It’s finally here. The Heisman Trophy will be awarded this weekend to the most outstanding player in college football. We know who’s going to New York, but we don’t yet know who will hoist the award. Four players will be there, and three have a legitimate case to win the award. This year’s Heisman promises to be one of the closest in modern memory, harkening back to 2009 between Mark Ingram and Toby Gerhardt or 1985 between Bo Jackson and Chuck Long. But come Saturday night, there can be only one. Here’s how our voters see it happening in Heisman Rankings Week Fourteen.

2023 LWOCFB Heisman Rankings Week Fourteen

Like the Heisman voters, our poll voters have submitted their final ballots. Championship Week made a little bit of difference, but like with the CFP, wins, losses, and championships weren’t the deciding factor here. Here’s how we stand in our final poll. 

Here are the top five Heisman Rankings Week Fourteen from our panel of 16 voters.

1. Jayden Daniels, LSU (64) [Previous: T1 (69)]

LSU’s Jayden Daniels used a week without a game to leapfrog Bo Nix and hold off Michael Penix, Jr. to take sole possession of our Heisman poll this week. Daniels’ numbers for this season are truly impressive. The Tigers signal caller leads the nation in passer rating (208.01), is tied for the nation’s lead in passing touchdowns (40), is third nationally in passing yards (3,812), and seventh nationally in completion percentage (72.2%). Daniels also led the nation in total touchdowns with 50, which ranks 26th all-time in college football. 

Daniels’ case is strong, but not air-tight. With LSU’s French Army defense, the Tigers had to rely on a heavy dose of passing offense for the entire season. And LSU’s three losses are 50% more than Nix and Penix’s combined losses. While the Heisman isn’t a team award, when the race is this close, the ability of the player to get his team from 9-3 to 12-0 could be a deciding factor.

2. Michael Penix, Jr., Washington (48) [Previous: 3 (46)]

Michael Penix, Jr.‘s Huskies capped off an undefeated regular season with a second thrilling win against Oregon — a team that came in as a 9- to 10-point favorite and was considered by most as the hottest team in the nation. Penix didn’t put up gaudy numbers against the tough Oregon defense, going 27-for-39 with 319 passing yards and one passing touchdown, but Penix was clutch all game and especially late in the fourth quarter to seal the game.

Penix finishes the regular season as the nation’s leader in total passing yards (4,218) and third in passing touchdowns (33). He did this on a complete team, with a solid rushing game and a good defense. He led the team to a Conference championship and a CFP berth.

Penix also has a great story to go along with his candidacy. A college journeyman who has battled through numerous injuries, his path to Manhattan was far more toil and sweat than glitz and glamour. In the era of Money Manziel and and brash personalities like Baker Mayfield, the Heisman might be looking for a blue-collar story to hitch itself to for a year.

3. Bo Nix, Oregon (46) [Previous: T1 (69)]

Oregon’s Bo Nix had the pole position for the sport’s biggest award and couldn’t quite close the deal on Saturday. Nix made some outstanding plays in the Ducks 34-31 loss to Oregon, but in the end, lost the dual with Penix and his Huskies. The disappointment on the Oregon sideline was palpable. Everything slipped away — a Heisman, a championship, and a CFP berth. 

Nix finishes the season as the national leader, and second all-time, in completion percentage at 77.2%. He was also tied for the national lead in passing touchdowns (40) and second nationally with 4,145 passing yards and a 186.24 passer rating. Nix’s invitation to New York is well deserved. And in any other season, he might be the overwhelming favorite. His numbers are still good enough to win, but it looks like the head-to-head against Penix might doom his candidacy.

4. Jalen Milroe, Alabama (22) [Previous: 5 (16)]

The CFP Committee clearly isn’t the only esteemed deliberative body that is sweet on the Crimson Tide. After Jalen Milroe led an effective rushing effort to a big win over Georgia’s Carson Beck and the Bulldogs, Milroe passed up Heisman finalist Marvin Harrison, Jr. for fourth spot in our final poll.

Without a doubt, leading a team to an SEC Championship is worthy of praise. But let’s not forget that Milroe was benched earlier this season, was held in check by Auburn just two weeks ago, and needed a non-review to win last Saturday. Just like the Committee, again, Milroe’s case seems to be weighted very heavily on the last week of the season. For the season, Milroe was 27th nationally in completion percentage (65.5%), 41st nationally in passing yards (2,718), and 25th in passing touchdowns with 23.

5. Marvin Harrison, Jr., Ohio State (8) [Previous: 4 (17)]

Marvin Harrison, Jr. earned a trip to New York based on his 14 receiving touchdowns (second nationally) and 1,211 receiving yards (ninth nationally) this season. While his numbers aren’t eye-popping, he passes the eye test with flying colors. Ohio State’s offense sputtered (by their standards) for most of the season, with injury plaguing the running game and inconsistency hampering the passing game. Harrison was the one bright spot on an otherwise disappointing Buckeyes offense. 

Others Receiving Heisman Rankings Week Fourteen Votes:

Malik Nabors, LSU (6), Quinn Ewers, Texas (5), Blake Corum, Michigan (2), Carson Beck, Georgia (2), Ollie Gordon, Oklahoma State (1), Jordan Travis, FSU (1)

 

Photo courtesy: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Akash Mahi, a dedicated enthusiast of the game, is a recognized expert in the domain of tennis balls. With a keen understanding of materials and aerodynamics, he has contributed to the evolution of tennis ball design, enhancing playability and performance. Mahi's expertise continues to impact both casual players and professionals alike.