The Heisman is Marcus Mariota’s to Lose


Sometimes it’s hard to remember that not everyone gets to see Marcus Mariota play for their college team when they go to home games. I know that may seem obvious but honestly, all Duck fans are spoiled. Mariota is a rare talent whom the Ducks have ridden to what will hopefully be a birth in the first ever College Football Playoff. He’s not just good, he’s the best. So, when discussing the issue of college football’s best player, of course Mariota is the first name that comes to mind. With that said, here’s a look at how the other top three candidates for the Heisman Trophy this year stack up against the Flyin’ Hawaiian.

Marcus Mariota, Oregon:

Marcus Mariota is literally running away with the Heisman race this season.

Craig Strobeck

Marcus Mariota is literally running away with the Heisman race this season.

Since the standard for college football excellence is on the offensive side of the ball, Mariota’s dual threat ability helps lead the single most potent offense of all of college teams. His season totals through ten games are ridiculous with 29 passing touchdowns, eight rushing touchdowns, an average of 10 yards per throw and an FBS leading 184.6 passer rating. To be fair, the man does have flaws. I mean he’s thrown two interceptions for God’s sake! Absolutely unacceptable.

Best (at Washington State): 387 total yds, 84% completions, five TD, zero int

Worst (vs. Arizona): 276 yds, 63% completions, two TD, zero int

Dak Prescott, Mississippi State

To be fair, almost any other year Prescott would win the Heisman. Another true dual threat QB, the MSU standout has led the Bulldogs to an undefeated record including huge wins over Auburn, Texas A&M and LSU. Prescott leads a balanced Bulldog offense, throwing for 18 touchdowns thus far as well as sharing the team lead with 11 rushing scores. Although Prescott’s numbers don’t quite match those of Mariota, the fact that his team is undefeated is a huge plus. However, this week his team plays Alabama in what will no doubt be one of the biggest games of the entire CFB season. Prescott’s Heisman status, as well as his team’s playoff status, hinge on this Saturday’s critical matchup.

Best (vs. Texas A&M): 345 total yards, 77% completions, five total TD, zero int

Worst (vs. Arkansas): 392 total yards, 67% completions, one TD, two int

Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin:

Melvin Gordon is making a strong case to be the first RB Heisman winner since 2009.

Melvin Gordon is making a strong case to be the first RB Heisman winner since 2009.

The last non-QB Heisman winner was Mark Ingram in 2009, the only one in the last ten years, so the odds are stacked against Gordon. Don’t tell the Wisconsin stud that, however, as the junior is absolutely putting on a show this year. Gordon leads all FBS with 1501 yards and he’s second behind Jarvion Franklin with 19 touchdowns.

That number is a little skewed as Franklin has 44 more carries than Gordon on the season. Gordon is only 150 yards behind Ingram’s yardage total in 2009, and he’s already passed his touchdown mark with two games still left. So, if there were a year where a RB deserved the Heisman over a QB, this would probably be it.

Best (vs. Bowling Green): 258 total yards, 20 yards per carry, five TD

Worst (vs. Western Illinois): 60 total yards, 2.2 yards per carry, zero TD

Amari Cooper, Alabama

Again, non-QB Heisman winners are a rarity, especially WR candidates, but boy is Cooper making a name for himself. Among receivers with at least 60 receptions, Cooper is in the top five statistically in yards, yards per catch, touchdowns and receptions. This consensus best receiver in the nation and a likely top 10 pick in the NFL Draft is even more impressive than his numbers say. He has topped 130 yards six times so far this season and he leads Alabama with a ridiculous 52% of the team’s receptions. Barring some unforeseen tragedy, the Heisman will most likely not be Cooper’s though the junior is certainly turning some heads.

Best (vs. Florida): 10 receptions, 201 yards, 20 yards per catch, three TD

Worst (at. Arkansas): two receptions, 22 yards, 11 yards per catch, zero TD

Top photo from

Print Friendly

 Volunteer Position Openings:

--Media Management/Supervisor:  We are looking for someone beyond college age who can help manage students and mentor in a number of different departments. Expertise is not required as organizational skills and interest in guiding others.   --Assistant Football Analyst: Love college football and enjoy watching it for hours? We need associates to view games and find the techniques/teaching points we identify for them in advance.  You will be recognized in publications, and could have the opportunity to move to full Analyst.   --College Football Analyst: We are looking for Coaches, or retired coaches to help create analysis videos (we do the video part) that will be viewed by thousands, and will help young football players as well as fans understand the game much better. The national recognition will help your resume' as well as make an impact upon the game we all dearly love.   --Video Specialist: We are looking for help in the Eugene/Springfield area to assist with the shooting and editing of analysis videos.   All Positions: Send a resume' with full contact information and any writing samples you have to  Again, these are volunteer positions donating five hours a week each.

Caleb Couturie

Caleb Couturie

Caleb is a sophomore at the University of Oregon intending to double major in Journalism and Sports Management. He is the Managing Editor for, along with being a lifetime Saints and San Francisco Giants fan, as Caleb fell in love with sports at a young age and developed that love into a passion for sports analysis. He is looking forward to cheering on the Ducks throughout his career at Oregon, and is always willing to talk sports with any fellow fan.

  • Bigballzchipper

    I’m sorry but you have made a HUGE mistake in your article specifically in the heading. Mariota is Heismen’s to lose! Mariota is THE EMBODIMENT of the Heismen! If Mariota does not save the Heismen, and retore it’s integrity nothing will. No my friend Mariota does not need or deserves the Heismen, but the Heismen deserves Mariota it NEEDS Mariota period!

    • Quack


      • Bigballzchipper

        Thank you.

        • Bigballzchipper

          Also before anyone mentions it “restore”

    • FishDuck

      Amen Bigball….the Heisman DOES need Marcus. Our Editor-in-Chief and Monday Op-Ed Writer, Mike Merrell wrote precisely that a few months ago.

  • Caleb

    I could not agree more. Not only is Mariota the best player in CFB (by far), but he’s modest, has no off the field issues, and works incredibly well with the coaching staff and younger players. Could not ask for a more deserving guy to win the award, and I think you’re assessment is spot on.


    I really HATE this award for what it portrays and it should be given to the player that is obviously the BEST on the field but also off and Winston should not of received the Trophy last year just on the ” ALLEGED RAPE ACCUSATIONS ” and Marcus should of been no worse than 2nd last year as in should of been invited regardless because you could make a case He was the BEST Player last year and lets put it this way does anyone think Johnny Football with 4 losses and 13 picks was better than Marcus last year No need to answer we call know this as a NO BRAINER and the problem with the SEC is they as in the Rankings give Teams like Alabama higher consideration for what they did the year before as in Manziel for the Heisman last year which makes the Trophy a JOKE because it’s not really about the Trophy because if they actually picked the right player for what the award portrays then Winston would of been disqualified just because of the ALLEGATIONS. As far as this year I’m sure we’d all agree that we’d much rather see Oregon win a Title than a Heisman but both would be great because Marcus would certainly qualify as 1 of the BEST to ever receive it as in he would also be a player that probably goes onto the next Level and succeeds where a lot of the others have not and Johnny Manziel will not ever be a successful QB in the NFL and some people may argue that but I’d put a BET against anybody that he doesn’t. Go Ducks and thank God this Coaching staff doesn’t let this team even think about this award because they teach Team not individual because lets be honest it takes great players around the player thats chosen for it as in Team. Go Ducks WTN because lets all be honest this Team or all of Oregon’s deserves to win it all next year because hasn’t this Football Team been Snake Bit enough.