Week 10 is in the books and it wasn't pretty for the Heisman favorite. Has a new no. 1 emerged? Or just a momentary blip of media and betting line insanity? We can't answer that question today, but it's clear now this is hardly Leonard's award to lose.
Fournette Shut Down
Last Week: 19 Carries, 31 Yards, 1.6 YPC, 1 TD
Season: 195 Carries, 1383 Yards, 7.1 YPC, 16 TD, 7 Catches, 58 Yards
Biggest stage of the season and the offensive line folded like a cheap tent. Fournette, of course, will bear the brunt of this. He already is. He dropped to 2nd place in the Heisman odds (eyeroll) and the chirping of "the best play their biggest games at the right time," (no really, they are saying this shit) which I'm guessing a lot of Alabama fans weren't harping on in 2009.
Look, I'm holding out hope that objectivity takes hold in the final three weeks here, assuming Fournette and Henry continue on their current trajectories. Fournette is averaging 1.34 YPC overall, roughly 43 more rushing YPG, with nearly 130 more total rushing yards, 120 more yards from scrimmage PG, and averaging 1.2 more yards per touch.
Oh but it's just because Fournette has run wild on cupcakes, right? Fournette is averaging nearly a yard per carry more with the same number of TDs in conference play. Henry has simply touched the ball, which is why he leads the conference in rushing yards vs. conference foes. Oh did we also mention he's also played an additional game?
Want to go further? Vs. P5 opponents Fournette is 8.67 YPG more than Henry. He's averaging 1.08 YPC more. Oh, but it's because Henry faced stiffer P5 competition, Pawllll!! Basically the moral of this story is that whatever Bama fans can do to move the target to prove Henry is superior, despite all conflicting evidence, is exactly what they will do.
Regardless, the Heisman chances for Fournette come down to these final three weeks. If he puts up strong performances against Arkansas and Ole Miss and runs wild on A&M, it should be enough to get voters brains back on the right wavelength.
Bovada Odds: 2/1
This Week: Arkansas
Henry For Heisman
Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama
Last Week: 38 Carries, 210 Yards, 5.5 YPC, 3 TDs
Season: 218 Carries, 1,254 Yards, 5.8 YPC, 17 TD, 8 Catches, 69 Yards, 0 TD
Look, if we're being objective we know for a fact that we can't possibly tout this player's resume over the aforementioned. If this were blind Player A vs. Player B comps, everyone would pick player A.
Henry is the star offensive player on one of the best teams in college football and he's celebrating the benefits of that fact.
And do not get me wrong here, Henry deserves a trip to NYC and to have his named mentioned in the running. But as of yet, he has not overtaken Fournette. Could he? Sure. But right now, if you're picking Henry, you're picking him because he plays for Alabama.
Bovada Odds: 3/2
This Week: Mississippi State
Boykin Bounce Out?
Trevone Boykin, QB, TCU
Last Week: 35/57, 61.4%, 445 Yards, 1 TD, 4 INTs, 19 Carries, 73 Yards, 2 TD
Season: 234/355, 65.9%, 3,373 Yards, 29 TDs, 9 INT, 107 Carries, 597 Yards, 5.6 YPC, 8 TDs
My impression heading into last weekend was that Boykin stood to benefit the most from Fournette having a down game vs. Alabama. He was a clear no. 2 throughout this race. He'd be number if he played in a conference the media and playoff committee doesn't consistently trivialize (not saying it's entirely unjustified, but it is what is happening). Boykin had everything to gain and went out and posted a stinker. Sure, the total yardage looks good, but he turned it over four times and very much played a part in his team losing. On top of that, he lost his top receiving threat.
His campaign isn't over, and, he, too, deserves a trip to NYC. But his chances of winning are officially on life support.
Bovada Odds: 16/1
This Week: Kansas
Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
Last Week: 26 Carries, 114 Yards, 1 TD, 1 Catch 9 Yards
Season: 193 Carries, 1,244 Yards, 14 TD, 24 Catches, 169 Yards
Elliott, like Boykin, stood to gain a lot by a struggle fest from Fournette and Boykin. Instead, he posted more modest numbers against an average opponent that won't curry him any favor with voters. Elliott is pretty clearly the third RB horse in this race, and it would take some type of magical performances on his part and lack of production from Fournette and Henry for Elliott to jump to the lead of the pack.
Bovada Odds: 7/1
This Week: @Illinois
Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor
Last Week: BYE
Season: 58 Catches, 1178 Yards, 20 TD, 13 Carries, 51 Yards
Coleman had a week to get some rest from catching TDs, which he does with equal opportunity against all opponents. He's scored in every single game, and more than twice in all but one. Baylor plugged in a new QB, albeit a talented one, and Coleman just kept on chugging with 11 catches, 216 yards and 2 TDs. Big 12 or no, Coleman should get an NYC invite. There are only about 25 entire teams with more receiving touchdowns than Coleman has alone.
Bovada Odds: 8/1
This Week: Oklahoma
Deshaun, Deshaun, Deshaun
Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
Last Week: 28/42, 66.7%, 297 Yards, 1 TD, 0 INT, 16 Carries, 107 Yards
Season: 182/261, 69.7%, 21 TD, 7 INT, 94 Carries, 493 Yards, 4 TD
Look, I said it before, and I'll say it again. If you are one to vote off numbers, Deshaun is not your guy. Not that the numbers are bad, mind you. He's super efficient and accurate, and he's easily the guy on Clemson's roster with the most name recognition. He's a draw in the dreaded "intangible" vote, where he'll get attention for leading Clemson to an undefeated season, particularly with Clemson being a team not typically this highly ranked.
Bovada Odds: 8/1
This Week: @Syracuse
West Coast Bias?
Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
Last Week: 23 Carries, 147 Yards, 3 Catches, 15 Yards
Season: 198 Carries, 1,207 Yards, 6.1 YPC, 6 TD, 28 Catches, 325 Yards, 2 TD
McCaffrey's numbers are every bit as good as Ezekiel Elliott's and no one is stumping for him to be a Heisman finalist. McCaffrey suffers from another RB vulturing some of his TDs, unlike Elliott and Henry who carry the full load. Like Elliott, he's squarely behind Fournette and Henry, but like Elliott he plays on a playoff contender with some major matchups to come, where he can make a statement. It's quite a long shot, but there is a shot here.
Bovada Odds: 8/1
This Week: Oregon