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Dr. Saturday

Heisman Watch Week 5: Quarterbacks get all the credit

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

College football is four weeks in, which means we have enough data to start thinking about legitimate Heisman contenders.

Every week, Dr. Saturday will name its five Heisman contenders in order with our favorite on top. As we saw last year, the list can change pretty quickly depending on the week. We're willing to say we had Matt Barkley high at the beginning of last year, but we'll also note we mentioned Johnny Manziel as a possible contender following last year's game against Louisiana Tech early in the season. And conference play will change everything.

This week, it's all about the quarterbacks.

[Watch: Gators lose Driskel; Backup generating Heisman buzz]

Not a ton of surprises here. These are guys many were talking about prior to the season and most have lived up to – and even exceeded – their billing. Make no mistake, there are a lot of good players not on this list, but that's because of their competition to this point. Once again, conference play will change things.

With that said, here's a look at how we see the Heisman race early in the 2013 season:

Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon


Mariota is one of two QBs on this list that don't have an INT yet (Clemson's Tajh Boyd is the other), but unlike his Heisman competition, Mariota is the only player on this list that played his very best against his best competition. He completed 71.8 percent of his passes for 456 yards and four touchdowns against Tennessee two weeks ago. It was arguably the best QB performance against a Big Six team this season.

Stats:

Comp %:
59.8
Yards:
889
TD:
7
INT:
0
Rush Yds.:
262
TD:
4

Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M


Manziel may have alienated many of his supporters with his off-field antics this past offseason, but there's no denying the kid has a special talent. His performance against 'Bama was one for the ages, even with the two INTs and a loss. He's showing people why he won the Heisman a year ago and why he'll be a frontrunner again this year.

Stats:

Comp %:
70
Yards:
1,228
TD:
12
INT:
4
Rush Yds.:
255
TD:
3

Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville


Bridgewater was the Heisman favorite coming into the season and so far, he's lived up to his billing. If there's one blemish, it might be his underwhelming performance against Kentucky. Unfortunately for him, that lackluster performance might cost him the bronze statue because the Cardinals don't have many formidable opponents remaining.

Stats:

Comp %:
71.8
Yards:
1,214
TD:
14
INT:
1
Rush Yds.:
36
TD:
0

Jameis Winston, QB, Florida St.


There were rumors Winston was the next big thing coming out of FSU, but no one could have predicted this. Winston is completing 78 percent of his passes and has just one INT to eight TDs, but the competition has been soft. The next three games against ACC foes – BC, Maryland and Clemson – will give us a better idea of whether Winston is the real deal or not.

Stats:

Comp %:
78.1
Yards:
718
TD:
8
INT:
1
Rush Yds.:
44
TD:
2

Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson


Boyd announced his Heisman presence in Clemson's season-opening win against Georgia and has done nothing to move off that list. However, he did have a shaky performance against N.C. State last week – it didn't show up in the box score, but was noticeable by everyone who watched that game. That might be a precursor as Clemson moves into the tougher part of its schedule.

Stats:

Comp %:
62.2
Yards:
683
TD:
6
INT:
0
Rush Yds.:
90
TD:
3

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