Let the Lamar Jackson hype begin

#10 Louisville destroyed #2 Florida State this afternoon 63-20, and quarterback Lamar Jackson put on quite a show with five touchdowns and 362 total yards. Naturally the Heisman talk dominated Twitter as many were ready to hand Jackson the trophy right now, while forgetting how Leonard Fournette seemingly had it wrapped up last season.

The other meme pumped today had many comparing Jackson to Micheal Vick, which seems like a good comparison. Vick then got into the act as well with a very gracious tweet:

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Nick Chubb returns to power Georgia past North Carolina

It’s always nice to see an injured player return to full strength, and Nick Chubb made a statement on Saturday that he’s back to terrorize college football defenses. Kirby Smart wasn’t shy about using him, as Chubb carried the ball 32 times for 222 yards as Georgia got past North Carolina in a pretty good football game.

Chubb instantly becomes a serious Heisman candidate with this performance, and it gives new head coach Smart a stabilizing force on offense.

Christian McCaffrey off to solid start vs Kansas State

Christian McCaffrey will be generating a ton of buzz all season, and he got off to a solid start vs Kansas State with 210 all purpose yards and two touchdowns. The kid has talent.

Meanwhile, Stanford didn’t look dominating against a Kansas State that kept shooting itself in the foot. But it’s better than the opening day loss they suffered last year.

The top 5 Heisman candidates for the 2011 college football season

Stanford Cardinals quarterback Andrew Luck (12) completes this first half pass against the Virginia Tech Hokies during the 77th Annual Discover Orange Bowl at Sun Life stadium in Miami on January 3, 2011. UPI/Michael Bush

The 2011 college football season is still a couple of months away but seeing as how we’ve reached the dead days of the sports calendar, I figured it would be okay if we took a look at this year’s Heisman candidates. Below are five players I believe have the best shot at claiming this year’s Heisman hardware.

1. Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
What to Like: Barring injury or a Jake Locker-type senior campaign, Luck could run away with this year’s Heisman. He was runner-up for the award in 2010 and was named the Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year. Most pundits believe he’ll be the top signal caller in college football this year and he’s the main reason why Stanford will be rated high in the preseason polls.
What Not to Like: He lost his top two receivers (Doug Baldwin and Ryan Whalen), his head coach (Jim Harbaugh), and his offensive line (which allowed only five sacks last season) is undergoing a reloading phase. Can Luck overcome all that change in one offseason?

2. Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma
What to Like: Jones led the nation in completions last season and put up monstrous numbers in Oklahoma’s pass-happy offense. He completed 65% of his passes while racking up 4,700-plus yards and 38 touchdowns. With WR Ryan Broyles and nearly all five starters on his offensive line returning, Jones shouldn’t miss a beat.
What Not to Like: Losing all-purpose back DeMarco Murray hurts, but the biggest worry with Jones is whether or not he can handle the expectations of Oklahoma being the top-ranked team at the start of the season. All eyes will be on the Sooners every week and just one slip up could cost OU a national title berth and Jones a shot at the Heisman.

3. Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina
What to Like: After rushing for 1,197 yards and 17 touchdowns as a freshman, South Carolina fans can’t wait to see what Lattimore will do for an encore. His performance last year placed him among the nine SEC players who have rushed for at least 1,000 yards as a freshman, which is a list that also includes Georgia’s Herschel Walker and Florida’s Emmitt Smith. With Lattimore set to again be the workhorse in Steve Spurrier’s offense, you can expect big things out of this sophomore in 2011.
What Not to Like: Quarterback Stephen Garcia is one jaywalking charge away from being kicked off the team for good. If Garcia flubs up again or can’t beat out sophomore Connor Shaw for the starting job this summer, then Lattimore might have too much pressure on his shoulders this season. If SC becomes too one-dimensional, Lattimore’s production will likely suffer.

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2009 Week 9 Heisman Barometer

DRAFT ZOO released their latest Heisman Barometer and notes that Tim Tebow and Jimmy Clausen’s stock has dropped recently.

3. Tim Tebow, Florida
Ouch. It’s been a rough go of it for Superman over the last two weeks. The Arkansas game was too close, despite a decent day from Tebow, and his shoddy play in Starkville nearly cost the Gators a chance at the title (that’s strangely difficult to type). Twice Tim was picked by Johnthan Banks, and twice Banks took it to the house. Still, Florida is undefeated, and we’ve all seen what the Gators and their QB can do once they get on a roll. If the Georgia
game is a stat-heavy blowout, Tebow can get back into the thick of the stiff-arm talk. At least he’s still putting up solid rushing numbers.

4. Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame
If Notre Dame had beaten USC, this would be your Heisman frontrunner. It’s hard to find a quarterback with a better statline. For the season Clausen has thrown for 2050 yards, 16 TDs, and only two INTs. He’s got Notre Dame flirting with a consistent top 25 ranking (a bigger feat than it used to be), and he’s garnering some serious consideration as the top pick in next April’s draft. It’ll take some losses from a few other teams, but if Clausen can somehow play the Irish back to the BCS, he could become the Golden Domers first Heisman winner since Tim Brown in 1987. It’s never a bad thing when a 250+ yard 2 TD day is considered “average” for your season.

For the rest of their top 5, click here.

It’s amazing how some pundits still claim that Tebow is the frontrunner to win this year’s Heisman. Are you serious? Have you not watched the young man play the past two weeks? He was good against Arkansas, but the refs bailed him and the Gators out with two horrible fourth quarter penalties and the only reason why Mississippi State was in that game last week was because Tebow threw two interceptions that were returned for touchdowns.

I like Tebow, but he hasn’t been the nation’s best player this year – far from it, in fact. Truth be told, a clear-cut favorite hasn’t emerged for the Heisman yet, but I like DRAFT ZOO’s choice of Mark Ingram as the frontrunner at this point. He has essentially carried Alabama’s offense while the passing game continues to sputter. If ‘Bama goes on to win the SEC and takes over the No. 1 spot in the rankings, it’ll likely be because of Ingram and their defense.

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