- Nov 16, 2021
- 1 min
*Editor's Note: Graphic by @SSN_Troy, author is @BlitzCfb
Week 9 saw a breakout performance by Kenneth Walker III of Michigan State. Walker put the entire college football world on notice as he faced one of the best defenses in the land and tore through them with ease. With one great performance came one bad performance. Bijan Robinson of Texas struggled to get going against a stingy Baylor defense that is shaping up to be one of the better in the nation. Robinson drops out of the top 5 allowing several new faces to make their debut in the rankings. Here are my Heisman rankings heading into Week 10.
1. Kenneth Walker III (RB, Michigan State) ↔️
Kenneth Walker III had a season defining performance against Michigan on Saturday rushing for 197 yards and 5 touchdowns. Walker set the all-time record for rushing TDs in the Michigan-MSU rivalry. His performance was against a defense many considered elite. Walker is 2nd in the nation in rushing yards and has averaged 6.8 yards per carry. The dominant performance over a top 10 opponent has propeled the Spartans to a top 4 CFP ranking and given Walker the best RB odds at winning a Heisman since Derrick Henry in 2015. At this point in the season, Walker is ahead of where Henry was statistically.
2. Bryce Young (QB, Alabama) ⬆️1
Bryce Young moves up one spot after Bijan Robinson's letdown agasinst Baylor. Young has been arguably the best quarterback in the country throughout the season. He is 4th in the nation in passer rating and 10th in the nation in passing yards. With Matt Corral's injury removing him from Heisman contention, Young now stands alone. The #2 ranked Tide have several more opportunities to rack up quality wins behind Young's impressive array of talents and reclaim the Heisman for QBs.
3. Sean Tucker (RB, Syracuse) ⬆️3
Sean Tucker makes his first appearance in the top 5. Tucker leads the nation in rushing yards just ahead of Kenneth Walker III. Tucker ran for 207 yards and 1 touchdown in Cuse’s win against Boston College this past Saturday. With struggles at QB, Syracuse has increasingly relied on Tucker's dominant rushing attack to win games. No one pegged the Orange as a bowl team coming into this season and many had coach Dino Babers not lasting the year. Syracuse and Babers have Tucker to thank profusely for the turnaround.
4. Kenny Pickett (QB, Pitt) ↔️
Kenny Pickett threw 2 costly interceptions in Pitt’s shocking loss at home to Miami. Pickett did throw for 519 yards however, enough to keep him in the top 5. Keep in mind, Pickett has only thrown 3 total interceptions this season. His gamble in staying an extra year at Pitt has payed off tremendously as, not only is he likely to be a Heisman finalist, his draft stock has skyrocketed to potential 1st rounder. Pitt still controls their own destiny in the ACC and behind Pickett, the Panthers are likely to return to the ACC title game for their first appearance since a blowout loss against Clemson in 2018.
5. Brennan Armstrong (QB, Virginia) ↔️
Brennan Armstrong also didn’t have his best game on Saturday. The Cavaliers traveled west to play BYU in an absolute blitzkrieg of a game where Armstrong threw for 327 yards, 4 touchdowns and 2 picks. The interceptions are a bit concerning, but Armstrong does lead the nation in passing yards. The Cavalier's putrid defense may prove to be a ceiling on any Heisman hopes for Armstrong, a gunslinger reminiscent of Brett Favre. He does however have UVA in the hunt for a return to the ACC Championship for the first time since 2019.
Other players considered: Matt Corral, CJ Stroud, Bijan Robinson, Bailey Zappe