College football has been up and running for about a month now and there’s been plenty of excitement thus far, but none greater than watching the West Virginia offense, which put up 70 points this past weekend in a win over Baylor.
Senior quarterback Geno Smith has been lighting up scoreboards all season long, completing 83 percent of his passes on his way to 1,728 yards and 20 touchdowns. Smith has a long way to go, but for now he leads the pack in terms of Heisman favorites through the first five weeks.
1. Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia: Smith is head and shoulders over every other candidate right now. He’s playing in an offense that is designed to put up video-game numbers and it’s working. Smith can thread the needle and fit the ball into any window he wants.
With a cast that includes wide receivers who fit in every shape and size, Smith’s success should not come to a stop any time soon. As long as West Virginia’s defense can make a stop or two, Smith’s on the fast track to the Heisman.
2. Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State: Miller has really taken to Urban Meyer in the coach’s first year in Columbus, taking huge steps forward in his second year as a Buckeye. He struggled with ball control in a 17-16 win over Michigan State, but his overall season statistics have been eye popping.
Miller has thrown for a little under 1,000 yards and eight touchdowns through five games, but his real mark has been on the ground where he has churned up 577 yards and seven scores.
3. Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina: Lattimore has been Steve Spurrier’s workhorse ever since he set foot on South Carolina’s campus. He hasn’t recovered yet from an ACL tear that occurred last season, but he recently shed his knee brace and has looked as good as new.
This past week, Lattimore rushed for 120 yards and two scores on 23 carries. For the season, the junior tailback has collected 440 yards and eight touchdowns — all that for a guy who hasn’t even touched 100 percent.
4. De’Anthony Thomas, ATH, Oregon: Thomas has the potential to score at any point, from anywhere on the field and against any defense that the Ducks line up against. He can line up at running back, wide receiver, punt returner or kick returner.
This season, Thomas has touched the ball 64 total times, amassing 698 yards and scoring eight times (five on the ground and three through the air). Do the math and you’ll see that Thomas takes it to the house one out of every eight times he touches the ball.
5. A.J. McCarron, QB, Alabama: Alabama relies on defense and its ground game, but McCarron is still making a decent case for the Heisman to this point in the season. With several running backs chomping at the bit, the redshirt junior has been able to take a step forward as the leader of the Tide.
Through the Crimson Tide’s first five games, McCarron has connected on 73 of his 111 pass attempts, spreading the ball to a plethora of wide receivers. On a team that has been known for ground and pound, McCarron has tallied 12 touchdowns — two more than the running attack has gotten — while not throwing an interception to this point. The Heisman mostly comes down to the most notable player on the best team in the country and, right now, that’s A.J. McCarron.