SQ Heisman Power Rankings: Sixth Edition

We have a new entry in our top five. Who is it? And who got bumped out? Find out all of this and more in our new edition of Heisman Power Rankings. 

How the Scoring Works 

Each of our SQ writers was asked rank the top five current Heisman contenders from 1-5. This 1-5 ranking was then used as a points system. I tallied up how many points each athlete got and ranked them based upon those points. The lower one’s total, the higher on the rankings.  

For example, if Trevone Boykin receives two second place votes, two first place votes, and a fifth place vote, his total would come out to 11. If Leonard Fournette receives three fifth place votes and a fourth place vote, his total would be 19. Thus Boykin would be higher up on the rankings than Fournette (these are not the actual numbers, just a hypothetical). 

Without further ado, here is the Sixth Edition of the SQ Heisman Power Rankings:

1. Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU, 2 points (unanimous #1)

(Last week: 1)


Derick E. Hingle, USA TODAY Sports27 touches, 152 yards, one touchdown vs. Western Kentucky

183 touches, 1410 total yards, 15 touchdowns this season 

What Our Writers Thought: 

Erik Weiss: Among the monsoon that hit Baton Rouge last Saturday night, Fournette was able to make it rain yet again. Although everyone didn’t even bat an eye at Fournette’s performance against a mediocre defense during an unattractive game, that is exactly what makes Leonard so good. Nobody found anything significant during this game, yet Fournette still managed to go for 150 yards. What’s even better is that it was, statistically, his worst game of the year. When was the last time someone rushed for 150 yards and it was considered a disappointment? The answer to that would be never. Leonard Fournette is on another level right now and nobody has been able to knock him off his pedestal. LSU takes on Bama in two weeks, a perfect chance for Fournette to cement his Heisman legacy.    

Brian Peel: Leonard Fournette is that rare talent that can bore people when he is “held” to 150 yards rushing and a score. The Western Kentucky game probably won’t make his highlight reel when he is accepting the Heisman Trophy in December, but Fournette’s performance certainly didn’t take away votes from his campaign. With 18 yards being his longest run of the day on Saturday, the Hilltoppers did a decent job of limiting Fournette to 5.8 yards per carry, his lowest of the season. On the year, Fournette is still averaging an outstanding 7.7 yards per carry, which is even more ridiculous when considering LSU is not running a wide-open spread attack like you see at Baylor or Ohio State. 

2. Trevone Boykin, QB, TCU, 4 points

(Last week: 2) 


Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

27 of 32, 510 total yards, five touchdowns vs. Iowa State

166 of 250, 2979 total yards, 30 touchdowns, five ints. this season 

What Our Writers Thought: 

Erik Weiss: Just like Fournette, Boykin is on his own level. For those who may be misled by that statement, Boykin in no way is close to knocking Fournette out of number one. On the other hand, nobody else in any way is close to knocking Boykin out of number two. The only way I see Boykin falling out of this spot is if he beats himself. Boykin will finish the season with tough games against West Virginia, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, and Baylor. Unless Boykin severely underperforms in several of these matchups, he’ll stick at the second spot. Outside of Fournette, Boykin is the most unstoppable player in the nation. The only person who could stop him is Boykin himself, and I just don’t see that happening.  

Brian Peel: With Seth Russell now out for the year, Trevone Boykin stands alone as the only quarterback generating any serious Heisman buzz in 2015. While a few other quarterbacks have better statistics so far this season, Boykin is leading TCU to an undefeated start at 7-0 and a top five ranking. TCU was off this week, but Boykin’s 2,539 yards passing, 25 touchdowns, and 66.4 completion percentage in only seven games are all on pace to blow past last season’s tremendous totals. The meat of TCU’s schedule is still to come starting Nov. 7 when the Horned Frogs travel to Stillwater to take on Oklahoma State, but Boykin should be right behind Fournette come mid-December.

3.  Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State, 6 points

(Last week: 4) 


22 touches, 171 yards, two touchdowns vs. Rutgers

190 touches, 1290 total yards, 13 touchdowns this season 

What Our Writers Thought: 

Erik Weiss: Regardless of the controversy that surrounds the quarterback position for the Buckeyes, Ezekiel Elliott has played extremely well. He’s been the only consistent source of offense for the team throughout the first half of the season. Ohio State might have just had their statement game, the one to silence all critics, when they blew out Rutgers last Saturday. Elliott played a huge role in that win as he contributed 171 total yards. He averaged nearly eight yards every time he touched the ball. Elliott has consistently been able to excel throughout the year and will most likely continue to lead the Buckeye offense even when they figure out the quarterback situation. 

Brian Peel: After weeks of swapping back and forth and inconsistent play, it looks like Ohio State finally settled on J.T. Barrett as their starting quarterback and I’m sure you won’t be hearing any complaints from Ezekiel Elliott about that. The entire Buckeyes team looked much more like the machine they were last season when they blew past Rutgers 49-7 on Saturday and a more stable passing game will only make Elliott better, if that is even possible. With his 142 yards against the Scarlet Knights, Elliott has now rushed for 100 yards in all eight games this season. Elliott is great alright, but there is still a large gap between him and the two front runners. 

4. (tie) Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State, 9 points

(Last week: 2) 

USA Today Images

21 touches, 132 yards, one touchdown vs. Georgia Tech

142 touches, 1218 yards, 12 touchdowns this season 

What Our Writers Thought: 

Erik Weiss: Unfortunately, because Dalvin Cook did not rush for over 200 yards and multiple scores, he ends up falling down the list. Losing to unranked Georgia Tech didn’t help his case either . The Seminoles will host Syracuse this week, a team which allowed Leonard Fournette to explode for a career high 251 total yards. Cook will need to have a game like that if he wants to keep his Heisman hopes alive. 

Brian Peel: Too little Cook, too little Cook. Dalvin Cook had a rather mediocre performance for his standards Saturday when Georgia Tech held him to 82 yards rushing and only 4.8 yards per carry. Cook did manage 132 all-purpose yards and a score, but maybe the most shocking stat from FSU’s first loss of the season was the fact that Cook only got the ball six times in the second half, perhaps due to a still sore hamstring he tweaked in early October. Cook is undoubtedly one of the best players in the country and a future NFL first round pick, but I’d say his chance at a Heisman in 2015 is all but over. 

4. (tie) Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor 9 points

(Last week: Not Ranked) 

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Six catches, 85 yards, two touchdowns vs. Iowa State

47 catches, 962 yards, 18 touchdowns this season

What Our Writers Thought: 

Erik Weiss: Out goes Myles Garrett, and in comes Corey Coleman. Don’t get me wrong, Garrett is the best defender in the country and undoubtedly deserves to be in the Heisman talks. But Corey Coleman is just flat-out better. Coleman knows how to find the end zone better than anyone else in the country. He is currently scoring on 38% of his catches, which is well above anyone else in the nation. Coleman is an elite athlete and thrives through Baylor’s pass-first offense. Hopefully, the loss of Seth Russell doesn’t affect his performance that much. 

Brian Peel: Baylor’s Corey Coleman makes an appearance on the Heisman list because all the guy does is score touchdowns. How many you ask? Well, Coleman might very well break the single season touchdown reception record of 27 held by Louisiana Tech’s Troy Edwards that was set back in 1998. In just seven games, Coleman already has 18 touchdown catches. Coleman found himself in the end zone two more times Saturday against Iowa State, but he will be tested greatly without quarterback Seth Russell the rest of the way. 

Honorable Mentions 

Although you did not see these guys on this week’s list, keep a close eye on them throughout the season for upcoming rankings: 

Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama (Last week: Honorable Mention)


John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

28 touches, 143 yards, two touchdowns vs. Tennessee

188 touches, 1113 yards, 14 touchdowns this season 

Erik Weiss: Last week, I said that Derrick Henry plays best when the spotlight is the brightest. Well, he did it again in a primetime game against Tennessee. Henry went over 100 yards for the fifth time this season and could not be stopped the entire game. Just when Tennessee seemed to have eliminated any championship hopes for the Tide, Derrick Henry comes back and scores the game-winning touchdown in the winding minute. Henry’s next game will come against a young yet stout LSU defense. This game should ultimately determine who will represent the SEC West in the conference title game. More importantly, for our sake at least, is the one-on-one battle Henry will have with Heisman frontrunner Leonard Fournette.  

Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford (Last week: Not Ranked) 

Kirby Lee - USA TODAY Sports

31 touches, 300 total yards, three touchdowns vs. Washington

201 touches, 1818 yards, eight touchdowns this season 

Brian Peel: It isn’t easy to lead the country in all-purpose yards and still be under the radar, but that is exactly what Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey is doing in 2015 with his 1818 total yards. Saturday was another stellar performance for the sophomore when he gashed the Washington Huskies for a total of 300 yards and three touchdowns. What sets apart McCaffrey and all the other Heisman contenders is how he gets the ball in so many different ways. Not only is McCaffrey second in the Pac-12 in rushing yards with 953, he also has 284 yards receiving and 581 yards returning punts and kickoffs. 

Tune in next week for the seventh edition of SQ Heisman Power Rankings!

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