Heading into Conference championship week there are two things I can say… Lamar Jackson lost again, and the rebirth of Deshaun Watson’s Heisman Trophy candidacy. It is truly a mystery of what is going on and what will go on in the near future with this Heisman Trophy race.
Jackson is still statistically the best hands down, but should it be given to a quarterback with three losses? One of which being Kentucky. Or will it be Robert Griffin III all over again where the best statistical player wins it, regardless of record.
Lamar Jackson, Louisville, QB: Let’s start with Jackson. This is not it for Jackson, he is still the front runner, but this setback could go against him. With Watson and others moving into conference championship games, an excellent performance could make it too close to call. Watson and Westbrook could gain heavily from this. Jackson’s game against Kentucky was not terrible, four total touchdowns are a lot, but three interceptions and a fumble is as well. He threw for 281 yards and two touchdowns, but those three interceptions were killer. He also ran for 171 yards and two touchdowns.
Deshaun Watson, Clemson, QB: In his last home game in Death Valley against Clemson’s biggest rival, Watson was money. Watson completed 26-of-32 passes for 347 yards and six touchdowns in a 56-7 blowout win over South Carolina. Call me bias if you please, but Watson as of now deserves the award. Disappointed or not with his season, he is having a great season. He has thrown for 3,626 yards with 34 touchdowns. He has also run for 444 yards and four touchdowns. Don’t sleep on Watson.
Jake Browning, Washington, QB: Jake Browning went out and handled Washington State. He threw for 292 yards and 3 touchdowns in his win. Moving into the Pac-12 championship game, a lights out performance and win against 8th ranked Colorado could be huge for Washington but regardless, this man has had a hell of a year. Throwing for 40 touchdowns is no joke and over 3,000 yards is more than a solid number.
Dede Westbrook, Oklahoma, WR: Westbrook hasn’t played since the 19th of November, but that does not change the fact that he is legit. He has totaled 1,354 receiver yards with 15 touchdowns. He can benefit heavily from the Conference Championship game against Oklahoma State.
Mike Williams, Clemson, WR: This may come as a shock to some, but I believe if we are mentioning Dede Westbrook, we need to consider Mike Williams. Yes, his stats are not as good, but he is a victim of being incorporated in the best receiving group in college football. He is also the stud of this group, with Dabo Swinney himself saying he is a more of a complete player than Sammy Watkins. The last game against South Carolina he went off for 100 yards and three touchdowns. Don’t sleep on Mike Williams.
Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma, QB: Baker has led his team from a rather unimpressive start to a Conference Championship game. This season he has thrown for 3,381 yards and35 touchdowns, completing 71 percent of his passes. He also has run for six touchdowns. Two losses might make it too late, but he is still very relevant.
In the hunt:
Jonathan Allen, Alabama, DL
D’Onta Foreman, Texas, RB
Donnel Pumphrey, SDSU, RB
Jalen Hurts, Alabama, QB
Jabrill Peppers, Michigan, ATH
Christian McCaffrey, Stanford, RB
Jonathan Allen, Alabama, DL