Week 6 of the 2019 college football season has come and gone, and the Heisman race is starting to really take shape now that the season is half over for most teams. These seven names have been at the forefront of their teams' success, and should be considered the most likely to hear their name called in New York.
7. Oklahoma State RB Chuba Hubbard
JK Dobbins makes a very compelling case, but Hubbard has been blowing every other college football running back out of the water. The speedy Oklahoma State back is the first player to cross 1,000 yards this season, and could be on pace for a record-setting campaign when he faces off against some of the more patchwork defenses in the Big 12. He will have to overcome being saddled with what is just an alright Oklahoma State team rather than a title contender.
6. Ohio State DE Chase Young
If Young doesn't play another down of football in this season, he'll still be a Top 3 pick in the 2020 draft. The single-biggest reason for Ohio State's defensive turnaround, Young's 8.5 sacks trail only Boise State's Curtis Weaver across all of college football. Keep in mind, he's getting double-teamed frequently. We haven't seen a defensive player contend for the Heisman since Manti Te'o at Notre Dame, but Young could buck that trent if he keeps wrecking gameplans.
5. Wisconsin RB Jonathan Taylor
Wisconsin has had some amazing running backs over the last few decades (Ron Dayne, Montee Ball, Melvin Gordon), but we need to start wondering if Taylor might be better than all of them. Defenses know the Badgers will run him up the middle, and they still can't stop him. In a glorified scrimmage against Kent State, Taylor found the endzone five times, giving him 16 total touchdowns to this point. Taylor has without question the best odds of winning the Heisman of any non-quarterback this year.
4. LSU QB Joe Burrow
Burrow continued his standout season against Jordan Love and Utah State, throwing five more touchdown passes, which brings his total up to 22 for the season. He's hit that mark while completing 78 percent of his passes and getting intercepted just three times. Way too many 5-star driven LSU teams went by the wayside due to ineffective quarterback play, but Burrow has the Tigers in the thick of the playoff hunt on the back of an Air Raid-adjacent approach that is tearing up the SEC.
3. Ohio State QB Justin Fields
Shock of all shocks, Fields threw his first interception last night against Michigan State (gasp!). However, he managed to throw for two touchdowns and run for another, bringing his passing TD total to 18 and his total TD number up to 25. Fields has been every bit as good as advertised, and has led the Buckeyes to an unblemished record that includes wins over Nebraska and Michigan State.
2. Oklahoma QB Jalen Hurts
Hurts has been so dominant in Lincoln Riley's offense at Oklahoma that 284 total yards and four touchdowns against Kansas was by all means a pretty pedestrian afternoon. Hurts and Oklahoma have been the class of the Big 12 up until this point, and head into the Red River Rivalry game against Texas with all the confidence in the world. If Hurts and the Sooners steamroll Sam Ehlinger and the Longhorns just like they have with everyone else they've played this year, Oklahoma should be a lock for the playoff and Hurts will be a Heisman finalist lock.
1. Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa
Tua's numbers this year seem like something that would be more at home in Madden Franchise mode. He has completed just 113 passes this year, but 23 of them have gone for touchdowns. He has yet to throw an interception, and has topped 400 passing yards twice. Statistically, his worst game was a dominant win over New Mexico State in which he racked up 227 yards passing and three touchdowns. Tua is doing things no one in this game has done before, and is the frontrunner for the Heisman at this juncture.