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College football Week 10 QB rankings: Oklahoma's Caleb Williams should get Heisman consideration

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The ACC will not send a team to the College Football Playoff. Clemson has fallen off the map. North Carolina has been revealed as one of the nation's most overhyped teams.

Only three teams are ranked in this week's USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaches Poll, and it's not who you might expect: No. 13 Wake Forest, No. 19 North Carolina State and No. 22 Pittsburgh.

What the league does have, however, is elite quarterback play. Four of the 20 semifinalists for the Davey O'Brien Award, given to the nation's best at the position, hail from the ACC. Five rank in the top 20 nationally in touchdown passes.

While the best single quarterback in the country resides elsewhere, the ACC can point to this class of passers as one positive amid an otherwise down season. The conference has four players on this week's list of the 10 best quarterbacks in the country:

1. Bryce Young, Alabama

Young completed 24 of 37 passes for 302 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in Alabama's too-close-for-comfort win against LSU. That gives him 10 touchdowns without a pick since the Crimson Tide's loss to Texas A&M, giving Young a significant edge among quarterbacks for the Heisman Trophy. As of today, his biggest competition is Michigan State running back Kenneth Walker III.

2. Caleb Williams, Oklahoma

Oklahoma quarterback Caleb Williams (13) celebrates with wide receiver Jadon Haselwood (11) after scoring a touchdown against Kansas at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.
Oklahoma quarterback Caleb Williams (13) celebrates with wide receiver Jadon Haselwood (11) after scoring a touchdown against Kansas at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.

Is Williams a legitimate contender for the Heisman? He's maintained Oklahoma's perfect record since taking over as the starter and has Heisman-worthy moments, including his long touchdown run against Texas and the remarkable fourth-down conversion against Kansas. However, Williams will have made only seven starts by the time finalists are announced in early December.

3. C.J. Stroud, Ohio State

Stroud had his worst start of the Big Ten season against a Nebraska defense that found a way to slow down the league's top offense. But this is what passes for Stroud's worst start: 405 passing yards with two touchdowns and two picks while completing two-thirds of his attempts. He's set a high bar since early October.

4. Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh

After turning the ball over twice in a bad loss to Miami (Fla.), Pickett bounced back with 416 yards and three scores as the Panthers rolled past overmatched Duke. The senior now ranks third among Power Five quarterbacks in yards, eighth in yards per attempt and first in touchdowns (29).

5. Matt Corral, Ole Miss

Corral had his best game as a passer in weeks to lead the Rebels past Liberty, hitting on 20 of his 27 attempts for 324 yards and a touchdown on 12 yards per pass. That's the most yards he's thrown for in a game since going for 335 against Tulane in September and his second-best performance this season by yards per attempt, trailing only the 13.7 yards he averaged against Arkansas just over a month ago.

6. Sam Hartman, Wake Forest

Sam Hartman tied his season high with five TD passes in a loss at North Carolina.
Sam Hartman tied his season high with five TD passes in a loss at North Carolina.

Wake Forest lost a shootout to North Carolina and will no longer be a real factor for the College Football Playoff, though an ACC championship and New Year's Six bid remain very much in reach. Hartman did throw for five touchdowns, tying his season high, but tossed a pair of interceptions and completed just 25 of his 51 throws, his first time completing under 50% of his attempts since a loss to Louisville last December.

7. Grayson McCall, Coastal Carolina

McCall sat out Saturday's win against Georgia Southern and is out indefinitely with an upper-body injury that could cost him the rest of the season, Coastal Carolina coach Jamey Chadwell said on Monday. He currently leads the FBS with an efficiency rating (216.1) that would break the current single-season record, set last year by Alabama's Mac Jones (203.1), but would not be eligible for the NCAA record book if he doesn't play again this season. To qualify, a quarterback must make at least 14 attempts per team game. At 158 attempts, McCall would average 12.2 throws per game if the Chanticleers reach the postseason but don't play for the Sun Belt title.

8. Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati

Close games against Navy, Tulane and Tulsa have damaged Cincinnati's credibility with the playoff selection committee and basically extinguished any hope he had of competing for the Heisman. The most important stat is this: After leading the Bearcats past the Golden Hurricane, Ridder is one of just five quarterbacks in FBS history to win 40 or more games as a starter.

9. Devin Leary, North Carolina State

The most overlooked passer in the deep ACC, Leary has been rolling since the second half of September, with 22 touchdowns against just one interception following an ugly loss to Mississippi State on Sept. 11. This run has put the Wolfpack in position to win the Coastal and reach the New Year's Six. With a win against Clemson already in hand, N.C. State's shot at the division comes down to Saturday night's game at Wake Forest.

10. Sam Howell, North Carolina

Howell has worked to remake his body and become a weapon as a runner. That's paid off for UNC, which lost a pair of 1,000-yard runners after last season but has leaned on the junior quarterback to pick up the slack. After gaining a combined 179 yards on 186 carries as a freshman and sophomore, Howell has run for 700 yards and eight scores on 124 carries. He ranks sixth in the ACC in rushing and first among quarterbacks.

Follow colleges reporter Paul Myerberg on Twitter @PaulMyerberg

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: College football: Oklahoma's Caleb Williams makes his case for Heisman