Though the 2018 campaign is far from over, a trio of star quarterbacks are beginning to separate from the pack in a fight for college football's most prestigious individual award.
Here are the top five Heisman candidates after a wild slate of games:
Taylor had enough of being an outsider in the Heisman conversation, producing a dominant performance on Saturday. Clearly the top running back in college football, the sophomore rushed for 221 yards and three touchdowns on 24 carries versus Nebraska - his second 200-yard performance of the year. The star ball-carrier has topped 100 yards in every game this season and has eight touchdowns. The Badgers face their stiffest test this week, visiting The Big House. If Taylor turns in a strong performance against a solid Wolverines' defense, he could rocket up our rankings.
The No.9-ranked Mountaineers moved to 5-0, but their quarterback wasn't at his best against the lowly Jayhawks. Grier threw for 332 yards and four touchdowns, but tried to force a number of ill-advised passes, resulting in three red zone interceptions. Incredibly, the senior had not previously thrown a red zone interception in his West Virginia career. Grier will take wins any way he can, as the Big 12 is ripe for the taking after Oklahoma's loss to Texas, but his resume took a hit nonetheless. The talented pivot may need to claim conference supremacy to pass his peers in the Heisman race.
Saturday's Red River Showdown posed an interesting question - did the Sooners' loss to Texas hurt or help Murray's Heisman outlook? We're leaning toward the latter, as the redshirt junior led his team back from a 45-24 deficit heading into the fourth quarter. Overall, it was another dominant afternoon for Murray, accumulating five touchdowns for the third time in his last five games. Oklahoma's star quarterback remains one of the top players in the nation, accounting for 26 total touchdowns in six weeks. His defense's poor performance shouldn't impact his Heisman contention.
Despite his productive outing versus Indiana, Haskins drops out of the top spot this week. Heisman or not, the redshirt sophomore has developed into an elite offensive weapon. The flamethrowing passer earned his fourth Big Ten Player of the Week Honors after piling up 455 yards, six touchdowns, and two interceptions (thrown under duress) against the Hoosiers. The Buckeye has completed 71.7 percent of his passes on the year, amassing 26 total touchdowns and it's turning into a two-horse race between Haskins and another talented pivot for the award.
We're running out of adjectives to describe Alabama's star quarterback. In a 65-31 demolition of Arkansas, Tagovailoa attempted just 13 passes before being pulled. He was 10-of-11 with four touchdowns to start the game, including a 76-yard score to Irv Smith. Though he's played significantly less than his fellow candidates, Tagovailoa has accounted for 20 total touchdowns while completing over 75 percent of his passes and he's yet to throw an interception. He amazingly has just five less touchdowns than incompletions. Tua is going to have to sit for an entire game for opponents to have any hope of slowing down the Crimson Tide offense. The sophomore is just getting warmed up, and is the best player on the nation's best team. For now, at least, that translates into our top spot.