Mandel’s Heisman Top 5: Baylor, Stanford add new faces to race

My list actually got deeper this week. There are at least five more players I would have liked to include, but there was no doubt as to my top four.

1. LSU RB Leonard Fournette: On Saturday night, a running back averaging 204.4 yards per game met a Florida defense allowing just 99.2. The running back won, racking up another 180 yards and two touchdowns on 31 carries in the Tigers’ 35-28 win. One of those carries culminated with a vicious … umm … stiff arm?

2. TCU QB Trevone Boykin. Iowa State stood no shot of containing the fifth-year senior, who completed a career-best 27-of-32 (84.4 percent) for 436 yards and four touchdowns and surpassed 500 total yards for the third time this season.

3. Florida State RB Dalvin Cook. The ’Noles star continues to produce at a near-Fournette-like clip, notching 163 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries against Louisville. His 8.7-yards-per-carry average actually tops Fournette’s 8.0.

4. Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey. The Cardinal sophomore’s enormous performance Thursday night against UCLA vaulted himself on to the Heisman short list. His 369 all-purpose yards raised his season average to a national-best 253 per game.

5. Baylor WR Corey Coleman. It’s tough to choose between Bears quarterback Seth Russell and his top receiver, but Coleman is doing historic things. He’s already got 16 touchdowns in just six games, adding three (and 199 yards) against West Virginia.

Stewart Mandel is a senior college sports columnist for He covered college football and basketball for 15 years at Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter @slmandel and Facebook. Send emails and Mailbag questions to