Heisman Power Rankings: Corral, Young neck and neck

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With the regular season already halfway over, several players have separated themselves from the rest of college football as Heisman Trophy contenders.

Here are the top five candidates for the award through Week 7.

5. Kenny Pickett, QB, Pitt

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  • 1,934 yards passing, 69.8% completion, 24 total TD, 1 INT

Kenny Pickett has been a revelation in his fifth season at Pitt, helping the team average an ACC-leading 533.5 offensive yards per game. The senior standout sits in the top four in the country for touchdown passes and is averaging 9.4 yards per attempt for a 5-1 Panthers team. Pickett even shone in Pitt's lone loss this season, tossing six touchdown passes against Western Michigan.

The talented passer faces a tough climb to the top of the Heisman rankings given Pitt's weak schedule to close out the season and the ACC's overall struggles. Despite that, the 23-year-old has to be considered a favorite for ACC Player of the Year, and he's now firmly in the conversation to become an NFL draftee.

4. Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas

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  • 1,137 total yards, 13 total TD, 6.4 yards per carry

It's unclear whether or not Texas is actually "back," but one certainty is that the team's success runs through Bijan Robinson. He sits third in the nation for total rushing yards with 930, he's amassed 10 touchdowns on 6.4 yards per carry, and he's the first Longhorn to score a touchdown in nine straight games since Jordan Shipley in 2008.

The sophomore running back also became the first player to rush for more than 100 yards against Oklahoma State this season, finishing with 135 and three total touchdowns against the Cowboys this past weekend.

Robinson's next challenge will come after Texas' bye week when he faces 20th-ranked Baylor, which has only allowed 134.4 rushing yards per game this season.

3. Kenneth Walker III, RB, Michigan State

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  • 997 rushing yards, 10 total TD, 6.6 yards per carry

Kenneth Walker III deserves a ton of credit as Michigan State has raced out to a 7-0 record in Mel Tucker's second year with the program.

Walker has paced the Spartan attack, leading the nation in rushing yards with 997 on 6.6 per carry while recording 10 total touchdowns. The junior has been a big-play threat throughout the schedule, tallying 27 rushes of 10-plus yards. But he isn't just a burner, as the Texas native has piled a whopping 737 of his 997 rushing yards after contact.

Walker has been held under 100 yards in consecutive weeks, but he faces massive upcoming contests versus three top-30 opponents against the run in Michigan, Penn State, and Ohio State. Should he produce big numbers in those games, expect Walker to rise in the Heisman race.

2. Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss

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  • 1,728 passing yards, 450 rushing yards, 22 total TD, 1 INT

The race for the Heisman is seemingly in a dead heat between Ole Miss' Matt Corral and Alabama's Bryce Young. Corral ranks third in the FBS in total yards per game, he's in the top 10 in yards per attempt, and he's 14th in passing yards per contest. Plus, he's thrown only one interception all season.

Corral has also been versatile in the run game, with 450 yards on the ground and eight touchdowns, both good for fifth nationally among quarterbacks. With the California native at the controls, Ole Miss ranks third in the nation with 533 total yards of offense per game.

Corral struggled with just 213 yards passing in the Rebels' lone loss this season at Alabama, but he has a favorable schedule ahead of him with Texas A&M the lone SEC opponent with a top-50 pass defense.

1. Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

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  • 2,082 passing yards, 69.6% completion, 24 TD, 3 INT

The race is very close between Young and Corral, but the incredible Alabama sophomore gets the slight nod thus far. Young has been brilliant in his first season as a starter, ranking third nationally in passing touchdowns with 24 and fifth in the country in passer rating.

The Crimson Tide may have suffered their first loss since 2019 against Texas A&M two weeks ago, but Young still had 369 yards and three touchdowns in the defeat. Young certainly wasn't phased by that setback, as he tossed four touchdowns in a 49-9 rout of Mississippi State this past weekend.

One of the most impressive things about the first-year starter is his ability to convert on third down and keep drives alive. Young was a perfect 7-for-7 against Mississippi State's defense for 178 yards on third down Saturday.

Arkansas is the only team on Alabama's remaining schedule that fields a top-30 pass defense, so Young should be able to finish the season with a flourish in his quest for the Heisman.

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Heisman Power Rankings: Corral, Young neck and neck
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