EAST LANSING, MICHIGAN - OCTOBER 21: J.J. McCarthy #9 of the Michigan Wolverines looks to make a play downfield during the first half of a college football game against the Michigan State Spartans at Spartan Stadium on October 21, 2023 in East Lansing, Michigan.
Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images

Heisman Trophy Rankings After Week 8

There's been another shakeup in the Heisman Trophy race after college football chaos in Week 8. Two top 10 teams lost, while Heisman hopefuls struggled to put away opponents. Is there a new frontrunner for the coveted award?

1. J.J. McCarthy (Michigan)

The Wolverines' signal-caller took advantage of a poor showing by other Heisman candidates. J.J. McCarthy and Michigan had no trouble putting away in-state rival Michigan State, winning 49-0. McCarthy threw for 287 yards and four touchdowns, elevating his season total to 1,799 yards and 18 touchdowns through the air and 168 yards and three scores on the ground.

The Wolverines are in hot water amid sign-stealing allegations; but their next game, at home against Purdue might, get the sour taste out of their mouth.

2. Michael Penix Jr. (Washington)

Just when it looked as if Michael Penix Jr. was pulling away for the Heisman Trophy, the Washington Huskies struggled with Arizona State at home, squeaking out an ugly 15-7 win in what was by far their lowest-scoring game of the season.

Penix had 275 yards passing in the game, bringing his season total to 2,576 yards. He did not throw a touchdown but did throw two picks in the win, leaving his touchdown total at 20. Penix leads the nation in passing yards and is still in the top 5 in touchdown passes, so a couple of "get right" games should restore his confidence.

3. Jayden Daniels (LSU)

Tigers signal-caller Jayden Daniels scored four touchdowns in LSU's 62-0 win over Army on Saturday. He also threw for 279 yards and added another six on the ground. Daniels is second in the country in passing yards with 2,573 and first in the nation in passing touchdowns with 25. Daniels also has 521 yards and five touchdowns on the ground, making him a true dual-threat quarterback.

The Tigers have a bye week this week, but Daniels has a big test Nov. 4 when LSU travels to Tuscaloosa to take on the Alabama Crimson Tide. A victory over Alabama could propel Daniels into the upper echelon of this year's Heisman candidates.

4. Jordan Travis (Florida State)

The Seminoles were in a tough battle Saturday, trailing the Duke Blue Devils 20-17 heading into the fourth quarter. Heisman winners step up in the biggest moments, and Jordan Travis did just that in prime time at home against a ranked team, scoring two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to lead the Seminoles to a 38-20 win.

Travis accounted for 268 yards and two touchdowns through the air, and also led Florida State on the ground with 62 yards and a score. Travis' season total now sits at 1,750 yards and 15 touchdowns through the air and 176 yards and five touchdowns on the ground. Florida State still has some tough opponents ahead, with the Miami Hurricanes and the Florida Gators rivalry games still to come.

5. Dillon Gabriel (Oklahoma)

Dillon Gabriel and the Sooners were on upset watch for most of their game against the University of Central Florida, going ahead in the fourth quarter to secure a two-point win. Gabriel had a good game, tossing for 253 yards and three touchdowns, and adding 22 yards on the ground. Gabriel's season total now stands at 2,131 yards and 19 passing touchdowns while rushing for 230 yards and five touchdowns.

The Sooners do not have a ranked team left on their schedule, but their game against UCF showed the Sooners cannot overlook any remaining opponent if they hope to make the Big 12 Championship Game.

MORE: How Michael Penix Jr. Can Make Heisman History at Washington