College football is back, and that means Heisman Watch has begun. Throughout the season, writers will vote on their top Heisman Trophy candidates.

To get the final rankings, we use the following methodology: 10 voters, five votes each. Points system: five points for first-place votes, four points for second-place votes, three points for third-place votes, two points for fourth-place votes and one point for fifth-place votes.

Voters: Andrea Adelson, Edward Aschoff, Kyle Bonagura, Bill Connelly, Heather Dinich, David M. Hale, Chris Low, Ivan Maisel, Adam Rittenberg, Mark Schlabach

Total points: 39 (first-place votes: 6)

Notable: Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray and now Jalen Hurts? Sure, it’s been only one week, but the Alabama transfer had quite the debut for the Sooners on Sunday night in a 49-31 win over Houston, notching six touchdowns (three passing, three rushing) and throwing for a whopping 332 yards. It’s too early to say whether Hurts will be the third straight transfer QB to win the Heisman for Oklahoma, but so far, so good.

Quotable: “He’s waited a long time,” Hurts’ father, Averion Hurts, told ESPN’s Holly Rowe. “He’s back where … you could say he belongs.”



Travis Etienne runs for his third touchdown of the game as Clemson extends its lead.

Total points: 35 (first-place votes: 3)

Notable: Everyone keeps talking about Trevor Lawrence, and rightfully so, but Etienne may be just as important to the Tigers’ offense as their star QB. On Thursday night, the running back showed why, rushing for 205 yards on 12 carries and scoring three TDs. Per ESPN Stats & Info, since the start of last season, Clemson has averaged more yards per play on Etienne runs (8.6) than Lawrence throws (8.2).

Quotable: “I really don’t try to worry about who’s out there watching,” Etienne said. “I try to play the best for my team and just try to get to 1-0 every week and be there for my brothers.”

Total points: 27 (first-place votes: none)

Notable: Alabama started slow in the first half against Duke before hitting the gas pedal in the second half behind Tagovailoa, who threw for 336 yards and four touchdowns. Last year’s Heisman runner-up finished 26-for-31 over nearly three full quarters of play.

Quotable: “Tua played really well,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said. “He usually plays well when he’s patient and takes what the defense gives.”

Total points: 24 (first-place votes: 1)

Notable: Taylor has been putting up huge numbers ever since he stepped on campus two years ago (he led the nation in rushing last year), and his junior season started no differently. The Badgers running back scored four touchdowns — two rushing and two receiving — in UW’s blowout win over USF. His two rushing TDs were both over 35 yards.

Quotable: “You work all offseason like I did, and to have that receiving touchdown come to life, I’m really excited about that,” Taylor said. “It motivates you to see that hard work pay off.”



Justin Fields throws four touchdowns and runs in another in Ohio State’s rout of Florida Atlantic.

Total points: 10 (first-place votes: none)

Notable: Hurts wasn’t the only transfer quarterback who had a stellar debut with his new team. Fields, the Georgia transfer now suiting up for the Buckeyes, also got off to a hot start. The sophomore tossed a 98-yard TD pass for one of his four passing TDs on the day, and also rushed for a 51-yard touchdown against Florida Atlantic.

Quotable: “I think I did good overall,” Fields said. “Of course there’s always room to improve, but we just have to keep working as a unit and just keep getting better in all aspects of the game.”

Total points: 4 (first-place votes: none)

Notable: Lawrence didn’t exactly get off to the blazing start expected for him in Year 2 under center for the Tigers — throwing two picks on 23 attempts after just two on his final 351 attempts last season. But he still threw for 168 yards and a touchdown and rushed for another score.

Quotable: “It seems like he handled everything with such grace and humility instead of some of these guys you see come in as freshmen and are cocky a-holes. You have to be cocky and really good to lead like that and win like that, but you also have to be able to earn your teammates’ respect, and Trevor was able to walk that line. To make the throws he did as a true freshman, that’s remarkable.” — An SEC coach on Lawrence before the season

Total points: 4 (first-place votes: none)

Notable: The Tigers quarterback tied an LSU single-game record with five TD passes before halftime in a blowout win over Georgia Southern, finishing 23-for-27 for 278 yards in essentially one half of football. He helped LSU score 42 of its 55 points in the first half.

Quotable: “I wanted 60 tonight,” Burrow said. “We’ve definitely come out of the stone age.”

Total points: 2 (first-place votes: none)

Notable: Bulldogs quarterback Jake Fromm receives much of the attention in Athens, but Swift has shown to be just as important to No. 3 Georgia. Against Vandy, the star RB rushed for 149 yards on 16 carries, including one for 36 yards.

Quotable: “D’Andre Swift is one of the best playmakers in college football. Big, physical, can do it all. I think he’s going to have a sensational season.” — ESPN’s David Pollack before the season



After being anointed Mel Kiper’s No. 1 NFL draft prospect for 2020, Jerry Jeudy puts on a 10-catch clinic and scores in Alabama’s season-opening win.

Total points: 2 (first-place votes: none)

Notable: Jeudy could arguably be Tagovailoa’s top pass-catcher this season, and he showed it in Week 1, with 137 yards receiving and a touchdown — including an average of 13.7 yards per catch. He’s Mel Kiper’s No. 1 NFL draft prospect for 2020 for a reason, and he played a key role in Bama’s win over Duke on Saturday.

Quotable: “Jeudy can attack all three levels of Bama’s pro route tree with a silky-smooth style that leaves defenders in the dust. Play fast. That wins.” — ESPN’s Matt Bowen, before the season

Total points: 1 (first-place votes: none)

Notable: Here’s a name you may not have known, but should. In the first half of NDSU’s 57-10 win over Butler on Saturday, Lance threw for four touchdowns (and rushed for one) in the first half. His final stat line: 10-for-11 for 185 yards, four TDs and five rushes for 116 yards.

Quotable: “The Bison wouldn’t have become the dynasty of the Football Championship Subdivision if they couldn’t handle turnover, but losing both head coach Chris Klieman (to Kansas State) and quarterback Easton Stick (to the Los Angeles Chargers) was a lot. The debut for head coach Matt Entz and redshirt freshman quarterback Trey Lance, however, went about as well as anyone could have hoped.” — ESPN’s Bill Connelly

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