Heisman hopefuls: You can't win the Heisman in September


Heisman hopefuls: You can't win the Heisman in September

One month into the college football season, there's no debate over who the Heisman front runner is. Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson has put the country on notice with a dazzling display.

In five games, Jackson has a whopping 28 touchdowns. That ties him for 9th in the nation in touchdowns...among FBS schools. Yes, Jackson has more touchdowns by himself than 116 FBS schools. That's impressive.


It doesn't matter that Jackson lost on Saturday at Clemson because he had another phenomenal game and outplayed Clemson quarterback and fellow Heisman contender Deshaun Watson. Watson completed 20 of 31 passes for 306 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions and rushed for another 91 yards and a fumble. Jackson completed 27 of 44 passes for 295 yards, one touchdown, one interception and rushed for 162 yards and two touchdowns. He brought the Cardinals within six points of the tying the Tigers in Death Valley at night, one of toughest places in the nation to play. You can't help but be impressed with Jackson's effort despite the fact that it came in a loss.

But as the saying goes, you can't win the Heisman in September.

Leonard Fournette had the Heisman won last September but was not even among the finalists at the end of the season. Remember Denard Robinson and Geno Smith?

There's still plenty of football left to play and Jackson needs to continue his current level of play or he will be just another player who peaked too soon and faded over the course of the season.

Who could rise to challenge Jackson for the Heisman? Find out here in this week's Heisman hopefuls.

Virginia stays at No. 1, Middle Tennessee enters Top 25 for first time ever


Virginia stays at No. 1, Middle Tennessee enters Top 25 for first time ever

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Virginia strengthened its hold on No. 1 in the AP Top 25 while Duke jumped back into the top five after a pair of impressive wins.

The Cavaliers earned 42 of 65 first-place votes in the poll released Monday. That's 12 more than last week when they reached No. 1 for the first time since the Ralph Sampson era.

The top four remained unchanged, with No. 2 Michigan State earning 19 first-place votes after rallying from 27 down to beat Northwestern. Third-ranked Villanova got the other four first-place votes after winning at No. 4 Xavier.

Fifth-ranked Duke jumped seven spots after beating Virginia Tech and Clemson despite playing without injured top freshman Marvin Bagley III.

Middle Tennessee checked in at 24th, marking its first AP Top 25 appearance in program history.

Complete AP Top 25 Poll for Week 16:

1. Virginia (42)
2. Michigan State (19)
3. Villanova (4)
4. Xavier
5. Duke
6. Texas Tech
7. Gonzaga
8. Kansas
9. Purdue
10. North Carolina
11. Cincinnati
12. Auburn
13. Wichita State
14. Arizona
15. Clemson
16. Ohio State
17. Michigan
18. Rhode Island
19. Tennessee
20. Nevada
21. West Virginia
22. Saint Mary's (CA)
23. Houston
24. Middle Tennessee
25. Florida State

NBC Sports Washington contributed to this report.

Georgetown snaps 4-game road losing streak, tops Butler

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Georgetown snaps 4-game road losing streak, tops Butler

INDIANAPOLIS -- Marcus Derrickson tied a career-high with 27 points, on 11-of-13 shooting, for his eighth 20-plus point game this season and Georgetown beat Butler 87-83 on Tuesday night.

After Georgetown missed two free throws, Kamar Baldwin made a scoop shot in the lane and Sean McDermott stole the inbounds pass, leading to another Baldwin basket to pull Butler to 84-81 with 1:29 to go.

Butler had a chance to tie it in the closing seconds, but Baldwin's long 3-pointer was short and Jahvon Blair sealed it at the line at 4.5.

Jessie Govan had his 12th double-double of the season with 17 points and 12 rebounds for Georgetown (15-10, 5-9 Big East). Trey Dickerson, a senior averaging 3.5 points per game, set a career-high in the first half with 12 points and finished with 18.

Kelan Martin had 22 points and eight rebounds to reach 20 points for the 17th time this season for Butler (17-10, 7-7). Tyler Wideman added 19 points and Baldwin had 16 points, six rebounds and seven assists.

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