It’s tough to even type but there is no way around it, in terms of games the college football season is more than a quarter over. Over the course of four games (or two for Oregon State) the storylines for this season have drastically changed. Of the 25 teams that began the season ranked only two have lost two games, Michigan and Arkansas. Both started the season ranked in the top 10 (and both faced Alabama).
There are only two undefeated teams in the Big Ten that are bowl eligible, Northwestern and Minnesota. In the Big 12 seven of the ten teams are undefeated and two more have only lost one game (then there is Kansas).
We’ve talked at length about those who won’t win the Heisman but take a look at our preseason watch. The top seven looked like this: 1. Barkley 2. Ball 3. Robinson 4. Jones 5. Murray 6. Manuel 7. Smith. Through the first quarter of the season, our preseason watchlisters one through four have faltered or fallen off while five, six, and seven have stepped right in. This speaks to the accuracy of the Heisman Watch.
Fortunes will change during the next three quarters of the season. We may see a couple phoenix candidates rising from the ashes of their preseason hype. We are also about to see how tough conference play really is for Heisman contenders. Geno Smith, Braxton Miller and Aaron Murray haven’t had to play any ranked opponents yet so it remains to be seen who will shine and who will fade.
— Oregon State is gaining a reputation for ending Heisman dreams for running backs. Stepfan Taylor, Kenjon Barner, and De’Anthony Thomas take note.
— HP preseason all-american honorable mention Cobi Hamilton caught ten passes for 303 yards and three touchdowns in a LOSS to Rutgers.
— Notre Dame has its eyes set on a BCS game now that it has taken care of its tough early schedule. A win against USC, Stanford, or Oklahoma and the Irish will likely finish 10-2.
— The finalists have been announced for the 2015 National Championship Game, the four BCS Bowls, as well as the Cotton Bowl and Chik-Fil-A Bowl.
–LeVeon Bell quietly had over 250 rushing yards on Saturday. Unfortunately it was against Eastern Michigan in a game the Spartans looked unimpressive winning 23-7.