An annual rite of late August: picking a field of Heisman Trophy hopefuls. Otherwise known around the office as Chip’s chance to look really, really dumb by omitting the eventual winner. Heck, my list last preseason didn’t include even one of the top SEVEN finishers in voting. Deterred? Pfft.
My list of five Heisman candidates this season is 100 percent can’t-miss (bet at your own risk, just in case):
Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
Finished second in Heisman voting last season after setting an FBS record for all-purpose yards in a season (3,864). He carries, catches, returns and even passes the ball. Expects his role to grow this season. Yikes.
Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
Another logical Heisman favorite after finishing third last season. He became first player in FBS history to amass 4,000 yards passing and 1,000 yards rushing in a season.
Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
He’s a physically imposing running back at 230 pounds. Led the nation in rushing last season and nearly topped 2,000 yards (1,953) with 22 touchdowns. Needs to shine in big games — hello, Alabama — to bolster his case.
Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
Overshadowed somewhat by Fournette, but Cook has a strong argument for nation’s best running back. He set a school record for rushing yards last season (1,691) and should put up glitzy numbers again on a team talented enough to win the national championship.
Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
He led the Sooners to the College Football Playoff semifinals in his first season as a starter, throwing 36 touchdown passes and only seven interceptions. He makes highlights by keeping plays alive with his scrambling.