Picking this week’s games

I’m on a roll now.

Last week was my second-straight 7-3 week against the spread and I’m now at 24-16 (.600) on the season. Let’s see if I can keep it going. Here are my 10 plays of the week, with all lines courtesy of Docsports. My picks are in bold.

West Virginia -28 vs. Kansas

South Carolina -4 at Kentucky

Notre Dame +2 vs. Stanford

Tennessee -3 vs. Florida

Utah +13 at UCLA

Michigan State -7 vs. Nebraska

Baylor -15.5 at Texas

Oklahoma State -17.5 vs. Iowa State

Alabama -6 at Ole Miss

Mississippi State -2 vs. Texas A&M

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What Oregon’s loss means for Marcus Mariota’s Heisman hopes

Washington State v Oregon

Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota entered Thursday night’s game with Arizona in Eugene as the Heisman front runner.

He left it with his Heisman status in doubt, as the Wildcats came away with a 31-24 victory.

Let’s first go over what Mariota did in the game. The final stats show that he completed 20 of 32 passes for 276 yards and two touchdowns, rushed for one yard on nine carries (he was sacked several times), and caught a 26-yard touchdown pass from running back Royce Freeman.

While this was his worst passing outing of the season, it was still pretty productive. Certainly anyone who watched the game did not come away thinking that Mariota was the reason the Ducks lost. That fault would most definitely lie with the decimated Oregon offensive line, the tackle-averse Duck defense and (perhaps) the flag-happy Pac-12 referees.

However, Mariota did let Arizona’s Scooby Wright strip the ball from his hands on Oregon’s final drive, which enabled the Wildcats to secure the huge upset. Mariota was robbed of a chance to pull off a dramatic Heisman moment.

All that ultimately matters, though, is what this game meant to Heisman voters. How did it play in Heisman Peoria, so to speak? Continue Reading →

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Tate Martell: Remember the name

tate martell

We recently put up our list of 2015 Heisman candidates. Now, are you ready for 2017 and beyond?

It’s rare to be able to identify a potential candidate so early on, but sophomore quarterback Tate Martell of No. 1-ranked Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas fits that bill as far as I’m concerned.

Continue Reading →

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College football’s exciting young quarterbacks and their Heisman future


Not only is this year’s Heisman race shaping up to be a doozy, we’re also undergoing a bit of a ‘changing of the guard’ when it comes to the quarterback position.

Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston, Bryce Petty and Brett Hundley will soon be gone to the NFL to join Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater, Tajh Boyd, Blake Bortles, AJ McCarron, Aaron Murray and other quarterbacks who have dominated the college game for past three or four seasons.

At the same time, an impressive collection of freshmen and sophomores is starting to take shape: Continue Reading →

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The CFB Experience: SEC West Powers Collide

Seven games this week feature top-25 matchups and Kent Brown & HeismanPundit Jr. break down all the games. Tune in and also subscribe on iTunes.

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Oh, what a wonderful Heisman race


I admit to preferring some Heisman races to others over the years. As much as I love the Heisman selection process, it’s true that some campaigns have fallen short in the drama category, while a couple others have left a bit of an aftertaste, so to speak.

But I’m bullish on this year’s Heisman race to this point, mainly because it features the most varied and talented field in recent memory. I’d rate these candidates over the stellar groups from 2008, 2009 and 2011.

First, consider the quarterbacks:

Continue Reading →

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Marcus Mariota leads HeismanPundit’s Straw Poll for fourth week in a row


Oregon’s Marcus Mariota remained on top of HeismanPundit’s latest Heisman Straw Poll released on Tuesday (Sept. 30).

The Ducks quarterback received seven out of 10 first-place votes from the weekly panel, which consists of Heisman voters from around the country. He totaled 23 points to beat out Georgia running back Todd Gurley, who finished second with 18 points while capturing the remaining three first-place votes.

It’s the fourth week in a row (and fifth time in six weeks) that Mariota has led HeismanPundit’s poll. The junior leads the nation in passing efficiency and has totaled 16 touchdowns with no turnovers through four games.

Texas A&M quarterback Kenny Hill moved up to third place with seven points, while Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper dropped from second place to fourth place with five points.

Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah (4 points), Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon (2 points) and Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston (1 point) rounded out the rest of this week’s poll.

Now in its ninth season, HeismanPundit.com’s Heisman Straw Poll is the college football world’s most trusted gauge of Heisman voter sentiment. It has been the most accurate Heisman poll in the country during the past seven seasons, with the final 2012 poll correctly picking the top five finishers and the final 2011 poll picking the top seven. This year’s poll is made up of 10 anonymous Heisman voters from across the country. Each week during the season they will pick three players. Tabulations for the preseason poll are tabulated like a real Heisman ballot, with three points awarded for a first-place vote, two points for a second-place vote and one point for a third-place vote.

Each week’s poll is released on Tuesdays throughout the season at HeismanPundit.com. .

The HeismanPundit.com Heisman Straw Poll, 9/30/2014

Total Points (with first place votes in parentheses)

1. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon — 23 (7)

2. Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia — 18 (3)

3. Kenny Hill, QB, Texas A&M — 7

4. Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama — 5

5. Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska — 4

6. Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin — 2

7. Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State — 1

Number of ballots

Mariota, Gurley — 9

Cooper, Hill — 4

Abdullah  — 3

All others — 1

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