Without question, Jalen Hurts has been a revelation under Lincoln Riley.
If it was an unknown at the controls of Oklahoma's offense, it would be easy to see a backlash crediting the system and not the player for another sizzling start by a Sooners quarterback. But Hurts, a known commodity before he transferred thanks to those three years and a national championship at Alabama, has looked the perfect fit in Norman.
Riley is taking advantage of his strengths in the intermediate passing game, with Hurts hitting 82.9 percent of his passes, tied with USC's Kedon Slovis for the national lead.
When he was in Tuscaloosa, Hurts never had higher than a 60.4 completion percentage in his years as a starter and averaged no better than 248.9 yards of offense a game.
The past two weeks, Hurts keeps reciting the "we've just got to do things better" credo, but through two games, he has a better completion percentage, more yards (814) and touchdowns (nine) than the last two guys who won the Heisman. He should put on another show this weekend vs. struggling UCLA.
If the first two weeks are any indication, Hurts is going to give the program a chance at an unprecedented third straight trophy on the heels of Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray.
At a minimum, if Hurts keeps this up and reaches New York, he could also give the Sooners another piece of Heisman history. They are currently tied with BYU (1983-85), Miami (1984-86) and Stanford (2009-11) with a finalist in three straight years.
Before we look at who is going to rise and fall in the race this week, here's a look at the Forecaster's virtual ballot after two weeks of play.
1. Joe Burrow, LSU QB 2. Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma QB 3. Tua Tagaovailoa, Alabama QB
Kevin JairajKevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
ON THE RISE: Joe Burrow, LSU QB
Everyone's now trying to outdo LSU's Joe Burrow, who took over against Texas in Austin at the controls of this reimagined Tigers offense. LSU shouldn't get tested until they face Florida -- another potential top-10 opponent -- until mid-October and Burrow has become an intriguing contender with staying power. The SEC hasn't produced a QB from outside of Tuscaloosa that has finished in the top five since Texas A&m's Johnny Manziel in 2013 and Burrow is trending in the right direction.
Scott WachterScott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports
ON THE RISE: Justin Fields, Ohio State QB
Imagine a Heisman ceremony with Burrow, Hurts and Fields, all of them products of the Transfer Portal. It's not that far from reality as Fields has nine touchdowns through two games, tied with Dwayne Haskins (2018) and J.T. Barrett (2016) for the most by an Ohio State QB in the last 15 years. This week's opponent, 2-0 Indiana, is 27th in total defense, but that's after blanking Eastern Illinois. They also yielded 398 yards to Ball State in the opener, and that's the figure we should zero in on as the Buckeyes are in for a field(s) day in Bloomington.
Joseph MaioranaJoe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports
ON THE RISE: Trevor Lawrence, Clemson QB
Is this the weekend the breakout performance finally happens? Lawerence is one of the odds-makers' biggest darlings in this race because of what happened last year and Clemson's perch atop the rankings ... but thus far he hasn't produced the numbers of a Heisman winner at 61st in passing yards per game (218.0) and he his two TD passes are nine off the pace shared by Burrow, Washington State's Anthony Gordon and Purdue's Elijah Sindelar. Syracuse and its 103rd-ranked pass defense, which is giving yup 267.0 ypg would seem the perfect opportunity for Lawrence's passing figures to start meeting the hype.
Joshua S. KellyJoshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports
FALL GUY: J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State RB
This has less to do with Dobbins -- who is coming off a spectacular 141-yard, two-TD day vs. Cincinnati on just 17 carries -- and more to do with his QB, Justin Fields, joining the very short list of legit contenders. All that being said, Dobbins is on pace for 1,508 yards, which would make him just the eight Buckeyes running back to hit the 1,500-yard mark.
Joseph MaioranaJoe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports
FALL GUY: Feleipe Franks, Florida QB
Franks was benched against Kentucky in 2017 and last year, he and the Gators suffered a loss against the Wildcats that was Florida's first in the series since 1986 and the the first in Gainesville since 1979. He should have success against an inexperienced Kentucky secondary, but he's also last among SEC starting QBs in interception rate. Franks is coming off a strong performance vs. UT-Martin, but consistency is needed before he gains real support in this race.
Kim KlementKim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
FALL GUY: D’Eriq King, Houston QB
Houston's D’Eriq King hasn't exactly been lighting it up in his first two games in Dana Holgorsen's Air Raid offense, with a 118.1 efficiency rating and a 54.7 completion percentage. A year ago, King was hitting 63.5 percent of his passes and sat seventh in FBS in efficiency (167.0), the highest-rated QB outside of the Power 5. With Air Raid master Mike Leach and Co. heading to Texas, King is likely to be outdueled by Leach's latest prolific passer in Gordon.