The Heisman Watch bids farewell to a long-tenured member this week, as Florida State's Jameis Winston disappears from the rankings following his suspension for a game against Clemson. The Seminoles quarterback needed a big game against the Tigers to reignite his campaign, but that's pretty difficult to do from the sidelines.
So with the reigning champion now on the outs, former Ohio State running back Archie Griffin's status as the only two-time Heisman Trophy winner looks secure for another year.
While the top two on our list remain the same for the third consecutive week, two new spots opened up with Winston falling off and Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson losing ground thanks to the bye week. One man returns to the list following an incredible performance and a new contender emerges after spearheading the upset of the week.
Here is the Heisman Watch list after Week 4:
Each player's previous ranking is listed in brackets.
1. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon (1)
Oregon struggled to put away Washington State on Saturday, but it certainly wasn't Mariota's fault. The Ducks quarterback was nearly perfect, going 21-of-25 for 329 yards with five touchdowns and adding 58 yards on the ground.
The problem was the Ducks' defense allowed nearly 450 passing yards to the Cougars and couldn't give the offense any breathing room. While that isn't a great way to earn victories, it actually could help Mariota's Heisman case. Usually Mariota would find himself on the sidelines with a large lead, but if games remain close because of Oregon's defense, he will have to stay on the field longer and accumulate even more impressive stats.
2. Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia (2)
Gurley didn't perform as well this week compared to his first two games of the season, but he didn't need to in a blowout win over Troy. The Bulldogs thrashed the Trojans 66-0 and Gurley didn't touch the ball after the first quarter, instead allowing freshman Sony Michel to tear it up on the ground.
After recording 73 yards on just six carries against Troy, Gurley still has 402 yards in three games this season. Most impressive is the junior's mind-boggling average of 9.8 yards per carry. Gurley also had a kickoff return for a touchdown on his only attempt of the season.
3. Kenny Hill, QB, Texas A&M (4)
Like Gurley, Hill found himself taking a seat on the bench early this week because of a blowout. Hill left the game after the first half with Texas A&M leading 38-3 en route to a 58-6 win over SMU.
Despite only playing a half, Hill still passed for 265 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He's completing 69.8 percent of his passes for 1,359 yards with 13 touchdowns and one interception through four games this season, impressive numbers for anyone's first four career starts. The Aggies schedule is about to get a lot tougher though, so we'll see if Hill can keep up this pace.
4. Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin (NR)
Gordon makes a return to the Heisman Watch after a two-week absence, but oh what a return it was. In Wisconsin's 68-17 win over Bowling Green, Gordon rushed for career highs of 253 yards and five touchdowns, all on just 13 carries. That amounts to an absolutely ridiculous average of 19.5 yards per carry.
He's averaging 9.4 yards per carry on the season - an amazing number - though still just a tick below Gurley. You can't expect the same kind of performance every week, but Gordon's big-play ability is unrivaled. In three games this season he already has eight runs of at least 20 yards, four of at least 40 and three that have gone for at least 50 yards.
5. Dak Prescott, QB, Mississippi State (NR)
The new addition to the list is Prescott, who proved in Mississippi State's win over LSU that he deserves your attention. All the junior quarterback did was go into Death Valley, pass for 268 yards, rush for 105 yards and score three touchdowns (two passing, one rushing) in leading the Bulldogs to victory.
Precott's numbers may not be on the same level as Hill's, but Mississippi State will only go as far as Prescott's arm and legs can take it. He's passed for 964 yards and 11 touchdowns while rushing for 378 yards and three more scores so far this year. With a pair of very difficult games coming up against Texas A&M and Auburn, Prescott can cement his status with a couple of wins.
Feature photo courtesy of Reuters/John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports