Mike Huguenin has spent more than 30 years in sports journalism, many of them closely associated with college football. As a longtime Heisman Trophy voter and one who will cast his ballot again at the end of this season, Huguenin takes a weekly look at the Heisman race.
Marcus Mariota strengthened his hold on the top spot on the Heisman watch list Saturday, accounting for four touchdowns and 353 yards of offense in Oregon's victory at Utah.
It was the seventh time in 10 games this season that Mariota has accounted for at least four TDs.
Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott remained in the No. 2 spot, and Wisconsin tailback Melvin Gordon -- who had his third 200-yard game of the season -- still is in third.
Those three have a big lead on the rest of the field, and as of right now, look to be the only locks to be invited to New York for the Heisman ceremony.
10. QB Jameis Winston, Florida State
Season stats: 196-of-294 passing, 66.7 completion percentage, 2,540 passing yards, 17 TDs, 11 interceptions, 3 rushing TDs.
Saturday's stats: 22-of-35, 62.9 completion percentage, 261 yards, 1 TD, 2 interceptions, 1 rushing TD in 34-20 win over Virginia.
The skinny: He already has thrown more interceptions in nine games than he did in 14 last season and his TD rate is down, too. Still, when he is on, there is no better quarterback in the nation. He is seventh nationally in passing yards per game, at 317.5; he finished 13th last season (289.8). He is 13th in the nation at 8.6 yards per attempt, but he is the only quarterback in the top 16 in that category nationally averaging as many as 36 attempts per game.
9. RB Tevin Coleman, Indiana
Season stats: 182 carries, 1,371 rushing yards, 11 TDs, 21 receptions, 132 yards.
Saturday's stats: 20 carries, 71 yards, 4 receptions, minus-8 yards in 13-7 loss to Penn State.
The skinny: He is second nationally in rushing yards and in rushing yards per game (152.3); he is tied for 16th with 11 rushing TDs. He also is averaging 7.5 yards per carry on a team that has no passing game because it is down to its third-string quarterback. cfbstats.com shows that he has 12 carries of at least 30 yards (second nationally), nine of at least 40 (tied for second) and five of at least 60 (tied for the national lead). Coleman's streak of 10 consecutive 100-yard games ended in the loss to Penn State. His 11 TDs this season have covered an average of 36 yards.
8. RB Duke Johnson, Miami (Fla.)
Season stats: 158 carries, 1,213 yards, 9 TDs, 21 receptions, 273 yards, 2 TDs.
Saturday's stats: Miami was idle over the weekend.
The skinny: Johnson has a string of five consecutive 100-yard games and he has rushed for at least 90 yards in all nine of UM's contests this season. He has averaged 196 yards over the past three games, with a per-carry average of 10.1 in those outings. He is eighth nationally in rushing yards per game (134.8) and is averaging 7.7 yards per carry. Johnson's five 100-yard games this season give him 12 for his career; that is fourth-most in Miami history, trailing Clinton Portis (14), Edgerrin James (14) and Ottis Anderson (13).
7. QB J.T. Barrett, Ohio State
Season stats: 150-of-233 passing, 64.4 completion percentage, 2,156 passing yards, 26 TDs, 7 interceptions, 582 rushing yards, 8 TDs.
Saturday's stats: 16-of-26, 61.5 completion percentage, 300 yards, 3 TDs, 0 interceptions, 86 rushing yards, 2 TDs in 49-37 win over Michigan State.
The skinny: Barrett accounted for at least five touchdowns in a game for the fourth time Saturday, and his 386 total yards was the second-highest total of the season, behind only the 409 he piled up against Cincinnati. It was Barrett's third 300-yard passing game of the season and the fifth time he threw at least three TD passes. He now has 26 TD passes this season; the school's single-season record is 30, by Troy Smith in 2006. He ranks tied for fifth nationally in TD passes, and he averages a TD once every nine pass attempts and once every six completions.
6. TB Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska
Season stats: 186 carries, 1,250 rushing yards, 17 TDs, 13 receptions, 169 yards, 2 TDs.
Saturday's stats: Nebraska was idle over the weekend.
The skinny: Abdullah's Heisman hopes likely were dealt a fatal blow when he suffered a first-quarter knee injury and had to leave the Huskers' most recent game, a victory over Purdue. He is expected back for next week's Big Ten West showdown against Wisconsin. He is fifth in the nation in rushing yards and sixth in rushing yards per game (138.9). He has had four 200-yard games this season, which leads the nation, and has hit the 100-yard mark six times. His 17 rushing TDs are tied for third nationally -- and eight more than he had all of last season. He is averaging 6.7 yards per carry and also leads the nation at 187.9 all-purpose yards per game (almost 12 more than anyone else).
5. WR Amari Cooper, Alabama
Season stats: 79 receptions, 1,215 yards, 15.4 yards per catch, 10 TDs.
Saturday's stats: 8 receptions, 83 yards, 1 TD in 20-13 win over LSU.
The skinny: Cooper is No. 2 nationally in receiving yards and tied for fourth in receptions. He has had six 100-yard games and two 200-yard games this season; he also has had three games with at least two TD receptions and eight with at least eight catches. Also worth noting: Cooper has been held under 100 receiving yards three times; Alabama lost one of those games, barely escaped (by one point) in another and won Saturday in overtime. Thus, a case can be made that he is the most important player for the Tide.
4. QB Trevone Boykin, TCU
Season stats: 203-of-350 passing, 58.0 completion percentage, 2,691 yards, 23 TDs, 4 interceptions, 546 rushing yards, 7 TDs.
Saturday's stats: 23-of-34, 67.6 completion percentage, 219 yards, 1 TD, 0 interceptions, 123 rushing yards, 3 TDs in 41-20 win over Kansas State.
The skinny: Boykin accounted for four TDs for the third time this season in Saturday's rout of Kansas State, and given the opponent and the stakes, it might have been his best game of the season. The rushing total was a season-high, and he again showed he is an exciting player who makes great use of the varied skill-position talent around him. He is fourth nationally in total offense at 357.9 yards per game and has TCU in the playoff hunt.
3. TB Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin
Season stats: 198 carries, 1,501 rushing yards, 19 TDs, 11 receptions, 83 yards, 2 TDs.
Saturday's stats: 25 carries, 205 yards, 1 TD, 3 receptions, 44 yards, 1 TD in 34-16 win over Purdue.
The skinny: Saturday's outing was his third 200-yard game of the season; it also was his eighth with 100 yards and his seventh in a row. It was the fourth in a row with at least two touchdowns and the sixth such game this season. Gordon leads the nation in rushing yards and in yards per game (166.8); he also is second in rushing touchdowns. Gordon is averaging 7.6 yards per carry, which is first nationally among the 30 players with at least 160 attempts. cfbstats.com shows that he leads the nation with 20 runs of at least 20 yards, 13 of at least 30 and 10 of at least 40.
2. QB Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Season stats: 146-of-239 passing, 60.9 completion percentage, 2,231 yards, 18 TDs, 7 interceptions, 779 rushing yards, 11 TDs.
Saturday's stats: 14-of-23, 60.9 completion percentage, 206 yards, 2 TDs, 0 interceptions, 54 rushing yards, 1 TD in 45-16 win over UT Martin.
The skinny: Prescott had a relatively modest outing against a FCS foe Saturday, but still set a school record with his ninth 200-yard passing game of the season. It also was the seventh time this season he accounted for at least three TDs in a game. He is 10th nationally in total offense (334.4 yards per game). He has had four 100-yard rushing days this season and is tied for the lead nationally in rushing TDs by a quarterback.
1. QB Marcus Mariota, Oregon
Season stats: 186-of-277 passing, 67.1 completion percentage, 2,780 yards, 29 TDs, 2 interceptions, 524 rushing yards, 8 TDs.
Saturday's stats: 17-of-29 passing, 58.6 completion percentage, 239 yards, 3 TDs, 0 interceptions, 114 rushing yards, 1 TD in 51-27 win over Utah.
The skinny: Mariota has accounted for at least four TDs in seven games this season (he did that three times last season) and has thrown at least two TD passes in every contest; Saturday was the third time this season he had thrown at least three TD passes in a game. In addition, Saturday's rushing total was his highest of the season and fourth-highest of his career. He is second nationally in TD passes, leads the nation in quarterback rating and is 11th in total offense at 330.4 yards per game. He is one of 20 players averaging at least 300 yards of total offense per game, and his per-play average of 9.03 is a staggering 1.13 yards more than any of the others. His career TD-to-interception ratio is an incredible 92-to-12.