Nick Chubb, he had a killer week one but against FCS Nicholls State he had a rather pedestrian game for his standards. Finally Myles Garrett, he needed to average at least 1.5 sacks per game, and that doesn’t look like it may happen. Right now the race is rather wide open. Personally, I like Dalvin Cook to bring home the hardware but this game against Louisville will let us know a little more.