10. LSU RB LEONARD FOURNETTE
Leonard Fournette’s Heisman candidacy in 2016 follows the exact opposite trajectory of his 2015 campaign. Fournette rumbled through September and October as the clear front-runner for the award, only to completely fall out of the picture in November.
An injury-plagued start to this season seemingly doomed Fournette’s chances for New York this year, but he erupted back onto the landscape as a dark-horse candidate late, abusing Ole Miss for 284 yards his last time out. Fournette’s now gone for 138, 147, 101 and 284 in his limited appearances, with multiple receptions every game.
Last year’s matchup with Alabama effectively quashed Fournette’s Heisman hopes. In yet another reversal, the Crimson Tide could be his catalyst to get back into the mix for real this week.
9. OKLAHOMA QB BAKER MAYFIELD
Baker Mayfield’s minor slide from Week 9 isn’t an indictment of the Oklahoma quarterback’s play, but rather an example of the Bad Opponent Effect.
Mayfield played perfectly fine in the Sooners’ rout of Kansas; great, even. He scored four passing touchdowns and threw no interceptions. He could have gone for more, but the Jayhawks were so overmatched, Mayfield’s day was limited.
The Sooners play another likely overmatched opponent in Week 10, Iowa State. Mayfield may have to really pour it on the Cyclones to get any noticeable boost next week.