Last week, as I got off from bartending at my uppity hotel bar in the hipster part of Des Moines, Iowa called East Village, I found myself in one of my favorite institutions to grab a drink after work. It’s a nice little German joint called Hessen Haus and it’s located in an old train station which gives it a genuine, gritty vibe. That night was filled with several pleasant surprises:

The first was finding out the bar had an organic chocolate stout that I have really been into lately.

The second was looking up at the television and seeing Bryce Love break off a long run against the Huskies.

It was nice to see Love doing his thing once again. He was on such a historic pace that I was finding myself becoming a pseudo-fan and hoping he could continue his pace, no matter the improbability.

At least for that night, all felt right again.

(That chocolate stout was BOMB.)

1 – Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma, QB

Mayfield’s matchup with ranked TCU was, to me, his final test towards hoisting the Heisman Trophy. Once the final whistle blew, the Sooners had rolled over the Horned Frogs due to another textbook Mayfield performance. He was his usual efficient, productive self as he completed 18-of-27 passes for 333 yards and three scoring tosses with zero interceptions. He added 11 carries for an additional 50 yards on the ground.

2 – Bryce Love, Stanford, RB

For the love of….Love, the Stanford workhorse looked like himself again as he toted the rock a hefty 30 times against #9 ranked Washington. Love turned all those chances into 166 yards and three touchdowns in what turned out to be a blowout of their Pac 12 rival.

Even after missing a game and a poor performance last week, Love still leads the nation in rushing yards with 1,622 yards, just 20 yards ahead of San Diego State’s Rashaad Penny.

3 – Khalil Tate, Arizona, QB

In his latest game against Oregon State, Tate only needed to throw the ball seven times as Arizona dominated the Beavers 49-28. Of those seven passes, Tate completed five of them for 68 yards and an interception. I know what you’re probably thinking, “How did they win by so much if he only threw seven passes?” Well, they did it by letting Tate perform his crazy good, vintage Mike Vick impersonation.

With only 16 total carries, Tate scooted for a whopping 206 yards  to go along with two touchdowns. That’s an insane 12.8 yards per clip. On the year, Tate is averaging 11.6 yards per carry, a full two yards ahead of the next guy (Malcolm Perry, Navy).

4 – Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin, RB

Although he didn’t record a score, Taylor grinded out a gutsy performance against an Iowa defense that had found it’s stride over the last several weeks.

Taylor took it to the Hawkeyes 29 times for a very healthy 157 yards, which keeps his season YPC at 7.0 on the dot. His one dozen touchdowns on the year aren’t too shabby, either.

5 – Saquon Barkley, Penn State, RB

It finally happened. I couldn’t let his early season work cloud my judgement anymore. After another poor performance against a lowly opponent, Barkley doesn’t have much to stand on in terms of Heisman resume. He has been in the middle of some of the more memorable Heisman moments, yes, but those seem like ancient history now.

Against unranked Rutgers, Barkley scored a pair of touchdowns but mustered just 35 yards on 14 carries. He added a single reception for 20 more yards, as well.

If Barkley doesn’t end his 2017 season on a good note, he may not even make the trip to New York. Who would have seen that one coming?

About The Author Michael Peterson

Michael Peterson is an irrational Chargers fan from the heart of the Midwest who is numb to laughter he often receives for admitting that. He spent a year playing tight end and punter at FCS Drake University, before finishing out at the University of Iowa this past December. After hanging up the cleats, Michael has used fantasy football and writing as a means to focus his undying love of the sport.