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Leonard Fournette Heisman Watch: Week 8

Did Fournette's toughest opponent yet knock him off the Heisman mantle?

Week 7 is in the books, and the cast of Heisman characters seems to keep changing by the week. While the Cardale Jones' and Jeremy Johnson's of the world have fallen by the way side, the Ezekiel Elliott's and Leonard Fournette's just keep on dancing.

Fournette with a "Quiet Night."

Last Week: 31 carries, 180 yards, 5.8 YPC, 2 TDs, 1 Catch, 15 Yards
Season: 150 carries, 1,202 yards, 8.0 YPC, 14 TDs, 6 Catches, 56 Yards

Brad Nessler, at the beginning of the second half, jokingly stated Fournette had been "quiet" after accruing 100 first half yards. Fournette's performance didn't come with any of the flashy, long runs he's contributed the previous few weeks, but up against his tallest task yet, he still took them to the shed. 180 yards on nearly 6 YPC is a strong day at the office. Chip in a pair of TDs and this guy is just doing otherworldly things.

Bovada Odds: 1/2
Next Week: Western Kentucky

The Main Contenders

Seth Russell,  QB, Baylor

Last Week: 20/33, 60.6%, 380 Yards, 5 TD, 0 INT, 14 Carries, 160 Yards, 1 TD
Season: 103/163, 63.2%, 1907 Yards, 27 TDs, 5 INT, 41 Carries, 338 Yards, 5 TDs

Pros: Good lord, man. This is literally the types of stat lines I used to post in NCAA Football on my PS2. And this comes against the best defense they've played all season in West Virginia. If there's a realistic threat to Leonard, it might be Russell and his gaudy stat line.

Cons: The Big 12 has an anti-defense stigma, which could make voters shrug off his numbers. Oh and also...

Bovada Odds: 11/2
Next Week: Iowa State

Trevone Boykin, QB, TCU

Last Week: 27/32, 84.4%, 436 Yards, 4 TDs, 0 INT, 13 Carries, 74 Yards, 1 TD
Season: 166/255, 66.4%, 2,539 Yards, 25 TDs, 4 INTs, 77 Carries, 440 Yards, 5 TDs

Pros: Video game numbers part deux. It's become somewhat routine to scan his box score and see major passing numbers, major rushing numbers, and major points scored and just shrug and say, "seems about right." His stats are so consistently prolific they are almost boring?

Cons: His stats are so consistently prolific they are almost boring? Also, he'll be held directly in comparison to Russell, and the two being from the same state could split votes entirely.

Bovada Odds: 17/2
Next Week: BYE

Ezekiel Elliott, RB, OSU

Last Week: 27 Carries, 153 Yards, 5.7 YPC, 1 TD, 4 Catches, 21 Yards
Season: 148 Carries, 988 Yards, 6.7 YPC, 11 TD, 20 Catches, 131 Yards

Pros: Elliott has been the one constant in a Buckeyes offense otherwise in flux. He's rushed for 100 yards every week and literally carried his team to victory on a couple occasions.

Cons: He's not Leonard Fournette. Vs. PSU he posted a similarly yeoman's effort, but with less production. Unless Elliott majorly raises his game over the back half of the season, it's hard to foresee him catching and surpassing Fournette while playing the same position.

Bovada Odds: 16/1
Next Week: @Rutgers

Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama

Last Week: 32 carries, 236 Yards, 7.4 YPC, 2 TD, 1 Catch, 18 Yards
Season: 152 Carries, 901 Yards, 5.9 YPC, 12 TDs, 8 Catches, 69 Yards

Pros: Coming off the best performance of his season and Bama is re-emerging as a playoff favorite, which should keep him squarely in the spotlight.

Cons: He's not Leonard Fournette. And to make matters worse, he plays in the same conference as Fournette, so he won't likely draw regional votes.

Bovada Odds: 16/1
Next Week: Tennessee

Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State

Last Week: 22 Carries, 163 Yards, 7.4 YPC, 2 TD, 4 Catches, 60 Yards
Season: 110 Carries, 955 Yards, 10 TDs, 11 Catches, 131 Yards, 1 TD

Pros: Arguably the most explosive back in the country, Cook brings the type of big play flair that could woo votes, even if his total numbers don't stack up to a certain player at the same position. He's the best player on Florida State's offense and they remain in the playoff hunt. He's also got a nice story of doing this all with a banged up hamstring.

Cons: He's not Leonard Fournette. Look, if the voters are gonna pick a RB, it's gonna be really hard to pick against Fournette at this point.

Bovada Odds: 22/1
Next Week: @Georgia Tech

The Best of the Rest

Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor

Last Week: 10 Catches, 199 Yards, 3 TD, 
Season: 41 Catches, 877 Yards, 16 TD, 8 Carries, 32 Yards

Pros: Coleman is starting to garner some national attention for his role in Baylor's video game offense. Some publications are making this argument. He's got more receiving TDs than like 115 FBS teams, 19 developed countries, and 196 XBox live gamers.

Cons: He's not even the best player on his own team.

Bovada Odds: 33/1
Next Week: Iowa State

Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson

Last Week: 27/41, 65.9%, 420 Yards, 3 TD, 2 INT, 11 Carries, 32 Yards, 1 TD
Season: 116/170, 68.2%, 1410 Yards, 14 TDs, 7 INT, 56 Carries, 234 Yards, 2 TDs

Pros: Watson posted a career high in passing yardage and he's emerging as a star for undefeated Clemson, keeping their playoff hopes alive. The media loves QBs and he seems to have the intangibles that will garner votes.

Cons: Those Big 12 QBs make his numbers look silly and inconsequential in comparison.

Bovada Odds: 22/1
Next Week: @Miami

Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford

Last Week: 25 Carries, 243 Yards, 9.7 YPC, 4 TDs, 1 Catch, 4 Yards
Season: 130 Carries, 844 Yards, 6.5 YPC, 5 TDs, 16 Catches, 172 Yards, 1 TD

Pros: McCaffrey absolutely torched UCLA on Thursday night, which drew him some eyeballs. Stanford is back in the playoff hunt after a lackluster performance and loss to Northwestern to start the season.

Cons: McCaffrey's numbers are still far below the other top backs. Stanford is in the hunt, but hardly at the forefront. He will need some more 200+ yard performances to garner serious attention.

Bovada Odds: 25/1
Next Week: Washington