1. Jameis Winston - Florida State
I’ve been saying for the past three weeks that Jameis Winston would have an opportunity to rocket up the rankings if Florida State kept winning and he had a big game against Clemson. To say he played well against the Tigers would be putting it mildly. He showed why he appears ready to be the next star of college football and led the Seminoles to a 55-14 blowout in Death Valley that was the most impressive performance of any team this season. Winston was 22-of-34 for 444 yards and three touchdowns and also ran for another touchdown, making Clemson’s defense look foolish for most of the night.
2. Marcus Mariota - Oregon
Marcus Mariota had another fantastic performance in another comfortable win for the Ducks, but it was completely overshadowed by what Jameis Winston did in primetime. Mariota completed 23-of-32 passes for 327 yards and two touchdowns and he also ran for 67 yards and another touchdown. No one thought anything of it because he was playing against Washington State, but he’ll be the one with the spotlight now in his next two games against UCLA and Stanford.
3. Whoever you want.
I thought about putting Johnny Manziel, Derek Carr and Jordan Lynch here as my other three candidates, but it really wouldn’t have mattered. This has become a two-man race between Winston and Mariota and everyone else is just playing catch-up.