Well, if two weeks ago put his campaign on ice, this week may have outright killed it. Is it fair? Not entirely. But if you are banking on Fournette winning the award, at this point, you might want to put your betting dollars behind something else.
Fournette "Contained" Again
Last Week: 19 Carries, 91 Yards, 4.8 YPC, 1 TD, 3 Catches, 36 Yards
Season: 214 Carries, 1,474 Yards, 6.9 YPC, 17 TD,10 Catches, 94 Yards
Look, it's a shame that the discussion is Leonard being "bottled" up when 90% of the running backs in the nation would kill for a stat line complete with 120+ total yards, a score and good rate stats. This was a good game against a good run defense. It was lost in the shuffle largely because LSU spent the evening playing catch up and really didn't play well. He also failed to rip off one of his signature big plays, with a long run of just 13 yards. If Fournette can finish his last two weeks strong, he should still get an invite to NYC, but his odds of winning aren't great right now.
Bovada Odds: 9/2
This Week: @#22 Ole Miss
King Henry Rolls Again
Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama
Last Week: 22 Carries, 204 Yards, 9.3 YPC, 2 TDs, 1 Catch, 0 Yards
Season: 240 Carries, 1,458 Yards, 6.1 YPC, 19 TDs, 9 Catches, 69 (nice) yards
Henry has leapt to to the front of the race with a two pronged approach: a) I play for Alabama and b) back-to-back 200 yard rushing performances. Henry 100% deserves a trip to NYC, but I still take objection to rating him above Fournette when he trails in every statistical measure. Henry's love is based largely on the fact that he plays for one of the best teams in the country. His numbers are very good. Deserving. But for him to now be considered the runaway favorite? GTFO. It'll be interesting to see if Saban lets him run wild this week to pad his resume or if he is pulled early and without many carries to preserve him for the Iron Bowl, SEC Championship Game and potential playoff berth.
Bovada Odds: 2/3
This Week: vs. Charleston-Southern
Alas, a Man Up North
Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
Last Week: 27 Carries, 181 Yards, 6.7 YPC, 2 TDs
Season: 220 Carries, 1425 Yards, 6.5 YPC, 16 TD, 24 Catches, 169 Yards
I feel about Elliott about like I do about Henry, in that he's a really great player on one of the best teams in the country, though still not as productive as Fournette. The one factor Elliott may have on his side is that Ohio State has had a lot of turmoil at the QB position and he's played well right through it all, shouldering his team's offense and plucking along. That's enough for me to say he's deserving of votes, even if his schedule is weaker. If Sparty shuts him down Saturday, his race could be over. If he dominates them? Well, he may jump to the front of the pack.
Bovada Odds: 9/2
This Week: vs. #9 Michigan State
Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
Last Week: 35/48, 72.9%, 368 Yards, 2 TD, 1 INT, 14 Carries, 105 Yards, 1 TD
Season: 217/309, 70.2%, 2,601 Yards, 23 TDs, 8 INT, 108 Carries, 598 Yards, 5 TD
If there's been a "Heisman-winning" performance by any single player this season, it may have been Watson's last week. He obliterated Syracuse with the type of QB performance we've seen from only the like of Trevone Boykin (more on him later) and Seth Russell this season. To date, Watson's Heisman campaign has largely been one of "intangibles." Now the gaudy numbers are coming.
Yet, riddle me this, how, exactly, can you vote him to the award with a statistical profile that is topped by many? Put his line up against Cody Kessler's at USC and try and convince me he's a good candidate for the award. How about against Baker Mayfield, who is being curiously snubbed? If Watson goes to NYC and wins, it's because he lead Clemson to an undefeated season. Period.
Bovada Odds: 7/1
This Week: vs. Wake Forest
Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor
Last Week: 3 Catches, 51 Yards
Season: 61 Catches, 1,229 Yards, 20 TDs
If there's a player that deserves to go to NYC due to his singular performance, it's probably Coleman. Yes, he plays in a video game offense against a conference light on defensive stops. But he's made the absolute most out of it. 20 TDs is an absurd amount. If he stopped right now, he would finish 9th in single-season receiving TD of all time. Coleman lost his QB and turned around and put out a 200+ yard, 2 TD performance 2 weeks ago. This week, much quieter but there's still time. He ain't gonna win the award, but it'd be a shame if he's not represented.
Bovada Odds: 25/1
This Week: @ #6 Oklahoma State
Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
Last Week: 33 Carries, 147 Yards, 4.5 YPC, 1 TD, 5 Catches, 42 Yards
Season: 231 Carries, 1,354 Yards, 5.9 YPC, 7 TDs, 33 Catches, 367 Yards, 2 TD
McCaffrey was always a bit of a fringe candidate, and he's simply being outshine by other, better, running backs. He really stormed onto the scene after dropping 243 rushing yards and then a 200+ total yard performance the next week. He's since "cooled," though still rattling off three consecutive games of 100 yards. Kid is having one hellluva season.
Bovada Odds: 50/1
This Week: vs. Cal
Trevone Boykin, QB, TCU
Last Week: 5/8, 62.5%, 54 Yards, 2 Carries, -1 Yard
Season: 239/363, 65.8%, 3,427 Yards, 29 TD, 9 INT, 109 Carries, 596 Yards, 8 TDs
Boykin was injured early vs. Kansas and now is officially "questionable" vs. OU. He also lost his top receiving threat. Boykin's run is likely done, despite the fact that he'll probably finish the season with better statistics than Deshaun Watson, without playing another regular season snap. One last in memoriam line for a guy who put up a truly under appreciated video game season.
Bovada Odds: Off the Board
This Week: @ #7 Oklahoma
Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
Last Week: 22 Carries, 138 Yards, 2 TDs, 2 Catches, 17 Yards
Season: 170 Carries, 1,369 Yards, 8.1 YPC, 14 TDs, 18 Catches, 202 Yards, 1 TD
I figured I'd list him because if you listen to #FSUTwitter, Cook is far and away the best player in college football, and maybe the greatest of all time. Look, Cook is super explosive. All due credit to him for being able to rip off some incredible plays. What he lacks is both durability (he missed 1 game and parts of others due to injury) and consistency. It's one thing to be bottled up by Boston College, but Georgia Tech kept him in check as well. Cook has very little chance at the award, but I did want to acknowledge the gaudy YPC.
Bovada Odds: Off the Board
This Week: Chattanooga