Heisman Watch: Week 5

We had some major shuffling going on within our Heisman Watch list.  The top guy, Lamar Jackson,  still remains in the lead but there are plenty of players closing the gap.

1) Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville - Despite the close loss on the road in Death Valley "Action Jackson" still remains in the lead because he was the better quarterback over Deshaun Watson.  Running for 162 yards and 2 scores while throwing for nearly 300 against a very good Clemson defense Jackson came just short of the win when his receiver was pushed out a yard short of a first down in the waning moments down near the Clemson goal line.  Jackson appears to be the most electric college quarterback since Michael Vick and will get the chance to pad his stats this week vs Duke.

2) J.T. Barrett, QB, Ohio State - Barrett broke Bobby Hoying's Ohio State record for career touchdown passes (59) in a rout of Rutgers.  Barrett threw for 4 TDs and averaged over 9 yards a carry while leading a balanced Buckeyes offense.  He takes on Indiana this week so he will get another chance to make his season stats look better on paper for the voters.

3) Greg Ward, QB, Houston - Ward threw for a career high 389 yards vs UCONN while also completing over 84% of his passes.  Accounting for nearly 450 yards and 5 touchdowns with no turnovers bumps Ward up 2 spots and into the top 3 for the undefeated Cougars.

4) Jake Browning, QB, Washington -  I'll be the first to say I underestimated Browning and Washington going into their Friday night battle vs Stanford last week.  Browning was basically perfect as he threw for 3 TDs while completing over 70% of his passes and zero turnovers in a decisive rout of Stanford 44-6.  For the undefeated Huskies Browning has accounted for 18 total TDs while only turning it over twice all season.  With his performance he is now the leader over Christian McCaffrey in the PAC 12 conference.

5) Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson - Welcome back to the top 5 Deshaun.  Watson led the Tigers to a huge ACC home win vs Louisville in prime time.  Despite the 3 interceptions,  Watson threw for 5 TDs and a season high 305 yards.  With Clemson still undefeated and leading the ACC Watson will still need to get some help from other teams because guys like Jackson, Barrett, Ward and Browning are all having better seasons for title contenders.

6) Christian McCaffrey, All Purpose, Stanford - Tough game for McCaffrey as Washington loaded 8, sometimes 9 guys in the box and punished Stanford throughout.  For the second week in a row McCaffrey was held to no touchdowns running or receiving.  He falls out of the top 5 for the first time all season and could be looking at a tough battle to even get invited back to NYC at this point.

7) Donnel Pumphrey, RB, San Diego State - Pumphrey did all that he could rushing for over 150 yards and a score but the Aztecs lost to South Alabama.  He's not out of the race by any means but from here on out he's going to need to put up crazy stats to keep him in the conversation because he plays on the west coast for an unranked non power 5 team.

8) Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina - Trubisky earned his way onto the top 10 Heisman Watch list by leading North Carolina to a huge win over FSU.  With the win UNC is now in the lead for the Coastal division.  Trubisky threw for over 400 yards for the third consecutive week.  For the season he has zero turnovers while accounting for 17 total touchdowns.

9) Derek Barnett, DL, Tennessee - Barnett just put himself into the conversation for best defensive end in the nation along with Texas A&M's Myles Garrett.  Barnett was basically unstoppable vs Georgia with two sacks and a forced fumble.  The win keeps the Vols undefeated going into College Station this week to take on Garrett and the undefeated Aggies.

10) Jabrill Peppers, LB, Michigan - Peppers led a spirited Wolverines defense to a near shutout of #8 Wisconsin in a huge home win.  As I have mentioned before as long as Michigan stays undefeated Peppers will get Heisman talk.

Dropped out: Myles Garrett, DL, Texas A&M; Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech

Matt Fairchild grew up a fan of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Baltimore Orioles, Atlanta Braves and Atlanta Falcons.  In other words he has a sports team problem on top of his drinking problem.  Displaying a loyal, never-ending-love for his teams despite their consistent struggles to return to their "glory days" only shows the insane ramblings that permeate his controversial sport writings.  Fairchild started SportsCrack.com in 2005 where you can find great t-shirts and sports merchandise.  See more of his work at UHND.  He can be reached at matt@sportscrack.com or on Twitter @sportscrack

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