Social media is a menace. Not because it's leading to more division amongst people when it's supposed to bring us together. No, social media is a menace because it has brought forth an era where I don't get nearly as much free swag as I used to.
When I began covering this sport, there were legit Heisman Trophy campaigns, and I don't just mean the giant billboards featuring a contender's likeness. Writers like myself would receive free stuff from schools as part of the Heisman campaign in moves that essentially amounted to the schools bribing us for the vote. Nothing serious, but a cool gift that might lead you to remember their guy when it came time to vote for awards. I still have my bobblehead doll of Houston's Ed Oliver riding his horse. I love that thing.
Well, those days are gone. Now the Heisman wars are fought on social media. Things peaked this past Saturday with Jayden Daniels facing Georgia State and Bo Nix going against Arizona State. In one corner, you had the LSU/SEC mafia constantly tweeting about how amazing Daniels looked and posting his stats from the game, all of which included some form of the phrase, "How can this guy not win the Heisman!?" The one thing none of the tweets mentioned was that Daniels was playing Georgia State, however.
Then there were the Pac-12 types and SEC haters doing the same thing for Nix, but never mentioning he was facing a depleted Arizona State team. And it was having an impact! Others on social media get a kick out of posting photos of the constantly changing Heisman odds, which fluctuate every Saturday. Nix was the favorite for a while, then it was Daniels. Oh, now it's Nix again! Wait, it's still Daniels! And so on, and so forth.
Finally, there's me. The Heisman voter who can think for himself and won't be swayed by any of your pandering. I don't need your "help." I just want a cool bobblehead.
Jayden Daniels LSU Tigers QB
|I don't know who I'm voting for in the Heisman race, and even if I did, they'd take me out if I told you. Just because I don't know who I'm voting for, though, doesn't mean I don't have a pretty good idea of who will win. Unless Daniels has some awful game and the Tigers lose to Texas A&M, I have a hard time seeing anybody else beat him. There's plenty of talk about how quarterbacks usually win the award, but what isn't discussed nearly as often is that 14 of the last 16 Heisman winners have come from south of the Mason-Dixon Line. (Last Week: 1)
Bo Nix Oregon Ducks QB
|Nix climbs back up to No. 2 this week because that Heisman buzz is building, and with good reason. He finished with 411 total yards and six touchdowns against Arizona State. He's also got a huge rivalry game against Oregon State in a Friday night spotlight, and should the Ducks win, they'll get a rematch with Washington in the Pac-12 Championship Game. (5)
Carson Beck Georgia Bulldogs QB
|I still consider Beck a dark horse for the Heisman. He's been incredible for a while now, but Georgia's schedule is heavily backloaded. And while tearing Georgia Tech apart this week won't do much for his case (he's lost the general SEC lobbyists to Daniels already), a big performance against Alabama in Atlanta could give him a jolt. Regardless, I don't think a QB in the country has done more to improve his stock this season than Beck. (3)
Michael Penix Jr. Washington Huskies QB
|Penix didn't have incredible numbers in the win over Oregon State, but it's not his fault. His receivers were dropping a lot of balls in the wet, windy conditions of Reser Stadium, and it had a significant impact on his final numbers. He still finished with three total touchdowns and no interceptions as the Huskies remained undefeated and clinched a spot in the Pac-12 Championship Game. (4)
Jalen Milroe Alabama Crimson Tide QB
|Alabama had its pre-Iron Bowl bye against Chattanooga on Saturday, and Milroe got in plenty of cardio. He wasn't asked to do much but completed 13 of his 16 passes for 197 yards and three touchdowns. More importantly, he didn't get hurt. I wish we could say the same about Florida State's Jordan Travis. (3)
Frank Harris UTSA Roadrunners QB
|I don't know what the future holds for Harris, but if this was his final season of college football, I want him to know that I've enjoyed his career immensely. He played like a man who didn't expect to play in front of the home crowd again last week, going off for 523 total yards and six total touchdowns in a destruction of South Florida. (Not Ranked)
Brady Cook Missouri Tigers QB
|Cook doesn't get nearly enough respect! When people talk about the Missouri offense, they mention Luther Burden and now Cody Schrader, with good reason. But Cook has played an enormous role in Missouri's season to this point as well and delivered some big-time throws to get the Tigers in position for a game-winning field goal against the Gators. (NR)
Sam Hartman Notre Dame Fighting Irish QB
|Listen, there's no science to these rankings; the only rules are you have to have won your last game, and you have to be healthy. Everything else is primarily vibes and doing cool stuff. Revenge games are cool. Hartman went for 277 yards and four total touchdowns in a win against Wake Forest, and Notre Dame playing a highlight montage to Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" was a nice touch. (NR)
J.J. McCarthy Michigan Wolverines QB
|McCarthy's performance against Penn State wasn't rough despite being painted as such by people who Don't Know Ball. His performance against Maryland, however, was pretty rough. Still, I'm not dropping him out of the rankings entirely. The Wolverines were down two offensive linemen in the game, and leading receiver Roman Wilson was hurt early in the contest. All that said, the vibes aren't as positive heading into the Ohio State game as Michigan would like them to be. (6)
Diego Pavia New Mexico State Aggies QB
|Listen, not only did Diego Pavia and New Mexico State go into Jordan-Hare Stadium and beat Auburn 31-10, but Pavia bodyslammed a guy! You think I'm not going to rank him after doing that? He could've finished with -100 yards and five interceptions, but as long as the Aggies won and he bodyslammed a guy, he'd be here. Plus, you know, he finished with 236 yards and three touchdowns, which is better than -100 yards and five interceptions. (NR)
Honorable Mention: Anthony Colandrea, Virginia; Dillon Gabriel, Oklahoma; Jayden Maiava, UNLV; Kaidon Salter, Liberty; Jordan Travis, Florida State