Teddy Bridgewater heads the season's first Heisman watch

Week 1 of the college football season is (almost) in the books, which means it's time for the first Heisman watch of the season.

Even the most ardent fan has to grit his teeth at the pervasiveness of Heisman talk, especially early in the season. Then again, a strong argument can be made that it is the most prestigious individual award in sports.

Here are this week's top 10 contenders, from 10th to first, as this Heisman voter sees them:

10. QB Derek Carr, Fresno State: Carr, a senior, threw for 435 yards and five TDs as the Bulldogs outlasted Rutgers 52-51 in overtime in their opener. Good news for Carr is that Rutgers has one of the best defenses he will see this season.

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9. QB Brett Hundley, UCLA: Hundley, a third-year sophomore, threw for 274 yards and two TDs and also rushed for 63 yards and two scores as the Bruins opened by whipping Nevada.

8. TB Lache Seastrunk, Baylor: Seastrunk, a junior, didn't get much work against overmatched FCS foe Wofford, but he did rush for 111 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries in a 69-3 evisceration of the Terriers. It was his fifth straight 100-yard game dating to last season.

7. DE Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina: Clowney, a junior, didn't make any flash plays against North Carolina, but the Tar Heels made sure they knew where he was on every snap. In short, while he didn't make big plays, his presence helped the Gamecocks stymie the Heels.

6. QB Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M: Manziel, a third-year sophomore, played less than a half but still threw three TD passes as the Aggies coasted past Rice. Manziel was suspended for the first half, then benched in the fourth quarter for his behavior. Manziel is a free-wheeling guy on and off the field. His off-field antics got old a while ago; now, it's his on-field antics that are becoming annoying.

5. TB Todd Gurley, Georgia: Gurley, a sophomore, rambled for 154 yards and two TDs on just 12 carries in the Bulldogs' loss to Clemson. Gurley was bothered by a minor injury against the Tigers, and the Bulldogs sure hope he is 100 percent for this week's SEC East showdown with South Carolina.

4. QB Marcus Mariota, Oregon: Mariota, a third-year sophomore, feasted on vastly overmatched FCS foe Nicholls State. He threw for 234 yards and a score and rushed for 113 yards before sitting out the fourth quarter in a 66-3 romp.

3. QB Braxton Miller, Ohio State: Miller, a junior, threw for 178 yards and two TDs and ran for another 77 as the Buckeyes downed Buffalo 40-20.

2. QB Tajh Boyd, Clemson: Boyd, a senior, had a huge game as Clemson outlasted Georgia in a battle of top-10 teams. He threw for 270 yards and three touchdowns and also ran for two scores as Clemson came away with the victory.

1. QB Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville: Bridgewater, a junior, sliced up Ohio's secondary, throwing for 355 yards and five TDs as Louisville opened the season with a 49-7 win. The yardage total was the third-highest of his career, and the TD total tied a personal record.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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