Synan Says, the Real Top 25 in College Football: Heisman Race Starts Taking Shape

What will the Florida Gators have when they return to the field this weekend to face Missouri?

The Gators have been racked with COVID-19 cases and two games had to be moved to different dates. It’s not really that important to place blame on the players, coaches, administrators or protocol because, let’s face it, the virus is turning up everywhere. It should be no surprise that college kids are getting the virus and spreading it. What’s more important is that the spread is stopped and no players or staff are put at risk by what is clearly a mistake by the Gator football program. The team has had little in the way of practice and will be short on players when the Gators play Missouri this weekend. I’ll be watching closely to see how the team handles adversity.

Florida State got a taste of success but it didn’t lead to more wins as the Seminoles got blasted in Louisville. To quote the late Dennis Green, “They are who we thought they were!” Look, this FSU team is terrible. While putting Jordan Travis at quarterback to run the ball more might be an improvement, he is not the answer and the program has a long way to go to even get back to respectability.

Miami rebounded nicely after Clemson showed the Canes they are not yet ready for prime time. The Canes went to Pittsburgh and won handily but Saturday’s narrow win over a 1-4 Virginia team should sound the alarm bells. The Canes need a maximum effort from every player, every week to make up the difference between how good quarterback D’Eriq King is and how good the rest of the team is. Miami cannot rely on swagger. They must rely on heart.

UCF rebounded nicely from their second loss which ended their dream of playing for a conference championship, handling Tulane this past weekend. Can the Knights bring this emotion every week? How much longer does the team stick with Randy Shannon at defensive coordinator when the Knights are clearly one of the worst teams in the nation on that side of the ball? UCF has the number one offense in the nation. The pace at which they play clearly has an impact on the defensive numbers but drastic improvement is needed.

How do you see the Heisman race? Here are, in order, the young men I believe have the best chance of taking home the trophy as it currently stands. Sadly, Wisconsin QB Graham Mertz contracted COVID-19 and isn’t on the list. He had a brilliant opening game as the new starter against Illinois and Wisconsin looked very dangerous with him at the helm.

Here’s my list:

  • Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
  • Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
  • Nijee Harris, RB, Alabama
  • Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
  • Zach Wilson, QB, BYU

There’s still plenty of time for other players, like Justin Fields of Ohio State or Kyle Trask of Florida, to make their moves and join the race.

TOP 25 FOR THE WEEK BEGINNING 10/25

  1. CLEMSON (6-0) Fans and media complained after a 26 point win. Coach Swinney wasn’t having it.
  2. ALABAMA (5-0) Their D is vulnerable, but can anyone keep up with that offense in the SEC?
  3. MICHIGAN (1-0) Winning easily at highly regarded Minnesota is one of the best wins by any team so far this season.
  4. CINCINNATI (4-0) Ditto for UC’s win at SMU.
  5. OHIO STATE (1-0) Pulled away after struggling early. I expect them to rise if they beat Penn State.
  6. OKLAHOMA STATE (4-0) Good win over Iowa State, but they will lose at some point.
  7. INDIANA (1-0) Was a miracle win–but a good one–over Penn State.
  8. NOTRE DAME (5-0) I’m not convinced. The teams they’ve beaten are terrible.
  9. BYU (6-0) Big wins over Navy and Houston look good. Would love to see them against the big boys.
  10. GEORGIA (3-1) Only loss is to Bama. The Dawgs thumped Auburn, Arkansas and Tennessee.
  11. COASTAL CAROLINA (5-0) Backup QB? No problem. The Chanticleers keep rolling.
  12. TEXAS A&M (3-1) Only loss is to Bama and beat Florida.
  13. FLORIDA (2-1) The SEC East race with Georgia looks exciting.
  14. LIBERTY (6-0) Crushed Syracuse worse than even Clemson did.
  15. MIAMI (5-1) A work in progress, but still in the ACC title hunt.
  16. Kansas St. (4-1) Win over Oklahoma good, loss to Arkansas State bad.
  17. MARSHALL (5-0) Wins are not awe-inspiring but they did beat Appalachian State.
  18. WISCONSIN (1-0) Can they win with a third-string QB? We’ll find out!
  19. NORTH CAROLINA (4-1) An awful loss and their wins aren’t great either. Could easily be leaped.
  20. SMU (5-1) Did not look the part versus Cincinnati.
  21. RUTGERS (1-0) How about Greg Schiano! Went to Michigan State and won.
  22. BOISE STATE (1-0) It was only Utah State but they look like a major bowl candidate for sure.
  23. LOUISIANA (4-1) Beat Iowa State, but lost to Coastal Carolina.
  24. MEMPHIS (3-1) Have beaten UCF.
  25. PURDUE (1-0) Not sure what to make of them beating Iowa. We’ll see?
  26. SAN DIEGO STATE (1-0) Also a wait and see team.

 

Reach Mike Synan at mike.synan@floridadaily.com.

 

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